Waaaay back in the dark ages, I tried a book by this author Terry Pratchett that I’d been hearing about. He was supposed to be great fun, and very clever.
So, my sister and I found a copy of Equal Rites. We would often share books. We didn’t share tastes exceptionally well, even then I was far more forgiving of hard SF than she ever had been. I didn’t care much for some of the things she liked, especially horror or mystery. But we were both voracious readers, and found that we did share tastes enough that some books were good to consider as combined purchases.
So we tried Equal Rites.
We both finished it.
Which is probably about the most that could be said about the book. Certainly twenty years later, I remember nothing about the book, other than it wasn’t exactly something I ran out to read again. Neither of us found much in the book to lead us to want to read more of this Pratchett dude. However, it didn’t get burned as truly vile books would sometimes be done to save the world from Things Man (or Woman) Was Not Meant to Read.
Since then I have kept hearing that Terry Pratchett, or Pterry as I’ve sometimes heard him called, is a comic genius. And I keep shaking my head, wondering just what people found so thrilling about him.
Now, I grant humor is perhaps the most subjective of all tastes. So I’d like to include a list of some books that I found very pleasing in a humorous vien. And some that I expected to be funny that were… painful. And I’m hoping some kind Dopers will tell me whether I should give this Pterry dude another try.
[li]Robert Asprin’s earlier Myth books (and the original Phule’s Company)[/li][li]Alan Dean Foster’s collections of humorous short fantasy and SF[/li][li]Esther Friesner, both her light fantasy and her Chicks collections[/li][li]Donald Westlake’s Dortmunder books, esp Billy the Kid, and Help, I am Being Held Prisoner[/li][li]Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books, mostly the earlier ones, though.[/li][li]Bulwer-Lytton Contest winners. (Or is that losers?)[/li][/ul]
[li]Craig Shaw Gardener I’ve tried several of his, and while there are funny parts, overall, I end up not caring what happens to the characters. Which is vital for a good novel to meet my standards.[/li][li]Conspiracy of Dunces It was painful to even try to read, and I didn’t finish. [/li][li]Star Wrecked and it’s numerous sequels. Part of it, of course, I never was all that fond of ST:TNG, so some of the jokes went over my head, but also it was too frenetic, I found. [/li][li]Hocus Pocus Actually, a well-written book. However I picked it up after reading the blurbs on the cover about how hilliarious a book it was. Somehow I don’t view irony as being necessarily humorous. It can be, or it can be painful. In this case I found it extremely painful. [/li][/ul]