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Old 01-08-2021, 06:50 PM   #1
badgoodDeb
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Discworld Reading Order

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Originally Posted by ReadingManiac View Post
I have to know. What book does Dwarf battle bread come from?
Terry Pratchett.

Per Google: I'm thinking mostly of "Feet of Clay" but bits of Dwarf battle bread are in numerous books. https://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Dwarf_Bread

After the early Pratchett books got too random and silly, I quit him for a decade or so. Till I randomly picked up "Feet of Clay" and got totally enraptured with the books having The Guards in them. Then I went back and picked up the Witches series, and etc.

There are NUMEROUS heated arguments about how to read Pratchett, but this sums up what worked for me: (attached)

PS I prefer Pratchet in physical form, because his numerous footnotes are an integral part of the story, and ought to be read while you are on that page. That gets tedious on an e-reader (at least it did on early ones).

PPS Best not to read it on a plane or bus. Neighbors will look at you askance, as you guffaw out loud.
Attached Files
File Type: txt Pratchett-BESTReadingOrder.txt (1.6 KB, 46 views)

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Old 01-08-2021, 07:28 PM   #2
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Your list doesn't include the Tiffany Aching books. They are intended to be stand alone books, which is fine, but I'm glad I read the Witches sub-series first since there is some cross over.
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Old 01-10-2021, 08:22 AM   #3
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If you are reading Discworld for the first time, the proper order is published order which is also chronological order. After you first read through, it's OK then to read in any order you want. If you read out of order before your first read, you will spoil the series.
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Old 01-10-2021, 09:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
the proper order is published order which is also chronological order
Small Gods is chronologically set before all other books, but was not published before them (excluding books with specific sections set in the past).
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:15 AM   #5
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I'd also say that the first couple of books are not the best, and he hadn't really found the 'Discworld style' yet.

The Discworld books aren't really a series, they are a collection of sub-series set in the same universe. Pick the sub-series that sounds most interesting, and read the first in that.

There is a list of sub-series here: https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/...Characters.pdf

It is interesting that the City Watch books are listed first. They are my favourite, and the one I would recommend to start with. I wonder if they are the most successful.

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If you read out of order before your first read, you will spoil the series.
Many of the sub-series have little or no connection to others. There is very little that I would consider 'spoilers' between different sub-series.
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salty-horse View Post
Small Gods is chronologically set before all other books, but was not published before them (excluding books with specific sections set in the past).
Small Gods is my favorite Discworld. I did read them all in publication order, but have no religious zealotry about it. I consider Small Gods to be effectively a stand alone anyway.
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
It is interesting that the City Watch books are listed first. They are my favourite, and the one I would recommend to start with. I wonder if they are the most successful.
By the time the Pratchett wrote the first city watch novel he'd found his voice for the Discworld stories, so that series is really good to start with. The Moist von Lipwig novels are another good starting series because Pratchett had dozens of Discworld novels under his belt by the time he wrote the first of those. The Death series starts with one that's right on the cusp of Pratchett finding his voice, and continues fine from there, so it's not too bad to start with. I didn't enjoy Soul Music that much, so I tend to recommend the city watch or Moist von Lipwig novels over it.

The Rincewind series starts with and includes most of the novels written before Pratchett found his voice. The witches series also starts with a novel before he found his voice.

To be quite honest, those early books aren't great. Not bad necessarily, but at best okay. That's why so many people recommend not reading them in published order. People will dislike the first couple of books then don't keep reading to find how wonderful the series really is. I put off reading the Rincewind series for years because I didn't like The Colour of Magic. If I had started with that novel instead of Guards! Guards! (first city watch novel) I probably wouldn't have read any of the other Discworld novels.

Anyone who insists reading them in published order is the only way to read them is simply trying to force everyone else to read books in their preferred order. They need to realize that different people like different things, and get over it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Many of the sub-series have little or no connection to others. There is very little that I would consider 'spoilers' between different sub-series.
There's no real spoilers between any of the sub-series. At best you'll find out that major characters won't die, but frankly you'll figure that out quickly even if you read them in publishing order. I read them entirely out-of-order and didn't notice any spoilers in any book.




On a different note, Tor's Some of the Best of Tor.com: 2020 Edition is finally available to purchase and is entirely free.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salty-horse View Post
Small Gods is chronologically set before all other books, but was not published before them (excluding books with specific sections set in the past).
Terry Pratchett did say that all the books were written in chronological order.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:06 AM   #9
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I read the discworld books as and when I could get hold of them from the library and enjoyed them.

However, if I had read them in order, I doubt I would have progressed past the first one as I found it a bit of a chore to read when I did get to read it. So I am glad I read them out of order - or else I would have missed out on a great set of books.
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
I'd also say that the first couple of books are not the best, and he hadn't really found the 'Discworld style' yet.

The Discworld books aren't really a series, they are a collection of sub-series set in the same universe. Pick the sub-series that sounds most interesting, and read the first in that.

There is a list of sub-series here: https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/...Characters.pdf

It is interesting that the City Watch books are listed first. They are my favourite, and the one I would recommend to start with. I wonder if they are the most successful.



Many of the sub-series have little or no connection to others. There is very little that I would consider 'spoilers' between different sub-series.
There is a connection that you are not getting. The places and the people (not main characters) are part of the stories. You learn about the places and the people as you go along. So by reading out of order, you miss the progression of the places and people. So it can become a jumble if you don't read in order. Also, there are sometimes offhand comments that you won't get unless you've read some previous book.

Discworld fits together when you read in order. After you've done that, reading in any order is OK. The first few books setup the framework for Discworld. You learn a lot from the first two books that you'd not know about if you don't start with them.

So when someone says that it's OK to read out of order. those are the people that have read the series. If you've not read the series, do not let these people spoil it for you because if you listen to them, Discworld will be spoiled for you. It won't be as good as it would be reading in order. It's also nice to read about the different main characters then say read all the books about a set of main characters. Terry Pratchett is a very smart man. He wrote Discworld to be read in order so you get the most enjoyment that way. And also read the Tiffany Aching books in with the rest of the Discworld books.
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manabi View Post
By the time the Pratchett wrote the first city watch novel he'd found his voice for the Discworld stories, so that series is really good to start with.
As I said, these recommendations are from someone who has already read Discworld. The starting point is The Coulor of Magic.
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:05 AM   #12
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I read the discworld books as and when I could get hold of them from the library and enjoyed them.

However, if I had read them in order, I doubt I would have progressed past the first one as I found it a bit of a chore to read when I did get to read it. So I am glad I read them out of order - or else I would have missed out on a great set of books.
I really enjoyed the first Discworld book. But if you don't want to read it, find the first two books on video and watch that. It is quite good.
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:23 AM   #13
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I really enjoyed the first Discworld book. But if you don't want to read it, find the first two books on video and watch that. It is quite good.

I have read them - out of order and lost nothing in the experience but if I had been inflexible about it - I would have missed out. Reading should be a joy not a chore.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:23 PM   #14
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As I said, these recommendations are from someone who has already read Discworld. The starting point is The Coulor of Magic.
I shall quote myself, because apparently you missed this part of my comment:

Quote:
Anyone who insists reading them in published order is the only way to read them is simply trying to force everyone else to read books in their preferred order. They need to realize that different people like different things, and get over it.
You do this every single time Discworld novels are brought up. You really need to get over this, it's an unhealthy obsession. I'll not comment any further on the subject than that.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:40 PM   #15
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I shall quote myself, because apparently you missed this part of my comment:

You do this every single time Discworld novels are brought up. You really need to get over this, it's an unhealthy obsession. I'll not comment any further on the subject than that.
I have to admit that the way Jon goes on about this always makes me wonder if he has something against the series or Terry Pratchett. Sometimes it seems like he is trying to put people off the series. So many people have said that they didn't enjoy the first book and hence didn't continue. Arguing that people must start with the first book, when even the author recommended not doing that, seems to be against the idea of getting people to read them.

And for the record, I'm one of those who didn't get past the first book. I did remember enjoying it, but, wondered what the fuss was all about. That was a long time before I first came here. It isn't strictly in my normal reading. While I enjoy the occasional Fantasy, this didn't fit that. I read it based on things I had heard about the series, and finding a second-hand copy cheap. I haven't seen the later books cheap, which is either a sign that people enjoyed them and kept them, or, an indication of how many people bought the first, but never continued. My son has said exactly the same thing, and, Fantasy plus humour is exactly him.

Jon: It's one thing to suggest that the series should be read in the order of publication, but, what you do is way over the top. It's gotten to the point that when people mention the series, I'm always tempted to jump in and suggest the only way to read the books is in reverse publication order just to see what you do. Or just suggest a random number
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