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Is Terry Pratchett a Modern Dickens?

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#1    ouija ouija

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:15 AM

Hi there! My usual haunt is 'Fun & Games' but I'm here today looking for Terry Pratchett fans. I want to hear your opinions and share my love of all things T.P. with you, and yes, I DO think he is as colossal as Charles Dickens!

I am not a fan of sci-fi/fantasy generally, and the crazy pics on the covers of the early editions of T.P.'s books put me off them for years ........ I assumed they were aimed at teenage boys! The breakthrough came when I saw 'Hat Full of Sky' advertised(a childrens' book), which attracted me and I bought it. I was completely blown away by T.P.'s writing and read every one of his books, back-to-back, after that.

I have just started 'Snuff', which I am enjoying even though there isn't much humour in it so far. At the back of 'Snuff', two other books are advertised(and there are lengthy excerpts from both), one of which is 'Dodger', T.P.'s latest book, a mystery involving Charles Dickens! The excerpt didn't impress me at all. The other book is 'The Long Earth'(definitely serious science-fiction), which is a collaboration with Stephen Baxter ....... this didn't grab me either. I was wondering what other T.P. fans thought: are these bad moves by T.P., collaborating with someone else(I don't think it's worked before), and also, writing a wholly 'serious' book?

On a lighter note: Which is your favourite T.P. book?
(Mine is 'Going Postal', largely because of the main character: Moist von Lipwig!).

Who(or What!), is your favourite T.P. character?
(I can't choose one, but contenders would be: the Great God OM(in his incarnation as a tortoise), Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler, Capt. Carrot, Rincewind, the three witches, Casanunda(the second greatest lover in the world!) & Capt. Vimes).

Which character would you like to be?
(I would like to be The Luggage(because of it's strength and loyalty and determination), or Moist von Lipwig, who has similar qualities to The Luggage!)

Which character is most like yourself?  
(I think I am a mix of Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax, with echoes of Magrat Garlick :lol:)

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

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#2    Daughter of the Nine Moons

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:17 PM

I think Terry Pratchettis brilliant.

They're weak to fire! - Sugarbear

#3    ouija ouija

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:27 PM

View PostDaughter of the Nine Moons, on 26 September 2012 - 12:17 PM, said:

I think Terry Pratchettis brilliant.

He is, isn't he? Almost 'beyond-words-brilliant'. It wouldn't be an exaggerration to say that his books have helped me through some very tough times.

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#4    Jessica Christ

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:52 PM

View Postouija ouija, on 26 September 2012 - 11:15 AM, said:

Hi there! My usual haunt is 'Fun & Games' but I'm here today looking for Terry Pratchett fans. I want to hear your opinions and share my love of all things T.P. with you, and yes, I DO think he is as colossal as Charles Dickens!

My litmus test on if he is as good a writer as Dickens is if his work will be turned into a screenplay to be shown on PBS's Masterpiece Classic. Maybe one day.


#5    ouija ouija

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:21 PM

View PostChasingtherabbit, on 26 September 2012 - 12:52 PM, said:

My litmus test on if he is as good a writer as Dickens is if his work will be turned into a screenplay to be shown on PBS's Masterpiece Classic. Maybe one day.

Surely the test of a good writer is that his/her writing produces such good pictures in the mind of the reader and produces characters that are so 'real', that a film can only come a poor second to the book. These days it is always assumed that a popular book should be made into a film, but really, some books just can't be bettered. I would say that both Dickens' and Pratchett's writings come into this category ....... they are so good that they can't be improved upon.

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#6    Jessica Christ

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:02 AM

View Postouija ouija, on 26 September 2012 - 08:21 PM, said:



Surely the test of a good writer is that his/her writing produces such good pictures in the mind of the reader and produces characters that are so 'real', that a film can only come a poor second to the book. These days it is always assumed that a popular book should be made into a film, but really, some books just can't be bettered. I would say that both Dickens' and Pratchett's writings come into this category ....... they are so good that they can't be improved upon.

You just insulted PBS's Masterpiece Classic by comparing it to your average Hollywood film adaptation. While I don't disagree with the rest of your opinion above, my litmus test remains in place for me because great films also exist as much as great literature, which you successfully described but keep in mind it does require imagination to enjoy a great book which not everyone has. I don't see it as a suckers choice where one must pick one to degrade the other since both literature and film each have different yet redeeming qualities.

Edited by Chasingtherabbit, 27 September 2012 - 06:52 AM.


#7    ouija ouija

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 04:19 PM

Posted Image

Okay, I'm almost halfway through, and I love it. Not so much humour as in some of T.P.'s books, but none the worse for that. Anyone else read it?

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#8    Abramelin

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 04:53 PM

I absolutely perfectly love Pratchett's books!

I think it wouldn't hurt if I post some quotes for those who have no idea who Pratchett is (I can hardly believe there still are...) :


http://www.lspace.or.../pqf/index.html


The Yen Buddhists are the richest religious sect in the universe. They hold that the accumulation of money is a great evil and a burden to the soul. They therefore, regardless of personal hazard, see it as their unpleasant duty to acquire as much as possible in order to reduce the risk to innocent people.

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad)


His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, "You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

    -- We meet Dydactylos the philosopher (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


"Take it from me, whenever you see a bunch of buggers puttering around talking about truth and beauty and the best way of attacking Ethics, you can bet your sandals it's all because dozens of other poor buggers are doing all the real work around the place."

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


The figures looked more or less human. And they were engaged in religion. You could tell by the knives (it's not murder if you do it for a god).

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Om began to feel the acute depression that steals over every realist in the presence of an optimist.

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


The shortest unit of time in the multiverse is the New York Second, defined as the period of time between the traffic lights turning green and the cab behind you honking.

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies)


In the Beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies)


The place looked as though it had been visited by Gengiz Cohen [footnote: hence the term "wholesale destruction"].

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies)


If the Creator had said, "Let there be light" in Ankh-Morpork, he'd have gotten no further because of all the people saying "What colour?"

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms)


He was said to have the body of a twenty-five year old, although no one knew where he kept it.

    -- The Life and Times of Corporal Nobbs (Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms)


- "It could be a torture chamber or a dungeon or a hideous pit or anything!"
- "It's just a student's bedroom, sergeant."
- "You see?"

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms)


The duke had a mind that ticked like a clock and, like a clock, it regularly went cuckoo.

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)


In fact, no gods anywhere play chess. They prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight to Oblivion; a key to the understanding of all religion is that a god's idea of amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)


What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?"

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Pyramids)



#9    Hasina

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 05:29 PM

I've been meaning to read Pratchett's books but just have never really picked one up. So, I must ask, what would be a good book to read first?

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#10    Abramelin

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 05:45 PM

Many years ago I had only leafed through several of Pratchett's books, but was indecisive about which one to buy first.

Then I entered a second-hand book store and found "The Discworld Companion" by Pratchett and Stephen Briggs.

After that I bought the first one of the series, "The Colour of Magic".


#11    ouija ouija

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for all those quotes, Abramelin. The thing about Pratchett is, there's a quotable-quote on almost every page, isn't there? :lol:

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#12    Abramelin

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 05:49 PM

View Postouija ouija, on 29 September 2012 - 05:46 PM, said:

Thanks for all those quotes, Abramelin. The thing about Pratchett is, there's a quotable-quote on almost every page, isn't there? :lol:

LOL, damn right there is. You chuckle through every page, and roar at least once at about every two pages.


#13    ouija ouija

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:07 PM

View PostHasina, on 29 September 2012 - 05:29 PM, said:

I've been meaning to read Pratchett's books but just have never really picked one up. So, I must ask, what would be a good book to read first?

That's a very tricky question as I don't know you, but, plucking a title out of the air, try 'Small Gods' or maybe 'Thief of Time'. If you don't enjoy it, please try something else as the books cover a wide range of subjects ........ 'Wyrd Sisters' or 'Witches Abroad' are both funny; or perhaps 'Reaper Man', which is more thoughtful. I must admit I didn't enjoy 'The Discworld Companion'. I don't like the books T.P. does in collaboration with someone ....... he gets sort of 'watered down'.

The books fall into several rough groups: those that take place in Ankh-Morpork, Disc World's capital city(usually revolving around the wizards at Unseen University or, Sam Vimes and his fledgling police force; those that take place in a rural setting(usually involving the three witches); those that take place along the rim of Disc World('Moving Pictures', 'Small Gods', 'Pyramids').

Just grab the first one that takes your fancy!

Edited by ouija ouija, 29 September 2012 - 06:22 PM.

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#14    ouija ouija

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:21 PM

Here's a list of T.P.'s books in the order they were published, starting with the first:

1) The Colour of Magic

2) The Light Fantastic

3) Equal Rites

4) Mort

5) Sourcery

6) Wyrd Sisters

7) Pyramids

8) Guards! Guards!

9) Eric

10) Moving Pictures

11) Reaper Man

12) Witches Abroad

13) Small Gods

14) Lords & Ladies

15) Men at Arms

16) Soul Music

17) Interesting Times

18) Maskerade

19) Feet of Clay

20) Hogfather

21) Jingo

22) The Last Continent

23) Carpe Jugulum

24) The Fifth Elephant

25) The Truth

26) Thief of Time

27) The Last Hero

28)

29) Night Watch

30) The Wee Free Men

31) Monstrous Regiment

32) A Hat Full of Sky

33) Going Postal

34) Thud!

35) Wintersmith

36) Making Money

37) Unseen Academicals

38) I Shall Wear Midnight

39) Snuff

Life is all too much ............................................. and not enough.

It is only when you form your question precisely and accurately that you receive the true answer.

#15    Hasina

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:24 PM

View Postouija ouija, on 29 September 2012 - 06:07 PM, said:

That's a very tricky question as I don't know you, but, plucking a title out of the air, try 'Small Gods' or maybe 'Thief of Time'. If you don't enjoy it, please try something else as the books cover a wide range of subjects ........ 'Wyrd Sisters' or 'Witches Abroad' are both funny; or perhaps 'Reaper Man', which is more thoughtful. I must admit I didn't enjoy 'The Discworld Companion'. I don't like the books T.P. does in collaboration with someone ....... he gets sort of 'watered down'.

The books fall into several rough groups: those that take place in Ankh-Morpork, Disc World's capital city(usually revolving around the wizards at Unseen University or, Sam Vimes and his fledgling police force; those that take place in a rural setting(usually involving the three witches); those that take place along the rim of Disc World('Moving Pictures', 'Small Gods', 'Pyramids').

Just grab the first one that takes your fancy!

My problem is, with any book series, I always want to read them chronologically, no matter the order they were published. I probably just need to find that sort of list online, but I'm intrigued to just pick up one of Pratchett's books and just gobble that sucker down with my eye mouths to see if I like the taste.

Posted Image

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