A Handful of Pratchett

I try not to buy novels too often, for I seem to go through them like rats through cheese, and then I have no idea what to do with them. So generally I tend to look around for a victim friend, from whom I borrow books, read ’em and return ’em. But recently there has been a lack of paper-back-endowed friends, and I had no access to a proper library, so I went book hunting.

There is this little row of second hand bookstores where you can get a book for approximately 300 to 400 Rs, and so I ransacked a few shops and happened to find very many nearly new Terry Pratchett books. Now I love Terry Pratchett’s work, though I wouldn’t call it strictly fantasy. Rather he writes a caricature of fantasy, like Tolkien taken and twisted almost beyond recognition but done so humorously that you generally burst out laughing at odd moments, and with Crunchy Bits of ethics, politics, activism and feminism sprinkled liberally on top. Initially, it upset me to see fantasy twisted so, but the guy is so bloody brilliant that you cant help loving his Discworld series. He writes in so many different layers. On the outer surface, you have the quite obvious puns, but underneath you find him taking pot shots at systems of belief, historical figures, ideas, and even his characters themselves. You actually have to read them carefully to make sure you don’t miss any of his little jokes. For example, in Soul Music, the dwarf tells the young man that he looks elvish. (dwarves don’t have a good relationship with elves. But since the man was a musician also who played ‘music with rocks in’, he probably looked Elvisish as well)

His books amuse me no end.. Her’s an extract from Thief of Time

Supposing an emperor was persuaded to wear a new suit of clothes whose material was so fine that, to the common eye, the clothes weren’t there. And suppose a little boy pointed out this fact in a loud, clear voice..

Then you have The Story of the Emperor Who Had No Clothes.

But if you knew a bit more, it would be The Story of the Boy Who Got a Well-Deserved Thrashing from His Dad for Being Rude to Royalty, and Was Locked Up.

Or The Story of the Whole Crowd Who Were Rounded Up by the Guards and Told ‘This Didn’t Happen, OK? Does Anyone Want to Argue?’

So, as I was starting to say before I got carried away, I bought 5 books of his. 4 were Discworld novels and one, Strata, was a pre-Discworld novel which I found quite interesting, though not in the same school at the DW novels.

I have finished three of them in four days, am on the fourth right now while also having borrowed Masters at Arms from a victimΒ  friend. Ah! I am in seventh heaven with the Great Om himself! What a wonderful life.. For now..

P.S.

I probably wont lend you any of the books.. Unless you are REALLY nice..

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10 comments
  1. “Oh! It looks like I have been beaten to a Pratchett post right …..” I was going to ask.. πŸ™‚ Anyway try ‘Going Postal’, ‘Small Gods’ (which I think you already have) and ‘Reaper Man’

    (If anyone wants the e-books, I can ‘lend’ them, but u still have to be nice ;))

  2. Azrael said:

    Totally weird, both of us writing about Terry Pratchett the same day. Could there be some magical influence eh? πŸ˜€

  3. janusis said:

    @kulendra
    I just read Small Gods and am saving Going Postal for the end..
    Try Strata, if you want a guess at how Discworld may have come to be..

    You have e-books? *salivates* How nice is nice?

    @Azrael
    I know! I mean what are the chances of both of us writing on the same day.. Have you heard a SNH SNH SNH recently? Or maybe met an old man named Lu Tze recently? πŸ™‚

  4. I love Terry Pratchett! Most people give me blank looks when I try to explain DW books to them so I just tell them read ‘Guards Guards’. That’s one of the easiest TP books to grasp and it’s so damn funny… Good post mate..

  5. I love reading Discworld novels! Small Gods is a classic, as is Nightwatch. Thief of Time was great as well ! Go Lobsang!

  6. janusis said:

    * A minor mistake.. I meant Men at Arms instead of Masters at Arms..

    Also, I have always tried to figure out what Lobsang meant. I mean, you never know when Pratchett has slipped in some pun or reference.. (Like Ronnie Soak)

  7. janusis said:

    Kulendra, you are currently on the top of my really-good-blokes-whom-i-have-never-met list! Thanks a ton for the link dude! You made my month!

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