Bick's thoughts on the Discworld novels

Bick

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#21
I’m hoping he gets more comfortable with his endings TheEndIsNigh. My feeling in the first three books is that they’re not the books strengths, but they’re not so bad and don’t put me off at all. I’m enjoying Mort, incidentally, but I’ll not comment more on the book until my mini review comes. :)
 
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Bick

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#22
By the way, thanks for the reading order graphic Matteo. I had seen that but it’s useful to have it in this thread as a reference. I did wonder about reading in groups as shown, but decided against. I’ll only be reading the books in orange/yellow (main adult novels) I think.
 

Matteo

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#23
Despite the fact that I'm currently re-reading the Death books as a group, I think the best way is in publication order - that way you get a variety of characters and the world builds up as you go alone.

And on reflection, TEIN has a point re. his endings but (as he also says) that's outweighed by the fact that the rest of the book(s) is so good.
 

Overread

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#24
Publication order is the best order and the one I recommend to people. Even books that have no direct link to each other often get referenced due to key events and many themes get established early on and evolve.
You can even see at times when characters harken back to "older times" when they are already part of the books you've read (rather than in the distant past).

The Wizards and how they change through the series are a fantastic example and yet if you miss out the first handful of books you miss out on that context. Now Terry is generally very good at keeping the reader up to date, the extensive use of jovial footnotes to remind and update people on in-jokes is an almost unique twist he uses and yet it works very well for his style of writing and storytelling.

Of course each story stand on its own feet very well, they are written stand alone. However if you miss out chunks I think you miss seeing that world evolution taking place and you miss the injokes and key events and characters appearing and shifting through the story etc...
 

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#25
The thing I found about Pratchett and Diskworld was that he was absolutely brilliant at starting a book. Couldn't fault him for the first 2/3 of the book. But in my opinion his endings were rubbish.
In what way ?

I will happily admit that my view is not similar to yours, but I'm curious about what disappoints you.

I've long been a huge fan, but do agree that there's definitely a number of books which are nowhere Terry at his peak and they are almost all towards the end of his battle with Alzheimer's.
 

TheEndIsNigh

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#26
In what way ?

I will happily admit that my view is not similar to yours, but I'm curious about what disappoints you.

I've long been a huge fan, but do agree that there's definitely a number of books which are nowhere Terry at his peak and they are almost all towards the end of his battle with Alzheimer's.
He always seems to lose interest.

The beginng of Mort for example was IMO masterful, but by the time Death is out boozing with his mates and having a good time he seems to have dropped the ball. At the time (it's been a while) I just know I finished the book feeling disapointed and thinking he could have ended it better. As I said it's been a while so I can't give specifics (I'd have to read it again - I rarely re-read books).
 

The Big Peat

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#27
He always seems to lose interest.

The beginng of Mort for example was IMO masterful, but by the time Death is out boozing with his mates and having a good time he seems to have dropped the ball. At the time (it's been a while) I just know I finished the book feeling disapointed and thinking he could have ended it better. As I said it's been a while so I can't give specifics (I'd have to read it again - I rarely re-read books).
Interesting. I'd have held up Mort as maybe an example of a boggy middle, but I thought the ending itself very well done.
 

Bick

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#30
(4) Mort (1987)

Its reputation precedes it as a step up in the Discworld canon, and it is indeed a better book than its predecessors. That's not to say its necessarily funnier (they've all been amusing) or got better characters, but Mort is better structured and consistent. The first book doesn't have an end to comment on (not bothering with such conventions), but the weakness of books two and three is the final quarter of each. In each case, Pratchett loses his sense of fun in the absurd and ceases with the puns and quips, as he tries to deliver real tension. It doesn't quite work. But in Mort, he maintains the absurdities, witty thoughts and engaging dialogue right to the end. You get to enjoy a fun denouement in the same style as the rest of the book. For this reason, its better, more satisfying and much more cohesive. DEATH is good fun, but I'm not sure he will be my favourite character as I read through. ****
 

The Big Peat

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#32
That's a good shout about Mort being the first of them to maintain the style throughout.

I think for me Mort gets a lot of hype simply for being one of his best and most imagination grabbing ideas. Its not written better than the other books, but the scenario is simultaneously so out there and yet so relatable that a lot of people fall in love with it.
 

Bick

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#33
It'll be interesting to see if we agree.
Yes - that was a very good scene. The short-order cook passage was less good, as I felt it would have been better if he’d been bad at it. It wasn’t really explained why he was so good at it.
 

Bick

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#34
I think for me Mort gets a lot of hype simply for being one of his best and most imagination grabbing ideas. Its not written better than the other books, but the scenario is simultaneously so out there and yet so relatable that a lot of people fall in love with it.
Yes it’s a great concept and Death has played a role in numerous classic stories and plays since time began, so it’s quite accessible. Walking, talking luggage less so. That said, I prefer the luggage to Death as a ‘character’ - but I’m probably in a minority there.
 

SPoots

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#35
The Discworld is, in my opinion, one of the greatest fantasy series ever written and stands as something utterly unique in that wide-ranging bibliography.
Having said that, I recognise I am biased here as the Discworld has helped me through some rough times and brought my dad and I closer together. It was also the series that first inspired me to start writing myself.
 

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