Nicole's Reviews > Moving Pictures

Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett
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's review
Mar 12, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-satire

** spoiler alert ** 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.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Katy Yeah, that's pretty much how I felt about it, too. The puns seemed so forced in this one. I loved Reaper Man, though - that one was so funny.

Nicole Thanks, Katy. Always good to know I'm not alone. I have Reaper Man and look forward to reading it soon.

Katy :-)

David Sarkies I agree, it is not his best, and after reading a few more of his novels which have modern concepts invading Discworld we begin to see a pattern - something new invades Discworld. This something runs amok. Hero comes along and destroys said invader and everything goes back to normal.

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