Late to the party: Terry Pratchett

Well, I know I’m late to the party. (I understand that Mr Pratchett is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and I know he’s been discussed here many a time before.) I bought Good Omens, and loved it, a few years back, after I’d discovered Neil Gaiman. I picked up “Going Postal”, but couldn’t get into it.

But now… I just finished “Lords and Ladies”, (love the library!) and it was the first book in a long, long time that I couldn’t put down. I read it at home, I read it at lunch, I read it on my coffee breaks. I read it while waiting for condo owners to come fetch their new garage door fobs. I made excuses to go to bed early so I could be alone and read it. It made me laugh out loud (some were kind of groaning laughs, but they were laughs).

But now it’s over. Sadness ensues.

Well, I understand this “Discworld” is a complex thing, but what should I read next? Should I try “Postal” again, or seek out something new? Do they need to be read in order?

Also, thank you, SDMB, for mentioning Pratchett enough that I gave him a try!

I liked Going Postal quite a bit, but I liked Making Money A LOT.

Also, I think the first book (The Colour Of Magic) is great fun, mostly because it doesn’t seem like one story. It’s more like 3 stories strung together, kind of like (what is commonly known in the West as) One Thousand and One Nights.

Personally, I find the Discworld books hit-or-miss. Sometimes I can’t put them down and I’m fascinated by Pratchett’s ability to weave story, humor and pointed social commentary together. And sometimes I’m bored off my arse and I just put the damn thing down. It’s always an adventure to get a Discworld book, that’s for sure.

So yeah, thank Bob for the library!

The Reading Guide

From LL, I’d read Maskerade and Carpe Jugulum, then switch over to the Watch books. Or go back one and read Witches Abroad.

In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.

-- Schrodinger's Moggy explained

Thanks! That Reading Guide is just what the doctor ordered. And I’m going to dig out Going Postal and try it again. And hit the library!

(I’m pining tonight a little bit for more Pratchett to read. Doncha love finding a new author–even late to the party?)

Another thanks for TRG, and yes, it’s always great fun to discover a new author. Last year’s “find” for me was Jim Butcher and his Harry Dresden books. I didn’t care for his other series, but I’ve now read all of the Dresden Files books at least 3 times.

I’m like you in that I loved Good Omens, which prompted me to try Discworld, and I failed the first book I tried. Over the years I’ve tried maybe 10 and finished maybe 6. The only one I can say I really liked was Feet of Clay. I don’t know why, it just clicked with me. It seemed more readable, made more sense, and had a couple lines in it that were actually funny. Or maybe I just read it at the right time, who knows. The others I finished were just ok. The ones I didn’t finish obviously did not grab me at all.

I know there are loose groupings like Magic, Witches, the Watch, Death, etc (I’m probably screwing those up), so find out which books are in the same grouping as Lords and Ladies and start with those.

Lords and Ladies is one of the witch books. The first of the witch books were Equal Rites (sort of, and it doesn’t really seem to be in continuity) and Wyrd Sisters.

I’m partial to the Susan/Death books myself, and wish there were more of them.

I am placing holds like a madwoman!

Thanks, everyone. Definitely leaning toward “witchy” books.

Maskerade was WONDERful, and I say this as someone who’s always been frankly bored by the whole Phantom of the Opera thing.* Maskerade REALLY has the best of the witches in it, I think.
Witches Abroad would be good next, I’d think; same witches :smiley:

I wonder how many people have stumbled upon Pratchett due to Good Omens? I know I did, and apparantly am not the only one! I’ve heard that several times now.

*I truly didn’t even GET that it was a semi-parallel until I was mostly done with it!

Going Postal will be hard going when you don’t have existing familiarity with Ankh Morpork and the way it works, especially the Patrician. I suggest you try a few of the City Watch books first, and then go to The Truth, and then return to Going Postal.

I concur. Start with Guards! Guards! and get a feel for the city. Then you can handle The Truth.

Quite a bit of the humor in later books is based on the general atmosphere set by the earlier books. Knowing the past of some of the characters makes certain comments much funnier. Also, there’s a bit of spoiling involved with certain characters that can be avoided by reading in the proper order.

Okay, shall put “Going Postal” aside for later.

Until my holds are ready at the library, I’m re-reading “Good Omens.” :slight_smile:

When you start reading the Watch novels, take them in order to avoid spoilage and preserve character development. That way Night Watch can have the impact it deserves. Pterry really commits Literature with that one.

You can also check out the past threads of the Discworld Reading Club for discussion and commentary.

Both of them (well, all of the witches books) have Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, but Witches Abroad still has Magrat Garlik, while Maskerade has Agnes Nitt. IIRC, Lords and Ladies is the transition between the two. And Wyrd Sisters is the backstory behind King Verence.

I actually read Going Postal before I read Making Money. It was the 3rd DW book I read. I had no trouble with it, and the allusions to previous events only fueled my need to read more DW.

But then, I’ve kind of got a history of reading things out of order. I read the Dresden Files book all out of order and loved them. I’ve always liked non-linear narratives. YMMV.

Sometimes it takes several readings to appreciate the book. I didn’t like Going Postal when I first read, and now I think it’s hillarious.

Small Gods is a stand-alone, doesn’t require any previous Discworld experience, and is always near–if not at–the very top in the “Your Favorite Discworld Book” polls. I just re-read it for the 4th (or so) time and I’m more awed each time at how good it is.

If you’re liking the Witches, you’ll also like Tiffany Aching–the so-called “Young Adult” novels. Sir Terry (I still love saying that) follows Heinlein’s advice (perhaps it’s just good writing and not actually following advice) on how to write a good young adult book: write the best damned story you can and then make the protagonist a teenager (and then take out all references to sex). They are excellent stories–Wee Free Men is a personal favorite.

Big second! Loved ‘Wee Free Men’, ‘A Hatful of Sky’ and ‘Wintersmith’.