Posts Tagged With: Discworld

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

reaper-man

Synopsis from Amazon:

DEATH IS MISSING – PRESUMED…ER…GONE.

Which leads to the kind of chaos you always get when an important public service is withdrawn.

Meanwhile, on a little farm far, far away, a tall dark stranger is turning out to be really good with a scythe. There’s a harvest to be gathered in…

This is book 11 of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series. The main character is Death. He retires. The Grey Shadows have come and told him his time is u, so he sets off to the Discworld with his horse Binky. He gets a job as a reaper man on a farm, and goes by the name of Bill Door. He works hard, makes friends by being excellent at being awful and plots a way to fight the new Death. Meanwhile, in Ankh-Morpor, there is too much life force around, bringing items to life, and preventing the dead for moving on. This causes mayhem, an attack of trollies, and wizards going mad.

I found this book to be a little bit like the first in the series, The Colour of Magic – enjoyable, but with maybe a little bit too much going on. With so many characters I sometimes struggled to remember who was who, what they doing, and why. That said, there were areas of the book that just had me laughing out loud. Pratchett’s humour is well captured in this book, as is his sense of imagination, I just found there to be too much taking place.

My favourite Discworld character, right from the start, has been Death. He is great with the one-liners, sarcasm and irony. The other character I really enjoyed in this book was the university’s Dean. I laughed so much when he started going around like a gangster, and how his catch-phrase became “Yo!”. I found myself almost crying with laughter at him.

Overall, I enjoyed this book even though there were times when I was unsure as to what was going on. The comedy in the book made up for any complaints I have. Worth reading if you like Pratchett.

7/10

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Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

Synopsis from Google Books:

Discworld’s pesky alchemists are up to their old tricks again. This time, they’ve discovered how to get gold from silver — the silver screen that is. Hearing the siren call of Holy Wood is one Victor Tugelbend, a would-be wizard turned extra. He can’t sing, he can’t dance, but he can handle a sword (sort of), and now he wants to be a star. So does Theda Withel, an ambitious ingénue from a little town (where else?) you’ve probably never heard of.

But the click click of moving pictures isn’t just stirring up dreams inside Discworld. Holy Wood’s magic is drifting out into the boundaries of the universes, where raw realities, the could-have-beens, the might-bes, the never-weres, the wild ideas are beginning to ferment into a really stinky brew. It’s up to Victor and Gaspode the Wonder Dog (a star if ever one was born!) to rein in the chaos and bring order back to a starstruck Discworld. And they’re definitely not ready for their close-up!

This is the tenth book in the Discworld series, and in my opinion, one of the best, alongside Mort, which was hilarious.

In this adventure we see the creation of Moving Pictures, basically films. This is Pratchett’s take on the creation of the movie world. Set in Holy Wood, the alchemists have created something dangerous and enchanting.  People rush to Holy Wood from all over the Discworld to seek fame and fortune – but something is not right. As Victor gets drawn into the fray, him and his co-star Ginger find out the secret danger that is Holy Wood, and with the aid of Laddie and Gaspode, a talking dog, they have to save the day.

This book is incredibly funny. Pratchett is subtle and sly with his humour and mocking of Hollywood. We see the characters chasing fickle dreams and destruction. As ever, the books are engaging and exciting. There was adventure and some heart stopping moments. Pratchett does not fail to catch the imagination and like with the other books I was quickly and easily transported to the Discworld.

As in the other books, Death features. He seems to be the most regular character, and as always he made me laugh. I loved it when he was in the bar drinking, very funny. Gaspode was probably my favourite of the new characters. His dry humour and sarcasm were great reading. There were so many funny characters andstory lines in this book. I loved the troll, Rock and his aim for fame, and the troll Ditritus and how he tried to date Ruby, and I think the funniest part of the book for me was when the senior wizards were sneaking out of the university like naughty students.

This is a great book. I highly recommend it. There is action, film, adventure, love, trolls, dwarfs, talking animals, wizards and Death, alongside fire, hidden cities and Dibler, the man always out to make a fast profit. I can’t think of a complaint for this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

9/10

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Eric by Terry Pratchett

eric

Synopsis:

Eric is the Discworld’s only demonology hacker. The trouble is, he’s not very good at it. All he wants is the usual three wishes: to be immortal, rule the world and have the most beautiful woman fall madly in love with him. The usual stuff. But what he gets is Rincewind, and Rincewind’s Luggage into the bargain. Terry Pratchett’s hilarious take on the Faust legend stars many of the Discworld’s most popular characters in an outrageous adventure that will leave Eric wishing once more – this time, quite fervently, that he’d never been born . . .

This is the ninth book in Pratchett’s Discworld series, and features some of the favourite characters – Rincewind, The Luggage and Death – all of whom are hilarious and tremendously fun to read. They are three of my favourite characters in this series, and I am always happy to read about them. Death with his dry sense of humour makes me laugh every time he is featured in a book, Rincewind and his great philosophy: run away make great reading and the Luggage is legendary – with its sharp teeth and hundreds of legs, scaring even the most fearsome. Highly entertaining.

In the ninth installment of the Discworld adventures we are introduced to Eric – a teenager with an acne problem who tries to conjure up demons. Instead, he realises Rincewind. With a snap of the fingers, they are transported back into the Faust legend, where armies defeat their enemies by the use of a wooden horse. This was an interesting re-write of the legend, and I definitely prefer it with Rincewind as the star! We find ourselves transported off with Rincewind and Eric to see universes created and the problems with Hell, all in one short book.

I enjoyed this book, like all the others I have read, but it isn’t my favourite. I laughed and enjoyed Pratchett’s writing ability and sense of humour. I liked his take on the legend, making it his own. I think the problem with this book was that is wasn’t his own adventure and it wasn’t very long. That said, I did enjoy it and would recommend it as a quick-read Discworld novel.

7/10

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Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

guards-guards

Synopsis:

This is where the dragons went. They lie…not dead, not asleep, but…dormant. And although the space they occupy isn’t like normal space, nevertheless they are packed in tightly. They could put you in mind of a can of sardines, if you thought sardines were huge and scaly. And presumably, somewhere, there’s a key… Guards! Guards! is the eighth Discworld novel – and after this, dragons will never be the same again!

This has become another one of my favourite Discworld books – and the focus is on dragons! The story follows a Guild who summon a dragon to gain the throne, but of course, this back fires when they try to dismiss the dragon. It seems, dragons have minds of their own and don’t like being controlled. So the dragon comes back and claims the throne. And of course, there is fire, fear, little dragons, dwarfs and fights. This book is genius, I really enjoyed it.

I liked Errol, the old, lazy, pet dragon – a cleverly written character. I still like the Librarian, he is funny! I like how people don’t mess with him, genius! And I liked Carrot – an officer of the law who actually arrested people! What an incredible idea! A dwarf, who was too big to dwarf, who killed someone using a metaphor – very funny.

The whole book was highly enjoyable. We haven’t seen dragons since The Colour of Magic, the first Discworld novel, so it was exciting to have them feature so highly in this book. As always, Pratchett is humorous and descriptive. I have no trouble imagining what is happening around me, however fantastic and crazy. I love this series, none have been a disappointment.

9/10

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Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

pyramids

Synopsis:

Being trained by the Assassin’s Guild in Ankh-Morpork did not fit Teppic for the task assigned to him by fate. He inherited the throne of the desert kingdom of Djelibeybi rather earlier than he expected (his father wasn’t too happy about it either), but that was only the beginning of his problems…”Pyramids” (the book of going forth) is the seventh Discworld novel – and the most outrageously funny to date.

This Discworld novel follows Teppic as he trains as an assassin (yep, I thought that was funny too) and then becomes king of the pyramid country that is Djelibeybi (pronouced De- Jelly-Baby, another that made me laugh). The problem beginnings when Teppic has to build a pyramid for his father, something they both think seems a ridiculous idea. The book sees exploding pyramids, crazy priests and gods going mad. And of course, a visit from Death.

So far, this has been the worst Discworld novel in my opinion. I felt it took a little while to get going, and there were some times I found myself tuning out. However, towards the end, the action picks up and it is fair to say the book is exciting and hilarious. It was definitely worth persevering for.

As ever, Pratchett transported me to a different area of the Discworld, and I was happy to go. The descriptions were such that I could clearly picture the area and the characters were as funny as usual. My favourite was probably Teppic’s father, as he watched himself being mummified and listening to him chat to people who couldn’t hear him. His journey of self-discovery in death was very humorous.

Although I eventually enjoyed this book, it has not been my favourite. However, I am eager to get to the next one in the series.

7/10

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The Colour of Magic. – Terry Pratchett.

Synopsis from back of book.

Twoflower was a tourist, the first ever seen on Discworld.

Tourist, Rincewind decided, meant idiot.

***

Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different. Certainly, it refuses to succumb to the quaint notion that the universe are ruled by pure logic and the harmony of numbers.

But just because the Disc is very different doesn’t mean that some things don’t stay the same. It’s very existence is about to be threatened by a strange new blight: the arrival of the first tourist, upon whose survival rests the peace and prosperity of the land. But if the person charged with maintaining that survival in the face of robbers, mercenaries and, well, Death, is a spectacularly inept wizard, a little logic might turn out to be a very good idea…

***

My thoughts.

After never reading a Pratchett book, and while hearing so many things about how people have enjoyed his novels, I decided to give one a go. Because of the amount of novels in the Discworld series, it’s quite hard to know where to begin. So I thought I’d just go for the simple option, start at the begining; The Colour of Magic.

***

At first I found it tricky to get into; the writing style of Pratchett surprised me a lot, and I wasn’t expecting what I got, so I guess it pays to do your homework. After reading on though, I discovered something. Terry Pratchett is a comic genius. He engages his writers in a world of magic and adventure, and weaves a thread of octarine light through time. I’ve been told that this novel isn’t as good as his others in the Discworld series, and if that’s the case, then I’m pleasently surprised.

***

In this, the start of many adventures to come for the Discworld’s occupants, you are offered an exciting journey through space and magic alike. Rincewind is an inept and cowardly wizard who carries in his mind one of the eight spells from the Octavio, The Grimoire, left (accidently) by the Creator after finishing the Discworld. As a result, he is not a very good wizard, as none of the spells will stay in his mind. He has come to the conclusion that they are too scared to stick around for long. Rincewind has the gift of languages and meets Twoflower, the first tourist of the Discworld. Closely followed of course, by the “The Luggage”, a chest that has a mind of its own and follows Twoflower around on hundreds of little legs. Lets not forget about Death, lurking glumly away in the background, swirling his scythe expertly.

***

All sorts of strange events occur around Rincewind and Twoflower. My personal favourite is when they are swept of the edge of the Disc (rim) and rescued by a sea troll, Tethis. Lets just say the pair aren’t short of excitement, by any stretch of the imagination. As Pratchett leads us through a fantastical world filled with gods, dragons and trolls, everything is described so well you could imagine being there.

***

With a brilliant cliff-hanger, I was left wanting the next instalment. So dive in and and take a plunge into Pratchett’s world of magic and adventure. I would recommend it to all fantasy and magic lovers out there.

8/10.

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Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

wyrd-sisters

Synopsis:

Witches are not by nature gregarious, and they certainly don’t have leaders.

Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn’t have.

But even she found that meddling in royal politics was a lot more difficult than certain playwrights would have you believe…

Wyrd Sisters is the sixth novel in the Discworld sequence – the funniest fantasy series ever.

Another Discworld book that I really enjoyed. Pratchett is such a clever, engaging and funny writer. He is fast becoming my favourite author. This story sees the return of Granny Weatherwax as she works to restore the rightful king to the throne, using the eccentricities of a duke, a ghost and a traveling theatre company, and of course, the other two Wyrd Sisters, who were hilarious. I enjoyed the Macbeth references – including blood on the hands, very funny.

This book features Death and his usual humourous antics, including tap dancing, and Granny Weatherwax, a blunt and hilarious woman. I liked the Fool as well, great character.

I really enjoyed this book. My favourite is still Mort but this book was not a let down. I was gripped from the beginning, laughed a lot, and again was transported to the Discworld through Pratchett’s very descriptive and clever writing. I highly recommend this book, and the whole series.

8/10

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The Unseen University Challenge: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Quizbook by David Langford

The Unseen University Challenge: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Quizbook by David Langford
Synopsis:
Questions about figgins, DEATH, mind-destroying footnotes, carnivorous Luggage, quantum butterflies,the magico-numerical significance of what we must always call twice-four or seven-plus-one, and even the precise sex of the Great A’Tuin, the enormous sea-turtle who swims eternally through space bearing (via four elephant middlemen) the Discworld . . . all these and many more will keep fans of fantasy and the Discworld occupied for many happy hours. Each of the faculties of the Discworld’s greatest college of magic, Unseen University, in the heart of that great metropolis Ankh-Morpork, have provided a number of questions – and the answers, in case you don’t know as much about the Discworld and fantasy as you thought you did. However, be assured there is no golden turtle buried somewhere on the Sto Plains for followers of the *hidden* clues to unearth . . . this is just a myth!

Review:
Calling all Discworld fans! Anyone who thinks they know their stuff when it comes to the Discworld should get their gleeful mitts on this dandy little updated quiz book. Containing questions across the scale of easy-peasy to devillishly difficult, it will challenge even the hardiest of Pratchetteers as they test their knowledge of the flatest of fantasy worlds. It’s fun, it’s funny and it’s a must-have addition to anyone who loves the work of Britain’s greatest living fantasy author!

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

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Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

sourcery

Synopsis:

There was an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. And there it should have ended. However (for reasons we’d better not go into), he had seven sons. And then he had an eighth son…a wizard squared…a source of magic…a Sourcerer. Sourcery sees the return of Rincewind and the luggage as the Discworld faces its greatest – and funniest – challenge yet.

Another great book in the Discworld series. Again, not let down. Although I didn’t think this book was as good as Mort, Sourcery is still a good book. It is full of adventure and magic, and humour as we follow Coin, the new sourcer try to take over the world, battled by none other than Rincewind! There are eccentric characters throughout the book, and old favourites, such as Death and The Luggage. I laughed a lot through this book. Pratchett again caught my imagination and I was transported off to the Discworld, and he held me gripped as the Discworld nearly experienced The Apocalypse…

As mentioned, the characters were fantastic. I love Rincewind, and how he survives purely on being scared and running away. Death was full of his usual humour, although this time he was added by War, Famine and Pestilence. I love how Pratchett personifies things such as death and war – unique, and pure brilliance. The Luggage had it’s own storyline too, which I loved. Such a funny object – I want one! And of the new characters, I loved Nigel. Training to be a barbarian through a book was justgenius!

As usual, I was left feeling satisfied and I am now longing for my next installment of the Discworld magic. I am hooked to these books.

8/10

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Mort by Terry Pratchett

mort

Synopsis from back cover:

‘Although the scythe isn’t pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of , say, a peasants’ revolt will know that in skilled hands it is fearsome’ For Mort however, it is about to become one of the tools of his trade. From henceforth, Death is no longer going to be the end, merely the means to an end. He has received an offer he can’t refuse. As Death’s apprentice he’ll have free board, use of the company horse and being dead isn’t compulsory. It’s the dream job until he discovers that it can be a killer on his love life…

Well I think this is my favourite Discworld novel so far! It definitely contains the funniest/most memorable line for me:

Death: “I could murder a curry” – hilarious!

Well this story follows Mort as he becomes Death’s apprentice. Death is still my favourite character, I loved him! He had some great lines, and I laughed so hard at his storyline, and how his character developed.

What I truely loved, was the return of Rinsewind! He too had my laughing! Pratchett definitely did not let me down with this book. Again, his writing kept me gripped, and kept me there in the Discworld.

Of course, this is a love story though, which meant a bit of soppiness – and this I felt ruined the ending a little, but not even for it to completely let me down or ruin the story. Actually in some cases this storyline was quite amusing.

But as I said, this is my favourite so far!

9/10

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