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Old 06-17-2009, 11:19 AM   #1
ahi
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Turn me into a Discworld Fan

I have been peripherally aware of the Discworld for a long time, but resisted their lure for a variety of reasons... many of which, in light of some recent reading *about* the series, were based on misconceptions.

I'd love to hear from some Discworld fans... tell me what makes the series great/interesting/enjoyable. If possible without spoilers, please.

Thanks!

- Ahi
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:23 AM   #2
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Bump.

I'd like to hear about this as well. I've got the first book ready to go and need to decide if I want to finish the Harry Bosch series first or start this series sooner.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:32 AM   #3
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This is my favorite series of books, ever. the first few are sort of pantomimish, but the real development of characters and plot starts with Guards! Guards! and just gets better from there. I re-read them every year or so and now have them on my Kindle.

The series is about the inhabitants of the Diskworld, a flat planet carried ont he backs of four elephants, which in turn stand on the back of a turtle, the great A'Tuin. Any such world, of necessity is basically infused with a great deal of magic, and therefore almost all of the world is tied to the underlying magic field. Which does not in any way diminish the inhabitants' ability to act in typical human weird fashion.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:34 AM   #4
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I started reading Discworld (in publication order) after having seen a made for TV movie of "The Hogfather."

I was hooked after the first book. Each book deals with some important part of world culture/history/technology .... but in a very tongue in cheek sort of way. The humor in these books is frequently laugh out loud. The characters are well fleshed out (my person favorite is the Librarian).

I recommend reading the books in order because each character has a backstory, and if you miss out on that, then you miss out on some of the complex interactions that occur further down the road.

There really isn't any way to add spoilers to a description of the Discworld books. Each one is complete on its own. Sometimes characters you really love die, and sometimes they don't. Death is my second favorite character in the series, and HE is just another part of what happens in these books.

It's a mind-opening experience. These books entertain, but they also make you think. If you don't have a good grasp of history and pop culture, you'll miss half the jokes. However, missing half the jokes doesn't mean you can't enjoy the other half.

Beautifully written, and never a dull moment. I'm a little more than a third through the series (I think there are 37 full books, and I'm somewhere about book 15 or so). Anyone who wishes to correct my math is welcome to do so. I'm reading "Jingo" at the moment.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:37 AM   #5
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The Death is a skeleton with scythe in his hands, with a hood, without a face. [it is my description, Mr. Pratchett describes him much better. That is why he is great author and I am not ;-) ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_(Discworld)
He calls himself "an anthropomorphic personification". The Death talks in booming voice that is represented in book BY CAPITALS.
Only wizards, witches, small children and people who are about to die can hear the Death.

A king closely escapes yet another assassination attempt and hides in a closet.
"IT IS DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?"
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:40 AM   #6
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Sounding better and better...

Is the series sort of a satire of the High Fantasy genre? Or more just a light-hearted/quotidianized take on it?

Quote:
A king closely escapes yet another assassination attempt and hides in a closet.
"IT IS DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?"


- Ahi
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
The Death is a skeleton with scythe in his hands, with a hood, without a face. [it is my description, Mr. Pratchett describes him much better. That is why he is great author and I am not ;-) ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_(Discworld)
He calls himself "an anthropomorphic personification". The Death talks in booming voice that is represented in book BY CAPITALS.
Only wizards, witches, small children and people who are about to die can hear the Death.

A king closely escapes yet another assassination attempt and hides in a closet.
"IT IS DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?"
One small correction, Death's daughter, son in law, and granddaughter can also hear Death, as well as the gods.

In fact, Death's granddaughter can even do "THE VOICE" .... which makes her a really special sort of character.

But then, there are so many special characters. Oook eeek??**


** Translation, "Isn't that so, and would you please pass me a banana?"
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:46 AM   #8
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Other then read the books is to read this thread all about Discworld.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26058
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RickyMaveety View Post
Death's daughter, son in law, and granddaughter can also hear Death, as well as the gods.
Yes. Susan Sto Helit.
Quote:
Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Discworld
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:07 PM   #10
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Is the series sort of a satire of the High Fantasy genre? Or more just a light-hearted/quotidianized take on it?
well, a typical Dicsworld book is:
- Fantasy
- Satire
- Hilarious "laugh out loud" book
- Disturbingly deeply philosophical
- Full of quotes (*)
- Full of puns
- Full of observations that make you think for a very long time after you finish the book
- going to be read again and again and again ...

(*) just as Hamlet is full of quotes


A dwarf asks her friend - a werewolf:
"Isn't it difficult to be vegetarian while you are in Human form?"
"It is much more difficult not to be a humanitarian when I am in Wolf form."
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:41 PM   #11
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Terry Pratchett is to Fantasy what Douglas Adams is to Science Fiction.

I read his books for their humor, not their story. (Although the story can be quite good.)

Terry Pratchett: "Lady Ramkin's bosom rose and fell like an empire."

Google: terry pratchett quotes
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:35 PM   #12
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Terry Pratchett is to Fantasy what Douglas Adams is to Science Fiction.
That. They are brilliant, hilarious books. Some have brilliant allusions, some don't.

All I know is that Luggage brings me a joy that very few other things can hardly match.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:28 PM   #13
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That. They are brilliant, hilarious books. Some have brilliant allusions, some don't.

All I know is that Luggage brings me a joy that very few other things can hardly match.
And an endless supply of clean laundry!
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:39 PM   #14
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I think that what I've noticed about Discworld books is that so many people like them. My whole family reads and loves them and we're all very different people with very different reading tastes. I've met people who love sci fi and/or fantasy who love the discworld books and people who never read any sci fi or fantasy who read these and love them.

I heard Terry Pratchett once say that he wishes he hadn't set the series on the Discworld because the fact that it's on a strange world distracts people and gives them a false view of the books. I find them full of familiar people, and they point out the absurdity of human behaviour in what is generally an affectionate way.

I'd recommend you to try them, there's likely to be one that will capture your interest and then you'll want to read all of them!
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:45 PM   #15
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Other then read the books is to read this thread all about Discworld.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26058
That's the thread that started me reading Terry in the first place. I had never heard of him before.

Diesel ebooks sells his discworld series as bundles (4 books each).
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