Perhaps it would be instructive if you actually read my statement, rather than immediately launched into a condescending reply that suggests you didn't bother."If you want to give younger readers a grounding in fantasy, the question is more why you wouldn't start them off with Pratchett, at least his children's books."
Young readers and listeners have the right to meet elves, dragons, wizards, etc. as the (dare I say) archetypal figures they are. The mysteriousness and power of these figures is a vital part of what they are. Alan Garner said something like this, that such figures have been handed down through many minds until they are almost "pure energy." Similarly it was central to Tolkien's sense of his literary effort to restore to the elves etc. the wonder and otherworldliness that were properly theirs but that had been largely lost in infantilizing and sentimental recent literature. Le Guin says similar things in her seminal essay "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie." Quoting from memory, I recall her as saying that what's essential in fantasy is a "distancing from the ordinary" -- hence, she argues, the vital importance of an appropriate style of verbal presentation. Parody typically involves the bathetic deflating of the extraordinary into the ordinary.
If youngsters are not going to meet elves, dragons, and wizards as they have been traditionally imagined,
(1) Where are they going to meet what will seem to them to be figures of fascination and mystery? Rappers? Presidents? Actors? Athletes? The wealthy?
(2) Aren't they likely to be cheated of a very important part of imaginative experience? Meeting a parody of something before you meet the original is, to say the least of it, not likely to prepare you for a deeply moving imaginative experience when you do. It's likely to spoil it or at least to taint it.
That's my answer, Werthead. Perhaps you will resist what I have said. If so, before you reply, why don't you read Alan Garner's remarks (in The Voice That Thunders), Tolkien's (On Fairy-Stories) and Le Guin's (I think it's in The Language of the Night; myself, I have "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie" as a chapbook, which made a profound impression on me nearly 40 years ago)?
That's all I intend to say here.
All of his kids' books are great. The Nomes trilogy is very solid, and Only You Can Save Mankind (or as I've taken to calling it recently, Ready Player One But Actually Good; I'm not sure why as the plots are quite different) and its two sequels are tremendous fun.He has some great young adult books — The Time Travelling Caveman for instance
The Color of Magic is a good start.
I tried once but made the mistake of giving someone The Colour of Magic. Personally, I adore that first rough book but yea... not the best introduction.
As I said, Pratchett, after his first Discworld novel, is not a writer of simple fantasy parodies. That stops after The Colour of Magic.
I'm sure that I must have said this several times before on this forum, but I read The Colour of Magic first (when there were only two or three books written) and I was put off so much that I didn't read any other Pratchett for the next 10-15 years! It definitely is not the best book to recommend to someone to start with. There are so many better books by Pratchett. Please, don't recommend The Colour of Magic.
I read The Colour of Magic first - but then, that was in 1985, when there was only the CoM available in PB. I followed it up with The Light Fantastic, then every Pterry Discworld book as it became available. My Pratchett shelf is basically a history-of-the-Discworld shelf.
I reread CoM somewhere about Night Watch, and was astonished at the differences that had crept in between the two books. The CoM is practically a straight parody of other people's universes, whereas by about Mort, what we now regard as the Discworld style had come into effect. For this reason, if people ask me in what order the books should be read, I always advise them to start with Mort or Guards, Guards, and only after you've read a few or more from then on should you read CoM, TLF and Equal Rites, more for the sake of completeness than anything else.
I was an adult reader when the Discworld was created - I understood the parodies of Lovecraft/Smith, Anne McCaffrey and Leiber for what they were - but I doubt many children of today would understand that they are parodies, let alone be amused by them.
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