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Kauket0
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re: Terry Pratchett: why you should read him and how

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TL;DR version: Give Pratchett a try with Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Neil Gaiman, a stand-alone novel about the apocalypse. If you'd rather start with a Discworld book, try Small Gods.

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Right, so you may've heard good things about this Pratchett chap. Then you go look him up and realize that he's written over 50 books. Is it even possible that a person could write that many books and not be producing tripe? Well, when the author's attitude is "writing is the most fun you can have by yourself" the answer is emphatically yes.

The most succinctly I can describe Pratchett is that he writes profound comedy. If you like dry British satirical humor, say Monty Python or Douglas Adams, you'll want Pratchett to father your children.

So where to start? Some three dozen of Pratchett's books are set on Discworld, which started by satirizing the fantasy genre and has since expanded to satirizing anything in the universe, but particularly humans. Currently, Pratchett describes Discworld: "In recent years it has split into 'adult' and 'children's' series. The difference between them is that one deals with serious themes, while the other one is for adults."

L-Space has the best explanatory diagram of Discworld:

(Note: diagram needs an update, it's missing I Shall Wear Midnight the 5th YA book and Snuff the 8th Watch novel.)

Still looks pretty overwhelming, eh? Test the waters with Small Gods, which ranks among my top ten books ever. If Small Gods catches your fancy, head to the very first book, The Colour of Magic, and read in publication order from there.

 For full publication order and details go to http://colinsmythe.co.uk/terry-pratchett/discworld/discworld-novels/ (That's the site of Pratchett's agent, and while the UI is horrible, it provides the most comprehensive book information.)

Why start with Small Gods which is #13? Well besides being fantastic, it's the most standalone of the Discworld, and it's far enough along that Pratchett is really firing on all cylinders. While most authors might be able to produce a couple of quality books then run out of ideas, I don't think Discworld starts getting brilliant until #8, Guards! Guards! and doesn't hit genius until #11, Reaper Man. (Maybe I should a Discworld internal ranking...)

I've read Discworld multiple times: in publication order, randomly, by the branching order in the diagram, and even backwards publication order (it was like watching the devolution of the species). I feel that Small Gods then publication order is the best entry, and it's worked for other people who follow my reading commands.

Now that you've read all of Discworld, you'll end up reading the rest of Pratchett's works. The best among them is Good Omens, so start there if you didn't read that before Small Gods.

Resources:
The L-Space Web - "The L-Space Web is a web site dedicated entirely to providing information on all aspects of Terry Pratchett and his work." ("L-Space" is also an in-joke from Discworld, and a concept that convinces me that I need to keep growing my library. Oook.)

Terry Pratchett - agent's site with comprehensive publication info.

(Amazon's list mania is letting me down. I may need to create my own.)



Last edited by Kauket0 on October 26, 2016 9:57; edited 3 times in total


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re: Terry Pratchett: why you should read him and how

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Based on this, I may pick up Small Gods to see what's up. Top 10 is no joke. Though the last thing I need to do is add more to the queue. It's fast growing, slow shrinking as it is.
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Terry Pratchett is a man who has made an anthropomorphic personification and a travel accessory into deeper, more complex characters than most authors can manage with "real" humans. He moved from my #3 author about a decade ago to #1 now.

L-Space has a collection of some of his non-book quotes: http://www.lspace.org/books/pqf/alt-fan-pratchett.html

Go see how the man's mind works.

Quote:
Take One ticket to New Orleans. Take One cab to Bourbon Street. Take steps to the counter of the all night frozen dacquiri shop. Take One Large Cupful.
-- Terry's recipe for the Ultimate Banana Dacquiri (Terry Pratchett, alt.fan.pratchett)


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re: Terry Pratchett: why you should read him and how

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OK, so, looking for some new stuff, and what was originally next on my list, Malazan, doesn't seem to be what my brain is jiving for atm, so thinking of giving this Pratchett chap a go. Small gods seems to be the suggested starting point, and I see that it's kind of in the middle of everything on that map.

Any suggested order to this chaos? Seems a bit daunting to start in on.
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re: Terry Pratchett: why you should read him and how

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If you want to start with Discworld, Small Gods then others in order of publication.

If you're not yet sure you want to give over your life to the Terry, try Good Omens to see if he fits your tastes.


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re: Terry Pratchett: why you should read him and how

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I'm a couple chapters into Small Gods... Yeah, this is right up my alley. I foresee many book purchases in my near future.
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re: Terry Pratchett: why you should read him and how

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I started with Color of Magic, I have enjoyed alot of his books. When I was driving more, I use to do the audio books which were great.


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re: Terry Pratchett: why you should read him and how

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Converts, woohoo!


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So, I'm about 2/3 through Small Gods, been real busy the last several days. A question I have: Is all his writing as hilarious as Small Gods? Maybe I'm weird (pretty sure that's true), but his writing style, man, it's so right up my alley. Hoping the other books at least have some of this.

An entire conversation that didn't happen, but if it DID happen, here's how it went, which of course it didn't, because they weren't there.
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Yes, Pratchett does always write as if he's the font of all clever lines. And then, once I'm crying from laughing so hard, he'll sucker punch with something profound. Good stuff.


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re: Terry Pratchett: why you should read him and how

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I know this is a necro but don't even know if anyone is around to read it.

A few weeks back I was looking for something new to read and I remembered some of my old Denial friends were smart enough to read.  So I came back here and found this old thread.  Then I took a look and found my local library had some of these Disc World books on the digital library.

 

Since Kauket recommended Small Gods first, I knew I couldn't go wrong even with it being book 13 in the series.  I just finished it tonight and I can definitely say it was one of the better reads I've had in quite some time.  Good laughs and a great story.

 

I can't wait for The Colour of Magic to come available so I can check it out and see how the rest of the series unfolds.

 

Happy reading.  The turtle moves!



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Small Gods is still the only one I've read, but I did enjoy the hell out of it. I'm about to start on Jim Butcher's latest book, the first in his new series The Aeronaut's Windlass. I also have Master of the Five Magics on deck, been hankering for classic 80s style fantasy.

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re: Terry Pratchett: why you should read him and how

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Nice necro.  I think I wrote the original post before Guild Launch updated its forums--fixed the image that was breaking the page width.

I was vey sad when Pratchett died.  Neil Gaiman, co-author of Good Omens, wrote what I thought was the best obituary.  Slow readers may now be able to catch up...  His final book came out just last month.

Welcome to the fan club, Scarn!



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