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Old 10-09-2008, 02:56 PM   #1
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Need some urgent Discword help!

I know we have some sci-fi rans on the board and I need some help about the Discworld. I never gave Pratchett much thought until after I read Good Omens, which I loved. Then I got the first Discworld from the library and did not get through it all. It just did not grab me.

A year later, I read 'Mort' and loved it. LOVED it. Death is the funniest character ever. Periodically, I tried to read other Discworld books but always got stuck because I felt guilty about never reading book 1, which I felt I 'ought to' do. Also I did not want to get stuck collecting them because I do not have the space to store six million books. Now, of course, the whole e-thing has liberated me from the shackles of having to 'store huge piles of books' and I am enjoying being able to purchase things I like instead of just borrowing them or buying them second-hand and selling them back to the used bookstore when I am done.

So now, Fictionwise is having a Big!Sale! and Discworld books can be had for like three dollars each. Suddenly, it is looking tempting again. But there are so many now that I am a little lost. What do I do?

1) It is vitally necessary to read the first one? Is there anything I will miss if I don't?

2) I heard they tend to go in sort of mini-series within the whole oeuvre. So for example if I am not really a witches or dragons person, I could just read the Death books or the whatever other books and not miss anything vital?

3) In such a case, what exactly should I read? Which books do you suggest? If you were to put together some sort of Discworld Starter Package of, say, 5-10 titles for a 'newbie who really liked the death books' what would you suggest?

I don't tend to read a ton of sci-fi, but for reference, here are some sci-fi novels I have really enjoyed:

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
The 'In Death' series by J.D. Robb
Most of Connie Willis
Most of John Wyndham
Thirld World Products by Ed Howdershelt
Anonymous Rex by Eric Garcia
The 'Women of the Underworld' series by Kelley Armstrong
Most of Neil Gaiman (although he took awhile to grow on me)

I generally read mystery, pulp, literary fiction and stuff that would be best categorized as 'paranormal sci-fi.' I am not big on dragon and space ship sci-fi But I did like Good Omens and Mort, and this sale is a fabulous chance to maybe pick up some more. So...advice?
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:07 PM   #2
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In the past there discussion about what is the recommended TP book to begin with, and there was a chart of the miniseries in the Discworld.
look here:
http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/
http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-...-guide-1-5.jpg
Please notice that there is even a Death miniseries.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:11 PM   #3
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The first book is a (very good) pastiche of many, many other fantasy series. I like it, but not as much as some of the other books.

"Guards, Guards" introduces us to the Night Watch of Ankh Morpork, and the wonderful Captain Vimes. Several books follow on from this

"Small Gods" is more stand-alone and is also splendid.

Paul


Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
I know we have some sci-fi rans on the board and I need some help about the Discworld. I never gave Pratchett much thought until after I read Good Omens, which I loved. Then I got the first Discworld from the library and did not get through it all. It just did not grab me.

A year later, I read 'Mort' and loved it. LOVED it. Death is the funniest character ever. Periodically, I tried to read other Discworld books but always got stuck because I felt guilty about never reading book 1, which I felt I 'ought to' do. Also I did not want to get stuck collecting them because I do not have the space to store six million books. Now, of course, the whole e-thing has liberated me from the shackles of having to 'store huge piles of books' and I am enjoying being able to purchase things I like instead of just borrowing them or buying them second-hand and selling them back to the used bookstore when I am done.

So now, Fictionwise is having a Big!Sale! and Discworld books can be had for like three dollars each. Suddenly, it is looking tempting again. But there are so many now that I am a little lost. What do I do?

1) It is vitally necessary to read the first one? Is there anything I will miss if I don't?

2) I heard they tend to go in sort of mini-series within the whole oeuvre. So for example if I am not really a witches or dragons person, I could just read the Death books or the whatever other books and not miss anything vital?

3) In such a case, what exactly should I read? Which books do you suggest? If you were to put together some sort of Discworld Starter Package of, say, 5-10 titles for a 'newbie who really liked the death books' what would you suggest?

I don't tend to read a ton of sci-fi, but for reference, here are some sci-fi novels I have really enjoyed:

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
The 'In Death' series by J.D. Robb
Most of Connie Willis
Most of John Wyndham
Thirld World Products by Ed Howdershelt
Anonymous Rex by Eric Garcia
The 'Women of the Underworld' series by Kelley Armstrong
Most of Neil Gaiman (although he took awhile to grow on me)

I generally read mystery, pulp, literary fiction and stuff that would be best categorized as 'paranormal sci-fi.' I am not big on dragon and space ship sci-fi But I did like Good Omens and Mort, and this sale is a fabulous chance to maybe pick up some more. So...advice?
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:16 PM   #4
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Then I got the first Discworld from the library and did not get through it all. It just did not grab me.

A year later, I read 'Mort' and loved it. LOVED it.

I had the same experience as you with Discworld books. I did read all the Rincewind ones first, just to get them out of the way, as I don't enjoy them as much as the rest. Having said that, now they are out of the way I look back on Rincewind with great fondness. I am looking forward to re-reading them too as I have a greater understanding of the Disc and the University, which I found harder to follow in the beginning.


Death is a fab character and I adored 'Mort', one of my favourites. I also really enjoyed Equal Rites, a lovely story that flows well and you will love Granny Weatherwax by the end.
Guards Guards is another fab one, Captain Vimes is a real star, I love him, he really makes me chuckle.

Most say you can just read what you want, though I did find when I read the second of the City watch books, there were a few events that I had missed as I hadn't read the previous DW books in order, making me go back and read them in order. But if you just want to read the characters you enjoy, then do so. Death, Granny Weatherwax and Captain Vimes are all great characters to follow and I think most people would recommend their series (Death, Witches and City Watch books)
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:22 PM   #5
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The best recommendation is to read the Discworld series in published order. You learn about characters and situations even if they are not the main focus. It does make reading the current read easier as anything referred to before you've already read.
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:25 PM   #6
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Firs, I'll say that there is no requirement to have read the previous ones to get enjoyment of the series.

That Said, having read those, does add a lot of depth as you can see a lot of the self referencing and in jokes.

Still, even if you stick to any of the Story arcs inside the series, you should be fine.

The Reading Guide from LSpace.org is invaluable there, even though it is not completely up to date for the last couple of books.

I've attached it here to make it easier to see.


Last edited by bbusybookworm; 10-09-2008 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:27 PM   #7
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I'll make it even easier by providing the preferred reading order.

01. The Colour of Magic (1983)
02. The Light Fantastic (1986)
03. Equal Rites (1987)
04. Mort (1987)
05. Sourcery (1988)
06. Wyrd Sisters (1988)
07. Pyramids (1989)
08. Guards! Guards! (1989)
09. Eric (1990)
10. Moving Pictures (1990)
11. Reaper Man (1991)
12. Witches Abroad (1991)
13. Small Gods (1992)
14. Lords and Ladies (1992)
15. Men at Arms (1993)
16. Soul Music (1994)
17. Interesting Times (1994)
18. Maskerade (1995)
19. Feet of Clay (1996)
20. Hogfather (1996)
21. Jingo (1997)
22. The Last Continent (1998)
23. Carpe Jugulum (1998)
24. The Fifth Elephant (1999)
25. The Truth (2000)
26. Thief of Time (2001)
27. Night Watch (2002)
28. Monstrous Regiment (2003)
29. Going Postal (2004)
30. Thud! (2005)
31. Making Money (2007)

Last edited by JSWolf; 10-09-2008 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:34 PM   #8
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I admit, while in general I love Pratchett, I never really liked either The Colour of Magic or The Light Fantastic and I think they're the only two I avoid rereading. I was in the same boat where i tried reading The Colour of Magic several times and just kept putting it down. I ended up giving in (and I'm usually obsessive about books in order) and reading Equal Rites and loving it and then moved through the rest of the books from there - much later I read the first two finally and I think skipping them is a perfectly good idea if you can't get into them right away.
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:46 PM   #9
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Although I've got all the standard novels, my favourite 'tracks' in the guide are the "Watch" ones and the "Industrial Revolution" ones!
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:11 PM   #10
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I admit, while in general I love Pratchett, I never really liked either The Colour of Magic or The Light Fantastic and I think they're the only two I avoid rereading. I was in the same boat where i tried reading The Colour of Magic several times and just kept putting it down. I ended up giving in (and I'm usually obsessive about books in order) and reading Equal Rites and loving it and then moved through the rest of the books from there - much later I read the first two finally and I think skipping them is a perfectly good idea if you can't get into them right away.
But you've already read The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic so you do know what happened so things that are referenced you will understand.

It's a good idea to read them both even if you feel they are not all that good. Trust in the power of the Pratchett when I say, they get better from there and I don't think those are bad reads as some others do.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:23 PM   #11
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Eh .... I just bought the whole series from Amazon (for my Kindle) a few months ago, and I'm reading them in publication order (I'm up to Guards, Guards). So far, I've enjoyed them all, and my favorite characters are Death and The Librarian.

I am glad I'm reading them in order if only because it's nice to have the backstory for certain characters (such as my dear Librarian), but other than that, there is no real reason to read them that way.
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Old 10-10-2008, 01:47 AM   #12
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Since we are talking about Discworld. Is there a difference between US and UK versions? And what edition is ebooked?

DrS
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Old 10-10-2008, 02:05 AM   #13
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Since we are talking about Discworld. Is there a difference between US and UK versions? And what edition is ebooked?

DrS
As Far as I've seen there has been no difference in the Text of the book, Maybe a couple of spellings were different, but I've not really noticed it.

In printed books, the main benefit of the British Editions has always been the cover Art. Josh Kirby's and Paul Kidby's Covers have always been miles ahead of the American Covers.

But In eBooks that doesn't really matter that much does it? And you could always swap out the cover if you feel like it with something like Mobi2Mobi.

Fictionwise and the others all have the American Edition I believe. Waterstone's May have the UK edition's but i've not really checked.
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Old 10-10-2008, 02:15 AM   #14
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As Far as I've seen there has been no difference in the Text of the book, Maybe a couple of spellings were different, but I've not really noticed it.
Fictionwise, here I come

Quote:
Fictionwise and the others all have the American Edition I believe. Waterstone's May have the UK edition's but i've not really checked.
Waterstone's has only 2 (two) ebook. And prices...

DrS
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Old 10-10-2008, 02:25 AM   #15
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Fictionwise, here I come
Enjoy! I've already had my spending binge at Fictionwise with the 50% Rebates.

At This rate I'm never going to use up all my Micropay Credit

Quote:
Waterstone's has only 2 (two) ebook. And prices...

DrS
Ouch! I had a look after posting, and its pitiful.

Then again I Wasn't planning to buy from them anyway as I plan to keep on taking advantage of the Exchange rate
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