JGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2069 times:
I just finished reading Terry Pratchett's latest book, "Wintersmith" - it's magnificent, one of his best. He's kind on transitioned the Tiffany Aching series across from the children's series into the adult series, and done a fine job of it too. The characters are beautifully crafted, human, credible - he adds even more depth to his established characters and works in new ones seamlessly. The Nac Mac Feegle (I just know there's a Wee Alcoholic Kirkie in there somewhere) are particularly well drawn, with some unexpected dimensions added to fill out what was perhaps in the past, a one-joke "drunken Scotsmen" appeal.
The plot is one his more "metaphysical" ones, in the "Hogfather" mould, but it's a great story - as usual, not THAT easy to follow, but Pratchett was never one for spoon-feeding the reader, and as usual all the loose ends are never tied up, waiting for the next sequel.
Bottom line - Pratchett is unstoppable, he just keeps getting better. "Thud" was masterful, taking his Guards characters to a new level that I though he couldn't beat when I read "Night Watch". In "Wintersmith", Tiffany Aching and the world of the Chalk have seamed effortlessly into the Witches / Lancre series and the blend is highly satisfactory, with just the right level of quirks and oddity that keep it hilariously funny (watch out for Horace the Lancre Blue !)
Anybody else read it yet ? Thoughts, impressions ? Anybody who hasn't read Terry Pratchett yet, get out there and buy one - he is in my opinion the funniest and most interesting writer in English today, in any genre.
JGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2058 times:
Quoting Banco (Reply 1): Problem he's always had is that he gets dismissed as a sub-Tolkien by those who don't know any better - i.e have never read any.
Sub-Tolkien - that's pretty sad. He writes rings (fnah fnah) round Tolkien, and has imagined a world at least as complex, varied and interesting as Middle Earth - he just hasn't written down all the turgid 10 millions years of back stories in 400 page appendices. You know, I actually wish he would - it'd be brilliant.
I think Tolkien fans have a hard time with Pratchett perhaps because they think the Discworld is a pastiche of Middle Earth, and it so so isn't - there is parody, but he for some reason never directly parodies Tolkien - there's never been a magic ring, or a Gandalf-type wizard (all his wizards are bone idle and not in the least heroic), or a hobbit-like race, or Orcs - and Pratchett's elves are universal symbols of storybook evil, and are relegated to lost parallel worlds. Perhaps that's why Tolkien fans don't like Pratchett, because Tolkien is perhaps the one author of fantasy literature that Pratchett hasn't pasted to the wall.
Quoting Banco (Reply 1): Comparisons to Swift are more apposite, using a fantasy world to turn a satirical spotlight on our own
That's his genius, I think - discovering and describing aspects of the human condition that we don't necessarily acknowledge - the "narrativium" that humans have that makes us create stories to explain the universe, and how those stories take on a life of their own and start to shape the universe in some way.
Intentionally or not, Pratchett is a philosopher of sorts, which adds a depth of interest to his books that others in the "fantasy" genre just haven't managed to capture - not even Tolkien. Tolkien was very clear cut about Good vs Evil, but was never very lucid about what drove characters to be what they were, or how they felt about the sides they'd chosen. Pratchett is much better at that, which is what makes his characters so much more sympathetic.