Which Terry Pratchett novels are the best starting point for readers new to the Discworld?

redzwritez

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2022
Messages
68
Is there a good starting point? I've started reading his books recently with the books that focused on the witches (Witches Abroad, Equal Rites etc.) but there are so many. Can anyone think of or has anyone read a different Terry Pratchett book first? Does anyone have a good idea of where
 

Montero

Senior Member
Supporter
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
2,938
Location
Up the clum
Witches is where I really got into them, and the first few are very much in their own world.
Colour of Magic is chronologically the first, but I've never liked it as much as the others.

And greetings to a newbie, hope you'll have fun on here.
 

redzwritez

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2022
Messages
68
Witches is where I really got into them, and the first few are very much in their own world.
Colour of Magic is chronologically the first, but I've never liked it as much as the others.

And greetings to a newbie, hope you'll have fun on here.
Hello! I thought I could start a thread and get a bit more involved in the forum. I found pretty much the same thing when I started reading Pratchett. Colour of Magic was interesting but I couldn't get as into it as the witches books I've read. I have found though the city watch books interesting too.
 

tachyon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
333
I'm a big proponent of publication order most of the time, for most series, and I do love the first Rhincewind books, but I keep seeing people saying they have trouble with them as an introduction to Discworld.

I have trouble understanding this because I love the first Discworld books. However, I think they rely on a lot of referential humor that you just don't get if you're not familiar with the source material.

You have to have read Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Conan, Lord Dunsany, Vance's Dying Earth, McCaffrey's Pern, and etc.

It helps to be familiar with UK culture of the time, various folk and fairy tales, the kinds of things an English schoolboy would know about Ancient Greece and Egypt, and a potpourri of other things to appreciate a lot of the jokes.

So unfortunately I can't provide a positive answer to the question of which books to start with but do have to reluctantly agree that the first Rhincewind books are not a good choice for a modern reader.
 

Ian Fortytwo

64 squares/16 white and 16 black pieces.
Supporter
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
1,167
Location
Somewhere on this mortal coil.
I like reading them, however I read them in no particular order. I'm sure Terry Pratchett didn't mind which ones were read first. So I would say it really doesn't matter.
 

The Big Peat

Darth Buddha
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
3,255
I generally advise people to pick a sub-series they like and then start with that starting book - so The Colour of Magic, Mort, Equal Rites/Wyrd Sisters, Guards!Guards!, Going Postal or The Wee Free Men. Last two contain more spoilers for prior books than most, but still work. Tbh, I think any of them can work though, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend a standalone like Small Gods, The Truth, or Monstrous Regiment to someone where that seemed like the right wok.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
19,832
I read them in publication order and i cannot imagine them being read any other way.

I read the first 4 in order then I skipped around . The truth of the matter is , that it doesn't ultimately matter because , once you read a single Pratchett novel you're largely doomed to read everything you can find by him. :D
 
Last edited:

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,255
Pratchett was finding his style in The Colour of Magic, which is really a pastiche of a number of fantasy genres. I enjoyed it at the time and eagerly awaited the following publications, but it does not hold up in comparison to many of the later books.
 

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
13,543
Location
nearly the New Forest
I'm another who didn't get on with The Colour of Magic and the Rincewind books, and I've never bothered to revisit them. I'd recommend taking the Guards books in order, then the Witches, then fill in with the others, but that's my taste -- really, it's something you'll have to find out for yourself which ones hit the button and therefore make the best reading order.

This thread gives a flowchart of how the books are connected which might be useful Terry Pratchett's Discworld Reading-Order Flowchart and this thread offers other suggestions for reading orderr What shall I read first? And to give you an overview, Bick has reviewed some of the books here in publication order Bick's thoughts on the Discworld novels

Hope that helps! Meanwhile, I'll move this thread over to the Terry Pratchett sub-forum to help others find it in the future.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
19,832
Moving Pictures The whole film studio on Disc world and the the creative way Pratchett used skewed movie cliches was fun This book though comically funny on the surface has a very dark undercurrent which tells me, that if Terry Pratchett had ever turned his mind to writing horror , he would have been very good at it.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
19,832
Is there a good starting point? I've started reading his books recently with the books that focused on the witches (Witches Abroad, Equal Rites etc.) but there are so many. Can anyone think of or has anyone read a different Terry Pratchett book first? Does anyone have a good idea of where

If you like Terry Pratchett and there writer you might like Is James Branch Cabell , Wrote over 50 fantasy novels hid most famous od Jurgen A Comedy of Justice which was at one point, banned in Boat and New York He was a master of Ironic humor quite funny and witty. he was the Terry Prachett of his era
Sliverlock by John Myer Myers A comic fantasy novels starring every character in Myth and Literature
Flying Dutch and Whose Afraid of Beowulf by Tom Holt
The Complete Enchanter by L Spargue De Camp and Lin Carter
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
3,915
I read them in publication order and i cannot imagine them being read any other way.


I have to agree. The first novel (I think) that I picked up from the library was 'Witches Abroad' , not realising it was part of a series. Have enjoyed it immensely , I went back to the first novel and read through in publication history.

The problem with not reading them in order is that you will be introduced to some of the characters 'mid-arc'; and whilst many change very little (eg The Patrician, Dibbler etc) others very much do (eg Vimes). You also run the risk of not seeing the gradual evolvement of Discworld in style, and so it may come as something of a shock to read (for example) Going Postal, then go back to Colour of Magic.

So I would say read them in order, and if you don't particular like his style of writing and references in the early books, stick with it. If you do like it (like me) then so much the better, because it never goes away, it just evolves.

I do think there are a few of his stories that aren't that great, but I've found those to be some of later books like Unseen Academy, Monstrous Regiment and The Thief of Time.

The Witch, Guards and Death stories are all terrific, in particular the Guards which culminates in (for me) TP's best story which was Night Watch.
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
3,255
If you like Terry Pratchett and there writer you might like Is James Branch Cabell , Wrote over 50 fantasy novels hid most famous od Jurgen A Comedy of Justice which was at one point, banned in Boat and New York He was a master of Ironic humor quite funny and witty. he was the Terry Prachett of his era
Sliverlock by John Myer Myers A comic fantasy novels starring every character in Myth and Literature
Flying Dutch and Whose Afraid of Beowulf by Tom Holt
The Complete Enchanter by L Spargue De Camp and Lin Carter
I quite enjoyed Jurgen, in small doses, but it does not inhabit even remotely the same comic fantasy orbit as Pratchett. JBC is something of an acquired taste, to put it mildly, whereas Pratchett is highly accessible, unaffected comedy for everyone.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
19,832
I quite enjoyed Jurgen, in small doses, but it does not inhabit even remotely the same comic fantasy orbit as Pratchett. JBC is something of an acquired taste, to put it mildly, whereas Pratchett is highly accessible, unaffected comedy for everyone.

I often wonder if Terry Pratchett ever read or even heard of James Branch Cabell .:unsure:
 

redzwritez

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2022
Messages
68
If you like Terry Pratchett and there writer you might like Is James Branch Cabell , Wrote over 50 fantasy novels hid most famous od Jurgen A Comedy of Justice which was at one point, banned in Boat and New York He was a master of Ironic humor quite funny and witty. he was the Terry Prachett of his era
Sliverlock by John Myer Myers A comic fantasy novels starring every character in Myth and Literature
Flying Dutch and Whose Afraid of Beowulf by Tom Holt
The Complete Enchanter by L Spargue De Camp and Lin Carter
Thanks, it's great to find new writers and books especially if they're funny fantasy ones. I'll check these out.
 

Similar threads


Top