My hubby gave me a Nook Color for Christmas. He pre-loaded it with over 600 books. Some were ones he knew I wanted (John Grisham, Stephen King, Douglas Addams). Some were educational/factual that he thought I’d enjoy (Freakanomics; A Brief History of Time; A Briefer History of Time). Some were ones he was purely guessing at, including the entire Discworld series. At the behest of my oldest daughter, and knowing there’s much love for Terry Pratchett here on the Dope, I started reading Discworld 1 The Colour of Magic yesterday. So far, I’m finding it clever and amusing.
Hang on to your hat…the series gets much, much BETTER. You have a lot of fun in store. And you can re-read the books and find new bits to enjoy.
Yeah, during the first few books he was still figuring out how everything worked on Discworld and they are among the weakest of the series. If you already love that one, you are in for a treat when they get a lot better.
I think if you enjoy Colour of Magic, as I did when I started reading him (way back in 1987), then you will absolutely love the series from end to end.
A lot of beginners find his earliest works a bit silly, because later he drops a lot of the overt jokes and parody and starts to bring in more subtlety, and those are his most popular books.
Yes, I definitely agree that if you already like the series at book 1, the later books will really knock your socks off. I usually advise Pratchett neophytes to skip the first few books at first, just because they’re really pretty rough compared to the later stuff.
Welcome to the fold, btw.
Yeah, I’m pretty new into the book, but I really am enjoying the stuff so far. The humor is tickling my funny bone, to be sure! My daughter recommended it based on the fact that she’s heard Pratchett compared to Douglas Addams, but I’m not seeing too much comparison. Pratchett is funny, though. I look forward to getting to future books!
Yes, I suppose I have been assimilated!
I’m a completionist, so I always start with the beginning of a series, but I still advise people not to judge Discworld until about Mort or so. Though you could probably also start with Small Gods, or maybe the Young Adult books (though Tiffany Aching would lose a bit from not having already met Granny Weatherwax).
I definitely need to read this freaking series. I am in love with Douglas Adams’s intellectual goofy style, and I hear that Pratchett is very similar.
I don’t know what I’m waiting for, really. Lazy…
Good Lord, 600 books? Like, the real books, not just previews? That’s one hell of a gift!
One of us, one of us…
If you are liking it now, you are going to go over the edge when the books start to get…good.
Might as well bookmark L-Space right now. You will be referencing it often in the weeks and months to come.
Why must you tempt me so?
I’ve tried twice and failed to get into it. The first time I read Colour of Magic.
The second time I read Mort.
Both times I failed to get intrigued, but I am sure the Dope must be correct. It must be a good series.
Try Guards! Guards! or Wyrd Sisters. Those are the two I use to hook students on the place.
No, really, try him. I never read anything with magic and elves and such in it, but I’d heard such good things here, I tried. Really fun reads.
Mort get touted as the point where Pratchett finally becomes Pratchett, and I can see the argument for that: it’s where he first starts employing some of the tropes and themes that would later define him as an author, ones which are largely absent from the earlier books. But I don’t think, in Mort, he’s quite figured out how to employ them. I’ve always found it an unsatisfying read, in some ways more so than in Colour of Magic and the other early novels. It’s almost more off-putting to read a book that misuses these elements, as opposed to one in which they are simply absent. On the other hand, I think this is also the first book where Pratchett was really trying to stretch himself as an author, whereas the original Discwold novels are largely indistinguishable from others in the “wacky fantasy novel” genre, almost none of which are worthwhile. They might as well have been written by Esther Freisner. Mort, at least, is trying - an admirable failure, as opposed to a comfortable mediocrity.
As silenus suggests, Guards! Guards! or Wyrd Sisters are where he really starts putting it together. They still have their rough edges, but if you don’t care for either of them, odds are pretty good that Pratchett simply isn’t for you. Small Gods is where I consider the series fully matured, although I may be biased: it’s the first Discworld novel I ever read.
(Actually, I tend to think of Pyramids as the first “real” Discworld novel, but my understanding it that I’m in a definite minority in even liking that one, so I don’t tend to pimp it out too much in these threads.)
Small Gods or Night Watch.
Everyone’s got their favorites, but the style of…well, not his writing really, but sometimes the subject matter is rather different from book to book, and I definitely like the Night Watch books above all the others, so…keep trying, I beg.
I really suggest Night Watch. It’s genuinely a really good novel, even apart from it being Discfan catnip.
I’m trying to read it but I’m a complete noob to the fantasy genre and am having trouble keep the names straight. Rincewind? Magrat? Is there nobody in this world named “Steve?”
You people! You will eventually hook me! I know it!
I’ll head off to the library in the next month or so and try…again.
Night Watch is most definitely not the place to start with Pratchett. It loses all of its flavor if you don’t know all of the back-story. Sam Vimes is nothing without his history, and trying to figure it out from NW is impossible.
Night Watch is Literature, but not the place to first experience the Disc.
Small Gods**, OTOH…
“Ibid you already know.” - for Miller.
You suggest somebody who hasn’t read any Discworld books to start with Night Watch? That sounds quite bizarre to me, given its the 29th one and sort of expects the reader to know the characters already. I really like it, but a major part of my enjoyment of it was seeing the people of Ankh-Morpork I already knew in a new light.
If we are arguing about the best way to start reading Pratchett, I’ll add my vote for the books silenus chose, Guards! Guards! and Wyrd Sisters. I started with Guards! Guards! myself 20 years ago, heh.
You want the City Watch Subseries, starting with Guards! Guards! The protagonist is named Sam, and one of the supporting characters is named Fred. Admittedly, the other main characters are named Carrot and Nobby, but what can you do?