Saturday, October 8, 2016

My favorite Discworld books

What is Discworld?
  It's a series of comic fantasy books by Terry Pratchett, who has said that
  Writing is the most fun you can have with your clothes on
If you write the way he did, maybe so! But for the 99.9999% of us who don't write that way, reading him is almost as good!

Discworld is a world, shaped like a disc (duh) that rides on the back of four elephants, who stand on the shell of A'Tuin, the great sky turtle.

Discworld is a publishing phenomenon, with about 50 million books in print. And it's terrific. 

My favorite Discworld books:

Small Gods - Brutha just wants to tend his melon patch. But then a god appears to him. A small god, desperate for believers, so he doesn't disappear altogether. A god in the shape of a turtle. Marvelous. One of my favorite Discworld novels, and, I think, the first of the series that shows that Pratchett is more than a good and very funny writer, but that he has profound things to say. Spoofs religion and belief and the inquisition and mysticism.

Monstrous Regiment - War has come to Discworld, and it centers on the fundamentalist nation of Borogravia. Polly Perks' brother has enlisted, and she is determined to look for him. So she cuts off her hair and enlists. Spoofs war, fundamentalism and sex roles, while celebrating the power of love and faith.

Going Postal - Moist von Lipwig is a confidence man who has been caught. He's 'rescued' by Lord Vetinari and made Postmaster of Ankh Morpork. Spoofs government service, hacker culture, greed, technology.

Thud - Long ago, the trolls fought the dwarfs in Koom Valley. Now, trouble is brewing again, and it's up to Sam Vimes to fix it, and still get home in time to read "Where's my Cow?" to Sam Jr.

Hogfather - It's Hogswatchnight, the eve of the most joyous holiday of the year, and the Hogfather is missing. It's up to Susan, Death's granddaughter, to sort out the problem, while taking care of her young charges (she's a nanny).

The Truth - The free press is coming to Ankh Morpork, and it's hungry. Spoofs the media, newspapers, photographers (in this one, the photographer is a vampire who crumbles to dust with each flash).

Night Watch - Sam Vimes gets sent back in time to the eve of a street rebellion in Ankh Morpork. Now, the older and wiser Vimes can do some things he couldn't do then, but that might change his own future, or eliminate it.

Guards! Guards! - All the dragons in Ankh-Morpork have been locked away. But there's a key. And someone's opening the door.... Sam Vimes has to get help from his wonderful wife who is an expert on dragons. 
 Men at Arms - Corporal Carrot Ironfoundperson has been promoted. Now, he's got to deal with some mysterious deaths that have something to do with a new weapon called a 'gonne', and a pack of wild dogs is on the loose (led by Big Fido, a mad poodle); at the same time, Edeward d'Eath discovers that Carrot may be the descendant of the last king. Luckily, Carrot has the Ankh Morpork's other watchmen to help him

 Pratchett also wrote the Tiffany Aching novels, also set on Discworld, but sort of separate.  They are "young adult" novels but mostly, I think, young means "not dead yet".  I loved them. 

  1. The Wee Free Men
  2. A Hat Full of Sky
  3. Wintersmith
  4. I Shall Wear Midnight
  5. The Shepherd's Crown

All tell the story of Tiffany Aching. She goes from girlhood to womanhood with many adventures along the way.  Tiffany is a heroine for the ages and for all ages. In the first book, she wants to become a witch because an old woman who lived nearby was killed for being one.  Tiffany is sure that was wrong and wants to stop things like that from happening.

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