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Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****  
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1458 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.

[Edited 2006-10-05 11:10:43]

56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1452 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Thread starter):
in my opinion the funniest and most interesting writer in English today, in any genre

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.

Comparisons to Swift are more apposite, using a fantasy world to turn a satirical spotlight on our own. But unfortunately, a lot of people will always equate high sales to trash writing. Ridiculous.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1449 times:

JG, don't you DARE say any more!! I won't get to read this until Christmas Day - I am specifically forbidden to buy, look or hear about this book until then!!

Can you guess what my Christmas Present will be this year! Big grin

And Pratchett rools! Having had a couple of books signed by the man I am firmly on the side that says he's a genius.

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1447 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.


User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1435 times:

Ok then. Which Pratchett character are you then? I see myself as a Rincewind sort. Big grin

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21522 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1433 times:

WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE TO ASK?

User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1433 times:

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 4):
Ok then. Which Pratchett character are you then? I see myself as a Rincewind sort.

I picture you more as Foul Ole Ron  Smile

I'm definitely the Patrician. Or maybe Seriph of Al-Khali.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1431 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):


I'm definitely the Patrician. Or maybe Seriph of Al-Khali.

Really? I had you down as Agnes. Big grin



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1427 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 7):
Agnes.

Agnes - who she ?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE TO ASK?

 biggrin   tombstone 


User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1425 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
I'm definitely the Patrician. Or maybe Seriph of Al-Khali.

Sorry, far too portly for the Patrician. Has to be the Seriph then Big grin

ANCFlyer as Sam Vimes? Big grin

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
I picture you more as Foul Ole Ron

If I'm Foul Ole Ron, you'd have to be Coffin Henry! Big grin

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1426 times:

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 9):
ANCFlyer as Sam Vimes?

Absolutely - he has the right level of bitterness and cynicism  

Oh, and Kirkie has to be Corporal Knobbs.

And Banco = The Bursar.

Cornish = Nanny Ogg (aka 'a disgusting old baggage')  biggrin 

[Edited 2006-10-05 12:28:03]

User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1424 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 8):
Quoting Banco (Reply 7):
Agnes.

Agnes - who she ?

Oh come now, call yourself a fan? Agnes/Perdita. Work out the insult, old chap.  Wink

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 10):
And Banco = The Bursar.

Wibble.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1419 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 11):
Oh come now, call yourself a fan? Agnes/Perdita. Work out the insult, old chap

Sorry, gotcha - should have said Agnes Nitt. Anyway it's not an insult - she has a lovely personality, and really good hair.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1411 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 12):
she has a lovely personality, and really good hair.

I didn't say she was exactly like you...



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1411 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 13):
I didn't say she was exactly like you...

Take your dried-frog pills and be quiet, Bursar !


User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1409 times:

Have you thought that many of our European and American readers may not have the faintest idea what we are burbling on about?  Big grin

Definately kirkie for Nobbs. And Aerowesty for Otto Chriek (or whatever his name is) the photographer Vampire chappy. Big grin

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1409 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 14):
Take your dried-frog pills and be quiet, Bursar !

Yes, I do wonder about that bit. After all, eating frogs is something common in....France. Where you are. Hmmm.  scratchchin 



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineMyt332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9113 posts, RR: 70
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1409 times:

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 15):
Definately kirkie for Nobbs. And Aerowesty for Otto Chriek (or whatever his name is) the photographer Vampire chappy

Surely you've got those two in the wrong order?



One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1404 times:

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 15):
Definately kirkie for Nobbs. And Aerowesty for Otto Chriek (or whatever his name is) the photographer Vampire chappy.

And Skidmarks would have to be Reg.  Wink



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1402 times:

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 15):
Have you thought that many of our European and American readers may not have the faintest idea what we are burbling on about?

No change there then !

Actually, you do see Pratchett books for sale in the US - the covers are different though. I'm sure he has a North American fan base too. And I'm sure the books have been translated.

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 15):
And Aerowesty for Otto Chriek (or whatever his name is) the photographer Vampire chappy.

No no - Aerowesty is Mrs Palm.

MYT332 = Eric


User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1392 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 19):
MYT332 = Eric

 rotfl   rotfl 

Quoting Banco (Reply 18):
And Skidmarks would have to be Reg.

I am NOT dead and I dont have bits falling off!!  tongue 

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineMyt332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9113 posts, RR: 70
Reply 21, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1384 times:

If I knew who Eric was I'd reply with a good come back but alas all I can do is this:

Shut up you  grumpy   old  gits!

Sorry, it was very Gkirk esque.



One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21522 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1383 times:

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 20):
I am NOT dead

NOT ENTIRELY, AT LEAST.

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 20):
and I dont have bits falling off!!

I WOULD INDEED APPRECIATE IT IF I WOULD NOT HAVE TO COLLECT YOU PIECE BY PIECE. I CANNOT WORK LIKE THIS!!


User currently offlineLHMARK From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 46
Reply 23, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1382 times:

Personally, I'm either Hrun the Barbarian or the Bursar.


"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 24, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1382 times:

Quoting Myt332 (Reply 21):
If I knew who Eric was I'd reply with a good come back but alas all I can do is this:

Eric is a spotty youth who thinks he can conjure up demons - but instead ends up with Rincewind, a failed wizard who is adept only at running away.

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
25 Post contains images JGPH1A : To quote the Discworld Companion - "...practically an academic by Hub standards, in that he can think without moving his lips".
26 Post contains images JJJ : I recently finished the excellent Thud! I won't get the chance to buy Wintersmith until November when I'm in London, but I assure you I won't leave th
27 JGPH1A : I've often wondered if Pratchett translates well into other languages. Not so much the words, as the very English sense of humour. Does it travel wel
28 Pyrex : You are so right. His books can be very addictive. Hey, don't you trash-talk Rincewind! I would be a mixture between Carrot Irounfoundersson and Rinc
29 JGPH1A : Be careful how you address the Defeater of Empires, the Swallower of Oceans, the Thief of Years, the Harvester of Mankind, the Assassin Against Whom
30 Post contains images Skidmarks : What? Sam Vimes? Andy
31 Post contains images JGPH1A : I'm sure he's already got your timer out and ready - can't be much sand left in the top
32 Post contains images Klaus : I WILL PROBABLY REVERT TO IMPERSONATING A HUMAN BEING FOR A WHILE AGAIN - PEOPLE ARE SO GULLIBLE ON THE INTERNET! Still, it feels rather weird to tal
33 JGPH1A : Good for you, Bill Door.
34 Post contains images Skidmarks : Bill Door? I thought it was the Death of Rats Andy
35 Post contains images Klaus : I'd go easy on the jokes if I were you - or someone might direct his attention to those particularly dusty and dilapidated shelves in the deepest cel
36 JJJ : The short answer is no, some of the jokes and wordplays are pretty much impossible to translate (most times the translator has to choose between an a
37 Pyrex : Don't forget "Thiefs of time" - it was my first Discworld novel, nothing Tolkien-esque at all.
38 JGPH1A : I love "Thief of Time" - another excellent one, just so imaginative and damn funny as well. I think Susan Sto Helit is one of my favourite characters
39 Banco : Thought it was a pity he killed off the renegade Auditor though. I felt tha character might have had a bit of mileage in it for future books.
40 JGPH1A : This was the "female" Auditor holed up on the art museum, am I right ? I haven't read it in a while, I must re-read it - there are so many now, I don
41 Banco : She decided she wanted to "experience" death. Bit of a cop out, I thought, that. it's been done before. Far better to make her struggle and flit in a
42 JGPH1A : As a theoretically immortal being, she could come back, who knows. But you're right, it would have been entertaining character to have around. I actu
43 Post contains images Banco : Can you imagine her meeting Colon and Nobby for example?
44 JGPH1A : If the chocolate didn't kill her, those two would ! BTW, the description of Ankh-Morpork standard chocolate vs. the deluxe chocolate sold in the spec
45 Searpqx : As a US fan (fanatic) of Pratchett, I'd say most of the humor comes across pretty solid, but it does help to have an appreciation for British humor a
46 Banco : Part of the beauty of trans-atlantic humour is that seomtimes years later you catch a reference and think "So that's what they meant..."
47 Searpqx : I do that constantly. I'm a huge fan of many of the BBC (America) shows, but of course miss many of the current cultural refrences. Then I'll make a
48 Post contains images Skidmarks : I don't think we've seen the last of the auditors. And as for the female one, I am sure she - or a clone - will pop up now and then to titillate the
49 Banco : I did like Nightwatch. It's strange when you go back and read the early books. They're much lighter, and dare I say it, more obvious in terms of the
50 Post contains images Skidmarks : I like Rincewind as he has progressed. He is less drippy and simply determined NEVER to be caught on the hop. Sam Vimes has to be one of my favourite
51 Searpqx : Very much so, the early works were very much simple comedic satire. The refrences were fairly east to spot and it was obvious he was going pretty muc
52 AerorobNZ : Didn't even realise there was a new one, although I have been waiting patiently since Thud came out for the new one. I'll check the bookshop today. I
53 JGPH1A : Regarding all of the above posts, I'd have to agree that Pratchett's real strength is in his characters - all of his central characters have grown so
54 MD11Engineer : Death by chocolade. But I've got to say that I became quite fond of her and I think she could easily become a main character in future books. You rat
55 Post contains images JGPH1A : I'm re-reading "Thief of Time" and came across the specific section to which I was referring - I reproduce it here for the uninitiated, I find it hil
56 Post contains images Skidmarks : Obviously defined by EU inspectors Andy
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