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Best Discworld books?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Incanus, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

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    I was just wondering if there was something like a consensus as to which books in this series are considered 'best'.

    I did read one about ten years ago, or so, but I didn't like it all that much. Wasn't terrible or anything, just OK. I think I prefer Douglas Adams for this sort of thing.

    So, are there any fan favorites I should know about? Or should I just pick up the first one or two?
     
  2. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    My personal faves, in no particular order:

    Reaper Man
    Hogfather
    Thud!
    the Tiffany Aching quintet (The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight, The Shepherd's Crown)
    The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
    Going Postal
    Making Money
    Snuff
     
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  3. Peat

    Peat Sage

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    Definitely do not pick up the first one or two. They are very different books to the rest of the series and, imo, markedly inferior too. The first bit of that sentence is generally consensus.

    For my money, the Discworld series hits its full magnificence about book 12 as the transformation from fantasy parody to satire in a fantasy land starts to take place.

    General consensus (and my opinion) is that best mini-series in them are the Guard books, which starts with Guards!Guards!, and the Witches books, which starts with Wyrd Sisters. I'd try one of those two first. Some will say the Witches books starts with Equal Rites, but I don't agree. Mort, the start of the Death series, would be another good starting point.

    And Small Gods would be the best stand alone imo - I think there's a general consensus behind that too.
     
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  4. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

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    Hmmmm. The plot thickens, as it were. Thanks for the replies/info.

    So there are mini-series' in the greater series? Maybe standalones would be the way to go.

    It's interesting to note that there is no overlap between Ireth's and Peat's choices. How to decide? I'm not sure. There is one thing though: I'm much more interested in satire than parody.
     
  5. Peat

    Peat Sage

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    Oh yeah. I mean, we're talking about 40 books written in the world.

    I mentioned the mini-series because I know a lot of people like to read in order. If you don't mind about that sort of thing, I wouldn't bother too much. Pretty much all of the Discworld books work as standalones.

    And yeah. You can get some pretty big swings in taste because of all the mini-series. I agree with Ireth on Reaper Man, Hogfather and Thud!, all of which I think are amazeballs to the power of awesome. I think that I would use that description for a solid 15 books in the series though. The Tiffany Aching books and the Moist von Lipwig (Making Money/Going Postal) books, I merely liked a lot. An awful lot. Rabid fanboy over here.

    I think my favourite five Discworlds would be Night Watch, Carpe Jugulum, Small Gods, Hogfather and Jingo. Ask me again tomorrow and I might have changed it again. The Von Lipwig books and The Truth might appeal more if you're more in the mood for satire.
     
  6. La Volpe

    La Volpe Sage

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    To throw my opinion into the pool: My two favourites are Reaperman and Mort.
     
  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Also, his non-Discworld books are generally very good too, from what I've read. Nation is my fave of those. The Carpet People is also good. Dodger is okay, but it doesn't have nearly as much of his standard humor.
     
  8. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

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    Maybe I'll let the used bookstore I live near decide for me: I'll write down a handful of the titles suggested here and then see if any are actually on the shelves.

    The reason I'm interested in this at this time is that I've had a sudden idea for using fantasy to satire various things in society and wanted to brush up on what's been done. I don't think I'd like parodies of the fantasy genre very much, but using it as a vehicle for satire--that's something I can get behind.

    Thanks for all the ideas! (BTW, the one I read and didn't care for all that much was called Soul Music.)
     
  9. psylenda

    psylenda Acolyte

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    My personal favorite is going postal.
     
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  10. Maybe I should read them; I don't typically write satire, but all my best received writing seems to have been satire, so...I've been meaning to read them for a while.
     
  11. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Anything with Sam Vines or Tiffany Aching.
    Captain-Duke Sam Vimes is one of the best characters I have ever read. Tiffany Aching comes a close second [and you get the Nac Mac Feegles as an added bonus].
     
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  12. mrsmig

    mrsmig Dreamer

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    It may just be that you're not a fan of Pratchett's style. Not everyone likes "Brit" humor (Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker series comes to mind, as well as almost everything P.G. Wodehouse wrote). I happen to love it, and have been slowly working my way through the Discworld books in chronological order. My favorite characters are Rincewind, Sam Vimes, Death and especially Granny Weatherwax.
     
  13. Gribba

    Gribba Troubadour

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    As a Douglas Adams worshiper, my favorites are definitely Reaperman and Mort. :p
     
  14. Geo

    Geo Troubadour

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    For me the Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic (that are the first and second of the series and often sold as one volume) are two of the best.

    Personally I also liked Equal Rites and Mort (which in the US was sold as Reaper Man).

    But if you want to truly appreciate the series I would strongly recommend to start with the first two. After that, if you skip a book or three there is no much problem with continuity.

    Now on my personal less favorite, I must mention Moving Pictures (took me forever to finish it).
     
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  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Mort and Reaper Man are two different books, regardless of where they were sold.
     
  16. cydare

    cydare Minstrel

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    It's really hard to choose. I'm constantly reading a Discworld book in between others, and they build on each other wonderfully. My personal favourites today are Night Watch, Going Postal, Small Gods, and Witches Abroad.

    In terms of where to start, I'd recommend 'Guards Guards!' as it seems like the best introduction to the world (followed by Wyrd Sisters perhaps, which shows you a different part of it.) I also think the Watch books are best read in order, not because it's necessary, but because seeing the character growth and the growth of the Watch is great.
     
  17. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I love Brit humor. Douglas Adams, Python, Red Dwarf, Faulty Towers, the Young Ones, even going back to Jane Austen. Can't get into Pratchett.
     
  18. Geo

    Geo Troubadour

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    Hi, then it may be different editions of Mort, because I have an old copy of Mort, one i got years ago, and a much newer copy of Reaper that my brother brought from the US and gave to me, and they are exactly the same book. Minus some colours and behaviours, of course.
     
  19. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    That's bizarre, because Mort as a character never shows up in Reaper Man (at least in my/my mom's copy). They have entirely different plots. Reaper Man deals with Death receiving a lifetimer full of sand and essentially going AWOL while spending it, and the resulting chaos when nothing and no one can die. Mort, iirc, deals with the eponymous character's master/apprentice relationship with Death and his romance with Ysabell.
     
  20. Peat

    Peat Sage

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    They did do some weird things with publishing Pratchett in the US to begin with from what I hear.

    Anyway, I'd encourage reading Pratchett to everyone. He's not for everyone - nobody is - but he is for an awful lot of people and I think incredibly important as a general fantasy author.
     
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