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Discworld #10

Moving Pictures

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Cameras roll - which means the imps inside have to paint really fast - on the fantastic Discworld when the alchemists discover the magic of the silver screen.

But what is the dark secret of Holy Wood Hill?

As the alien clichés of Tinsel Town pour into the world, it's up to the Disc's first film stars to find out...

THRILL as Victor Tugelbend ("Can't sing. Can't dance. Can handle a sword a little") and Theda Withel ("I come from a little town you've probably never even heard of") battle the forces of evil and cinema advertising...

SCREAM as Gaspode the Wonder Dog nearly saves the day...

EAT POPCORN as you watch the filming of "Blown Away," the oddest Civil War picture ever made...

A Passionate Saga Set Against the background of a World Gone Mad!

This Will Amaze You!

With a Thousand Elephants!

("And afterwards, why not dine at Harga's House of Ribs, for the best in international cuisine; only two minutes from this book...")

396 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1990

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About the author

Terry Pratchett

613 books41.4k followers
Born Terence David John Pratchett, 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, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987, he turned to writing full time.

There are over 40 books in the Discworld series, of which four are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal.

A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback - Harper Torch, 2006 - and trade paperback - Harper Paperbacks, 2006).

In 2008, Harper Children's published Terry's standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation. Terry published Snuff in October 2011.

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Warwick in 1999, the University of Portsmouth in 2001, the University of Bath in 2003, the University of Bristol in 2004, Buckinghamshire New University in 2008, the University of Dublin in 2008, Bradford University in 2009, the University of Winchester in 2009, and The Open University in 2013 for his contribution to Public Service.

In Dec. of 2007, Pratchett disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. On 18 Feb, 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010.

Sir Terry Pratchett passed away on 12th March 2015.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,248 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,857 followers
July 12, 2020
Welcome to the fabulous dream factory, the best place on earth, oh, sorry, wrong promo, I mean Pratchett´s dissection of the superficiality and deception of the mass production of entertainment and media.

Thanks to the alchemists, the Discworld has become so much richer in high quality entertainment fun or the immensely useless waste of human lifetime, depending on the pro or anti movie watching standpoint, I am possibly a bit biased here. Evil movie, go away, don´t force me watching you, I want to read. Puh, now I can, oh, a 4k remake of a classic real time strategy game series. 500 hours later. Damn it.

However, Holy Wood grows and I guess I know too less about real movie history to get all the innuendos, and stars are made, changing Discworld forever and potentially in a way nobody is aware of.

I mean, think about it, the focus, thoughts, life energy,… of million and soon billions of people is directly transmitted into these settings, what better medium could be used by evil, satanic, interdimensional, alien, or PR industry forces to reap huge stockpiles of psi, qi, karma, or pure brainpower, with whatever unit that could be measured, terrathinks, gigaponder, or something

So media perverts and is dangerous, is this what it´s trying to tell us? Well, it again depends on the individual interpretation, but fueling awareness of the dangers and pitfalls of modern entertainment options is something always a bit underrepresented while everybody is just bashing against books of faces, agencies of national securities, of tubes of yous. After getting so used to, not conspiracy theory including, media irrigation this oldfashioned whipping girl/boy seems to have come completely out of fashion, because the meta big brother scheme sells much more clicks and coverage.

I guess I should once watch the satirized movies, or at least read the scripts, but as they mostly aren´t my genre or are overrated classics that just became cult because of a lack of alternatives, I don´t really see a chance of this ever happening. Quite stereotypical, overused plots nowadays, fresh and original the first few times, but best consumed in a humorous format and used to get laughs instead of screams.

Wait until the end to see how the protagonists reflect about what has just happened to them and how this could be interpreted and adapted for real life, especially the social media epidemic Pratchett sadly had no chance to enjoy. How he would have satirized it will forever stay a mystery.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:

This one is added to all Pratchettian reviews:
The idea of the dissected motifs rocks, highlighting the main real world inspirational elements of fiction and satire is something usually done with so called higher literature, but a much more interesting field in readable literature, as it offers the joy of reading, subtle criticism, and feeling smart all together.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
October 19, 2021
This most Lovecraftian of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books (this being number TEN and first published in 1990) and first of the Industrial Revolution books.

Moving Pictures, as a title of course makes me think of Rush’s brilliant 1981 album of the same name (Pratchett even makes droll word play just as in Rush’s cover art).

Like so many of Sir Terry’s Discworld adventures, he liberally sprinkles popular and cultural references throughout and besides the ubiquitous Lovecraft allusions, he also turns The Camera Eye to a Philip K. Dick reference (if the reader is quick).

A Discworld Tom Sawyer, protagonist Victor Tugelbend (stage name Victor Maraschino) is a perpetual student at Unseen University who is a practiced expert in doing nothing. His Vital Signs are honed to being as lazy as possible, working at not working as hard as other people work at … work.

So when Red Barchetta Alchemists (not to be confused with Wizards) figure out a way to make motion pictures, Victor turns out to be a born actor. Pratchett has fun aplenty making fun of Hollywood and he also introduces more fantastic Discworld characters, the best being Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler, Discworld’s capitalistic icon. Sadly there is little Witch Hunting in the Limelight of this fine novel, but still very good.

I recommend reading this while listening to Rush’s YYZ.

*** 2021 reread -

One of his funniest and this time I especially noticed his satirical genius, having Hollywood become Holy Wood and having it be the subject of a Lovecraftian mythos to rule and end the world. Brilliant!

Also, let's give a big shout out to Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler and Gaspode the Wonder dog. Two otherwise minor characters in the Discworld who stole the show in this one, Dibbler for setting down the sausage cart to become a conniving film producer and Gaspode for being - well, Gaspode. Dibbler was front stage for most of the action and stole scenes that he was in with the verve of a backstage shark.

Pratchett has fun making fun of greed and the allure of misguided hero worship.

And one thousand elephants!

Profile Image for Adrian.
573 reviews209 followers
October 30, 2019
Another great Discworld novel, just not quite 5 stars ⭐️.
More tomorrow hopefully.
4.5 ⭐️

So a couple of days have elapsed and I still feel that this is not quite a 5 star read, far enough away to make it a solid 4 stars. It is , as ever with Sir Terry, a fantastic story and a wonderful parody of 20th/21st century life.
This book starts with the death of an old man who was guarding the hill at Holy Wood by the sea. Without his daily chants, strange things start to awaken and attempt to escape from the cave beneath the hill.
The alchemists are drawn to the hill and are strangely interested in starting a moving picture industry, whatever that may be. So "clicks" are born, and people flock to Holy Wood to be a part of this new industry. But all is not well beneath the hill as more "magic" escapes than can be managed and the "click" industry expands at an exponential rate. (getting the picture ??? )

Enter Victor, the laziest of student wizards, Ginger, a farm girl, Gaspode the most scruffy of dogs, but a talker (!) and Laddie, the worlds best acting dog (Good boy Laddie); add these new characters to old favourites like CMOT Dibbler, The Librarian (oook) and 2 cameo appearances from DEATH. The Watch appear briefly as do the senior wizards. All in all a fabulous recipe for a marvellous novel, and Sir Terry does not fail to deliver.
Oh gosh it is just so close to 4.5 stars but I can't keep giving all the DIscworld novels 5 stars, so this is just a 4 star ⭐️ read
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,103 followers
March 27, 2018
This is a re-read and I'm upping my rating because, well, let's face it: this is the start of a brand new chapter in the Discworld and it follows the main style that I have grown to love over all the rest of the books. I was slow to love them at first, but as I continued to see Progress raise its great lumbering head above the trash heaps of Ankh-Morpork (from inside the river, of course,) I can't help but get all bubbly inside.

Memorable moments, and there are a lot of them going well beyond this review, include a certain wild dash of the head magicians, a certain talking dog, Mr. Cut-Me-Own-Throat, and of course the clever use of the old Greek "anamnesis".

And of course the lambasting of old-time Holy Wood. :) It's time has come.

(Sounds rather ominous, right?)

Quite funny through and through, too. And of course, it only gets better from here. The weight of the Discworld about to break the backs of a few elephants and a turtle. :)
Profile Image for Lena.
199 reviews92 followers
July 18, 2022
Discworld novels never disappoint and this witty parody on Hollywood is hilarious.
Profile Image for Trish.
2,018 reviews3,436 followers
March 26, 2018

Can you hear that? It's the sound of a movie reel.
Discworld has it's first foray into the industrial revolution. Here, in form of the last guardian of an old portal dying without anybody being there to take up his tasks. Not long after, some alchemists in Ankh-Morpork develop clicks, moving pictures painted by enslaved little demons. Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, the sausage dealer, isn't gonna miss out on a chance to get rich so he becomes the first agent/film studio executive. Soon, first people and then animals (that can suddenly talk) are drawn to where the portal used to be, Holy Wood, without knowing why they had the intense urge to be there and be in a picture or help make one.
Holy Wood soon is growing, moving pictures are created in colour even (sound is still very complicated) and the place is becoming stronger while at least some people start noticing that something's wrong. Such as Victor, the male lead. From then on, the crack between dimensions gets larger and larger and there is a mad dash for nothing less than saving the entire Discworld - because that is what a male lead does, right?

Some old beloved characters such as the Librarian or Death as well as some new ones like Gaspode or the trolls spice up this story and it's a delight. And let's not forget that the city of Ankh-Morpork itself, technically, is a character, too - just like the Unseen University's library. Oh, and the current Arch Chancellor (who will remain so for quite a while apparently) now is Ridcully, a fantastically quirky addition to the whole bunch of wizzards.

I burst out laughing several times while reading it and could quote over half of the book.
Pratchett, in his usual deadpan humour, parodies product placements, the treatment of cast and crew on a film set, actors' behavior, the making of movies (historically and mechanically), the plot points in movies, fame, the media circus, the power of imagination ... and even more serious topics such as discrimination and racism in the industry.
There is also more than one movie reference in this, such as for Gone with the Wind, King Kong, Ben Hur, and a few others - with a Discworld twist, of course.

Truth be told, I was reluctant to read this at first. I'd heard about the industrial revolution books, of course, that form a group much like the ones about the witches or the City Watch, but I didn't think I'd like them too much because I want my Discworld to stay almost medieval in its atmosphere and feared the changes. However, that fear was completely unfounded, at least in this book. On the contrary: especially because I feared a clash of the good old with the shiny new Discworld, it was all the more funny to read about A Wild Idea arriving and trying to find a place. Thus, it's no surprise this has fast become one of my facourite Discworld books!

Once again, I've read this in the audio format; once again, the narrator was Nigel Planner; once again, he was brilliant. From the sound effects like the movie reels to the accents (especially of the trolls and CMOT), he nailed it!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews34 followers
February 5, 2021
Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10), Terry Pratchett

Moving Pictures is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, published in 1990, the tenth book in his Discworld series.

The book takes place in Discworld's most famous city, Ankh-Morpork and a hill called "Holy Wood". It is the first Discworld novel to feature Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor of Unseen University, as a character.

The alchemists of the Discworld have invented moving pictures.

Many hopefuls are drawn by the siren call of Holy Wood, home of the fledgling "clicks" industry – among them Victor Tugelbend, a dropout from Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University and Theda "Ginger" Withel, a girl "from a little town you never ever heard of", and the Discworld's most infamous salesman, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, who introduces commerce to the equation and becomes a successful producer.

The business of making movies grows rapidly, and eventually Victor and Ginger become real stars, thanks to the help of Gaspode the sentient dog (who also develops a relationship with Laddie, that everybody considers to be the real Wonder Dog, although in fact has a very simple mind).

Holy Wood for a while becomes an effervescent place full of humans, dwarfs, alchemists, demons (which essentially constitute the main technological device to make movies), and trolls (among whom is Detritus) all living in harmony.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز پنجم ماه سپتامبر سال 2017میلادی

عنوان: تصاویر متحرک: کتاب دهم از جهان صفحه؛ نویسنده تری پراچت؛

در کتاب دهم از سری «جهان صفحه»ف یک دیو باستانی به نام «صنعت سرگرمی» وارد جهان صفحه شده؛ و به دنبال قرانیان تازه میگردد؛

از این سری، در جهان، تا کنون، بیش از چهل رمان، به چاپ رسیده، که در زمینه ی خیالپردازی، و طنز، و هزل هستند، و تقریباً، هر چیزی زیر این آسمان را، به‌ سخره میگرند؛ «دیسک ‌ورلد»، صفحه ی تختی است، که روی شانه ی چهار فیل غول ‌پیکر، قرار گرفته، فیل‌هایی که خود، بر روی پشت «آتوئین کبیر»، لاک‌پشت عظیم ‌الجثه ‌ای، قرار دارند، که در دنیای بیکران، شناکنان، به سوی مقصد نامعلومی، حرکت می‌کند؛ رمان‌های ایشان، هر چه شخصیت خیال‌پردازی، و علمی-تخیلی هست را، به ریشخند می‌گیرد، کتابهایش بیشتر ایده ‌ها، و حقه‌ ها، شرکت فیلم‌سازی برگمن، استرالیا، فیلم‌سازی، انتشار روزنامه، موزیک راک اند رول، فرهنگ، فلسفه، تاریخ مصر باستان، مهاجرت قبایل اولیه، بی‌نظمی، و سلطنت، و ... در بر میگیرند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 16/11/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Ms. Smartarse.
604 reviews260 followers
August 18, 2022
The Discworld is constantly evolving, mainly courtesy of Ankh Morpork's guilds of something-or-other. The Alchemists Guild's latest bout of explosion for example, has produced the raw material for moving pictures (i.e. movies). Pretty soon, Ankh-Morpork becomes too cramped for the more "extravagant" movie directors, so cue a surprisingly fast and steady exodus to Holy Wood, a long abandoned dwelling in the desert.

Holy Wood however, is not a normal place, housing some rather sinister things in its long-forgotten ruins. Unfortunately for the Discworld, the only one whose sixth sense is tingling here, is a flea-ridden dog named Gaspode. I mean, he can speak, and think faster than most intelligent humans, however he lacks a certain... charm, to prevent the inevitable boot in its hindquarters.
Luckily, he meets Victor, perpetual wizarding student, whose minds is open-enough to comprehend the existence of a real-life wonder dog.

woof bloody woof

The overall reading experience of Moving Pictures was a very weird one. When I started, I felt completely disconnected from every character, action and even the general idea of the plot. All I could really appreciate were the occasional funny bits.

Of course, it is very important to be sober when you take an exam. Many worthwhile careers in the street-cleansing, fruit-picking and subway-guitar-playing industries have been founded on a lack of understanding of this simple fact.

A small crowd was collecting. A small crowd collected very easily in Ankh-Morpork. As a city, it had some of the most accomplished spectators in the universe. They’d watch anything, especially if there was any possibility of anyone getting hurt in an amusing way.

“Did I hear things, or can that little dog speak?” said Dibbler.
“He says he can’t,” said Victor.
Dibbler hesitated. The excitement was unhinging him a little. “Well,” he said, “I suppose he should know.”

I took a month-long break from reading it when I went on holiday, mostly because I didn't feel like carrying any physical books with me. When I ended up picking up the story again, things just... clicked. I suddenly got all the subtle nuances, and the funny references. I started enjoying the creepy atmosphere of the mysteriously moving sands in the desert. And most importantly: I was finally getting invested in the main characters' adventures, and stopped waiting for the cameos from other more familiar ones.

Score: 3.7/5 stars

... is it a good book? At times, the story felt like it was criticizing the workings of a very remote place, that had nothing to do with me. Other times however, I could totally see it as part of one of John Oliver's tirades in one of his current... ugh... crusades.

For anyone who likes to read the gossip magazines, gets invested in Hollywood stars' romances, finds themselves taking up a pitchfork against a celebrity or two, this book can be a truly entertaining read. Otherwise, just browse the funny quotes list, and skip this novel.
Profile Image for Thibault Busschots.
Author 3 books81 followers
November 2, 2022
Movies take the Discworld by storm.

The magic of moving pictures altering reality in a way so that it opens an ancient portal to the Dungeon Dimensions is an interesting concept. The plot isn’t exactly the strongest you’ll find in the Discworld series though. The strength of the plot lies more in poking fun at the film industry, with lots of witty references to pop culture and the early days of cinema in particular.

There’s a reason why the main characters never return in other Discworld novels. But there are other interesting characters in this novel who do return later on like Detritus the troll, Cut-me-own-Throat Dibbler and the real star of this novel: Gaspode the talking dog.

While I would recommend starting with other books if you’re new to the Discworld series, this is quite a fun and interesting stand alone novel with a cool concept.
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,144 reviews1,849 followers
March 27, 2012
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 has a gift and most of the Disc world books are worth their freight...some are better than others, and this is one of the "better". So, Grab yourself a "sausage on a bun" and some "banged grains" find a comfortable spot and enjoy.
Profile Image for Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*.
813 reviews139 followers
November 3, 2020
When I first read this as a teenager, I was mad at it. How dare they sully my precious Discworld fantasy realm with something as phony and banal as Hollywood?!? Yes, I was a dumb kid, and I am sure that I didn't get many of the references to classic movies and moviemaking culture in general. I had not read it since until my current publication order Discworld re-read. I'm a little more open-minded these days and I enjoyed the book a whole lot more.

As it turns out, the Discworld is a perfect venue for satire of Hollywood and commercial filmmaking. But, I don't think that adding "Holy Wood" benefitted the Discworld in any lasting way, beyond the single-book broader roles that this story granted to Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler (a character whose appeal eluded me as a younger reader), and especially to Detritus the troll.

What suprised me was how well put-together this whole book was. Pratchett struggled often, at least in his early books (imagine calling 10 books in a series "early") to string his scenes together smoothly to create a coherent whole. This is the first book in which I think he has perfectly pulled this off. It runs even smoother than in the deservedly-beloved Guards! Guards!, but that book is still higher than this one in my estimation, because Moving Pictures' characters are not nearly as endearing as the members of Ankh-Morpork's city watch. The only flaw in the plotting of Moving Pictures' is, I think, a failure to use the build-up of 1000 elephants to their full potential. Just imagine if they were a factor in the big showdown, rather than simply a deflated comedy pay-off tagged onto the end of the novel.

Some reviews describe this as Pratchett's visit with Lovecraft on the Disc, but this honor was clearly accomplished in the first Discworld book, The Colour of Magic, in a woefully overlooked sequence in which Rincewind ventures into an obviously Cthulhu-mythos-inspired ancient temple to rescue the hapless Twoflower.

One other highlight of this book in sequence is that the oft-changing faculty of Unseen University is finally starting to settle into its final form, with the introductions of Ponder Stibbons, Archchancellor Ridcully, and the Bursar.
Profile Image for Toby.
836 reviews331 followers
June 7, 2014
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 Del Boy like trader Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler who is possessed by the ghost of Cecil B. De Mille and is determined to rule all of Holy Wood whilst creating the greatest epic moving picture the multiverse has ever known, featuring no less than a thousand elephants. Pratchett further investigates the world of the trolls with a bulked up part for previous supporting player Detritus the Doorsplatter from The Broken Drum and several interesting smaller parts for less important but just as interesting moving rocks. At Unseen University there's a new Arch-chancellor as Ridcully finally arrives to solve the riddle of how to make the wizards recurring characters not just pointy hatted caricatures invited in to plots to solve a problem AND young Ponder Stibbons sits the easiest wizarding exam the Disc has ever seen. All of this is background stuff however as Victor Tuglebend, perpetual student, Heinleinesque hero, laziest man in Ankh-Morpork, not too bad with a sword, must rescue a swooning dame from the clutches of evil creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions intent on using the new Moving Pictures invention as a device to help destroy the Disc. With the help of Gaspode the Wonder Dog of course.

Pratchett packs it in tight, makes his plot sing and dance and doesn't let any plates drop to the floor as they spin for hours. He makes you laugh and makes you think, Moving Pictures is just another in a decades long parade of classic Discworld novels that transcend the boundaries of humourous fantasy and once more demonstrates an author at his playful best as he comes in to his own as a writer of great human insight.
Profile Image for YouKneeK.
659 reviews80 followers
July 2, 2016
This is my least favorite Discworld book so far. I think this is mainly because I didn’t find the story appealing at all. The characters were ok, and I really liked Gaspode the talking dog, but I was bored by the story.

At the beginning of the book, an old man living alone in a remote area called Holy Wood dies. After his death, strange things start happening and some alchemists develop the concept of “moving pictures” which become hugely popular. People travel en masse to Holy Wood (I trust you see the joke here), where the moving pictures are being made, in hopes of getting in on the action. Moving pictures don’t work in quite the same manner as real-world moving pictures. Recording a moving picture involves a box with a handle, some enslaved demons who can paint really fast, and some salamanders.

Most of the jokes and satire centers around movies, TV, cartoons, and Hollywood (now do you see the joke?) life. These are things that just don’t interest me that much. If they did, I might have appreciated the story more. I did think the Laddie (i.e. Lassie) stuff was funny. I don’t know if Gaspode has any real-world film equivalent, but he was the best part of the book.

This is the first book in the Industrial Revolution subseries of Discworld. I’m feeling a little skeptical about this subseries now, but maybe I’ll like the other books better. The next book is the 29th Discworld book on my list, though, so it will be a while before I find out. Since I’m reading in publication order, this is the last book flagged as a “starter novel” on the chart and I’ve now had a taste of all the major subseries. Except for Rincewind, though, I don’t feel like I’ve read enough books in any one subseries to choose any favorites. I’m particularly interested to read more from the Witches and Death subseries, though. Fortunately, the next two full-length books on my list are from those two subseries.

I'm giving this 2.5 stars on BookLikes, but rounding up to 3 stars here.
Profile Image for Megan Baxter.
985 reviews663 followers
May 21, 2014
I wasn't under the weather this time, and again, I enjoyed, but didn't love it! Maybe I should just save the Terry Pratchetts for times when I'm sick. It's a weird quirk. Or maybe it's just that I love the Watch books, but haven't fallen for the rest of the universe quite so hard.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Profile Image for Ivan.
436 reviews284 followers
May 28, 2018
I love Pratchett and the Discworld but there are few DW books I didn't enjoy as much. Don't get me wrong this is funny book but nothing more than that and I come to expect lot more from Discworld. Simply there there is no that brilliance, sharp wit and excellent quotable dialogues that best of the books in the series seem to have in abundance.
Profile Image for Madeline.
781 reviews47.2k followers
January 13, 2023
The thing that this particular installment of Discworld taught me is that the “parody” novels are probably my least favorite subgenre within the series (the exception being Wyrd Sisters, but I liked that one because of Granny Weatherwax and not because it was a spoof of Macbeth, so my point stands).

Moving Pictures is doing important work in terms of worldbuilding and advancing the state of technology on the Disc (this one, as the title suggest, introduces the film industry to the Disc, but because it’s Terry Pratchett, the “cameras” are actually boxes containing tiny demons that paint whatever the actors are doing onto film strips); the problem is that more often than not, it seems a little too satisfied with how clever it’s being. The ‘oh ho ho, I’m doing a scathing send-up of Hollywood’ schtick got old very quickly, and Pratchett often veers uncomfortably close to ‘movies are inferior entertainment and the people who enjoy them are too stupid to appreciate real art’ territory, which is both a god-awful take and also a deeply embarrassing look on Terry Pratchett, who has the skill to make readers root for an anthropomorphic steamer trunk. Too often, the book gets overly self-indulgent with its ‘hurr, movies are magic but it’s bad magic’ thesis, and even though Pratchett pulls it together in the end (because he always does), it takes us a little too long to get there.
Profile Image for Melki.
6,040 reviews2,390 followers
December 20, 2012
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...

S-o-o-o-o...in a world gone mad - a thousand elephants will cross a mountain, wizards will don fake beards over their real beards, a dog will advise some budding mammalian thespians, "Who's going to pay good money to see cats and mice chasing one another?", and the world may just end as a giant woman climbs a tall building while clutching a screaming ape.

Of course, there will also be a few useful tidbits of information, like why it takes exactly SIX imps to make a moving picture.

And then there's my new favorite expression, though I don't really know what it actually means - "Don't come the raw trilobite with me."

Can't wait to use that one on one of the kids.
Profile Image for Ben-Ain.
105 reviews17 followers
May 1, 2021
Décimo libro por orden de escritura de Terry Pratchett y el primero de la saga de Revolución Industrial.

Le he dado 4 estrellas, y están bien ganadas. Había llegado al libro con cierto desánimo, porque creía que en comparación con el de Guardias Guardias! iba a acabar muy desilusionado. Sin embargo, puede que ese desánimo inicial, me haya hecho ver con tan buenos ojos el desarrollo posterior del libro.

La trama de Moving Pictures gira en torno a la invención del cine, las palomitas, el mundo actoril... todo hilado magistralmente por Sir Pratchett y con una cantidad enorme de referencias al mundo Holywoodiense que es prácticamente imposible pillarlas todas.

Destacar que la versión en castellano trae al final la explicación a muchas referencias y también el porqué de algunas traducciones.

A por el siguiente!
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,275 reviews227 followers
March 19, 2018
Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group. This is my second time reading this book, with my first when it first came out. I didn't particularly like it much back then and I didn't realize at the time how many ongoing Discworld characters were introduced here.

In an area near the city of Ankh-Morpork the last follower of an ancient religion dies without passing on his knowledge.

In Ankh-Morpork itself a group of alchemists discover the secret of a nearly-not-explosive new technology for making moving pictures, and those moving pictures are strangely compelling.

Soon, there's a new area just outside Ankh-Morpork called Holy Wood that's inexplicably attracting huge numbers of people who want to work there and get into moving pictures. And the young student wizard Victor and the milkmaid Ginger are right at the center of things along with Discworld regulars Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler and Detritus the troll. This book also sees the introduction of Gaspode the Wonder Dog and the whole cast of Ridcully's Unseen University (minus Hex).

As I said, I didn't love this the first time around. I think I was aware of all the nods to classic Hollywood movies and stories but didn't really appreciate the parody. This time around I appreciated it all a lot more, although I'm still fairly sure I missed some of the references. In fact, I would put this as my second biggest surprise of the series so far in terms of how much I enjoyed it. (The Light Fantastic still takes that prize).
Profile Image for J.G. Keely.
546 reviews10.2k followers
February 28, 2016
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, but the combination of vaguely interesting world and vaguely amusing jokes don't combine into something greater. Pratchett has nothing on the oddball musings of contemporary Douglas Adams, and doesn't have the same level of wit or insight.

His generic fantasy world full of groan-worthy jokes reminds me of endlessly 'punny' American author Piers Anthony (thankfully, without the nods to pedophilia). As a Brit, Pratchett does have a certain refreshing command of language, but it's not enough to escape the huckster jokeyism.

My Fantasy Book Suggestions
Profile Image for Andy.
1,159 reviews76 followers
August 18, 2021
Terry Pratchett hat diesmal Hollywood aufs Korn genommen. Herrlich, wenn man Filme erkennt! Da ich erst "Vom Winde verweht" gelesen hatte, fand ich auch die Parallelen einfach köstlich. Ja und dann der Bibliothekar...
Profile Image for Linda.
464 reviews1 follower
March 10, 2018
This is going onto my pile of favorite Discworld books.

I just loved all the movie references, the typical Pratchett humor had me laughing throughout, and Gaspode the Wonder Dog is now one of my favorite characters. Most of the main characters were new, but there were plenty of other characters we met previously that made numerous appearances - The Librarian, trolls, wizards, our friends from The Watch. The ending played tug-of-war with my heart strings, but that just made it all that more exciting.

And now I suspect I will be giggling when I watch Gone With the Wind, which I coincidentally plan to watch within the next week. I better make sure to have plenty of banged grains ready.
Profile Image for Joaquin Garza.
549 reviews650 followers
March 20, 2022
Debo admitir que me siento un poco engañado. Si bien había leído que Imágenes en Acción es de las novelas menos favorecidas del Mundodisco, no esperaba que por partes me hiciera sentir como si estuviera repitiendo por cuarta vez el mismo esquema general de la amenaza apocalíptica cerniéndose sobre este universo. Creí que a estas alturas ya estaba superado el que Pratchett se repitiera y que esta parodia del nacimiento de la industria del cine no tuviera otro desenlace.

Pero al final debo admitir también que en lo general la disfruté más que Pirómides y eso sí que me sorprende. Creo que es una mezcla de que el nudo ‘cuántico’ de la trama de Pirómides me pareció confuso y una distracción de la comedia. Y de que todos los aspectos más reconocibles (dígase, todos los guiños a la época de oro del cine) aquí son más fáciles de reconocer y disfrutar.

Habiendo dicho esto, estoy de acuerdo en que no es una novela especialmente destacable del Mundodisco. Y además de lo que comenté de repetir el esquema general de La Luz Fantástica, Rechicero y partes de Pirómides, el tema es que los guiños a Hollywood son disfrutables pero claramente no están al nivel de las profundas referencias al mundo del teatro que vimos en Brujerías. Allí Pratchett hacía gala de su gran cultura. Aquí hace gala de su cultura pop, que es infinitamente menos especial y que la gente en general reconoce más.

En cuanto a los personajes, Victor, Gaspode y Ridcully se llevan la novela. Por otro lado Ginger no da para mucho y es parecida a Conina y a Ptracy: pese a que Pratchett les da agencia, es súper difícil creer que sean personajes creados por la misma pluma que creó a Ceravieja y a Ogg.

Lo bonito de Imágenes en Acción es que la fascinación de Pratchett con el poder que da el creer en algo es muy gentil cuando se trata de hablar de la magia del cine. Aquí se mezcla este tema en particular con lo que le gustaba escribir sobre el poder de las historias.

Y nada, pues ya por fin, tras saltarme Eric me precipitaré a la edad de oro del Mundodisco para leer El Segador, Hombres de Armas y Brujas de Viaje.

Una nota al final: hay chistes que se pierden en la traducción. Notablemente el de que los estudios se llamen ‘Siglo del Murciélago Frugívoro’.
En inglés es ‘Century of the Flying Fox’, un guiño
Obvio a 20th Century Fox. En español no dice nada.
Profile Image for Matt.
752 reviews533 followers
March 29, 2015
I reluctantly rate this first Discworld novel I read 3 stars. I figure there are others in this long series that are better, and probably some are worse. I just have no base for comparison, and I may raise the rating later.

I also can't judge the characters and plot with regards to the other books. Is Cut-me-own-Throat Dibbler a major character in the series? Will I read about Victor and Ginger again? Are the wizards of the Unseen University always the same? (I suppose they are, but I cannot tell). I learned a little about the Librarian before from some comment thread here on Goodreads (Oook!), and I already appreciate his way with language, and I know I'm going to see this guy again.

What I liked most about the book is the unique (to me) kind of humor, and what I like least is the humor as well. Some parts were like listening to a guy on a party, telling one joke after another. Each one is hilarious as hell, but when the density of these kind of jokes gets too high, I'm beginning to loose interest. You could say I suffered from some form of comedy overdose. The satire on the dream factory Hollywood (Holy Wood) was another highlight for me.

My reading experience became a little tainted after I learned about Terry Pratchett's untimely death. But I'm going to explore the Discworld world further, learn more about the characters and maybe even encounter a dragon or three at some point. For some reason I thought there would be dragons in this book. Why were there no dragons? Luckily I found this nice little cardboard dragon. I named him Fool-the-brain Redragon. He even carries a little wand.

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Profile Image for Alberto Delgado.
597 reviews107 followers
July 2, 2021
Bienvenidos al maravilloso mundo del cine versión Mundodisco. Es una maravilla haber encontrado esta larguísima saga de novelas para inyectarte un chute de buen rollo cada cierto tiempo para compaginarlo con otros libros de temáticas mas duras. Lo que mas me gustan de estas novelas aparte de estar llenas de momentos delirantes es la gran construcción de personajes que regala Pratchett en cada una. En esta ocasión me quedo con el gran personaje que es el perro Gaspode que era imposible no reírme cada vez que hacía aparición.
Profile Image for Nicole.
Author 5 books41 followers
July 23, 2012
I’ll start with the things I liked about this book. I liked Victor, how he’d managed to just barely not pass his wizarding exam multiple times so he could stay in school and how his basic decency helped save the day when things started going wrong in Holy Wood. The dogs--human-smart Gaspode and well-trained Laddie--were great fun. Even though Laddie wasn’t smart like Gaspode, he was so sweet-natured that he was lovable. The scenes involving the trolls were the best parts of the book, very creative and funny. Trolls doing movie stunts, trolls trying to overcome stereotypes, trolls courting--great stuff. I loved it when the wizards decided to venture out of Unseen University and investigate the clicks, then got involved in trying to fight off the forces of evil. The most hilarious wizard-centred bits were the Bursar and the Archchancellor (with a crossbow!) on a broom together, but the business with the massive wheelchair was good, too. Ginger was okay in that she was smart, cynical, and not easy, although her snippiness got a little old.
I found the book mostly quiet-chuckle-funny. There were a few parts that made me really laugh, though. It wasn’t, like several of the other Pratchett books I’ve read, so continuously LOL funny that I had to read parts of it aloud to people (whether they wanted me to or not). Some of the puns were eye-rollingly bad. Maybe it was just me--there were real-life things going on other than what I’ll get around to mentioning later that could’ve influenced my attitude--but this didn’t strike me as being as fresh and funny as most of Pratchett’s other work. Part of the reason for that could be the huge number of other things that have poked fun at Hollywood over the years. It's an easy target. The lazy person as actor, the ambitious starlet, the scheming agent, the over-the-top ridiculousness, the moneygrubbing, the send-ups of Singing in the Rain and King Kong--we’ve seen it all before. Granted, there were Discworld twists to it all, but it didn’t feel as original as some of Pratchett's other stories.
And maybe I’m just thinking about this too much or taking it personally, but I’m not quite clear on what, if anything, the author’s point is supposed to be. Is it just a silly story with people and animals acting goofy, monsters causing trouble, and people rising to the level of heroes to save the day? Or is the message really that movies are false and bad for those who make and watch them and that people shouldn’t waste their time with fiction? If so, how is reading books--unless you read nothing but educational nonfiction--any different? Although I like reading and movies as an escape from the drudgeries of real life, I also sometimes think I’ve spent too much time indulging. Unfortunately, I also happened to be reading this when the Aurora movie theatre massacre occurred. While I do not in any way blame fiction for the actions of any disturbed, real-life individual, it was eerie to read a mayhem-in-a-movie-theatre scene right after hearing and reading reports of the real-life attack. To me, the real attack was an assault on a sanctuary--a place where people go to be happy and should feel safe.
This book was still worth reading, and I’d still recommend it to anyone who’s interested. It just doesn’t rank up there with my favourite Pratchett books.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ümit Mutlu.
Author 41 books294 followers
October 23, 2017
"Yüzlerce insan, gerçekte ne olmak istediğini Holy Wood sayesinde anlıyor," dedi Ginger. "Ve binlercesi, bir saatliğine de olsa kendisini unutma fırsatı buluyor. Bu koca lanet dünya sarsılıyor!”

"İşte bu," dedi Victor. "Beni endişelendiren de bu. Sanki biz araya sıkıştırılmışız gibi. Sen Holy Wood’u kullandığını sanıyorsun ama aslında Holy Wood seni kullanıyor. Bizi. Hepimizi."

Diskdünya'nın tekinsiz birçok büyüsüne bir yenisi ekleniyor ve çorak toprakların kalbinden, tahtalardan ibaret bir kasaba doğuyor: Holy Wood.

Victor Tugelbend, bu yeni ve büyülü sektörün ilk büyük jönü olmaya hazırlanırken, Ginger da edepsiz kıyafetlerine bürünerek ona eşlik ediyor. Yanlarındaki Harika Köpek Gaspode ise Diskdünya'daki en derbeder, en kalender karakterlerden biri belki de; ne harika köpek olmak kolay, ne de aynı zamanda... şey... konuşuyor olmak.

Eh, Holy Wood büyüsü bunu yapıyor işte: İnsanları hiç olmadıkları şeylere dönüştürüyor. Dibbler bile amansız bir yapımcıya dönüşüyor ki, bu onun hiç de... şey... Neyse.

Sinemayı seven herkesin (yani aslında kesin herkesin) bayılacağı, müthiş komik ve yaratıcı bir Hollywood güzellemesi, Hareketli Resimler. Siyah beyaz filmlerin, beyazperdenin cıva yoğunluğundaki nostaljisiyle okuru alıp sürüklüyor.

Holy Wood’u anlamak istiyorsanız, dedi Victor seneler sonra, binalarını anlamalısınız.

Kumların üzerinde bir kutu görürdünüz. Sivrimsi bir çatısı olurdu ama aslında bu önemli değildi, çünkü Holy Wood’da asla yağmur yağmazdı. Duvarlardaki aralıklar eski paçavralarla tıkanmış olurdu; pencereler deliklerden ibaret olurdu (cam, Ankh-Morpork’tan buraya taşınamayacak kadar kırılgandı). Ve arkadan bakılınca binaların ön cephesi, bir sürü direğin ayakta tuttuğu dev bir ilan tahtası gibi görünürdü.

Önden bakılınca ise oymalı, nakışlı, boyalı, süslü, barok… ve başka bir sürü mimari abartıdan ibarettiler. Kafası çalışan kişiler, Ankh-Morpork’ta dikkat çekmemek için evlerinin dışını sade içini süslü yaptırırlardı. Ama Holy Wood’daki evlerin… içi dışına çıkmıştı.

Profile Image for Paul Sánchez Keighley.
151 reviews100 followers
June 30, 2019
This seems like a good book to point out how cinematographic Pratchett’s writing is. I always thought he writes the way movies look, so this book felt like a tailor-made fit for his style.

I see lots of reviewers saying it’s one of the weakest Discworld novels, but I had a blast. It's tightly plotted, introduces several memorable characters, and has a brisk pace. Not even all the obvious movie references rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because living in the age of references, nostalgia and fan service (looking at you, Ready Player One ), Pratchett’s sprinkling in the occasional nudge-nudge felt tame in comparison.

Also, while I prefer Discworld novels that come up with their own original premise ( Small Gods and Reaper Man come to mind) over the ones that simply rely on parodying some real-word theme (such as The Truth ; wasn't a big fan), I thought this one provided a very amusing deconstruction of the cinema industry and studio interference.

I loved the new characters, especially Gaspode the Wonder Dog; Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler was utilised to perfection in this one; and although Pratchett’s endings tend to overwhelm me, I found this one, while still containing all his signature eldritch mayhem, to be very satisfying. Also, it packs a hell of a punchline.

Anyway, great fun, as us’. Can’t really go wrong with Pratchett.
Profile Image for Nathan.
399 reviews126 followers
February 20, 2013
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 was particularly fond of trolls worried about being typecast into a only a few roles). And it also has a better than average over all storyline; a strong setup, decent pacing, and a very good conclusion. So why did I struggle so much with it? Lots, and lots of “easy” jokes that just twist around Hollywood titles, often without much creativity.

Follow the yellow sick toad. What’s up, Duck? Play it again, Sham. These are the things that dragged the story down throughout, and were all too common. Not all were misses, when you throw everything at the wall some will stick; I caught references to Merchant in Venice and King Kong that were a bit more subtle (and a King Kong reference that was not so subtle).

Oh, the book is about the making of movies in Discworld. The alchemists who discover the process move to a small area called Holy Wood, where people are irresistibly drawn to in droves. Some kind of greater magic is in place, and in some ways the films start making themselves, going in directions the actors and directors don’t expect. Wizard’s apprentice turn actor Victor learns that for many years there were guardians to keep reality in check, but the last one’s death left a void, letting Holy Wood’s magic come through to mess with reality.

The real star of this story is Cut my own throat Dibbler, in his largest role to date. Drawn to any money making scheme he can find, his escalation of everything in Holy Wood was what really kept me going. Constant attempts to force advertising into pictures made me laugh every time. The book also finally settled the Unseen University’s revolving door of Archchancellors, with Ridcully settling in quickly. Gaspode also makes his first appearance, and the talking dog doesn’t disappoint. There is a reason I am not talking about the main protagonists, Victor and Ginger; they were boring characters and I am not surprised they don’t show in any more books.

I guess I am being hard on this book. The bad puns were not all that funny to me, but others may enjoy them more. The story itself is pretty solid, and the more I think about the ending I realize it was very strong. But if I, admitted Pratchett fanboy, struggle through a book of his I have to go with my gut.

3 stars. For film buffs and huge Pratchett fans only. I would hate for someone to read this and decide that Pratchett isn’t for them.
Profile Image for Celise.
505 reviews318 followers
October 7, 2016
“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.”

Holy Wood. The alchemists on the Discworld discover the magic of motion pictures! This novel parodies the creation of film, and the developments it went through in the first thirty or so years of its existence. Gone With the Wind fans might find a lot of Easter eggs in here!

I was pretty excited about this one, being someone working in the film industry with a love of film history. Sadly, it was a bit dull.

My enjoyment of a Discworld novel, and many other people's as well I'm sure, usually hinges on the cast of characters in that novel. This one just wasn't as exciting. Victor wasn't all that interesting after the initial humour in his decision to go to Holy Wood. Ginger was just bitter all the time, but not in an overly humorous way. I disliked Throat so much. The majority of the characters lacked the charm of the City Watch, or Rincewind, or Granny Weatherwax, or Mort. Gaspode, the talking dog, was probably my favourite.

I felt like this one was maybe a little bit long, as well. It seemed to ride more on making references and jokes about old Hollywood than carrying the story somewhere. I usually love Terry Pratchett's references to our world, but not in this case where the entire plot depended on them.
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