Discworld #7: Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

Read: 26 April, 2012

I felt that it was about time for me to return to Discworld!

In Pyramids, we follow Teppic – the heir of Djelibeybi – as he goes to Ankh-Morpork to study with the assassin’s guild. He’s called home just after passing his final exam because his father has died and it’s now his turn to be king.

Like the rest of the Discworld series, Pyramids is laugh-out-loud-and-then-realize-you’re-on-the-bus-and-die-a-little-inside-with-shame funny. The plot is a little flimsy, but that’s not what I’m coming to Pratchett for anyway. I did also find that Pyramids didn’t have any characters that really stood out. Dios and Ptraci (Tracey?) both had potential, but neither was really sufficiently explored. And, like most Discworld novels, the climactic end is written too visually and doesn’t come across very well – I often find myself skipping through the last 10-20 pages of Pratchett’s novels.

And, of course, I love how dense Discworld novels are with thinking food. Pratchett is a master at bringing up complex issues and ideas in a very simple (and funny!) way.

I don’t think that this would make a good starter novel for someone new to the Discworld universe, but it’s an excellent addition for old fans!

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Discworld #12: Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

Read: 26 April, 2009

A beautiful young servant girl is destined to marry a handsome prince, thanks to her fairy godmother. The ball has been arranged, the gown made, and everything prepared so that Ella can meet her prince charming and live happily ever after.

But there’s a catch. Three witches have come to put a stop to this fairy tale and make sure that Ella never marries the prince. Ella couldn’t be happier!

Terry Pratchett’s twelfth Discworld novel returns to Bad Ass and to the adventures of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat.

There isn’t much to be said about this novel that can’t be said for pretty much any of the other Discworld books. As usually, Pratchett his hilariously funny. I love Granny and Nanny and how they play off each other. The inversion of the classic fairy tale is quite clever as well.

But this isn’t just about fairy tales. A large portion of the novel could better be called a mock-travel narrative, which was very interesting.

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Discworld #13: Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

Read: 23 February, 2009

Things just can’t seem to go right for Brutha, Novice to the Great God Om. First a tortoise starts talking to him, then the head of the Inquisition notices that he exists, and that’s just the start! Terry Pratchett delivers yet another wacky, zany, hilariously funny, and delightfully philosophical episode in the Discworld Series.

POSITIVE: Funny. Really funny. Laugh out loud while in public and make others think you’re adled funny. In Small Gods, Pratchett’s focus is on religion – monotheistic religion in particular. He handles his topic with great care, so that it is irreverent and funny, and yet somehow manages never to come off as insulting. The morals and philosophies of the story are also a treat and the ending, in particular, is absolutely perfect in every way.

NEGATIVES: None. Pratchett frequently falls a little short on his plots and endings, but this book is a shining exception. I don’t get to say this often, but I think that this novel might just be perfect in every way.

Overall, this is a fabulous book and a joy to read from start to finish. I think that Atheists and scientists would most enjoy this read. Fundamentalists and religious conservatives may see themselves too accurately reflected and dislike the book as a result. Even so, I think that a good sense of humour will make this book an enjoyable read regardless of your religious beliefs.

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Discworld #8: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Read: June 2007

Constable Carrot, Captain Vimes, and the rest of the Nightwatch must save Ankh-Morpork from a “noble dragon” that’s taken over the city.

Another great book from the Discworld series. I absolutely loved Captain Vimes. He’s just such a great character and would work perfectly well in a story of his own sans the comedy. The humour is, as usual with Pratchett, laugh-out-loud hilarious.

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Discworld #4: Mort by Terry Pratchett

Read: 2007

Mort was an awkward farm boy with the horticultural talents of a dead starfish. Eager to send him into a trade that might better suit his dispositions, his family agreed to place him in an apprenticeship with Death.

As far as coming of age and first love stories go, this is one of the better ones I’ve read. That’s the major aspect of the Discworld novels I’ve always liked – they are hilarious, but the stories would still be quite good even without the humour.

Like most of the Discworld series, I loved the book right up until the climax. At that point, I usually feel like Pratchett is letting some fumbling inner author take over and I lose interest completely. It’s usually a struggle for me to read the last 10-20 pages.

Overall, though, I highly recommend Mort as well as just about any other Discworld novel for anyone who enjoys comedy, particularly the more word-play witty humour of Britain rather than the slapstick/situational humour of North America.

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