JGPH1A
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Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:09 pm

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]
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Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:19 pm

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.
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skidmarks
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:44 pm

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.

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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:53 pm

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.
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skidmarks
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:11 pm

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

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Klaus
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:13 pm

WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE TO ASK?
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:14 pm

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.
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Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:16 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):


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

Really? I had you down as Agnes. Big grin
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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:21 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 7):
Agnes.

Agnes - who she ?

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

 biggrin   tombstone 
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skidmarks
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:24 pm

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

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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:26 pm

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]
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Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:29 pm

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.
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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:36 pm

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.
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Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:00 pm

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

I didn't say she was exactly like you...
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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:04 pm

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

Take your dried-frog pills and be quiet, Bursar !
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skidmarks
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:06 pm

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

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Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:06 pm

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 
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MYT332
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:08 pm

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?
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Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:12 pm

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
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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:22 pm

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
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skidmarks
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:29 pm

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 

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MYT332
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:53 pm

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.
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Klaus
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:56 pm

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!!
 
LHMark
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:57 pm

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
 
skidmarks
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:57 pm

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.

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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:35 pm

Quoting LHMARK (Reply 23):
I'm either Hrun the Barbarian

To quote the Discworld Companion - "...practically an academic by Hub standards, in that he can think without moving his lips".  biggrin 
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JJJ
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:15 am

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 the UK without it.

Maskerade was also recently translated to Spanish, I'll also get it as soon as I stop by some bookstore.

Those still thinking Pratchett is nothing more than a Tolk-parody should read (in no porticular order) Mort, Small Gods and Jingo. That should put them in the right path.

As per characters.... Dorfl for me Big grin
 
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:19 am

Quoting JJJ (Reply 26):
Maskerade was also recently translated to Spanish, I'll also get it as soon as I stop by some bookstore.

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 well ? For me this humour is most of the charm of his books, and I'd love to know how it goes down with non-British audiences.
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Pyrex
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:22 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Thread starter):
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.

You are so right. His books can be very addictive.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 3):
(all his wizards are bone idle and not in the least heroic),

Hey, don't you trash-talk Rincewind!

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 4):
Ok then. Which Pratchett character are you then?

I would be a mixture between Carrot Irounfoundersson and Rincewind.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 22):
I WOULD INDEED APPRECIATE IT IF I WOULD NOT HAVE TO COLLECT YOU PIECE BY PIECE. I CANNOT WORK LIKE THIS!!

I WOULD INDEED APPRECIATE IT IF YOU FOUND OUT WHERE YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY IS.
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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:25 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 28):
I WOULD INDEED APPRECIATE IT IF YOU FOUND OUT WHERE YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY IS.

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 No Lock Will Hold !
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skidmarks
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:31 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 29):
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 No Lock Will Hold !

What? Sam Vimes? Big grin

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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:33 am

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 30):
What? Sam Vimes?

I'm sure he's already got your timer out and ready - can't be much sand left in the top  Smile  tombstone 
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Klaus
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:34 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 29):
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 No Lock Will Hold !

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 talk like this - even italics and boldfacing can't really make up for it...  mischievous 
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:36 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 32):
I WILL PROBABLY REVERT TO IMPERSONATING A HUMAN BEING FOR A WHILE AGAIN

Good for you, Bill Door.
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skidmarks
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:38 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 33):
Good for you, Bill Door

Bill Door? I thought it was the Death of Rats Big grin  duck 

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Klaus
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:06 am

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 34):
Bill Door? I thought it was the Death of Rats

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 cellar to check for any overlooked hourglasses submerged in age-old dust and grime...!  mischievous 
 
JJJ
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:05 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 27):
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 well ?

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 accurate translation or one that keeps the humor) and a lot of the background is so very anglo-saxon, but that just adds to the pleasure of finally deciphering it.

In short, the translations are a good read, and sometimes you have no other option, but it's always better to go for the original. Actually, reading the original right after a translation gets you at least a dozen 'Aaahs' as you pick up the bits, well, lost in translation.

[Edited 2006-10-05 19:06:30]
 
Pyrex
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:25 am

Quoting JJJ (Reply 26):
Those still thinking Pratchett is nothing more than a Tolk-parody should read (in no porticular order) Mort, Small Gods and Jingo. That should put them in the right path.

Don't forget "Thiefs of time" - it was my first Discworld novel, nothing Tolkien-esque at all.
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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:29 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 37):
on't forget "Thiefs of time" - it was my first Discworld novel, nothing Tolkien-esque at all.

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, and so is the monk Lu-Tze, so this was an excellent combination.
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Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:54 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 38):
Quoting Pyrex (Reply 37):
on't forget "Thiefs of time" - it was my first Discworld novel, nothing Tolkien-esque at all.

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, and so is the monk Lu-Tze, so this was an excellent combination.

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.
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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:14 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 39):
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.

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't get to re-read them often enough. I can't remember how she died, I remember the ending vaguely but it very "busy" as I recall - lots going on.
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Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:18 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 40):
I can't remember how she died, I remember the ending vaguely but it very "busy" as I recall - lots going on.

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 and out of story lines.
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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:26 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 41):
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 and out of story lines.

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 actually enjoy the Auditors, they're a clever idea for a baddie.
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Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:30 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 42):
But you're right, it would have been entertaining character to have around.

Can you imagine her meeting Colon and Nobby for example? Big grin
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JGPH1A
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:36 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 43):
Can you imagine her meeting Colon and Nobby for example?

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 specific store (I forget the name), is one of the funniest things I've ever read !
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searpqx
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:44 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 27):
Does it travel well ? For me this humour is most of the charm of his books, and I'd love to know how it goes down with non-British audiences.

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 and satire to really get some of the nuances. And I'm sure there are plenty I've missed.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 3):
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.

Well I don't know about rings - I'd say they are both brilliant in their own styles, and to compare the two is to compare Tolstoy to Homer, sure they both wrote stuff that involved wars, but the similarity ends there.
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Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:49 am

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 45):
And I'm sure there are plenty I've missed.

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..."
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
searpqx
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:02 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 46):
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..."

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 trip over, read something (on here especially), etc., and just bust out laughing for apparently no reason as I make the connection.

So votes for favorite book so far?
Mine would be a tie between "Nightwatch" (my first) and "Witches Abroad"
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
skidmarks
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:04 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 42):
I actually enjoy the Auditors, they're a clever idea for a baddie.

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 troops! Big grin

Ah, the Big Wahoonie - don't it make you wish you could live there? Big grin

Andy  old 
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
 
Banco
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RE: Terry Pratchett "Wintersmith" - *****

Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:10 am

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 47):
Mine would be a tie between "Nightwatch" (my first)

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 humour. The books have got progressively bleaker as the series has gone on, and a hell of a lot more political too.

I never really liked Rincewind as a character. Being inept ALL THE TIME dragged a little, so his books are my least favourite of them all. The introduction of Vimes, and his constant manipulation by Vetinari added an entirely new dimension to the Discworld, an extension of the cynicism of the witches.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.

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