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Disc World

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message 1: by Eric (last edited Nov 15, 2010 04:53AM) (new)

Eric Gardner | 113 comments I think Veronica and Tom were asking about Disc World on the last podcast?

Terry Pratchett's Disc World is composed of a large cast of characters which is interwoven into the huge series. Although characters do pass back and forth between all of the books the big series can also be broken down into smaller storylines.

Probably the best book in all of discworld is Small Gods and it is a standalone. It's about what happens to the gods we stop believing in.

Second best is Feet of Clay which is a mystery.

My favorite character is Death and his first book is
Mort

Fair warning some of the books really stink too: Moving Pictures, Soul Music, and Hogfather I'm looking at you.


message 2: by Abraham (new)

Abraham | 33 comments Discworld is a wonderful world, and you can dive in pretty much anywhere. They are fast reads, so don't be intimidated by the page count. I am in full agreement with the small gods being the best of the world for philosophic material. I usually hand people wyrd sisters as a good jump point for the world.

Don't worry if you see an undercase small letters SQUEEK mentioned in every book, when you find the story where you meet the death of rats, then it will all make sense.

I also don't think one needs to be completionist about it. Just enjoy the time you spend on the disc.


message 3: by Welwyn (new)

Welwyn Wilton Katz | 46 comments Pratchett's discworld is wonderful. Perhaps you'd like to read something new about him.

http://welwynsworld.blogspot.com

"To Sir Terry Pratchett: and to joy and laughter."
If you're a Pratchett fan you'll want to know this.


message 4: by Tom (last edited Nov 16, 2010 08:04PM) (new)

Tom Gehrke (tomgehrke) Listened to the podcast today (so I'm slow!) and came here looking for this thread. Sir Pratchett is my absolute favorite author so I had to weigh in.

Fortunately for me, the first book of his that I read was Small Gods. And like Eric said, it's pretty much stand-alone. And while it is probably my favorite, I think it might be more out of a spirit of nostalgia since it doesn't really feel like most of the other Discworld books. I mean, it most definitely *is* Discworld... it's hard to explain.

At any rate, there are several story arcs. The characters largely flow among them all, but each arc tends to concentrate on a single character or set of characters.

There are the witches. You can find them in Wyrd Sisters that Abraham mentioned as well as several other books. Not my favorites (but still good).

There is Samuel Vimes and the Night Watch. These tend to be police stories (in a *very* broad sense) and give you an insight into how the city of Ankh Morpork works.

Then there is Death and his family. Start with Mort as Eric said.

There are the Wizards of Unseen University if you like humorous magic. Kind of a subset of the Wizards are the books about Rincewind the Wizzard.

Then the Wee Free Men.

Hell... just jump right in. I wouldn't worry too much about where you start. Just keep in mind that if something doesn't capture your fancy right away, it's a huge world (for a turtle) and there's bound to be another group of stories that you might like better.

Of course, now that I've written all of that, I came across the following.

http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-o...


message 5: by Brian (new)

Brian | 67 comments The Diskword books are a fun read.

Colour of Magic quote, "It was all very well going on about pure logic and how the universe was ruled by logic and the harmony of numbers, but the plain fact of the matter was that the Disc was manifestly traversing space on the back of a giant turtle and the gods had a habit of going round to atheists' houses and smashing their windows."


message 6: by Halbot42 (new)

Halbot42 | 185 comments Funny how many of us rabid(im foaming) pratchett fans started with Small Gods. It was his first solo book i read after being acqainted with him from Good Omens, i knew it would be funny but had no idea how much it would make me think. At the time he wasnt very popular in america, think 94 so i spent the next ten years slowly building a collection of everything of his i could find. While its great now to walk into BnN and see a whole pratchett shelf im glad i got mine the hard way. However one of the consequences of that haphazard collecting strategy was that i read the books out of order, first by basis of when i could get my hands on them. I feel compelled to defend Soul Music. It helps to love the Blues Brothers like i do but its a cool book, "We're on a mission from Glod."is worth it alone. It was my first Death book so Mort was always kind of sad cause i had an idea what was coming. Warning Discworld is just like cocaine, the more you read the more you want and there are only like 50 books so pace yourself:)


message 7: by Don (last edited Dec 02, 2010 06:28AM) (new)

Don (walsfeo) | 37 comments Pratchett is my favorite author. His Discworld stories are incredible, I love the humorous satire.

The complete Discworld collection is huge, but Discworld is a setting for several different groups of characters. It’s not necessary to read them all, or read them in order, however if you read them in order, you get a much clearer view of the evolution of the characters and the setting. And yeah, the setting really evolves quite a bit as do the characters. Ank-Morpork, the megalopolis of the Disc changes from a monoculture to a city that welcomes all shapes sizes and life-status.

Rincewind/Wizards
The first two Discworld books Color of Magic and Light Fantastic are one story, and are the first books in the series. These books are the exact opposite of traditional pulp fantasy. The main character is a coward with no discernable heroic inclinations. These are a fun but very light read.

The Watch
The “watch” or “guards” books follow the city watch and are mysteries/police procedurals set in Ank-Morpork. Usually centering around political intrigue this series also deals with issues of tolerance, the changing world, and some kind of major crime. I recommend “Guards! Guards!” as a great first book to read, and it’s the first book in which the guards make an appearance.

The Witches
The Witches books follow three country witches focusing on headology, magical problems, and the region of the Ramtop Mountains; though it’s not unheard of for them to venture out of the mountains to Ank-Morpork and other cities. To sum up? Imagine the Macbeth Witches released in Middle-earth or Fritz Lieber’s Lankhmar.

Death/Mythomorphology
You know something is up with a series when death and his family are the main characters for some of the books. DEATH provides and alien perspective on man, while his grand-daughter inhabits the strange space between her human and supernatural ancestry. These books are devoted to some very heady topics: the nature of mythology, the nature of time, what happened to the Fifth Horseman, and of course death... er, … DEATH.

Stand alone books
There are some main characters that just get one book. Often isolated from the rest of the series by either time or space, these books are usually a riot. At some points I am struck by the idea that perhaps he wrote these just so he could tell one of the bad (or good) jokes the reader encounter’s along the way. Pyramids, Moving Pictures, Small Gods, and Truth are some of those. In some cases (Pyramids, Small Gods) these should fall under the DEATH/Mythology grouping, because they are about supernatural stuff, but they really stand alone.

His young adult books... well, I've gone on long enough already.


message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex DeJesus (zeus) | 21 comments I have just begun to read Color of Magic and am falling in love with Pratchett's style of writing and the universe he has created.


message 9: by aldenoneil (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments I've got a copy of the Discworld adventure game - the one with Eric Idle - that I never finished. It's in my "someday" pile.

Of course it made me want to jump into the novels, but those have unfortunately remained in my "someday" file, as well.


message 10: by Phil (last edited Dec 07, 2010 03:30AM) (new)

Phil Lee The first Terry Pratchett book I read was Lords and Ladies, it was a Christmas present. It nearly stopped me from reading all the others. It had so many in jokes that I just didn't get. Fortunately I gave the series another go, reading them in order and when I got to L&L I realised just how good a book it is. In fact it is one of my favourites.


message 11: by Tashfeen (new)

Tashfeen (tbhimdi) | 28 comments And remember, if you're not in a reading mood, but in a Discworld mood, you can watch Colour of Magic or Hogfather. I believe it was BBC that made those movies, very nicely done, good acting and budget. I preferred Colour of Magic a bit more personally.


message 12: by Phil (new)

Phil Lee Tashfeen wrote: "And remember, if you're not in a reading mood, but in a Discworld mood, you can watch Colour of Magic or Hogfather. I believe it was BBC that made those movies, very nicely done, good acting and bu..."

The Discworld TV movies were made by Sky TV.


message 13: by Noel (new)

Noel Baker | 364 comments Phil wrote: "Tashfeen wrote: "And remember, if you're not in a reading mood, but in a Discworld mood, you can watch Colour of Magic or Hogfather. I believe it was BBC that made those movies, very nicely done, g..."

they have also made "Going Postal" which was excellent.


message 14: by Tashfeen (new)

Tashfeen (tbhimdi) | 28 comments Sky TV, I stand corrected, thanks.

And I didn't even know Going Postal existed in movie form! Now to Netflix... nuts, not on Netflix, no wonder I missed it, the other two do exist there.


message 15: by Noel (new)

Noel Baker | 364 comments It's worth tracking down. It was broadcast in the UK earlier this year or last and was really really good. We don't have netflix in the UK but I'd be surprised if Amazon doesn't have it.


message 16: by Tashfeen (new)

Tashfeen (tbhimdi) | 28 comments Not on Amazon either, well their loss (literally $$), I'll find another way.


message 17: by Kate (new)

Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 778 comments Was I the only one who hated the Sky1 adaptations?
The tv version of Adorabelle Dearheart in particular wrecked my head.


message 18: by Don (new)

Don (walsfeo) | 37 comments Kate wrote: "Was I the only one who hated the Sky1 adaptations?
The tv version of Adorabelle Dearheart in particular wrecked my head."


I haven't seen Going Postal yet, but the Color of Magic and Hogfather were not that great. A lot of what Pratchett does is playing with words and that doesn't always translate smoothly to a visual medium. Add to that they were kinda slow and plodding, and they weren't as successful as they could have been.

Perhaps if they had been animated by pixar or had muppets in them.


message 19: by Kate (last edited Dec 11, 2010 03:45PM) (new)

Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 778 comments Donald wrote: "Perhaps if they had been animated by pixar or had muppets in them."

There are animated versions of Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters. They're truer to the spirit of the books, but pretty low quality.
Christopher Lee voices Death though, so that's pretty awesome.

*edit* Actually Wyrd Sisters deserves a look because Nanny Ogg sings both the Hedgehog Song and A Wizard's Staff Has a Knob on the End.


message 20: by Don (new)

Don (walsfeo) | 37 comments Kate wrote: "Donald wrote: "Perhaps if they had been animated by pixar or had muppets in them."

There are animated versions of Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters. They're truer to the spirit of the books, but pretty..."

Indeed, that's what made me think of animation. Though once again, an animated style with a bit more dynamic flair would suit AM and the rest of Discworld.


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