Thursday, August 19, 2004

Temporarily sated

I have finished binging on Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld novels. My verdict: great stuff! Highly addictive! Just as well there aren't lots more of them! My criticism: there's a big gap between the best ones and the average ones. Here are my sub-thoughts (and a record for myself of which ones I still need to get hold of):

The Color of Magic (slight in comparison to good later ones)
The Light Fantastic (similar)
Equal Rites (haven't read)
Small Gods (OK, things really pick up here: this one's really funny)
Lord and Ladies (haven't read)
Men at Arms (haven't read)
Soul Music (the character of Susan Sto Helit is introduced; Death takes a leading role; "Music with Stones" aka rock n roll is invented; really very funny)
Interesting Times (my least favorite; surely the China-as-Counterweight-Continent humor is rather awful?)
Maskerade (witches, Phantom at the Opera, etc.; OK, not great)
Feet of Clay (haven't read)
Hogfather (my favorite! this one is hilarious, and Susan has become a bossy governess--I strongly identify with this character...)
Jingo (haven't reaD)
The Last Continent (initially feared this would be equivalent to Interesting Times, only for Australia instead of China; however it turned out to be hilariously funny; excellent academic satire and lots of jokes about evolution; also, Rincewind accidentally invents Marmite; read this novel if you like beer and kangaroos or if you have ever read Dawkins, Pinker, Diamond et al.)
Carpe Jugulum (vampires, witches; not bad, not as good as others)
Pyramid (my other least favorite, set in ancient Egypt; some good moments, but not as appealing as others, despite more details about the Assassins' Guild)
Thief of Time (not bad, Susan reappears)
Fifth Elephant (haven't read)
Last Hero (haven't read)
Night Watch (very fun--time travel again--cimmunity policing!)
The Truth (funny journalism satire)
Monstrous Regiment ("Don't Ask, Don't Tell")
The Wee Free Men (young adult; my VERY FAVORITE! although Tiffany is clearly a psychic double for Susan)

Anyway it was all very enjoyable tho I can see I am really a madwoman when it comes to novels. I particularly enjoyed the "it's similar but it's different" thing (sorry, inarticulate today) because it has points in common with what I've just done in my first dynamite novel. And some of the humorous lines are just unbeatable. (Good Omens isn't on this list, but it's really wonderful--almost better I think than any of these--because Pratchett and Neil Gaiman have this insane synergy where it brings out the very very best in both of them--and they are both so good already...) I think I do sort of prefer young adult fantasy and comic fantasy; Diana Wynne Jones, for instance, is just a little bit more my cup of tea than TP. However, I highly recommend these books....


  1. You're missing two books on your list. Mort (which I found very very funny) and Sourcery (which I recently finished...not as funny as Mort).

  2. Thanks, Pirate A! I got the list from the publisher's thing at the back of THE COLOR OF MAGIC, and I could see even from what I had that I was missing ones published by whatever that publisher was... Sorry, I am curiously oblivious as to who publishes what. But I appreciate the tip and will make sure to add this to my list of what to look out for.