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Moving Pictures (Discworld #10)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  33,533 ratings  ·  623 reviews
Discworld's pesky alchemists are up to their old tricks again. This time, they've discovered how to get gold from silver -- the silver screen that is. Hearing the siren call of Holy Wood is one Victor Tugelbend, a would-be wizard turned extra. He can't sing, he can't dance, but he can handle a sword (sort of), and now he wants to be a star. So does Theda Withel, an ambitio ...more
Paperback, 350 pages
Published January 1992 by Roc (first published 1990)
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This is Holy Wood. To pass the time quickly, you just film the clock hands moving fast... but when it's being written by Terry Pratchett why would you want to?

Moving Pictures, Pratchett's Discworld parody of Hollywood, appeals to me a great deal purely as a cinephile and wannabe film maker but as it's Pratchett it's also brilliant and brilliantly funny filled with wicked caricatures and wonderful characters, and of course evil puns aplenty.

In this must-read episode you get to know more about the
Who'd want to spend their time moving pictures? Most of them looked alright where they were.

A shady sausage vendor and a student of wizardry head to Holy Wood for fame and fortune in the early days of the Discworld film industry. Hey, kids! Let's put on a show! Sounds like wholesome family entertainment, does it not?

Well...since this sprang from the mind of Terry Pratchett, expect chaos and devastation, licentious landladies, mass hysteria, dogs and cats sharing conversations... a
Mike (the Paladin)
I'm stingy with my 5 star ratings and considered going with a 4 here, but I really enjoyed this read. It is hilarious. From Trolls who don't want to get "type cast" (I played a troll who runs out and hits him with a rock) to a talking wonder dog who can't get noticed because he's too "scruffy" the cliches of the movies get very skewered. Everyone is headed to (the?)"Holy Wood" to be a star. And of course as we all know, moving pictures or, "the clicks" can effect the fabric of reality.

Sir Terry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Part 10 of the Complete Discworld Reread

Wow, what a slog. When I started this reread I was wondering how a couple of those I had ignored would read a second time around, with “Moving Pictures” being my biggest fear. On this occasion my memory was correct, this may be the weakest Pratchett book until the football one released a few years back.

Now don’t get me wrong, even a bad Pratchett book is worth reading, and this wasn’t a complete waste of time. As per the usual, some of the humor hits hard
I have a lot of friends who swear by Pratchett, but I found him rather dull. I tried reading the first book in the series, but I couldn't finish it. A friend suggested this as one of his better outings, so I bit.

He seems to harp on the most obvious jokes, extending one-note gags into paragraphs, chapters, or even whole books. I found that out of every ten jokes, one would make me laugh and nine would make me groan and roll my eyes. Really not a good rate of return.

His world-building is passable,
Given a choice between books and movies, many people - myself included - will say that books are always better than movies. "You can use your imagination," we'll say, "drawing on the powers of the human mind to create things that manifestly are not real. You can decide for yourself what the scenes look like and how the characters appear, rather than have some director feed his or her vision over yours."

Despite that, however, we all still love the movies. If you gave me a novelization of Casablan
Mary Catelli
The tenth Discworld. Kinda stand-alone. The Unseen University and the Patrician feature in ways to that connect to earlier stories, but the main characters and their tale stand-alone. Those who read the series will see him forcibly adjusting the world-building because he didn't really like the set-up he had given it at first.

But an old man dies and realizes too late that he had not trained a successor to continue lighting the ritual fire. And things start to happen as not quite real things seep
Dopo aver letto l'ennesimo libro di Pratchett (ok ok sono solo tre finora, ma aumenteranno!), mi è sorta spontanea una domanda: come diavolo è possibile che nessuno abbia ancora trasformato i suoi libri in film??? Sono praticamente perfetti per essere trasposti sul grande schermo, gli ingredienti ci sono tutti: humor, spessore, trame imprevedibili, colpi di scena... E allora come mai sono uscite solo poche produzioni per la televisione? Questa è una cosa che proprio non mi spiego. Ma passiamo al ...more
This book was very disappointing. Usually I have no trouble retaining interest in a Terry Pratchett/Discworld novel, but this one I had to force myself to finish.

I think my problem with it is that it's too literal. What I love about Pratchett's writing most of the time is how he manages to mock things scathingly while at the same time making wonderful (and more general) loving comments about humanity. By following such a narrow path as he did in this book (with the straight on Hollywood/Holy Wo
Moving Pictures is the first in the so-called "Industrial Revolution" line of discworld novels. It was published in 1990, the same year as Eric, and is a wonderful satire on Hollywood and the film industry.
Main characters in this story are Victor Tugelbend, who devised a very intelligent system to fail exams at Unseen University "good enough" not to be thrown out, and Theda 'Ginger' Withel, who just wants to be herself, as big as possible. They are both drawn away from their day-to-day lives by
Wiebke (1book1review)
This is another perfect example of how Pratchett uses the discworld to question our own world and the things we do.

Moving pictures is all about the introduction of movies to the discworld and how it entrances everyone and changes peoples perception of their selves and the influence the new technoogy and media has on society.
Of course it wouldn't be a discworld novel if Holy Wood (the area the moving pictures are home to) didn't have its own agenda and ideas for the world.

I highly recommend this
Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett is the first of his Diskworld novels to make me go "Meh..." The idea is that an evil spirit breaks lose and starts putting ideas in people's heads that give birth to the creation of motion pictures, or "clicks" on the Disk. It's got enough good lines, jokes, and parodies to make it entertaining, but the whole Hollywood lampoon seems so out of place on the Diskworld that I found it really distracting and jarring. Indeed, Pratchett seems to anticipate this reacti ...more
Synopsis from Google Books:

Discworld's pesky alchemists are up to their old tricks again. This time, they've discovered how to get gold from silver -- the silver screen that is. Hearing the siren call of Holy Wood is one Victor Tugelbend, a would-be wizard turned extra. He can't sing, he can't dance, but he can handle a sword (sort of), and now he wants to be a star. So does Theda Withel, an ambitious ingénue from a little town (where else?) you've probably never heard of.

But the click click of
Ksenia Anske
If you've never wept from laughter, read this book. You can thank me later.
This is fun, but not as much fun as the DEATH books or the Watch books. I guess I'd even take more of the Patrician to some weird guy with a weedy mustache. Although, I did enjoy everything Gaspode the Wonder Dog did, and his faithful lackey "Good boy" Laddie. It was a clever riff on Hollywood dreams, but not really as well developed as some of Pratchett's other ideas. The hero is a problem too. Victor's not half as funny as Rincewind and I'm a Rincewind hater. The book has its moments - other t ...more
David Sarkies
Discworld goes to Hollywood
21 May 2013

I must admit that this was not one of my favourite of Pratchett's books but I suspect that if I end up reading it again, the score might go up and the review may change, however we are getting to a point where maybe the best of Pratchett's Discword content is behind him and he is exploring other avenues to try and get a laugh. Okay, Pratchett does more than try to get a laugh, and in a way it is sort of like the Simpsons where Pratchett uses a fantasy world
A brilliant story of "a worlde gonne madde!" full of fine jibes against the "dream machine" of Hollywood and every other film maker ever walking our roundworld. it might not be so sophisticated as Pratchetts more recent works, but it's fresh, it's amusing and it shows so many "new" characters already grown old and routined in the newer books so it was a very enjoyable read full of wonders, laughs & wizards!
Somehow i especially liked the "first days on the job" of Mustrum Ridcully
Richard Stueber
This is the story of the beginning and end of the 'moving picture' industry on the Discworld. An ancient magic in a place called Holy Wood affects many people (and some animals) in strange ways.
Since I have seen thousands of movies and also spent a lot of time researching the motion picture industry from is beginnings in the 1890s the subject is of great interest to me.
A prime mover in this book is Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, who, instead of flogging his usual disgusting sausages, is promoting th
Sometimes I think Terry Pratchett should be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature (or maybe Chemistry or Physics). Seriously! I'll write up my nomination and share it with you some day. As novels, the Discworld books don't hold up to rigorous critical scrutiny, but as performances of satirical fantasy they are peerless. Their plots are ridiculous and often lose all credibility by the climax. But the story and its credibility are not the point: how far the fantasy can take its reductio ad a ...more
Oct 01, 2007 Dicehiggins rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want a little showbiz magic in their lives
This was a fun book that borrowed a lot from the Hollywood heyday.....It follows Victor, Ginger, Dibbler and a talking dog, as they break into showbiz (Through a hole in a fence), turn light into gold, see the advent of talking pictures, and try to become flaming balls of gas and energy...uh I mean...stars. One of my favorite discworld books, and one I quote often.

"In a word -- im-possible!" "That's two words," said Dibbler.

"I'm vice-president of Throwing Out People Mr Dibbler Doesn't like the
There are a couple different kinds of Discworld books in the Pratchett library: the Vimes books, the Early Period books, the set about Rincewind and/or Wizards/Witches, and the set of odd one-offs. This would be a book about Wizards (although thankfully no Rincewind, who I kinda loathe) but mostly it's about the motion picture industry and Hollywood in general. The only central character who really carries over is Gaspode, the small stinky talking dog. The rest of the book (although the Libraria ...more
This one definitely grew on me in the last third or so. I do feel like it took quite a while to get started, and was (at least in the first half) a little more predictable (in plot as well as single jokes made) than I'm used to from Pratchett. I think what bothered me boils down to the fact that the idea (and execution of the first half) felt more like a gag, and as such the length felt like it dragged on more than I've ever felt a Pratchett book doing.

I definitely loved Vetinari and DEATH (as u
You'd think, after the beginning humor, you'd expect most of the jokes would die out. It can't get any funnier than the previous funny, can it? What a load of cabbages. Things could get funnier, and the ratio of laughter volume over gradual page turns increased by leaps and bounds. I don't know how on earth I managed to survive over 20 years without having read any of the Discworld books until recently (The Truth was my first).

Pratchett shows his mastery not only with writing fiction, but he ext
Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett is a humorous tale about what happens when alchemists learn to make film and subsequently movies or "moving pictures". Then suddenly lots of people feel compelled to travel to the small town of Holy Wood and become a part of the moving pictures business. I'm sure it goes without saying what Holy Wood is a satire of. A sort of strange magic is involved with the moving pictures though that not only compels people to get into the business, but that also seems to m ...more
Felipe Guerrero
El Mundodisco es un lugar muy extraño y fascinante donde la realidad es algo que ocurre en la mente de las personas. Si creen en algo se vuelve real, asi de simple.

La temática de este libro es el cine y su historia. Me gustó mucho es muy divertido e interesante, a sido otro excelente paseo por ese mundo creado por Terry Pratchett: El Mundodisco, reflejo y espejo de mundos.
Ryan Patrick
Pratchett does Hollywood (or in Discworld, Holy Wood). It was fun to pick up on all the references to our Hollywood (the Oscar becomes a golden knight guarding a portal who looks a lot like uncle Oswald, or is it Osric; Gone with the Wind becomes Blown Away) - I'm sure I missed some. The story itself was pretty typical - some innocent minded soul who wants to try something new ends up unleashing forces who threaten to destroy the whole world. But you don't read Pratchett for the story, at least ...more
Gemma Thomson
So far this has been the most disappointing entry in the Discworld series for me. It should have been half the length, with much less in the way of real-world parody. While the concept was mildly interesting - alchemists discover how to make motion pictures while under the influence of a mysterious force which is guiding them to recreate Hollywood - the first two-thirds of the book felt pretty vapid.

That said, the final scenes in Ankh-Morpork were as funny as any other Discworld book, were actio
Unsurprisingly given the title of this book, this is Terry Pratchett taking on the film industry in his usual satirical manner. Pratchett manages to compress the decades of development within the film industry into just a few months while keeping it as believable and 'real' as our film industry. The tale is full of in-jokes and sly nods to the film world, a few of which I probably missed, that had me sniggering and smirking to myself. It didn't read as well as some of his other books, the writin ...more
On the one hand, Pratchett by this point is at or close to the peak of his powers. On the other hand, this probably isn't the book that shows off those powers most thoroughly; after books like Pyramids and Guards! Guards!, readers may find Moving Pictures to be a relatively shallow excursion.
Then again, it's creative and polished and funny and mostly reasonably gripping, so (and particularly if the light-hearted side of Pratchett appeals more to you than the serious stuff) this is a wonderfully
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,
More about Terry Pratchett...

Other Books in the Series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9)
  • Reaper Man (Discworld, #11)
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1) Mort (Discworld, #4) Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8) Night Watch (Discworld, #29)

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“The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.” 858 likes
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A dog's wet nose is not strictly speaking the worst of the bunch, but it has it's own peculiar dreadfulness which connoisseurs of the ghastly and dog owners everywhere have come to know and dread. It's like having a small piece of defrosting liver pressed lovingly against you.”
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