William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

Discworld reading update

Just finished reading The Light Fantastic. I really enjoyed it.

Apparently it's the only Discworld novel that follows on so directly from a predecessor - in this case, the first Discworld novel published, The Colour of Magic.

Discworld, if you don't know, is a fantasy mega-series written with more than a dollop of humour. I'd call it a comedy, but in some ways that would be a disservice given that we have an awful lot of tripe in the pipelines that passes for "comedy". I think its wittiness is on par with the writing of Douglas Adams, though the styles are distinct.

You can jump in to Discworld almost anywhere you like, but you might as well do what I did and start with The Colour of Magic and follow with The Light Fantastic. From there you have several choices - you can read the third novel Equal Rites, or read the third Rincewind novel - that is, the next novel that follows the central character of the first two novels - that one's called Sourcery. I'm going to read Sourcery. I really like Rincewind. Actually, I like Terry Pratchett's characters more than I like Douglas Adams'. In my opinion, Adams' strength is more in funny ideas. But Pratchett is no slouch in ideas, either. In fact, the notion of The Clacks is what convinced me to start reading the series in the first place.

C of M is a bit too far behind me for me to offer up even a capsule review, but aside from the obvious exclamations like "witty!" and "hilarious!", I will say that is is a bit hampered by its division into vignettes. I greatly preferred the simpler structure of TLF - no formal chapter divisions (so no excuse to put down the book! - not that I looked for one), and there weren't any framed narratives* of the sort that were in C of M.

I don't want to speak too much about the specifics in the books because I'd dampen the delightful feeling you'd otherwise get when you reach their truly sublime moments. I'll just say that I don't think anybody in the English language has made so much out of a camera and a trunk.

Anyway, Discworld: great. And now for a series of posts about the non-fiction I'm reading.

* - I am not the world's biggest fan of framed narratives, at least not when they exist mostly for their own sake. Check out Lord Jim if you would like to experience my favourite worst example of an atrociously laborious framed narrative. (I had to read it for Intro Lit way back in the day. My classmates spoke of burning it.)

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