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The Discworld series – Terry Pratchett (Part 2)

06 Jan

on the disc, the Gods are not so much worshipped as blamed.

Now settled into the series and established, the Discworld books continue in the same vein with their unique brand of humour and satire, there is more of a focus on established characters with a lot of the action being based around Ankh-Morpork, the biggest city and a nice nod to olden times London.  Of particular note from books eleven to twenty-four would be sharp satire on organised religion, The Phantom of the Opera, a nice cliché wink towards Australia( Four Ecks) and a jaunty Christmas tale where Death – complete with beard – has to take over as the Hogfather (our Santa) has gone missing.

Found on io9.com

Found on io9.com

These books all made me laugh a lot, there was comedy in abundance and I looked to each new tale with eagerness, yet from book twenty-five onwards the humour seemed to change and had been changing for a while on reflection, it was becoming more observational based comedy which was fine and did raise a smile still but there a lot less were less laugh out loud bits.  The series has evolved like the characters and Discworld itself, the places outside Ankh-Morpork were marginalised which makes sense from a realism point of view as that is where the books are heading.  I do miss the more fantastical elements but the drive towards modern times is inevitable even in fantasy, the bringing in of newspapers, banks and trains, does allow for more parody on the everyday things that we are familiar with.

“You’re dead,” he said.
Keli waited. She couldn’t think of any suitable reply. “I’m not” lacked a certain style, while “Is it serious?” seemed somehow too frivolous.

With the latest book Raising in Steam, it was rare I even raised a smile but that doesn’t detract from the actual writing, I still enjoyed the book, I think Pratchett has moved his creation from a whimsical place of magic to one somewhat more grounded in reality and although a lot of readers hanker for the old style hilarious books, it’s a comfortable world, it’s grown up and we readers have grown up with it.  When a world gets to real we wish for the more fantastical elements to be brought back into it and this is just another facet of the Discworld to mirror our own despite is differences.

The recent young adult books haven’t made an impression on me at all, in fact apart from an overdone caricature of the Scots I don’t remember much at all in these books, except possibly a whale at some point, perhaps I am just to enamoured of the series as it is, I enjoy lots of Children’s books but I think I expected too much from these ones, one day I will reread them again, hopefully with a less grumpy mindset. .  A special mention will also  have to go to The Science of the Discworld books, that see the wizards of Unseen University create our universe and one of their number travels around our humble planet giving and then in each alternate chapter real scientists write about the Earth through various times, some parts of which can be a little dry but overall it’s a good aside from the main series.

Just erotic.  Nothing kinky.  It’s the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.

As ever with an established group of novels (which I should have pointed out at the beginning of the review are not one complete story but a series of different stories, except for the first two books which do a good job of establishing the world), it pays to begin at the beginning so you can appreciate all the in jokes and to really see the established characters grow.   As a constant companion to my reading life, I have a lot of time for these stories and if you wish for humour, some honest philosophy on the human condition and a lot of satire on everything from literature, to government to ‘music with rocks in’, then you can’t go far wrong for sheer variety.  In fact were there to be no more books to come, then Raising Steam would be a wonderful send off as it manages to name check so many familiar places and names from the series’ history, so this really is the time to DISCover the series and enjoy some wry English humour at the same time.

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21 Comments

Posted by on 06/01/2015 in Fantasy

 

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21 responses to “The Discworld series – Terry Pratchett (Part 2)

  1. shadowoperator

    06/01/2015 at 19:51

    Has Terry Pratchett ever done any other series, or any other solitary books? For some reason, even though I couldn’t bring it to mind, when you first mentioned him even his name rung a distant bell.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      06/01/2015 at 19:57

      He does done a few stand alone novels as well as the Long Earth series, the series with the small people that live in a department story and various others, Good Omens seems to be the non Discworld book that people recognise.

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  2. gargoylebruce

    06/01/2015 at 22:15

    I’ve read Good Omens. That was good. I also recently came across a crocheted version of the space turtle-elephant-planet carrier. You can see it here: mentalfloss.com/article/27696/10-crocheted-science-fiction-figures

    The Han Solo is rather amusing too.

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    • Ste J

      07/01/2015 at 18:11

      Han Solo is a great one, I would love that to adorn my house somewhere, it is amazing what people can create.

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      • gargoylebruce

        07/01/2015 at 23:48

        Isn’t it just? I’d have the idea to do it, but the second I hit the smallest obstacle I’d give it all up as a bad joke. Three cheers for those with perseverance – hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray, hip….oh, that’s enough.

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  3. Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

    07/01/2015 at 19:58

    I learn new things about books every time I read your posts…as much as I love to read I find I’m absolutely ignorant of much of the literature to be found in the reading world. My curiosity is aroused, I’m going to learn more about Terry Pratchett and the Discworld Series 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      09/01/2015 at 18:32

      The best thing about not knowing too much about literature is the finding out and I do envy you, starting a fun series with so many quality to books to come. To encourage you and any of my other readers to wish to pick up a book is the best thing in the world!

      Like

       
  4. quirkybooks

    07/01/2015 at 20:51

    Wow! I couldn’t keep up with all of those elements. They sound they they think of everything. It’s such a shame you can’t laugh as much though, laughter is a great form of medicine.

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    • Ste J

      09/01/2015 at 18:13

      It is a shame the map cap nature of the series diminished, some people see that as a problem but enjoy the world and the characters and there is always rereading again which is always a good thing!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • quirkybooks

        09/01/2015 at 22:28

        Yep. Re-reading stuff you love is great and often we see things we never saw before, so it’s like we are reading it brand new anyhow.

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  5. Sherri

    08/01/2015 at 13:31

    I have never read any of Terry Pratchett’s work. But there is a shop in a little town near us that sells nothing but his books, all dedicated to Discworld (I think his family or maybe the man himself lives in the area). You would love it 🙂

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    • Ste J

      09/01/2015 at 18:16

      I most definitely would and I bet were you to go in and mention that you had never read them the enthusiasm of the staff would ensure you came away with a number of books and the will to read them!

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  6. LuAnn

    08/01/2015 at 15:15

    Thanks Ste J. My list of books to read has just gotten infinitely longer!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      09/01/2015 at 18:17

      I don’t normally grow your reading list by so much in a single review but I am nothing if not a giver, I am just so kind to you.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • LuAnn

        09/01/2015 at 22:35

        You are so very generous. 🙂

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  7. Seyi sandra

    12/01/2015 at 13:10

    I seemed to understand the series more now with your second review. Pratchett would definitely be able to keep up the momento since he’s writing different stories within the same series. I would find out some of the books in the series, I always love a good humour in a story. Have a great week Ste J!

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    • Ste J

      15/01/2015 at 21:21

      I didn’t think to mention it in the first review, I’ve been with the series that long that I just assume everybody is familiar with it. I tried to put everything into one post but that was impossible, I think you will enjoy the wry brand of humour Pratchett employs my friend. Have a great week yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  8. Nicholas Conley

    12/01/2015 at 18:32

    Ah yes, Discworld is fantastic. Need to read these again sometime soon.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      15/01/2015 at 21:03

      I hear there are a few more that have been hinted at so it does make me happy knowing that. I would love to live there for a bit, probably go back packing for a few months, I couldn’t cope with too much magic.

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  9. The Book Haven

    29/01/2015 at 18:44

    I am new to Terry Pratchett. Do you think I should start with The Color of Magic?

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      03/02/2015 at 21:14

      Yes I think you should, they are light books, with some zany and clever humour, it’ll give you a good idea about the world and his style. The first two books are one story, after that you can pick any book up but reading in order allows you to get all the in jokes of which there are many.

      Like

       

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