Best and Worst Discworld

A slow, analog alternative to the internet

Moderators: SecondTalon, Moderators General, Prelates

btilly
Posts: 1877
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:08 pm UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby btilly » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:18 pm UTC

annals wrote:
lesliesage wrote:I'd never heard of Pratchett in the US, and when I came here, to describe him someone said, "Terry Pratchett is the kind of author read by people who don't like books. Like Dan Brown."

Anyone else feel like that?


Terry Pratchett is the kind of author who can be read (and enjoyed) by people who don't like books. People who love reading can enjoy him just more.

Fixed.
Some of us exist to find out what can and can't be done.

Others exist to hold the beer.

User avatar
Various Varieties
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:24 pm UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Various Varieties » Thu May 01, 2008 4:17 pm UTC


Psy-Kosh
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:57 pm UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Psy-Kosh » Thu May 08, 2008 4:54 am UTC

Hrm... I must be the weirdo here... I liked Going Postal and Making Money... And the Witch books and and and and...

Not sure which of them I didn't like, actually. Oh, I've only read one of the Science of Discoworld books, specifically #2: The Globe, and a couple parts (science parts rather than story parts) had me fuming.

Like the complete handwaving dismisal of the link between thermodynamics and information, but most damning was a bit that basically dismissed much of the attempts at appying the second law by saying "Thermodynamics is just a theory about gasses"

EXCUSE ME?! Yes, it has much to say about gasses, but the second law stuff and so on is far more general and non dependant on gasses.

Okay, ranty mode off. :)

As far as favorite Discworld books? um... dunno. I think I like all of it. (Other than certain absurd claims that I mentioned)

User avatar
Dusty Chalk
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 9:00 pm UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Dusty Chalk » Thu May 08, 2008 4:44 pm UTC

My favorite is his version of Macbeth -- took the concept behind the series to a whole 'nother level.

My least favourite -- I don't know, I don't think I've read it yet.
I remain,
:-Peter, aka :-Dusty :-Chalk

User avatar
Skeedish
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:00 pm UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Skeedish » Mon May 12, 2008 9:59 am UTC

I'm not sure which one I'd call best, but the one I've read the most is The Fifth Elephant.

I'd rate the funniest as The Last Continent.

One I didn't enjoy much was Carpe Jugulum.

My favourite group around which a book is based would be the Wizards followed by the Watch.

Terry Pratchett FTW!

seriously...that idiot that compared Terry Pratchett. To Dan Brown...don't even put them in the same sentence. How dare you.

User avatar
Luthen
Posts: 2021
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:42 am UTC
Location: Dealing with xkcdian immigration
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Luthen » Tue May 20, 2008 11:39 am UTC

Favourites: Ones with Death (yay! anthropomorphic personifications) or Tiffany (yes I know they're for kids)

Runners-up: Moist (he's just hilarious - I wonder what he'll do to the tax system), City Watch, Witches, Misc

Not-so-liked: Rincewind (he's just too whiny)

Worst: First three are really bad, Pratchett just didn't know what he was doing yet, I think. I always recommend people to start with Mort.

Good Omens (with Neil Gaiman too) was really good too.
My fancy new blog Image I am not a vampire! Image PM my location for a prize!*

rnew: ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOAVATAR!
*Terms + conditions changeable

User avatar
Zombor
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 1:31 am UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Zombor » Sat May 24, 2008 5:03 am UTC

Hogfather, Susan's the best and who doesn't love Christmas parodies wrapped around explanations of humanity, Small Gods, same thing, only the outer coating is a satire of Christianity and Night Watch, which i think has the best plot out of all of them, much more approaching a novel than the rest of them, but still Discworld. And I don't know if The Amazing Maurice and the Educated Rodents count, but it si still one of my faves despite being a young adult novel ( I dunno, i just don't like that genre, it usually seems full of primers to adult reading and who wants to read that?).
the ones i liked least, Equal Rites, The Color Of Magic and The Light Fantastic, while still good romps, that is pretty much all they are, good but not great, which is expected. And Lord and Ladies, and Carpe Jugluem. . .eh, being surrounded by those sorts of references all the time makes me unimpressed with them.

User avatar
cephalopod9
Posts: 2011
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:23 am UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby cephalopod9 » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:45 am UTC

I own and had read Good Omens, which was good, and have bought Gaurds! Gaurds! and gave it to my brother. Now I'm reading Gaurds! Gaurds! and I gave him Good Omens to read.

So my next question is whether order matters.
Image

User avatar
JayDee
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:13 am UTC
Location: Most livable city in the world.
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby JayDee » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:53 am UTC

I don't think that order matters hugely, but it's probably best to read each series (Rincewind, Watch, Witches, etc) in order.

Here is a Discworld reading order flowchart (from L-Space.)
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I believe that everything can and must be joked about.
Hawknc wrote:I like to think that he hasn't left, he's just finally completed his foe list.

devillic
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:52 pm UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby devillic » Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:02 pm UTC

Best to start with: Small Gods

Best: Small Gods, Thief of Time, Night Watch, Monstrous Regiment, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (not technically a Discworld book but it's set in the same universe and it's AWESOME), Reaper Man, Mirror Mirror, Thud. Generally the later books in the series are better--more serious, wiser. I like the Vimes books and the Witches books a lot better than the Wizard ones, as a rule.

Worst: Color of Magic and Paint the Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Eric, hm...Any of them make an entertaining read, to be honest.

User avatar
fallenstar
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:52 am UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby fallenstar » Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:24 am UTC

My favorites are definitely the City Watch books, then the Death series. I also quite like the wizards, but I'm also in the opinion that they are what make the Rincewind books bearable. I also really enjoyed a few of the stand-alone books, such as The Truth, Small Gods, Pyramids, and Monstrous Regiment.

I agree that the most recent books (Going Postal and Making Money) are a bit lacking in something. However, I'm not quite sure in what. The character development is okay, the plots are fine, everything seems to be in order, but they just don't click as well. They seem improbable, more so than any of the other books. I don't know, maybe it's just that they have chapters. What can I say, I'm a purist.

kfish
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:01 am UTC
Location: Singapore

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby kfish » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:36 am UTC

I've got to echo what a few other people have said - Small Gods and Thief Of Time are my favourites. Oh, and Last Continent was awesome, but I think I just appreciated it because I'm Australian and so understood the boatload of in-jokes. I don't blame anyone if they didn't like it as much.

The Watch series seems to me to have the most development of characters and plot to it, which makes them more enjoyable than the average.

I don't have any dislikes, but I found Eric, Pyramids, and Equal Rites to be forgettable. There may be a couple more I've actually forgotten :)

The recent books haven't been as impressive, it's true. I haven't read Making Money yet, but enjoyed Going Postal. Not as much as most, though. I don't think he's necessarily decreasing in quality though - I would put it equal to some of the other books I didn't feel had enough development, like Wyrd Sisters or Carpe Jugulum. Introducing modern-day equivalents into books is nothing new, but before it's been side-lines, like the disorganisers, or traffic police. Making it the fundamental plot element maybe limits his creativity in some ways?

User avatar
JayDee
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:13 am UTC
Location: Most livable city in the world.
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby JayDee » Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:27 am UTC

I must be missing something. Going Postal is one of my favourites. I love the character Moist Von Lipwig. I loved the chapter divisions and summaries, and the whole clacks thing. The scene where the message is read with Vetinari reminding people that he is, in fact, a tyrant is one of my favourite scenes in any Discworld book (the scene where Cohen faces the Samurai in Interesting Times is my all time favourite.)
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I believe that everything can and must be joked about.
Hawknc wrote:I like to think that he hasn't left, he's just finally completed his foe list.

Wynd
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:15 am UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Wynd » Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:47 pm UTC

Anyone read Moving Pictures yet? I've only read a few (read:2) of his books before this, so I really have no basis of comparison as to how it is.

User avatar
tryptanymph
More metal than thou
Posts: 2471
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:42 pm UTC
Location: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby tryptanymph » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:58 am UTC

I have read every Discworld book I can find to date. I think all of them.

My dad gave me Reaper Man to start with, and I was hooked.

I think I've read each book enough times that I can remember most of the jokes by page number... XD

But seriously... after Reaper Man, I went back to the start, and read them in chronological order. They all rule.

The only exception is probably Eric. That seemed... poorly imagined. It's a pity. It was an okay book, but not very special.

Faves: Thief of Time, Night Watch (Oh yes, Night Watch is probably my number 1. It's slightly darker than most of the books, but I think it's one of the best written.), The Fifth Elephant, and a bunch of others.

Least Faves: Eric.

I'm not a huge fan of the way he's started with chapters though. I know he used to chapter some of his pre-Discworld books, but I thought the lack of chapters gave the Discworld novels a certain charm! (Plus it helped me break up my reading.)

And a slight annoyance in the way stories are working now. Lots of stories have been "filled in", and now it seems that he's using any excuse he can find to makes sure all his characters get a look in. (Just read Going Postal and Making Money, and Monstrous Regiment. It seems like he's trying to force the Watch and The Times into the stories.) I like how it makes it feel more realistic, but somehow it's too slick.

Oh well.

Pratchett FTW. I hope he gets better soon. (Meaning his Alzhiemer's, not his writing!)
phlip wrote:sleepy, the only thing you're worse at is being not awesome.*
*All links to be treated as NFSW.

User avatar
JayDee
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:13 am UTC
Location: Most livable city in the world.
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby JayDee » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:56 am UTC

sleepygamer wrote:IThe only exception is probably Eric. That seemed... poorly imagined. It's a pity. It was an okay book, but not very special.
Which version did you get? The fully illustrated (by Josh Kirby) version was the first Discworld book I read, and I love it. I can't imagine reading it without the illustrations, though. Same with the Last Hero.
sleepygamer wrote:And a slight annoyance in the way stories are working now. Lots of stories have been "filled in", and now it seems that he's using any excuse he can find to makes sure all his characters get a look in. (Just read Going Postal and Making Money, and Monstrous Regiment. It seems like he's trying to force the Watch and The Times into the stories.) I like how it makes it feel more realistic, but somehow it's too slick.
I read an interview (about the Truth, maybe?) where he kind of said the opposite. The Watch has gotten to the level that he can't justify them not getting involved, at least when it comes to Ankh Morpork. He also said that Weatherwax had gotten too powerful, and hence she becomes a supporting character in the Tiffany Aching books.
Wynd wrote:Anyone read Moving Pictures yet? I've only read a few (read:2) of his books before this, so I really have no basis of comparison as to how it is.
Loved it. I think it would go in with the earlier books, simpler and with more puns. That is not a bad thing.

"Can't sing. Can't dance. Can handle a sword a little."
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I believe that everything can and must be joked about.
Hawknc wrote:I like to think that he hasn't left, he's just finally completed his foe list.

kfish
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:01 am UTC
Location: Singapore

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby kfish » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:10 am UTC

JayDee wrote:
sleepygamer wrote:And a slight annoyance in the way stories are working now. Lots of stories have been "filled in", and now it seems that he's using any excuse he can find to makes sure all his characters get a look in. (Just read Going Postal and Making Money, and Monstrous Regiment. It seems like he's trying to force the Watch and The Times into the stories.) I like how it makes it feel more realistic, but somehow it's too slick.
I read an interview (about the Truth, maybe?) where he kind of said the opposite. The Watch has gotten to the level that he can't justify them not getting involved, at least when it comes to Ankh Morpork. He also said that Weatherwax had gotten too powerful, and hence she becomes a supporting character in the Tiffany Aching books.
Hmmm.. that's an interesting way to look at it. Given the level of the Watch in their other books, there's certainly no plausible reason for them not to be in Making Money at a few points. I may have to re-evaluate my thinking on that one, I've been a little critical in the past about his tendency to do that recently, too.

JayDee wrote:
Wynd wrote:Anyone read Moving Pictures yet? I've only read a few (read:2) of his books before this, so I really have no basis of comparison as to how it is.
Loved it. I think it would go in with the earlier books, simpler and with more puns. That is not a bad thing.

"Can't sing. Can't dance. Can handle a sword a little."
Agreed. I think I prefer the more developed stories, but some of the simpler ones like Moving Pictures and Soul Music are good fun, where he's got such latitude for puns and parallels to real life. I loved the bit in Moving Pictures about subliminal advertising - one of the few parts I can remember, it's been about 10 years since I read that one :)

User avatar
JayDee
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:13 am UTC
Location: Most livable city in the world.
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby JayDee » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:09 pm UTC

kfish wrote:Hmmm.. that's an interesting way to look at it. Given the level of the Watch in their other books, there's certainly no plausible reason for them not to be in Making Money at a few points. I may have to re-evaluate my thinking on that one, I've been a little critical in the past about his tendency to do that recently, too.
More importantly, if there is crime, or even something slightly dodgy (or more dodgy than the Ankh-Morpork normal,) the watch is going to get involved. You would have to start coming up with excuses to keep them out of the picture.

That's not so true in Monstrous Regiment, but I thought in that book it worked well. It had previously been established that Vimes had a reputation outside the city (in The Fifth Elephant, I think, and the talk of 'sammies') and I don't think it was to intrusive in that book.
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I believe that everything can and must be joked about.
Hawknc wrote:I like to think that he hasn't left, he's just finally completed his foe list.

Klotz
Posts: 550
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:27 pm UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Klotz » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:36 am UTC

My favourite was Small Gods, I looove that book. Well, I liked it a lot.
My least favourite was probably the one where the girl becomes a wizard...Equal Rites.

User avatar
Flying Betty
Posts: 1147
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:25 am UTC
Location: Next Tuesday

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Flying Betty » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:49 am UTC

Hmm. I'm not good about picking favorites because I love them all. I like the witches, DEATH, Susan, and The Luggage in particular.

I wasn't much of a fan of Eric. I also think that his first few, while still being entertaining and refreshing, aren't quite as strong as some of his later books. They're really not terribly cohesive. I'm also not as much of a fan of Witches Abroad, but I think that's because I read the other witch books so many times before I read that one, because I started reading them before they became wildly popular and got rereleased, so I was limited to the library's selection and the ones my mom had been hoarding. The Moist Von Lipwig ones have also been a little bit disappointing. Where the first few had too much wackiness and not enough plot, he's now gone the other way and lost a bit of the delightful charm and footnotes and silly asides to go for a more cohesive plot.

I would say order matters, but only vaguely. I know I initially read the guards and the witches subsets out of order and didn't suffer too much initially. THey build on each other but aren't directly linked, so you miss the initial finding out of things a little bit but for the most part it's fine. I would recommend reading Men At Arms before you check out any of the later books- it does contain a pretty big revelation about one character that I think would be a bit disappointing to miss.
Belial wrote:The future is here, and it is cyberpunk as hell.

User avatar
Sandry
My cheese is pants?
Posts: 1861
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 3:36 am UTC
Location: Boston area
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Sandry » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:58 am UTC

I definitely agree that the earlier ones he hasn't quite gotten up to speed with. The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic are just not that exciting to me. The thing I find, though, is that even when he's not at his peak, it's not "oh, that wasn't very good," it's more "oh, that wasn't excellent and hysterical" which is sufficient to be disappointing in a PTerry novel.

I particularly enjoyed Soul Music and The Truth, but I feel like I need to re-read pretty much everything in some semblance of order before really designating a favourite. Also, apparently I really need to re-read Thief of Time, as it seems like two out of every five posters said it was their favourite. :D

And I second (fourth?) the comments that people should read Good Omens. (If there's anyone left who hasn't. :P) I bought an extra copy when I saw it used in a thrift shop, just so that if I come across a friend who hasn't read it, I can shove a copy at them.
He does not spout ever more, new stupidities. He "diversifies his wrongness portfolio."
(My pronouns are She/Her/Hers)

User avatar
markfiend
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:59 am UTC
Location: UK (Leeds)

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby markfiend » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:29 pm UTC

Thief of Time is actually one of the weakest of the more recent books IMO.

Colour of Magic / Light Fantastic had the whole Discworld-as-D&D-played-by-the-gods thing that's been pretty much dropped since then; it doesn't really 'fit' with the more developed Discworld universe any more.

The Discworld series as a whole didn't really start to hit its stride properly until about Guards! Guards! or so.

I disagree with any implication that they're not so good any more. I particularly liked the conceit of Night Watch whereby the fact that Ankh-Morpork has gradually become more civilised and less dangerous (particularly under Vetinari) as time has passed (both real-time and fictional-time).
advanced, forthright, signifficant
pronouns: he/him

User avatar
4=5
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:02 am UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby 4=5 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:46 am UTC

has anyone here read Strata ?

User avatar
Timequake
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:35 pm UTC
Location: Everywhere.
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Timequake » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:31 am UTC

Small Gods was absolutely amazing. It had the highest laugh to page ratio of any book I've ever read, at about 1:1. Thief of Time comes in a close second.

On the other hand, I found Reaper Man incredibly boring and stale. Having read Thief of Time and Hogfather already, the Auditors of Reality seemed boring to me (mainly because their role here was nowhere near as funny as in either of the other books), and the book just seemed to move so slowly for me that I really couldn't get into it. Soul Music comes in second here. I'm currently struggling through it, hoping that I'm just at the worst part of it right now.

edit: I wholeheartedly agree with suggestions to read Good Omens, it is not only one of Pratchett's best books, but easily one of the better books I've read overall.
GENERATION -i: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum. Square it, and then add i to the generation.

User avatar
protocoach
Posts: 251
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:44 am UTC
Location: Omaha, NE
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby protocoach » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:22 am UTC

I love Small Gods, Reaper Man, and Night Watch. I think some of my enjoyment for RM comes from being around a farm environment when I was younger. The tools have changed over the years, but the farming communities haven't, much, and the scenes in the little town evoke some fond memories. Oh, and Death is awesome.

Least favorite would probably be the Witches story lines. Just never got into them.

I like the newer books, but they aren't up there with his best stuff. I hope that now that he's substantially moved the city forward again, he'll get back into old form. Think of it as another reform period. The first reform period was the evolution of Vetinari, (read Guards, Guards! again, he's a much less likable and developed character.) the emergence of Vimes as a strong character, and the installment of Ridcully as the head of UU. The second reform period is the overhauling of the DW's technology and the emergence of the Watch as one of the most powerful forces in the city, and thus the Disc. Now we just have to hope that he goes on a tear the way he did after GG!

EDIT:
existential_elevator wrote:
lesliesage wrote:I'd never heard of Pratchett in the US, and when I came here, to describe him someone said, "Terry Pratchett is the kind of author read by people who don't like books. Like Dan Brown."

Anyone else feel like that?


Pratchett is a modern-day Aristophanes. In his better books.
Yes, a lot of jokes can appeal to the lowest-common-denominator [so to speak] or are at least written in such a way as to be accessible to people who are not the most literary affluent. At the same time, there's a whole other level of joking [again, in the better books], which is almost a bonus level, I kid you not, that you attain by having been very well read. The Witches are funny, yes, but they get at least a thousand times better after you've read a crapload of shakespeare. There are tonnes and tonnes of literary references scattered throughout Discworld, but that one is the most obvious. Especially if you read.. I think it's the first witches novel of the series, and Hamlet side by side. The referencing is pretty sweet.

Just wanted to agree with this. Yeah, I suppose you can enjoy Pratchett without being fairly cultured. But when you are fairly intelligent about films, music, and literature, it opens whole new worlds in his writing.
If I were a Viking god, I don't think I would fall for that.
But if I were a Viking, that's exactly what I would do.

How can you study geometry and not believe in a God?
A God of perfect points and planes,
Surrounded by arch-angels and right angles

User avatar
JayDee
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:13 am UTC
Location: Most livable city in the world.
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby JayDee » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:14 am UTC

markfiend wrote:I disagree with any implication that they're not so good any more. I particularly liked the conceit of Night Watch whereby the fact that Ankh-Morpork has gradually become more civilised and less dangerous (particularly under Vetinari) as time has passed (both real-time and fictional-time).
Night Watch would have to be my favourite. I'm going to have to read it again after I finish watching Life of Mars...
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I believe that everything can and must be joked about.
Hawknc wrote:I like to think that he hasn't left, he's just finally completed his foe list.

User avatar
the white hatter
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:03 am UTC
Location: sunshine sanctuary

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby the white hatter » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:32 pm UTC

oh dear, Im going to sound really fan-girlish here, even for me
ok, I have no favorite terry prattchet books, but there are ones I prefer for different moods, e.g. nostalgia is early watch books, frustrated is any wee free book (including where they are only minor charecters) and perdita/agnes and eskerina, homesickness is anything rincewind and happiness is death, any of the above and anything left unstated.
before I had learned how to read I already knew about 2.5 of the books of by heart, I knew the written parts of the hedgehog song before I knew what a hedgehog looked like, and most deffo before I knew what all of the words actually ment.
We collectivly own (me and mum) all of the books in hardback 1st edition, the first 4 in minture, most of them signed and some of them are also owned in paperback, signed of course.
I have been to most of the conventions, as I was lucky enough to live in the same town (unfortunatly I cant anymore, and its been moved anyway) and I even went to the 1st ever jamboree and spoke to the man himself on a number of occassions.
and all of this on a anual income thats below the poverty line (*is gloting on familys ability to budget enough to do this*)

all pretty fangirl I thought, but I love it

then again I could never stand truckers or johnny stuff, too childish I thought, even when I was 3
hello kitty, are you on my computer? or in my head?

kfish
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:01 am UTC
Location: Singapore

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby kfish » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:49 am UTC

the white hatter wrote:then again I could never stand truckers or johnny stuff, too childish I thought, even when I was 3

Yeah, I enjoyed them when I was a kid, but I've decided not to reread them, cause I think it would kill the nostalgia for me. They were aimed a bit below me when I first read them.

That's quite a collection you've got, hatter. I occasionally have people commenting on how many of his books I have, but it pales in comparison to your effort :)

User avatar
Thadlerian
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:58 pm UTC
Location: Norway

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Thadlerian » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:22 am UTC

4=5 wrote:has anyone here read Strata ?

Yeah, a fairly good parody of Larry Niven's Ringworld.

User avatar
felltir
has a sniper scope and a trigger finger.
Posts: 2493
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:01 pm UTC
Location: Back in't home town. Never at home.
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby felltir » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:36 am UTC

Thadlerian wrote:
4=5 wrote:has anyone here read Strata ?

Yeah, a fairly good parody of Larry Niven's Ringworld.

I liked it a lot. :)
Spoiler:
RoadieRich wrote:He's a super flexible furry martial artist from London. She is a Rabbit breeding mad scientist from Michigan. They fight crime!
The Great Hippo wrote:I THINK THE SOLAR SYSTEM MIGHT BE AN ATOM OF OXYGEN.


Blog

he/him/his

User avatar
Decker
Posts: 2071
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:22 pm UTC
Location: Western N.Y.

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Decker » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:03 pm UTC

Best: All the Samuel Vimes books, and Reaper Man.
Runner Ups: Moist, Witches
Worst: All the Rincewind books I have read so far.

I just don't like Rincewind, especially his "Something horrible is going to happen to me. I just KNOW it." attitude. Suck it up. Not to mention the fact that not only is he a coward and proud of it, he can be a jerk sometimes.
I was angry with my friend. I told my wrath. My wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe. I told it not. My wrath did grow.

EmptySet
Posts: 1196
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:33 am UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby EmptySet » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:04 pm UTC

Decker wrote:I just don't like Rincewind, especially his "Something horrible is going to happen to me. I just KNOW it." attitude. Suck it up. Not to mention the fact that not only is he a coward and proud of it, he can be a jerk sometimes.


That's kind of the point of Rincewind. Overly-muscled heroes who blather on about their precious honour are a dime a dozen in fantasy novels; Rincewind is deliberately constructed as an antithesis of the heroic archetype. That said, I'm not massively fond of the Rincewind books myself, except for Interesting Times and the Last Hero (which are perhaps more accurately described as "Cohen the Barbarian" books).


Anyway, it's hard for me to choose a favourite. I believe I've read every Discworld novel, and own most of them. I love all the City Watch books, and I'm also particularly fond of Reaper Man, Small Gods, Thief of Time, and Hogfather.

Objectively, his worst Discworld works are probably his earliest - the Colour of Magic, the Light Fantastic, and Sourcery. I liked them when I first read them, and they're still better than a lot of novels, but after reading the later novels they just aren't quite the same. I'm also not terribly fond of Making Money (which is probably why I'm not rich, heh).

I disagree with those who think the recent books have been going downhill. I quite liked Thud! and Monstrous Regiment, and although I didn't like Going Postal or the Aching books quite so much as most of Pratchett's works, they were still very good (and I can forgive the latter because they're written with a younger demographic in mind, even though that didn't seem to hurt the Amazing Maurice...). Making Money was a bit poor, but at this point I have to regard it as an anomaly rather than a trend.

Also, Strata is good, though not technically a Discworld book - or, perhaps more accurately, it's a book involving a Discworld but not the Discworld.

User avatar
Decker
Posts: 2071
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:22 pm UTC
Location: Western N.Y.

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Decker » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:25 pm UTC

EmptySet wrote:
Decker wrote:I just don't like Rincewind, especially his "Something horrible is going to happen to me. I just KNOW it." attitude. Suck it up. Not to mention the fact that not only is he a coward and proud of it, he can be a jerk sometimes.


That's kind of the point of Rincewind. Overly-muscled heroes who blather on about their precious honour are a dime a dozen in fantasy novels; Rincewind is deliberately constructed as an antithesis of the heroic archetype.

Okay, yes. This is true. I'll give you that. This concept was entertaining at first. But I just got tired of it halfway into the first book I read with him. He's a one trick pony in my opinion, and it got annoying rather fast.

Edit: I suppose that should have been my argument in the first place and that the original post wasn't well thought out. I don't dislike him because he's a coward, I dislike him because that seems to be his only defining personality trait and it gets old.
I was angry with my friend. I told my wrath. My wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe. I told it not. My wrath did grow.

EmptySet
Posts: 1196
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:33 am UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby EmptySet » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:35 am UTC

Yeah, I'd agree with that. To be honest, I think even Pratchett agrees - in The Art of Discworld he says that "Rincewind's job is to meet more interesting people. Readers still ask for more stories about him, but there's a limited amount you can do with a character who is a coward and doesn't care who knows it."

User avatar
Sandry
My cheese is pants?
Posts: 1861
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 3:36 am UTC
Location: Boston area
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Sandry » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:10 am UTC

Having recently re-read Thief of Time, I throw my lot in that camp now. Largely because I've always loved Susan to tiny pieces, and I totally enjoy the monks. More than is proper.
He does not spout ever more, new stupidities. He "diversifies his wrongness portfolio."
(My pronouns are She/Her/Hers)

User avatar
All My Mushrooms
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:41 pm UTC
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby All My Mushrooms » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:51 pm UTC

The Death/Susan novels have always been my favourites too. Plus, most of their books also feature the faculty of the Unseen University pretty heavily, and they're probably my favourite group of characters in any of Pratchett's novels.

Ook.

User avatar
Thadlerian
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:58 pm UTC
Location: Norway

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Thadlerian » Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:28 pm UTC

A problem with the more recent Discworld books is that they seem to take forever to warm up. Especially Wintersmith, the plot never seemed to start, but then it was over. I think Pratchett should start either getting tighter editing or start upping the page count (the books are relatively thin, compared to other fantasy).

I sure wouldn't mind the latter :D

Pfohr
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:36 am UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Pfohr » Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:30 pm UTC

Thadlerian wrote:A problem with the more recent Discworld books is that they seem to take forever to warm up. Especially Wintersmith, the plot never seemed to start, but then it was over. I think Pratchett should start either getting tighter editing or start upping the page count (the books are relatively thin, compared to other fantasy).

I sure wouldn't mind the latter :D

Wintersmith takes a while to warm up, you say? I see what you did there.

My personal favorite is Night Watch. Love love love that book.

DrPhibes
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:34 pm UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby DrPhibes » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:19 am UTC

Just finished Making Money and the plot is resolved by a real plot-tool that experienced readers should see coming. After that I read Small Gods, it was better but not by much, both were a great read. Although I didn't see the plot in both books coming I think Small Gods was better although the middle part was less good, the whole being lost in a desert didn't work for me. That's why I don't like the book where Rinzwind got lost in Australia.

Mort is still his best work although I don't own it :(

User avatar
AzraelFish
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:07 am UTC

Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby AzraelFish » Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:08 am UTC

Wow...it's hard to pick a best, and I don't even want to try for a worst.... I haven't read anything lately--the libraries here suck, so they've got a limited selection of his work. I drove 'cross country last year, though, and stopped in libraries along the way, to find books to read...in doing so, I finished most of Strata--really want to finish that one. And Wintersmith--also a fairly good book. But now I think about it...neither of them are Discworld.

Anyway...the first of the series, that I read, was Pyramids--I was wandering through the library, looking for something to read, preferably something with lots of parts, to keep me going for a while. Then I saw a shelf completely full of stuff by the same author, (this is where I used to live, and they DID have a nice selection. =P). I picked one out, (Pyramids), and tried to find a guide for where the series started. There didn't appear to be one, so I just went ahead and got that one. Since then, it's always been one of my favourites. After that...Lords and Ladies I liked, because it's a parody of Shakespeare's, "A Mid-Summer Night's Dream", which I was in a short time before. Thief of Time is good. As is The Truth. I also like the Rincewind series, especially Eric, though that might be, in part, because I had to hunt down a copy to read it, so I was bound and determined to enjoy it.... But mostly, I think, because I'd just read Goethe's "Faust". I generally like most of the books with Lu Tze. He's awesome, him and all the History Monks....

I've never been quite as much a fan of the Witches series, but that may be because it was the last I started on. After I picked a few random ones, which turned out to be pretty much all disconnected singles, I told my sister I was reading his books, and it turns out she was a huge fan, and got me a copy of the flowchart on L-Space. That was nice. From there I read the Rincewind, then kind of went on the Death and Watch series' at the same time, so I like them about equal. My sister told me to read the Witches last, because they're a bit more complex, and take some thought...and since I was, like, 14 at the time, I wasn't much into thinking. =P

But now...a question. I remember part of a joke, from one of the books...one with the History Monks. Someone says something along the lines of..."If monastaries have monks, what do llamasaries have?" That was several years ago...for quite some time, I've been REALLY wondering which book it's in...can anyone help me out?

Thanks.


Return to “Books”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests