Have you read any Pratchett? Have you any idea who he is? Do you like books? If you answered yes to ANY of those previous questions then this post is probably right up your alley.
For those of you who only answered yes to the third question (and maybe a soft yeah for the second), here the skinny….
Terry Pratchett is a fantastic, hilarious, and wonderfully gifted writer. His works are based mainly in the realm of fantasy, but with a clever twist. It’s fantasy that almost knows its fantasy. And by almost, I mean every aspect of his writing has a sort of tongue-in-cheek knowing thats juuuuuusssst about to break the fourth wall but never does.
His books (most of them) take place on a fictional world called “The Disc”. And yup, you guessed it, it’s a flat world, sitting on the backs of four titanic elephants, and they stand on the back of… uh huh, a monstrously gigantic turtle that “swims” through space.
Most of the action in many of his stories take place in the Disc’s largest (most corrupt) city of Ankh-Morpork. Its kind of a steampunk mash-up of industrial revolution London, meets NYC, with a dash of Imperial Rome for a hint of spice, flavor, and Tyranny…. The Morpork books follow the exploits of (formerly) drunken Night Watch Commander, His Grace, Sir Samuel Vimes. He leads his ragtag bunch of misfit watchmen from ignoble ignorance, kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat, making them the pride of an ailing city. All the while battling a sardonic, and macabre sense of wit and charm! If you like this kind of reading, I suggest you start right at the beginning with the first Night Watch book called: Guards! Guards!
If city watchmen aren’t your cup of tea, take off for the Ramtop Mountains to the tiny (very tiny) kingdom of Lancre,where Granny Weatherwax, and ancient, powerful, and grumpy witch leads a coven of sisters who protect their tiny patch of land with the best of their dry thoughtful abilities. Granny is joined by the irreverent and frighteningly promiscuous Nanny Ogg, and the Wet-Hen but good hearted maiden-witch Magrat. The witch books have about 7 entries (like the Night Watch books) so theres plenty of material to keep you happy and reading for quite awhile. Start with the first witch book: Wyrd Sisters.
Pratchett blends an amazing sense of wit, clever repartee, and just enough of our own reality to make the books exciting, relatable, and sometimes (sorry to use the phrase) laugh out loud funny! If you don’t fall in love with the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, Leonard of Quirm, Sam Vimes, or at least Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler… well maybe theres no hope for you at all.
If you like what you’ve read, check out Pratchett! Oh yeah, and his newest Disc novel comes out next week in hardcover: Raising Steam! Enjoy the Disc! Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You!!!!!!