Discworld Latecomers Ongoing Discussion (open spoilers)

I’m probably not the only one to be a latecomer to Discworld. I tried about 3 times to get into Discworld and had very little success until I tried again this summer. I kind of want a place to discuss the books that I’ve read and maybe even get advice for which books to read next.

I have other books to read, so I’ll be taking breaks from Discworld often. However, it’s nice to have a place to come back to and discuss.

Anyone is welcome and Discworld isn’t, at least to me, very spoiler sensitive, so we can leave it open spoilers.

OK, so what book are you reading now? Thoughts? Favorite parts?

I’ve read the following in the series:

Colour of Magic - My first attempt to read Discworld. Cute, but not a great entry point or a great book. It was OK. 5/10

Mort - I felt the final 20% or so was a miss. I loved the opening 80%, though. I just felt the ending was disappointing compared to the rest. Loved Death, though. I will read a Death novel sometime soon. 7/10

Small Gods - In my top 5 novels of all time. I think it is a masterpiece from beginning to end. Easily the best Discworld book from me so far. 10/10

Guards! Guards! - Really funny. Carrot cracks me up and if you can admire a fictional character, I admire Carrot. Really fun book. I laughed a lot at the dragon summoning parts in the opening as well. I also think this book nails the ending, unlike some other Discworld books. 8/10

Men At Arms - The second guards book. Again, I really enjoyed this one. The Clown Guild was a very funny idea. I loved that the clowns are a depressing group. I mean, it’s true that clowns are not funny and never were. I also think Carrot shines in this book. I was surprised how little Vimes figured into the story. Carrot is clearly the best person I’ve read about in Discworld. I think Pratchett does a great job describing how poeple view Carrot as well. They are mystified at how he…is proud of his work, cares about the city he lives in, and how he lives his life. He’s a leader and a very well described and developed character. 8 or 9/10

I have yet to pick my next book. It will either be:

  • Tiffany Aching - Wee Free Men
  • Feet of Clay
  • Reaper Man

Any recommendations?

I know a lot of people don’t agree with me on this, but I always say read them all, and in order of publication.

I had a nice long summation but my computer ate it. In short:

Don’t read Wee Free Men until you have read a couple of the Witch books. The other two you are considering you have the necessary background to.

Feet of Clay is one of my very favorites of all the Discworld books. I’d be careful, though, of reading too many Watch books in a row. Don’t get me wrong; the Watch books are actually the best that Discworld has to offer. However, if you read the best first, you might not be interested in the rest, and you’ll miss out on some good stuff.

For that reason alone, I say give Reaper Man a read first.

Not a problem. Night Watch isn’t on his list. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, the Tiffany Aching books are best read after you’ve read a couple of the Witches’ books. Reaper Man’s a good Death book, as well as a good Wizards’ book to boot. That’d be my suggestion (but then, it’s in my own top 5, so :wink: )

I know he said “open spoilers”, but we really shouldn’t discuss the spoilers in Shepard’s Crown.

(I know how that feels–for some reason the epub of that wasn’t readable on my ebook reader. No automatic conversions in Calibre worked, so I had to export it to RTF and reformat the whole damn thing into a new epub–and in the process, accidentally read the big-ass spoiler.)

Agreed. That one is…difficult.

I don’t really agree that reading the Tiffany Aching books should be preceeded by Witch books. You can if you want, but I don’t really think it’s a great benefit. Also, the Witch Books are kinda all over the place, especially if you count Equal Rites, so if you want to make that recommendation, I’d get more specific.

I DO agree that you might not want to binge-read Watch books, because then you’ll run out. Feet of Clay is FANTASTIC, so it might be worth diversifying a bit. All that said, I think the Ankh Morpork books are worth reading in order. Because while they don’t require anything from the previous books, they do often build upon them.

So yeah, go read The Wee Free Men (Note: While you should absolutely read it first, it is in no way the best Tiffany book) or Reaper Man, or Monstrous Regiment (Which I liked, I dunno why there’s so much complaint about it) or uh… I dunno, Lords and Ladies or Hogfather or something (I am firmly of the belief that the best Discworld books are in The Middle).

Ditto, ditto, a thousand times ditto.

And I also add The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, which is touted as a young adult book, but in my mind, it’s beautiful and heart breaking.

No and no. Lords and Ladies makes absolutely zero sense out of context. If you don’t know the coven, the whole impact of the book is lost. So Witches Abroad needs to be read first. Same same for Hogfather. If you don’t know DEATH, the book loses most of its charm. It really needs Soul Music as a lead in.

Publication order really is the best bet here.

Personally, I always read any series in publication order. But I will say that I think that Hogfather was the best DEATH book.

Reaper Man is significantly better than Mort (with Soul Music somewhere in between), but all three of them suffer a bit from covering territory that’s too similar. And Soul Music also suffers from its similarity to Moving Pictures.

Witches Abroad is actually the second book about the Lancre coven of witches, and the plot doesn’t have much to do with that of Lords and Ladies. I’d say it’s far more important to have read Wyrd Sisters first, which is the first coven book and also sets up some story elements that are important in Lords and Ladies.

The Granny Weatherwax character (but not the other witches) first appears before Wyrd Sisters in Equal Rites. It may be better to read that one before the other witch books if only so the reader isn’t thinking “Hey, where’s Nanny Ogg?” the whole time, but in terms of plot it has minimal impact on the later books…until the final Discworld book, The Shepherd’s Crown. Equal Rites should definitely be read before that, or you’ll be very confused.

The OP is already familiar with Death from Mort, but I think Hogfather is probably less effective if you’re not familiar with Susan. So I agree that Soul Music (in which Susan is introduced) should precede Hogfather, although I do think Hogfather is the better book.

My recommendation is read Small Gods. If you like it, start from the beginning with the understanding that it gets better fast.

I have read it. It was on my list.

Hopefully you will get to Night Watch soon, which is definitely in my top three Discworld books. I started with that one (by accident rather than design,) and it really strongly hooked me. It’s got a lot to speak to in the frustrations and responses to frustration found in modern life.

Not me. I think Hogfather is second-rate, only redeemed by the Susan plot, while Soul Music is a classic.

“Scum,” said Crash, his voice low with resigned menace, “you’ve bought a leopard, haven’t you?”

I was also late to Mr. Pratchett. Books about a Disc World? With magic and elves and shit? NO thank you.

Seriously, thank you SDMB for the threads. I picked up Lords and Ladies at the library (wasn’t going to spend my money on this silly stuff).

And I was hooked.

Terry Pratchett become one of my very, very beloved authors. I doled out the books slowly; I didn’t want to rush through and have nothing left. When I found out about The Diagnosis, I slowed even more. I am still, now, in the situation of having books left to read. And one day, there will be no more Terry Pratchett that I haven’t read. Another sad day.

But oh, the re-reading…

I kind of disagree. It was the first Pratchett I read, and it hooked me. A re-read (oh, how they stand up to a re-read!) might be a different experience, but for just diving in, Lords and Ladies worked for me.

Nitpick: It’s actually in I Shall Wear Midnight that it becomes relevant. But yeah, before that, it sort of feels like it’s in a completely different continuity from the others.