Author Topic: RIP Terry Pratchett  (Read 4210 times)

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Offline Pak-Man

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2015, 12:56:02 PM »
I started with Color of Magic, but I have this slightly OCD side that doesn't want to take in any new book if there's ever been anything that was written before it. I want to take in every story as it was intended, with no biases or expectations from future novels in my head.

That said, I hear a lot of people like to start with Small Gods.


Offline Tripe

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2015, 01:10:45 PM »
Small Gods is certainly the first significantly philosophical novel (they all have some but it's the first one really built around a key concept) and if the nature of belief is your thing, by all means start with Small Gods.

I usually suggest Guards! Guards!, Wyrd Sisters or Mort.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2015, 01:23:28 PM »
I didn't start reading the books until after seeing the 3 TV movies, you know, Going Postal was 4 years ago, it's about time they did another one....  I then read the books for the movies after re-watching them, really enjoyed that way of getting into the massive Discworld series.


Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2015, 03:55:19 PM »
Try this guide: http://m.imgur.com/r/discworld/qHa8Zf5

This seems like the specific sort of thing I was after.

Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. I can only spare so much extra time these days for reading (fun reading, at least. School reading is its own timesink of a category), but I'll try to spare as much as I can here.


Offline BathTub

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2015, 09:15:10 PM »
Might have to start collecting the audiobooks and get back into them!


Offline anais.butterfly

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2015, 05:33:30 AM »
This seems like the place to say it: I've never read Pratchett, and I've been meaning to start. Something about things like this always spurns me on (I didn't read HHGTTG until shortly after Adams died).

Anyway, given the massive amount of what he's written with regards to Discworld, I want to ask: is there a good place to start? Just go right from the beginning, or can one skip some of the early stuff if it's a bit rough?

This is literally the exact reason I came into this thread. I also appreciate the suggestions and link.
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Offline mrbasehart

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2015, 07:35:24 AM »
I'm assuming people saw this, but for people who didn't.  This was the first tweet sent from his account after his death:

https://twitter.com/terryandrob/status/576036599047258112?lang=en


Offline CJones

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2015, 11:03:26 AM »
What!? Terry Pratchett died!? God damn it, why do all my favorite people keep dying? I knew he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but I didn't expect him to die so soon.

My first Terry Pratchett novel was Mort. Being a fan of HHGttG, I was immediately hooked. I loved any of the Night Watch books, and any of the ones with Susan. And Small Gods, while not so much funny, was brilliant. What really set Pratchett apart from Douglas Adams was that, even though he wrote comedy, he made a serious attempt to have a coherent and thought provoking plot. In that sense, Hogfather was a particular favorite of mine. I honestly went into that expecting a straight up parody of Christmas. But it was a lot better thought out than I expected. Death's monologue towards the end about people needing to believe the small lies like "The Hogfather" or "The Tooth Fairy" to prepare them for the big lies, like Justice or Mercy, particularly stuck in my head.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Good Omens. That, along with Dune and Watership Down are my three all time favorite novels. I've even bought Good Omens twice (the first one got water damaged).


Offline Tripe

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2015, 04:40:48 PM »
Death's monologue towards the end about people needing to believe the small lies like "The Hogfather" or "The Tooth Fairy" to prepare them for the big lies, like Justice or Mercy, particularly stuck in my head.
That's one of the finest bits of writing in any of the books.

It also contains the perfect description of humanity:

WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE ASCENDED APE.

Splendid, I don't think he comes close to anything quite as awesome a s the whole Susan and Death exchange (though his base level of awesome is exceedingly high) until Vetinari's story about the otters in Unseen Academicals.


Offline SJP

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2015, 06:56:33 PM »
As I mentioned before, I started with Pyramids.  I would not recommend anyone else starting with Pyramids, because that's practically the most standalone story in the entirety of Discworld.  It does not really prepare you for the world at large, since except for Death very few characters from that story appear in any of the other ones except in very fleeting moments.

I've always been partial to all the Watch stories, myself.  I like all the Discworld novels, but Vimes and Company always seemed to be the biggest beneficiaries of Pratchett's "the world changes and time marches on" bits, with the integration of the Watch, all the new technologies springing up, the exotic locales the 'City' Watch oddly always seemed to go off to, and the shenanigans they got mixed up in.  Men at Arms still has the single funniest segment of a book I've ever read aloud to another human being, with the clown funeral (I won't spoil it here...but it is simply fantastic in its execution).  Their stories also always seemed to be the most poignant to me character development-wise...the Fifth Elephant in particular, with the philosophical message of "What is more important, the thing or what it represents?"  But that's just me.  Really, once you start reading them, you'll find one of his protagonists to be your 'favorite' group, but all of them are wonderful in their own way.  And if you start earlier, you do see the evolution in the writing.  Color of Magic is loads of fun to read and very satirical, but doesn't go particularly deep in terms of thought...certainly not like "Night Watch."  That one is an excellent book.

But one of his greatest moments that I will share here is a footnote.  One of my favorite bits of business is where a philosopher on the Disc (name eludes me at the moment) states that the easiest course of action is to believe in all afterlives and all gods equally...that way, one of them is bound to exist and be the right one, and you won't get in trouble.  The footnote states, after he died, all the Gods of the Disc surrounded him, various horrible implements at the ready, saying, "We know what to do with clever dicks like you."

I just find that line incredibly amusing.
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Offline SJP

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2015, 08:06:16 PM »
I'm fully aware of the difference.  It's not the wordage, it's the situation I find amusing.  But thanks for pointing out for anyone who doesn't.
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Offline CJones

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2015, 06:05:41 AM »
I'm going to assume it means something like "smart-ass". What is it with intelligent body parts in that general area of the body?


Offline SJP

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2015, 06:40:21 AM »
I'm going to assume it means something like "smart-ass". What is it with intelligent body parts in that general area of the body?

No idea.  But it's funny how those terms sort of overlap.

Okay, didn't know how up you were on the slang (you're not British and I've just embarrassed myself, are you?).

No, I'm not British, but I'm beginning to think my sense of humor is.
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Offline SJP

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2015, 07:26:31 AM »
Looked up something, and that seems to be the case.  Though no one can agree which Richard is the Dick of clever dick.
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Offline Compound

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Re: RIP Terry Pratchett
« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2015, 01:34:26 PM »
Well, there's been no improvement as to Mr. Pratchett's health since March. However today the fine folks at The Guardian submitted this review on The Shepard's Crown:

Quote
Get real. Terry Pratchett is not a literary genius

It does not matter to me if Terry Pratchett’s final novel is a worthy epitaph or not, or if he wanted it to be pulped by a steamroller. I have never read a single one of his books and I never plan to. Life’s too short.

No offence, but Pratchett is so low on my list of books to read before I die that I would have to live a million years before getting round to him. I did flick through a book by him in a shop, to see what the fuss is about, but the prose seemed very ordinary.

Needless to say, reaction to this was rather negative.