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The Art of Discworld

(Discworld Companion Books)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  4,894 ratings  ·  64 reviews
The Discworld floats through space on the backs of four elephants standing on a giant turtle (once there were five elephants, but that's another story). It's a world bursting with magic, a land of contrasts and extremes, from the bustling metropolis of Ankh-Morpork, the oldest city on the Disc (now ruled with an iron hand in a velvet glove by the Patrician, Lord Vetinari), ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Harper Paperbacks (first published 2004)
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Average rating 4.34  · 
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 ·  4,894 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Joey Woolfardis
If you're not a fan of Terry Pratchett or the Discworld series of books, this particular edition will probably sail right over your head. If you are, well, it's more than just the art of Discworld.

In the beginning, Discworld covers were done by Josh Kirby, who sadly passed away, handing the mantel on to Paul Kidby, whose similar yet independent style kept the Discworld spirit alive. This book features Kidby's work only, with sketches and finished articles alongside some never-before-seen
Jan 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
The blending of art and narration gives this book a good pleasure. A perfect coffee table book to accompany an enjoyable coffee time for Discworld's fans.

This book is for fans of Discworld, and presenting the arts from Paul Kidby. Not only just the art, but also the narration by Pratchett gave some insight of the author himself about the characters and setting of Discworld. I like the part where Ankh Morpork grew in Pratchett's mind.

Melissa McShane
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fantasy
I picked this up on my anniversary used book shopping spree and do not regret it. This collects a LOT of Paul Kidby's art, both the rough drawings and the finished pieces, along with Terry Pratchett's commentary on the characters and where they came from. There are a lot of delightful behind-the-scenes tidbits, like how Carrot got his name from a builder's apprentice with red hair whose nickname was Carrot, or how Vimes was never meant to be the main character in Guards! Guards!. I only wish for ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Paul Kidby's art feels like the way I've always pictured these characters in my head, but now get to see brought to life by someone who actually has talent. It is obvious he loves the works he is illustrating, and the commentary by Pratchett provides wonderful details to characters I've followed over the course of almost 40 novels. Who knew that most of my favourites, Vetinari, the Librarian, Nanny Ogg, and even Death were never meant to be in more than a scene or two!?

This book is a must-have
Geert Daelemans
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humour
A must have for Discworld fans

You know that feeling of browsing through old holiday snapshots? That melancholic feeling of those great times of the past. Those little moments that are still carved into your brain, hopefully never to erode away. Well, that is exactly the sentiment you experience when browsing through the Art of Discworld. That is, if you are one of those many people who have read quite a few of the Discworld novels. Have you never read one of those? What are you waiting for? Skip
Jun 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, terry-pratchett
When I was young, my mother was very disturbed that in second grade, I was still reading picture books rather than chapter books. My father read my brother and I part of a chapter book every night, and I liked pictures. I was pressured away from picture books, only to become an art history(and math) major in college. Sometimes, kids do know what is best for them.
I do, however, now LOVE chapter books. Reading is one of my great joys in life, especially reading Terry Pratchett books. So imagine
Apr 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
Why on EARTH have I not been reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld series all my life?? The simple commentary by the author and illustrator in this volume alone had me laughing out loud on nearly every page, and so Pratchett's actual novels must be brilliant and hilarious. Paul Kidby's "realistically cartoonish" style of drawing and painting must lend itself extremely well to Pratchett's satirical fantasy, and my only complaint about the volume is that there wasn't nearly enough of his art in it, ...more
Dec 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff
Just as I pictured them: the Librarian, Lord Vetinari, most of the Watch, Greebo.

Better than I pictured them: Sam Vimes, swamp dragons, Tiffany and the Feegles, young Nanny Ogg, Angua, Ridcully.

Not quite as I pictured them: Old Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax, Carrot.

Distressingly absent: Greebo as a human, Lady Sybil.
Neville Ridley-smith
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is great. And not just for the art. I mean, the art is good and all but it's the text that's of equal or even more interest.

Text is split up into plain font and italic font, plain written by Terry and italic by Kidby, although Kidby's comments are few and far between - it's mostly Terry's writing. (Which makes sense - Kidby communicates through the art.)

Aaaanyway, so Terry gives a great bunch of background info about the development of all the characters and places and his personal
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
What can I say: I love the discworld and I love Josh Kirby. If you do not love/like any of those this book is not for you.

This book gives nice background information of the discworld with sketches and drawing by Josh and an explanation by Pratchett. I bought this for inspiration for a discworld art project I am working on and the inspiration I get from this book is great!

so recommended for everyone who loves discworld and likes to look at pictures.
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terry-pratchett
A brilliant book full of wonderful artwork by Paul Kidby and a lot of well written accompanying information about the artwork by Terry Pratchett and how ideas became a reality.

This is a brilliant addition to the Discworld and a must read if you are a Terry Pratchett fan.
Dennis Carroll
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: discworld
Loved the art and concepts and even moreso the indepth back story of the artist and Terry himself. It's a great read, although it's not really a book or story.

The art is really amazing if you think about how it's made.

There were some spelling and grammar mistakes, though.
Amanda-Jean Wendel
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations with very interesting tidbits of info!
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
This was interesting. I like some of the art work.
Geoffery Crescent
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Paul Kidby's beautiful art coupled with PTerry's musings on character development. What more could you want? Of course if you've never read any Discworld this is all by the by, in which case why are you reading it? Unless, as Terry points out in his introduction, you've mistaken it for a copy of, 'Help I'm Not A Celebrity: Get Me An Agent.'

Gods, but Terry was great and I miss him terribly. The hardest part of reading this books is in seeing how many of his unfinished ideas will never make it to
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book you can really get into - find out what your favorite Discworld characters look like when not drawn on the Josh Kirby covers. But I like the Josh Kirby book covers, so the mileage of that statement may vary. I really liked this book because it shows you as an artist that you don't have to put illustrations into the actual novel for the illustrations inspired by a fictional work to, well, work, because a pictorial image is like a visual short story that conveys a message ...more
Jul 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discworld
If you enjoy any Discworld book you'd love this. The art is wonderful, just like his older novel covers which have always been my favorite to own. So flipping through this is very nostalgic. The sections on death and the night watch are standouts for sure, but then again everyone has their own favorite characters.

This is also fun to share with people who havent read any of Pratchetts novels, it gives a good background without too many 'spoilers'.

all i can critisize is that i wish it were longer.
Oct 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Really more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It's not just the art of discworld, Terry Pratchett also writes about each of the characters profiled and gives a background on how he came up with the character and the story line, who influenced it, what charities and in one case a brownie troop encouraged him and made him an honorary member. He's just a delightful man that writes wonderful, funny science fiction. This isn't the book to start with if you've never read him, choose any Discworld ...more
Maria  D
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Strangely enough, I acquired this book before I had read any Discworld novel. I just really enjoyed the art, so I bought it. Nowadays, after every finished Pratchett's book, I page through it with great pleasure. Mind you, some characters look far from how I imagined them. But still, this book captures some essential spirit of Pratchett's world.
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
For fans of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, this book is a hoot! It is filled with drawings of most of the major characters in the series and many of the minor ones as well.

The descriptions of the pictures are done by Terry Pratchett and sometimes by the artist, Paul Kidby. I found myself laughing over the descriptions and the puns therein.

A very enjoyable, if bulky read!
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed the characters, and their world and hope I get the chance to read the story again and/or to read more within the series.

My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
Jun 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: discworld, humor
Excellent drawings of many discworld characters and settings. The picture of the Watch is a particular favorite, as is Great A'tuin. The drawings are of such high quality, and often spot on to my imaginings of the characters. Plus the notes are great fun.
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful artwork, many characters exactly as I see them in my head. Added narrative by TP adds to the flavour of each image. Separated into different Discworld areas it really impresses how big that Universe is.
Aug 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pratchett Fans
Shelves: favorites
A little much for newbies to Pratchett, this is a treat for true pratchett fans. Though its hard to reformulate your own internal pictures of the characters, the illustrator is dead on with a lot of the portrayals. Definately one I pined after for a long time!
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Art of Discworld is an absolutely beautiful, visually arresting collection of sketches, portraits and paintings that are inspired by Terry Pratchett's series. Highly recommended for artists, especially those who are fans of the Discworld series.
Herbert Smith
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
For any fan of Discworld, Paul Kidby's illustrations are a must. He has the rare skill of taking the characters from the page, and getting them exactly like the one in your head, only better. From the Librarian to Granny Weatherwax to Rincewind to Death, all are just perfect.
Miguel Ángel Vilela
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Discworld fans
Shelves: terry-pratchett
Lovely pile of illustrations, but be aware of some spoilers!
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I must own this book. I think the library is likely sick of me checking it out so often.

Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great for looking at characters.
Rocky Sunico
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: discworld, pratchett
A beautiful art book and a witty Who's Who guide for the crazy stomping ground that is Discworld.
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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,

Other books in the series

Discworld Companion Books (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Discworld Companion
  • The New Discworld Companion
  • Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion . . . So Far
  • The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld
  • The Folklore of Discworld
  • The Compleat Ankh-Morpork: City Guide
  • Nanny Ogg's Cookbook
  • Discworld's Unseen University Diary 1998
  • Discworld's Ankh Morpork City Watch Diary 1999
  • Discworld Assassins' Guild Yearbook and Diary 2000
“Sometimes I get nice letters from people who know they're due to meet him (Death) soon, and hope I've got him right.
Those are the kind of letters that cause me to stare at the wall for some time.”
More quotes…