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Jaimelai

Terry Pratchett's DISCWORLD

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I would like to start something a little different.  Instead of a thread dedicated to a particular book or the latest book you've read, I would like to start a thread dedicated to a whole series of books, namely Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and open it up for a DM-wide discussion.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with his work, Terry Pratchett is a very popular British author (#1 till Harry Potter came along) who tells stories from the fantasy world of Discworld that are basically a satirical examination of our own universe (think of it as Monty Python meets WoT doing the evening news). There are 36 books in the series, plus numerous spinoffs.  His themes run from the roots of Rock & Roll to organized religion to about anything else on our planet.  I am curently reading "Interesting Times" which seems to be poking fun at Imperial China or maybe the China/England relationship (opium/tea exchange? I don't know as I just started it). I know many here have read his works (Amethea is the one that got me hooked), but to some it may be new.  For those Discworld newbies, here is a good overview:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld

 

OK, I've ran out of time as my lunch break is over, but I wanted to get this going.  What do people think of this world, of Terry Pratchett's ideas, his writing style/his topics?  (Personally, I bought a copy of "Small Gods" to give to a particularily over-zealous religious family member who told me to burn all of my Harry Potter books and left copies of his pastor's book on my coffee table).

 

Ideas/comments?

 

 

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ok so I saw a recommendation on these a while back here on the forums. I have not gotten around to buying any of them yet... had other book projects I was reading. What I want to know is do the books follow an order. Do I have to start reading at book 1 to understand the story or am I going to miss anything by just reading in the order I want. The reason I ask is I try not to run through a whole series of books at once since it tends to overload me on one subject matter but it would be nice to have a book to read in between me reading series. So now that I have rambled on can I just pick up a copy of the book that seems most interesting to me and not have to read all of them.. although I get the feeling I will end up reading them all.

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Discworld novels involve recurring characters and plotlines, with some forming sort of mini-series focusing on subsets of the cast, but each can be read as a standalone. You'd miss a few things by reading them out of order, I think, but just to contradict myself, I wouldn't recommend starting from the very beginning - the very first Discworld novels aren't my favourites.

 

A few Discworld books I'd particularly recommend for newcomers to the series:

 

* Small Gods, a fierce and hilarious satire on religion.

* Going Postal, the first book featuring Moist von Lipwig, a conman who is reprieved at the gallows to reform the Post Office.

* Any book featuring Sam Vimes.

 

I also enjoyed the Tiffany Aching trilogy, which is a MG (children's) trilogy in the Discworld setting.

 

Pratchett just keeps on improving. I could swear each book is better than the next. Anyone read Nation? Totally blew me away.

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Yup, Sirayn, I've read it and loved it, though not quite as much as some of (his) others. And yes, I'd thoroughly recommend Going Postal as well.

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As you can probably guess, I'm a big Discworld fan.  I love the subtle (and not so subtle) links between the Discworld realm and our own, as well as the intriguing characters and brilliant storylines.  I didn't read them in order to begin with (I picked up the excellent Night Watch in a library sale for 10p, and promptly sought out the others) but I've since rectified that. :)

 

I think my favourites have to be any of the Watch books.  The regulars of the Ankh Morpork city Watch and their exploits are the best (and funniest) I've read, and Sam Vimes is quite possibly one of my favourite literary characters. Wintersmith is another good read (one of the Tiffany Aching trilogy), and I loved Going Postal.

 

I was given Nation for Christmas, and it became an instant favourite.  Funny and thought provoking at the same time, and I thought the way the two viewpoints then came together was really well written.

 

I'd definitely say that Pratchett is one of my favourite authors, as well as recommend them to anyone.

 

(Edited for spelling)

 

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cool so I when I goto the book store this weekend I will be sure and look for them then. I knew I could count on Amethea to give me a good overview of them  ;D thanks to everyone else too it helps me see that it is something many like. I know I have seen them now an agin the book store here but for anyone else in the states has it been hard to find the entire series?

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Very good discussion so far - I agree, the books do not have to be read in order, but you will miss out on several minor running gaglines if you start somewhere in the middle.  I have to read them in order only due to my nature.  :)  I'm on book 16 now and am glad to see that Rincewind and Twoflowers are back although they now appear to be leading a communist rebellion against Imperial China. I haven't read Going Postal yet and look forward to meeting  Moist von Lipwig as his name has come up in several discussions in the past.  And Hogfather?  I hope that it has DEATH in it as he is one of my favorites.  I haven't had any trouble finding them in the bookstore (Barnes & Noble), but I mainly listen to the audiobooks editions on my nightly walks.

 

Funny and thought provoking at the same time is a good way to sum up the entire series.  :D

 

 

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You know that is a good idea I have all the audio books I downloaded them a while back. Thanks for the idea and the reminder.

 

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Jaim, Death does feature in Hogfather - rather prominently. :)  I saw the adaptation that Sky One made of it a year or so ago, and it was pretty good, too.  I'll be interested to see whether they make another adaptation of a Discworld book for this year.

 

I'm hoping that if they do, it'll have the Watch in it. :)

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I picked up Small Gods and Night Watch hope I choose well for books to start with. I will not be able to get started on them till next week but hey I have them.

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I am going to havae to try Pratchett again....maybe I just wasn't in the right mindset when I tried it!  :D

 

I think I'm on track when I say that some of the Pratchett books have been made into movies too..I know I saw Hogfather at the local Blockbuster..and is that one or another one the Christmas one?  and there may be a couple of others....

 

did the books stand up to the books?

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RJ...Orangatang..and the assistant for the New Librarian!!

 

LOL  I was looking at old threads and Pratchett has long been a fav around here and thrown into discussions!!  LOL  Do any of you currently reading and discussing know about this connection of the librarian and orangatan and Pratchett?

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???  Terry Pratchett's librarian is an orangutan.  :)

 

My book stands up ok, if you open it a bit first.

 

:P

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Yay for Terry Pratchett!!

 

I'm a HUGE fan of his books (as it stands I have all his books bar one and that includes the maps, Nanny Ogg's Cookbook and such.)

 

I love his writing. His one liners - particularly his footnotes - are absolutely hilarious and I have been known to laugh out loud on the bus...or in bed.  :-[

 

Have any of you read his novel Good Omens? It was co-written with Neil Gaiman. I don't know who wrote what part but there are Terry Pratchett-isms all through that book.

 

He's currently writing (amidst demands for speaking on Alzheimer's, fan letters and other such stuff) another Discworld book centred on the Unseen University. It'll be called Unseen Academicals I think.

 

There's also another book being converted to film; Going Postal will commence filming in May 2009.  ;D

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Going Postal is going to be the next one filmed?  Excellent!  I can't wait to see who they'll cast in the roles.

 

I'd heard about Unseen Academicals, and if it's about what I think it's about, then it'll be really funny. ;D  I'm looking forward to that one.  I don't know where he finds the time to write, sometimes, but I'm glad he does.

 

As for Good Omens, it's one of the few I've got left to read.  From what I've seen others say about it on other forums, then I don't think I'll be waiting too much longer to read it. :)

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I just finished "Interesting Times". A real history lesson there  :)  One thing I've notice about these books is that you really need to go back and reread the introduction after you finished reading the whole book to really make sense of it.  Do you suppose he does that on purpose?

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I just started reading him a couple of months ago, and I ADORE him! I've read Guards! Guards!, Witches Abroad, and The Wyrd Sisters, and just giggle endlessly at home, on the train, and in coffee shops.

 

The first paragraphs of Wyrd Sisters, which had me and my best friend laughing aloud when we read them:

 

The wind howled. Lightning stabbed the earth erratically, like an inefficient assassin. Thunder rolled back and forth across the dark, rain-lashed hills.

 

The night was as black as the inside of a cat. It was the kind of night, you could believe, on which gods moved men like they were pawns on the chessboard of fate. In the midst of this elemental storm a fire gleamed among the dripping furze bushes like madness in a weasel's eye. It illuminated three hunched figures. As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked: "When shall we three meet again?"

 

There was a pause.

 

Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: "Well, I can do next Tuesday."

 

I mean, really?! Inefficient assassins and the insides of cats?! It's just perfect. :D

 

I've been resisting the urge to go get more of his stuff until I've finished the other books that are waiting for me already on my nightstand, but it's difficult! He's exactly what I feel like reading these days, I'm having trouble getting back into the longer, more serious fantasy stuff because I keep remembering the giggles I get with Mr. Pratchett. ^_^

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Maybe a little Terry Pratchett is just what the world needs at the point in time with the economy in such a mess and all.  :)

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Yep!

 

Oh and if anyone wants Pratchett items and fanware then this site is the place to get it from. (See the list on the left hand side for the goodies). It is also periodically updated with Pratchett news too.

 

Word of warning though, they are a small company and make most things from scratch so don't order and expect things the next day. I ordered something a month ago and am still waiting but I think it's worth it. :)

 

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Thanks, Kara - I've bookmarked it, so I'll be checking it regularly. :)

 

Reading the production details for the forthcoming Going Postal adaptation is making me want to read it again.  It was so refreshing to find Pratchett when I did.  I'd been going through a spell of reading a lot of serious fantasy novels and series, and to find Discworld, with all it's wit and humour, was a breath of fresh air.

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*pipes up late* I've read Reaper Man, The Colour of Magic and The Wyrd Sisters within the last year or so. I had heard of Discworld before that but never got around to picking up any of the books. My reading lately has been centered on RL health stuff with recreational reading focusing on the 2 novels I'm editing, but I certainly intend to continue with Discworld. Death is my favorite character so far. :)

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