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Topic: Terry Pratchett

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Subject: Terry Pratchett
Date Posted: 10/17/2010 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Mort, by Terry Pratchett, 1987

Apparently, Terry Pratchett has so far published 38 Discworld books, of which this is #4. I had not read any of them before, but this one stands alone pretty well, and does a sufficient introduction of the basic set-up of discworld itself.  Apparently, Death (the character) comes back again in some of the later novels as well.

Here's the cover blurb, which pretty well gives the tone of the novel, without any spoilers: "In this Discworld installment, Death comes to Mort with an offer he can't refuse - especially since being, well, dead isn't compulsory. As Death's apprentice, he'll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won't need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he'd ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life."

Making Money, by Terry Pratchett, 2007

There are a lot of people who love these Discworld books, but I'm afraid I just don't see the attraction. I've only read one other of them - Mort - and I thought it was pretty clever. However, this newer book and it's predecessor, Going Postal, are the only two of the 38 book series nominated for the Nebula award. So I would have expected them to be the best, but I just don't see it. One problem is probably that I have not read Going Postal, and a portion of the humor in this book is really just reminders of past humor, as in "Hey, remember how funny it was when ... happened?" One theory I've heard is that these have been honorary career-based nominations, not justified by the current books themselves. Based just on the two I've now read, I could agree.

If you're going to read this, you really do need to read Going Postal first. For my sake, I don't feel it's worth going back any more.

-Tom Hl.

Date Posted: 11/6/2010 12:56 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 49
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I thought Going Postal was much better than Making Money, personally. If you enjoyed Mort, the others featuring DEATH as a major character are Reaper Man, Soul Music, Hogfather, and Thief of Time.

 

I would suggest that you not worry about the first 3 books--they are the weakest and you can always pick them up later if you are a completist. However, I strongly recommend  you try the City Guard series before giving up on Pratchett, starting with Guards! Guards!

Date Posted: 11/6/2010 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 236
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I'm a huge Pratchett fan and I recommend any featuring the Witches: Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords and Ladies, but the Death ones are great also and the Wizards, and yes the Night Watch- oh heck, I luv 'em all!  Even the weak first ones.  And don't forget Good Omens with Neil Gaiman, has one of the funniest scenes I ever read, when the Four Horsemen are getting together in a pub, LOL.   Sir Terry rocks in my book!   Course being British it's totally my kind of humor.

Cheers, Margaret.   

Date Posted: 12/12/2010 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 697
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He's got Alzheimer's so perhaps they decided to present him with an award while he was able to enjoy it. Maybe along the lines of a lifetime achievement award.   It's pretty sad, really. 

Subject: Alzheimer's !!!!!
Date Posted: 2/10/2011 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,072
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What a shame!  His stuff is sooo good. I guess you have to appreciate puns and irony to really like it, but I do. You also have to be well-read to often understand what he is making fun of.

As a member of the University of Florida faculty for 32 years come this Saturday, one of my favorite lines is from a book where the magic university provost asks the chancellor about something to do with the students.

When the chancellor asks, "What students?", the provost answers, "You know, the students. They come with the university. Like the rats." 

His humor is so good. I first picked up his books while on a trip to Scotland, before they became available here. These are non-Disc World books: the three part series that started with The Truckers, and the stand alone The Carpet People.

Subject: agree to disagree
Date Posted: 2/11/2011 7:48 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Hmm.  Well, I *am* well-read, I do understand Terry Pratchett's references, but I still think his sense of humor is mostly juvenile word-play.  Even given our difference in opinion, and I understand he is loved by many, Making Money was a dud.

-Tom Hl.

Date Posted: 2/12/2011 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2006
Posts: 356
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Probably it depends on your sense of humour (or humor for you Americans). He is English and we have a very different sense of humour to our US counterparts. Some appreciate it, others not so much!

Date Posted: 2/12/2011 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 236
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Too right Emma!  Think Monty Python, Benny Hill, Rowan Atkinson, Douglas Adams to name a few classic examples of "silly" Brit humour.  The thing that most amuses me about Pratchett's characters is that I've actually known people like that.  I think that Pratchett is not as simple as he might appear, his jokes are quite clever really; he is a very astute commentator on modern society, which is often silly.  I just finished The Last Continent and found it hilarious.  But, yes it doesn't appeal to everyone- but no worries eh?  

Cheers, Margaret