I was provided with an ARC of this work.
4 out of 5 stars.
First, just as a warning, I don’t usually enjoy reading non-fiction. I have had 2 decades worth of schooling that had too many textbooks and too few novels to make a habit of reading non-fiction in my spare time. That being said, this is a very good intro to non-fiction for fiction readers because it is a blend of the two. For every chapter of facts, there is a chapter of fun. A narrative about wizards travelling to earth to deal with interfering elves is worked alongside a thesis about the importance of narrative to the human condition. It is an unusually complex thesis for something that is meant to be read by laypeople, but it is well done. It draws on evidence from a variety of fields: physical sciences to social sciences to the arts and humanities. There are quite a few concepts thrown at the reader, like the philosophical concept of qualia (which the spell correct on my machine is refusing to even acknowledge), but the comic interludes of Pratchett’s wizards being hilarious ensures that there is time to deliberate on them before the next chapter’s deluge. I would recommend this to any fiction reader who is hoping to softly tread into the world of non-fiction without fully committing themselves, as well as to anyone who likes topics that draw from a wild variety of sources and are blended together well.