A Conversation for Talking Point: A Good Read
Sleeter Started conversation Apr 30, 2003
I'd like to put forward my own favourite author, Terry Pratchett.
If you like reading enough, and have the time, then you can try to go from the first book (The Colour of Magic) to the most recent (Night Watch) in order, but most people tend to read them as the fancy takes them.
Personally I think they are all excellent, with some being shining examples of how great Terry Pratchett is.
My personal favourites (in order of my oppinion of them):
* Night Watch
* Thief of Time
* Interesting Times
* Feet of Clay
BicycleSkald Posted Apr 30, 2003
Not having read as many of Pratchett's books as I would have liked, my favorites so far would have to be Sourcery, and Small Gods. The scene in "Gods" where the false prophet gets hit between the eyes by a two pound tortoise has to be one of the funniest things I've ever read in my life.
"Feet of Clay" is great, very clever. Also any of the Witches books are definitely worth a read (a familiarity with Macbeth helps I find). I like the one based on Phantom of the Opera with Walter Plinge, but I can't remember what it's called!
If this thread wasn't here, I'd have started it. Pratchett's discworld series books are truly one of the wonders of the universe. They are not particularly hard to read, and if you're reading them on the bus on the way in to/back from work, they are at just the right level (especially at 7am in the morning, a time which, if I were prime minister, would be abolished). I've probably read each book cover to cover several times. Recently, I read theif of time again, to catch up on all of the little ideas that I missed last time through. I get the impression we are likely to see a whole new series of stories involving such characters as "Qu" of the history monks. Exploding mandala anyone?
'The untutored child is calld Lobsang,' said Lu-Tze, looking around the shed. There was a smoking circle on the stone floor, with drifts of blackened sand around it. 'New toys, Qu?' 'Exploding mandala,' said Qu happily, bustling forward. 'Just sprinkle the special sand on a simple design anywhere you like, and the first enemy to walk on it -- Bang, instant karma! Don't touch that!'
Sleeter Posted Apr 30, 2003
"The scene in "Gods" where the false prophet gets hit between the eyes by a two pound tortoise..."
Yes that image is just priceless. As is the fact that the tortoise then explodes into a massive powerful god because seeing a guy hit by a two pound tortoise at the right moment inspires a lot of belief.
Pratchett is just full of odd little qwerks, and funny side jokes which you only get the second or third time of reading the book. As everyone knows, the mark of greatness.
The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin Posted Apr 30, 2003
First off, you're already behind the times, Sleeter - 'The Wee Free Men' is the most recent...
>>>"the one based on Phantom of the Opera with Walter Plinge"
That'll be Masquerade then. Usually abreviated to M!!!!! in the Companion.
I'm pretty sure PTerry himself has said that he thinks (hopes) that everyone gets some of the jokes, a lot of people get most of them, but very few (or no-one) finds all of them...
One of my favourite characters has to be Brother Brutha, for the sheer ridiculousness of the possibility that one day he'll become Father Brutha...
Judge Mental Posted Apr 30, 2003
He's certainly one of the best and most consistent writers I've ever read. I love most of his books, although there are a coupla duffers in my opinion. But two bad books out of nearly 30 ain't bad at all.
I won't say which ones I don't like, cuz I know I'll just get loads of people telling me my opinions "suck"!
He's funny, witty and wise. His footnotes are legendary.
Start out with something like Sourcery if you like wizard-y books, and Guards! Guards! if you love pure humour. However, they're all seriously funny and readable.
Highly recommended to any age.
Toyota Starlet Posted Apr 30, 2003
Terry Pratchett is great. I have read non-discworld ones but I have to say I prefer discworld. The witches and the watch are my fav. groups then Death and Co.
Discworld is great in times of stress, when you're really worried about something but can't think it thru or round it and you're fretfull and anxious . Discworld is the best cure for this state of mind because on the surface it is light and funny. It is very readable and sucks you in, takes your mind off things. It also contains alot of wisdom and, in me certainly inspires quite a practicle-philosophical mindset such as "Well, no one knows what the right decision is when they have to make it, because you only find that out afterwards. Plus humans will always make the best of the situation they're given so what ever you decide will 'turn out for the best'" Sam Vimes, Granny Weatherwax and recently Susan have been very helpful in pulling me together.
I am trying to be less like Magrat and more like Susan.
Of course if you aren't miserable, reading TP will make you even happier.
Oh and reading them in order has the advantage of character development eg Granny Weatherwax from Equal Rites to Masqureade via Witches Abroad or Susan from Soul Music to Thief of Time via Hogfather.
Bexnana Posted Apr 30, 2003
Without a doubt Terry Pratchett is one of the funniest writers and speakers around. Lots of my friends have never read the books, partly due to their 'fantasy/science fiction' tag, despite the humour of the books. In general I would have to say that the best books are not the first books, and it's probably not a good idea to read them in order of publication.
Finding the references in the books is a joy, with new ideas presenting themselves with each read. And I've read them all quite a few times...
chickadee (wheee!) Posted May 1, 2003
i love these books too!!! i just discovered them a few months ago, and i've been reading them as i find them on sale. so far i've read color ot magic, equal rites (i think my favorite so far), wyrd sisters (very close second), maskerade (yes i know how to spell, the title is a pun on the phantom's mask--even i got that), eric, and a couple others...need to read them again, i can't remeber which all i've done! only problem is they're really hard to find used, everybody loves them so much.
Sneaky Pete Posted May 1, 2003
Pratchett has to be one of the best comic authors alive today. I discovered him in 1994 - Reaper Man was the first of his books that I read. It's a toss-up between Small Gods an Soul Music as to which I think is his best novel (I haven't read Night Watch, yet). I love the in jokes. For instance, the band names in Soul Music almost all have real world equivalents, for example:
&U = U2
Insanity = Madness
Lead Balloon = Led Zeppelin
The Surreptitious Fabric = The Velvet Undeground (took me a while to figure that one out)
We're Certainly Dwarfs = We Might Be Giants
The Whom = The Who
Still haven't given much thought as to what Suck might be.
The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin Posted May 1, 2003
Is there a band called Blow?
Jimbob - Got a Favourite Band? Tell Us All About It at A2464355 Posted May 1, 2003
I'm in agreement with all of this thread!
I read just about all the TP books I could find over the last few years. There are a couple of slightly weaker ones (The Fifth Elephant) but they all have something to treasure in them somewhere.
Personal favourites include Mort, Sourcery, and others too many to mention. I am similarly mystified, however, as to who Suck are supposed to represent. I'm not aware of a band called Blow (sounds too obvious), anybody else got any ideas?
Moving On Posted May 1, 2003
What about Reaper Man - it was one of the first I read, and still one of my favourites - esp. the bit when Death goes about buying flowers, chocolates and obtaining the (Disc)Worlds most friendly diamond.... For sheer genius and "profound" thinking, Night Watch and Small Gods have to be joint firsts, but my all time favourite HAS to be Witches Abroad, becasue of the Thng With the Bulls...
Moving On Posted May 1, 2003
Sorry, several postings behind everyone, obviously... haven't a clue who Suck or equivalent is - and I've chcked both quiz books which are usually a good source of explanation. I'm going to The Discworld Clarecraft convention later on in the year, and if I can get in on the Q and A sessions they have there with the Man himself, I'll ask. In the meantime, I really must get a life....
Researcher 219823 Posted May 1, 2003
You are thinking of Bleu or Bleur.
Speaking as personna non grata numero uno in Alt.fan.pratchett, I hope this tribute does not turn into a forum for FAQ-thumpers.
I came to love the books many moons ago and am suprised that this thread has only just been started. Apparently the silly hat TP wears is a protection from ape-#. Or do you suppose that to be a fiction to cover the affectation?
There are sets of trilogies to introduce different age groups and sexes to the series. Young children will like Truckers for instance. Pre-teen girls, the wytches; young lads the nightwatch ones etc.
My personal favourites are the Ryncewind books. Not only because like him, I am just a little fey myself. (And like him it is a powerful little!) I just find him so off the wall-urbane. Pragmatically-hysterical as it were.
I read today that the author of a set of books that are no further advanced in writing skill and style than Enid Blighton's genre, is one of the richest authors ever. She bears not the slightest comparison to Mr Pratchett's skill, wisdom and humour. Could it be due to the disservice to mankind rendered by those absolutely DREADFUL cartoons so badly miscast and directed? Or is it a cultural thing.
Perhaps the discworld will find a place across the pond when a story about Jew like character is added to the plots. Or maybe they can be dumbed down or Disneyfied when they go out of copyright?
Seeing as he has not cracked the US market, it might behoove us all to reflect that there may be equally fine authors out there who have never cracked the British market.
Researcher 219823 Posted May 1, 2003
What was the name of the French author who was invited to watch the execution of a British Admiral?
snazoo Posted May 1, 2003
snazoo Posted May 1, 2003
My favorite Pratchett has to be "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents"
There's a great appearance by the Death of Rats (he's got a cameo in Maskerade as well)
BicycleSkald Posted May 1, 2003
Mr. Pratchett does actually have a following here in the United States. The reason he hasn't struck it as huge as the, um, certain UNNAMED author, um... ummm. Yeah. Anyway. Why he hasn't made it as big as HER over here is because We are not really ruled by a democratic government, so much as we are governed by a very large marketing department. And this marketing department, largely due to its current pres... er, CEO, likes things that are very easy to read and don't make you think too much.
Personally, I like those other books. But only if I want to read something where I don't have to think for a while. Generally I find the opposite to be true with The Honorable Mr. Pratchett.
P.S. - Sorry if I offended anybody with my comments about our president. I shouldn't insult marketers like that.
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Sleeter (Apr 30, 2003)
- 2: BicycleSkald (Apr 30, 2003)
- 3: stokie_helen - The Moonlit Knight and Keeper of that Thing Your Aunt Gave You That You Don't Know What It Is (Apr 30, 2003)
- 4: Caveman, Evil Unix Sysadmin, betting shop operative, and SuDoku addict (Its an odd mix, but someone has to do it) (Apr 30, 2003)
- 5: Sleeter (Apr 30, 2003)
- 6: The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin (Apr 30, 2003)
- 7: Judge Mental (Apr 30, 2003)
- 8: Toyota Starlet (Apr 30, 2003)
- 9: Bexnana (Apr 30, 2003)
- 10: chickadee (wheee!) (May 1, 2003)
- 11: Sneaky Pete (May 1, 2003)
- 12: The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin (May 1, 2003)
- 13: Jimbob - Got a Favourite Band? Tell Us All About It at A2464355 (May 1, 2003)
- 14: Moving On (May 1, 2003)
- 15: Moving On (May 1, 2003)
- 16: Researcher 219823 (May 1, 2003)
- 17: Researcher 219823 (May 1, 2003)
- 18: snazoo (May 1, 2003)
- 19: snazoo (May 1, 2003)
- 20: BicycleSkald (May 1, 2003)