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Terry Pratchett recs?

Hello, I've never read a book written by Terry Pratchett, but I've heard enough about him to be interested. Do you have any good recs? I don't have the time to start on a long series(but if it's REALLY worth it rec anyway! ;D), so does he have some good standalone books?

Thank you very much for any help! :)


( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 6th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
I think pretty much all the Discworld books can be read as stand-alone adventures (or at any rate, I've not read them in anythinglike the intended order and i've never had any problems). I'd say my personal favourite has to be Going Postal and its sequel Making Money.
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the helpful information and recommendation!
(no subject) - albijuli - Jan. 6th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the recs! Now I have something to look out for once the book sales start! :D
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
Almost all of his books are in the Discworld series but they stand alone quite nicely. I like Reaper Man and Guards! Guards! among others. However, if you really want non-series, I suggest Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Neil Gaiman.
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the helpful info and recs!
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
YEEEESSS. Pratchett rocks!

I usually recommend ´newbies´ to start with Reaper Man, which stars one of his most-loved characters, DEATH. But don´t let that put you off. ;)
There´s also Small Gods, which deals with (organised) religion, Moving Pictures, which pokes fun at everything movie related, Soul Music, about ´music with rocks in´ (also features DEATH´s granddaughter - yes, he has one). I also really like The Truth, about the invention of the printing press and newspapers, and the two Moist von Lipwig novels (Going Postal and Making Money) but those are so far into the series that I´d be afraid you´d miss a lot of backstory... but that´s me. :p
Oh, there´s Monstrous Regiment, too, about a girl joining the army dressed as a boy. I liked it, some people don´t.

You could also try the children´s books, which really aren´t kiddy at all. Maurice and his Educated Rodents is pretty fun, about talking animals - except these fight and have their own culture with a developing mythology, and they have to face finding out that this mythology was made up by the Discworld´s equivalent of Beatrix Potter!
The other children´s books are part of the Tiffany Aching series (The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith) about a young girl learning to be a witch and about the world. Ties neatly into the Witches series, so I´d recommend that one too as a somewhat more gentler gateway into the overall series than one of the main series.}}

(Continued in later post.....)
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
(I really should try not to be so longwinded!)

FYI: Discworld has four ´series´ (or, well, five, in a way):
- Witches: about three ´fairy tale witches´ who aren´t fairy tales at all and would do something nasty to you if you suggested so! The most medieval and fantasy in tone, it examines and dissects fairy tales and how sometimes people need to grow out of them and sometimes they need them to live (Granny and her Headology, who in case of monsters in the closet doesn´t point out that monsters don´t exist but gives you a big stick to beat them with!). The Witches series is my second favorite.
- DEATH: about the antropomorfication of DEATH, who lives in a black little cottage on endless black fields (and a field of golden grain). Has a white horse named Binky and loves kittens. His books are mostly about being human and what that entails. DEATH has no idea (he´s never been human) but his job has rubbed off on him: centuries of dealing with humans have made him wonder what makes them tick, and from time to time he tries to find out. Which more or less on one occassion leads him to become the Discworld´s Santa Claus. :p I like the DEATH series but sadly the later ones were pretty overtaken by his granddaughter Susan. Besides, I like DEATH better as a sidecharacter.
- Rincewind: the original series with which it once began. Rincewind is a cowardly Wizzard (as it says on his hat) who tends to run away from things and then end up in adventures he tries to run away from again. The Rincewind series is the most fantasy and jokey, and I´m not overly fond of it, mostly because I´m not overly fond of Rincewind! The Rincewind series tends to overlap with...
- Wizards: the Wizards of Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork, the Disc´s largest city. Usually there´s some magical mishap or the Archchanellor has got something in his head which results in mishaps, and then they have to try and fix it. The Wizards are usually sideplots in the larger series, such as the DEATH or Watch series. They even (well, a few of them) made a memorable appearance in the Witches series. :) I like the Wizards in careful, small doses - they do tend to ´wacky´ things up.
- The Watch: MY FAVOURITE. :D About Ankh-Morpork´s city watch, led by the inimitable (I tried to say amazing, wonderful, awesome, but neither of those really seemed to fit XD) His Grace, Commander Sir Samuel Vimes, Duke of Ankh, Commander of the City Watch and Blackboard Monitor (this last is actually important in one book). Vimes, and all of the characters in the Watch series, goes through an AMAZING character development throughout the series, particularly in the last three books or so. The series starts out as classic noir thrillers (or parodies thereof) but has ended up as insightful, touching reflections on modern life. Book six in the series, Nightwatch, is considered by most fans to be the best of the entire Discworld series (and I agree) although you´re definitely recommended to read the other books first to really get the full impact (trust me, I speak from experience! Read Nightwatch first, then the rest, then Nightwatch again, and the book was totally different). The Watch series is my favourite because of the awesome characters (not just Vimes), because I love Ankh-Morpork where always something weird happens and because I tend to feel that with the Watch series, Pratchett has written some of his most poignant AND funny moments - sometimes on the same page or even in the same scene!
(Sadly, it doesn´t appear that there´ll be many more Watch books, if any, as the concept has been rather dried up and Vimes has gotten too powerful. He can nearly pull strings over the entire Disc, as his Vimes-trained Watchmen tend to find jobs elsewhere - and they´re trained to salute Vimes, and he´s pretty much the most powerful man in the city except for the Patrician. Sad. :()

So, yeah, I wrote a novel. But definitely try the Discworld series, it´s so good!
(no subject) - linda_lupos - Jan. 6th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sthlmsyndrom - Jan. 6th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - polish_pirate - Jan. 6th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - polish_pirate - Jan. 6th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
Depending on how you look at it almost all the Pratchett books are either part of one big series (they're mostly set on the same world, Discworld, and have overlapping characters) or none of them are (there are no complex meta-storylines you need to keep up with, all the books are self contained). That said, there are obviously better ones to read first so you get the references or jokes in later ones. There are also various volumes which form loose sets because they feature the same set of characters, one such being the wizards, another the city guard (police), or the three witches, or death and his grandaughter Susan, etc. Various people like different ones best depending on personal preferences.
I usually recommend for a first one Good Omens(which is a stand alone novel set on earth, not the Discworld like most of the others), or Witches Abroad as an excellent introduction to the Discworld proper, or Small Gods as a Discworld book but with a bit more grit to it. Good Omens is a clever and sweet and funny book about the coming apocalypse. Witches Abroad works its way through all the famous fairy stories with the funny and literary references in abundance, and Small Gods is a sideways look at religious fanatacism and tolerance. You could read any of them and see if you like any one of them enough to try another like it. As you can tell i'm a fan, so probably best to get some alternative advice from someone a little more neutral :-D
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the helpful info and recs, it feels great to know where to start! I'm feeling very impatient for the book sales to start now! :D
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
Discworld books all pretty much stand on thier own two feet, though as the Watch books (those Discworld books where the characters of the Ankh Morpork city watch are featured) go on you do kind of need to have read the previous ones.

I would start with Small Gods or Soul Music.

Also can't recommend Nation highly enough, thought it's not a discworld book.
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your recs! :)
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
Only You Can Save Mankind is his best. and it's the first in a series, so you're safe.

As the others have posted, the Discworld setting has several series within it. I recommend that you don't start with the Rincewind series, as they were the very first and he hadn't gotten his world-building down pat. Mort the first in the Death series is a good place, or Guards, Guards starting the guards series.
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the helpful info and recs! It feels good to know where to start! :D
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
i'd second (or third?) the recommendation for Truckers, Diggers and Wings. Although I think they're supposed to be teenage books, they're really great and give you a good intro to his style and humour etc, without being too long if you really hate it :)
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the recs! :)
Jan. 6th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
I agree with most of the posters that Good Omens is a great read, but I really feel that that atmosphere of the book is significantly different than the rest of Pratchett's work (most probably because it's a collaborative effort). If you really want a feel for the Pratchett world, choose something from the Discworld series.

Again, my faves are the books about the Witches and the Watch, though Carpe Jugulum is pretty neat, too! I think one of my absolute favorites of the Discworld series thus far is Jingo. Gotta love it. heee.
Jan. 10th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the recs! :D
Jan. 6th, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
&hearts Terry Pratchett &hearts

My favourite Discworld novel of all time would have to be Mort, which is in the 'Death' series. From there onwards you'd go onto Reaper Man, Soul Music, Hogfather and Thief of Time.
However I would have to say that Sam Vimes is by far the best character Pratchett has ever written and he's the protagonist of the Watch series, so you'd have to start off with Guards! Guards! and go on to Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo (my fave Watch story), The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch and Thud! Happy reading :)
Jan. 6th, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
I agree with all of this and love your icon.
Jan. 6th, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
Confusing comment was supposed to be helpful.
The Discworld "series" is really a bit of a misnomer as they are a collection of books all set within an alternative reality called (wait for it!) the Discworld. Within the "series" there are a number of standalone books, and sub-series containing the same main characters - ie, the Death series, the Witches series, the Wizards (well, Rincewind anyway) series etc. Each of these sub-series contains about 5-6 books at the most. My favourite of the sub-series is the Watch one, which starts with 'Guards! Guards!'.

Many characters appear in series which don't belong to them (Death for example turns up in every book) as minor characters. This is generally because most stories are set in the same city.
Jan. 10th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Confusing comment was supposed to be helpful.
Thank you for the recs and the really helpful info! :D
Jan. 7th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
Thief of Time is a great place to start in Discworld. Some of the characters were introduced in earlier books, but you don't need to read any of the others first. It's got lots of laugh-out-loud pleasure.

Jan. 10th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the rec! :D
Jan. 7th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
I JUST started reading the Discworld series myself (as per my new year's resolution). If you like Neil Gaiman, then I highly recommend Good Omens, as he wrote it WITH Terry Pratchett, and it is a great book (I started it ages ago, but something came up that prevented me from finishing it at the time).
This is what my friend said to me a few days ago, and I think it can be applied to you, too ;)
"I envy your Discworld virgin status, fun is about to be had!"
Jan. 10th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the rec! I'm really looking forward to getting started now! :D
Jan. 7th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
I am probably like the 8th person to say this to you but Good Omens is excellent. You cant go wrong with that one. As far as discworld I really enjoyed Hogfather, Equal Rites and Monstrous Regiment. and I havent had the chance to read it myself but "Guards, Guards" is like a classic and probably one of the discworld books most everyone likes.
Jan. 7th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Eh, I liked all the rest of Pratchett's stuff, but not Good Omens.
(no subject) - sthlmsyndrom - Jan. 10th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 7th, 2010 04:50 am (UTC)
I'm just starting with Discworld and I am picking and choosing, and not having issues (only just found out about the series). Hogfather is my favorite of the four I've read so far
Jan. 10th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the rec and the helpful info! :D
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