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Topic: Discworld series?

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Subject: Discworld series?
Date Posted: 11/19/2009 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
Posts: 826
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Here's a question for all fans of Terry Pratchett.

How does The Color of Magic compare to the rest of the Discworld series?

Sadly, I'm really struggling to finish it, and am trying to figure out whether to just give up now or keep going hoping the series will get better. 

Before I get tar and feathered, let me say that I'm not a fan of comedy that comes at the expense of the plot.  I recently read and liked Truckers, but to me that seemed like a different writing style than Color of Magic.  Truckers had a really strong plot, and the jokes tended to add to the plot -- or at least not distract from it.  With Color of Magic, it seems like the only reason the plot exists is so it can vaguely connect one liners and humorous situations.  Don't get me wrong, the one liners are really great, but if that's all I'm going to read the books for, I may as well go read "Wit and Wisdom of Discworld" skip all the filler.

So... do the plots get stronger/more coherent further on in the series, or are they all about the same style as the first one?

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 6:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2009
Posts: 84
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You would probably be better off skipping to the fourth book, Mort

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 9
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I love many of Pratchett's books, and I couldn't finish The Color of Magic either. The Discworld series started out mostly as a parody of fantasy cliches, and that shows in the early books like CoM that don't hold together well as stories. The best Discworld books, in my opinion, are the ones about the city watch. It's best to read those in order: start with Guards! Guards!, which has a great plot and introduces the main characters in a wonderfully engaging way. Then go on to Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, and Night Watch (brilliant and probably the best Discworld book, but don't read it first, because it won't mean as much to you if you don't know the characters already). The most recent watch book is Thud, which I'm not crazy about, but by the time you get that far you'll probably love the characters and want to read it anyway.

My other favorite Discworld books for plot and characterization include the two Moist von Lipwig books (Going Postal and Making Money), The Truth, Reaper Man, and Witches Abroad. In my opinion, anything with Rincewind as a central character is skippable (and I like Rincewind, I just think Pratchett never does anything interesting with him) as are most of the books not set in Ankh-Morpork.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Just skip it and got to the next one in the series.. I read them in order and it helped to get all the inside jokes :)
The series does get better and funnier, the characters really grow on you after while.
CoM and Mort are the only two I struggled through, the rest I giggled happily while reading.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 236
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I agree The Colour (proper British spelling) of Magic is the weakest, but if you are not enjoying it at all, Melanti, maybe it's just not your kind of thing.  Plot is really the least of what's going on in the Pratchett novels - it's the characters, the society, the parody of an institution and the plain silliness of it all!  My favorite characters are Death, the witches, the wizards, the Librarian (Oook!) and Carrot of the Night Watch, oh and the Luggage, but I have to say that Rincewind has grown on me, he improves as "time" goes on.

They are better read in some sort of order, but many are real stand alones, e.g. Small Gods, Pyramids, Hogfather.  I'd try one of those and my personal favourite Weird Sisters - if you don't like them - well there's just no hope for you.  LOL  I do have to admit that being British, it's my kind of humour and for me Sir Terry can do no wrong.

Cheers, Margaret

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
Posts: 826
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Thank you for your input, everyone.   I did manage to finish Colour of Magic, but it took a lot longer than I'd expected it to.

I think I'll skip ahead to one of the books you guys have mentioned and give it another try.

Margaret, it's not that I didn't enjoy it at all.  It's that I didn't enjoy it enough to read another one just like it.

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 360
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Hahahaa. I have to admit, I LOVED the first few books the most. Rincewind was my fave ever. I was sad when Pratchett moved away from him and to other main characters. The only problem with skipping books in the DW series is that events in one affect the plot in others. It is a big, wacky, loosely tied together series :-D 

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 2:04 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 112
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Melanti:  I would have to agree with Candace L.  The books she mentioned are much better on plot, characterization, etc than "Colour of Magic".  I recently went back and read my copy from the mid 80's.  I really enjoyed it back then, now not so much.  Th4e second time around It seemed more like a really long Monty Python routine.  I would add to her list "Thief of Time" and "Reaper Man".  So don't give up on the Discworld.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/28/2009
Posts: 441
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I found discworld through Night Watch (which was disconcerting as a starting book, as many characters had gotten to certain notable arcs already - but only in retrospect!), then read Going Postal - and Color of Magic was difficult for me, too. I did finish it, but really started loving the series by the Wyrd Sisters (the witches are my favorites). I read the whole series this summer start to finish (yee-haw) and highly recommend it...

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 182
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I recently read my first Discworld books - Going Postal and Making Money.  I thoroughly enjoyed Going Postal, but Making Money was just not as good to me, and I was a bit bored with it.  I think I'm with you on the plot thing.   Going Postal had a good story, Making Money was a bit dull in the plot department, and I don't even think the humor was quite as good as its predecessor either.

So my initial impressions of the Discworld series are that it's a mixed bag.  Some of it is really good, and some is really mediocre.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I love Discworld, but some of the threads are better than others. I personally love the Witches books best, followed by Rincewind, the Luggage, etc. and DEATH. I haven't really liked the Night Watch ones much. I'm currently working my way through the whole series, re-reading them in publication order (and reading some of the newer ones for the first time) and really enjoying it. Come to think of it, it's time to get to one of those again soon, it's been a few months.

I have a companion book called "Nanny Ogg's Cookbook" which I thought about breaking out for Thanksgiving, but then I thought maybe...not. LOL


Date Posted: 11/25/2009 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 236
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To continue the topic, check out this website - it's too funny- classic  Pratchett one-liners.


Don't forget the book he did with Neil Gaiman "Good Omens", it has some plot and introduces Death - and his companion Horsemen. ROTFL at that one.


Date Posted: 11/29/2009 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
Posts: 118
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Another easy start for disc world book is Wee Free Men.  It is his take on fairy tales but is technically written as a juvenile.  Guard! Guard is another good one to start with.  Wyrd Sisters is wonderful especially if you were forced to read McBeth as a teenager.  I would suggest trying a few more if you like Monty Python style humor.  

Subject: Making Money
Date Posted: 11/29/2009 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2009
Posts: 45
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I discovered Terry through Monstrous Regiment and loved him. Then I began reading Making Money, and can't finish. I'm going to start it again though, I think it was just because I was reading many different books at the time. 

P.S. I'm looking for a deal on The Hobbit. PM me.

Subject: If you need to fill in your Pratchetts......
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2009
Posts: 129
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I have decided it is time to clear my library of my Pratchetts.  (except for Pyramids which I can't bear to get rid of!)  All gone, thanks!

Last Edited on: 1/5/10 11:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1