I was in the Burnside store
the other day and I saw a customer do a classic double-take at a book display. What caught her eye? The new Terry Pratchett, Wintersmith
. She picked it up and literally clasped it to her chest, hugging the book. I know how she feels.
I still remember the first Discworld book I read: Mort, which was totally wrong, as it's number four in the series. It was summertime, a hot, unbearable Southern summer and I'd just moved into an apartment without air conditioning. That was bad enough. Then I got poison ivy, over a quarter of my body. So I spent the next two weeks doing almost nothing but reading. My roommates took pity on me and stacked about 20 paperbacks beside my bed. These were books that they didn't mind getting back with calamine lotion stains on them. Lucky for me the stack included the first six books of the Discworld series.
To describe the books, I usually tell people to imagine that Monty Python sat down and wrote fantasy books. The Discworld is an immense, complex world. The Wiki entry on the Discworld is longer than some novels I've read! There are books devoted to the art work, the cooking, and the science of the Discworld. There are maps of the world, too. Newcomers might want to start with the World Mapp. My personal favorite, which hangs in my office, is The Streets of Ankh-Morpork; unfortunately it's on backorder right now.
It's kinda funny ? after 30+ novels in 20+ years, you'd think that maybe he'd be coasting along, but, no, he's getting better and better. Of course you should start with Discworld number one ? The Color of Magic ? but it is one of the weaker ones. I am totally prejudiced but things really start to get good with number eight, Guards! Guards! ? I love Ankh-Morpork and the City Watch.
This latest ? Wintersmith ? is the third in a young adult series. It started with Wee Free Men and continued with A Hat Full of Sky. Tiffany Aching, the hero of those two books is back for a third installment. True to form, I am going back and rereading the first two before I read Wintersmith.
Why should you read Terry Pratchett? Well, do you like memorable characters? Great writing? Jokes, puns, and pratfalls? Social satire? All manner of silliness? Then have I got a book for you!