[LMB] OT: Pratchett - in defence of early Discworld

Elin B elbju at yahoo.se
Mon Sep 13 08:36:16 BST 2021

It's uncommon, but there are at least some Discworld fans who start out with The Colour of Magic and absolutely love it. 

I'm not one of those people exactly, but I seem to be part of an even smaller group who make a clear distinction between The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. It's the same main characters and The Light Fantastic picks up right after The Colour of Magic ended, but I still think it feels already much more like a cohesive story with more depth and warmth in the characterization, one where you can sense you'll get more out of the book if you know the sources the text parodies but you're not as lost as with The Colour of Magic than if you do. Rincewind and Twoflower are both a lot more sympathetic than in the first book, there's no downer ending that makes you wonder why you even picked it up (never read The Colour of Magic without having The Light Fantastic ready at hand once you reach the end, and it's all very lighthearted and not exactly high literature but it feels like it's *about* something much more than TCOM does. 

All this being said, I don't want to oversell The Light Fantastic either... although it's *more* of a cohesive story than the first book, it's still way less of one than the much more solid books that would eventually appear, and it has continuity problems within itself as Pratchett was clearly more into getting through the rollercoaster of a story than keeping all the minor details straight. 

But I do enjoy it plenty and have read it often. And even with The Colour of Magic, I must say I enjoy it more than I do Pratchett's very last few books like Snuff, Raising Steam, and The Shepherd's Crown. 

I would also like to raise a flag in support of Sourcery, a very underrated early Discworld book that has a lot of heart and wise words. On the other hand I'm less enamoured of Mort,if we're talking early books - I find it unusually rote for a Discworld book.

Den söndag 12 september 2021 19:08:54 CEST, Elizabeth Holden <alzurite at gmail.com> skrev:  
 >>Gwynne: I have to say, if I'm starting a series I like to read them in
>chronology order. And I think some of the books would lose a little if you
>took them out of order.


>> Except that in the case of Sir Terry he did not seem to hit his stride
> until at least _Equal Rites_,

>Making that a good place to start.

> and _The Colour of Magic_ and _The Light
> Fantastic_ might have been written by a different, and FAR less
> brilliant, author. Certainly, I found them to be less interesting and
> enjoyable.

>Yes.  I read on because I trusted my friends who recommended his works. I
>think there's a steady improvement in his writing - and his thinking - for
>a number of years, and then a glorious plateau.
>So we who love the books fear that a newcomer will read The Colour of Magic
>and The Light Fantastic, and wonder what the fuss is about, and not
>That being said, there were books later in the series (or the series of
>series) that I liked less than the others, and some I loved more. It's not
>uneven, but... varied.


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