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More on Pratchett

on August 1, 2005

I’ll try to cut this so people who aren’t interested can skip it easily. If I can work out how.

So, Pratchett…

Pratchett has written about a million books, most of which are set on the DiscWorld, a flat world (obviously) supported by four elephants and carried through space on the back on a giant turtle. 3 of his books are aimed at kids, but most are for teens or adults – more recent ones seem to be more for adults, as there’s a lot of underlying satire which I’m not sure younger teens would pick up but maybe I underestimate the capabilities of modern British teenagers. I know I wouldn’t have noticed! but my little sister thinks they’re great.

All the books are basically self-contained so you can read them in any order you like, but some things will make a little more sense if you read them in the order they were written in. The books are set in various parts of the Disc, although they tend to overlap at times.
The Witches series are set in the mountainous kingdom of Lancre – the first one in this lot is Equal Rites but I’d start with Wyrd sisters and come back to Equal Rites later. They tend to satirise cultural and literary things like fairytales, Shakespeare, legends about elves… oh and magic, and the opera, which involves the witches but takes place in a different part of the Disc: Ankh-Morpork.

Ankh-Morpork is basically a big Middle-Ages city complete with rich people, dragon-breeders, thieves, ghettoes etc. The main character group here is the Watch – the city police – and the ruler Lord Vetinari. Books set here tend to be about politics to some extent, although there is also one about the cinema (Moving Pictures), one about the media (The Truth), and one about the Post Office. Start the Watch series with Guards!Guards!.

Then we have the Death series – like I said, the books all overlap so the witches crop up in the death books and Death gets involved with the Watch etc… I’m not sure which book you would begin the Death series with, because Death, as you might expect, is kind of omnipresent in the DiscWorld. But if you wanted to read about Death’s family, including his scarily logical grand-daughter (my favourite character), you’d want to start with Mort, and then move on to Soul Music, Hogfather and Thief of Time (my favourite book) in that order. Themes include Rock music, Christmas traditions, and … well, time, along with the advisability of always having a fluffy blanket to hand to deal with bogeymen.

Soul Music also introduces you to the rather hapless Wizards from unseen university, who you can find in the first two DiscWorld books ever written, and in the Last Continent, and popping up through a variety of other books.

Excellent, the cut appeared to work. In other news, I’m going to a BBQ today – it’s Swiss national day so almost everyone in the country has the day off and surprisingly it’s good weather too.

Did anyone see what the “special surprise for Jo” was on the Other Stuff page, that mugglenet was on about? I looked yesterday and couldn’t see anything.


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