revered authors

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Mar 14 14:18:56 EST 2002


On Thu, 14 Mar 2002 15:46:25 +0000, Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk wrote:

>OK, I seem to have a couple of minutes free in which to write my revered authors
>contribution.
>
>I'm going to ignore the guidelines, I'm afraid, because I don't think my list
>makes sense with them in place.

Cheater.  :)  I'm sending a stormtrooper to your house to enforce The Rules.
If you hear something pounding on the door, don't bother opening it.

>On the subject of other people's revered authors, Pratchett seems to come up a
>lot.  I was put off Pratchett when my brother discovered the Discworld books as
>a teenager, and started re-telling episodes over the dinner table.

That *would* be very off-putting.  Part of the humor is the visual element
of the typesetting and dialects.  Death, for example, has a particular way
that his words are always represented, and in later books (where it's
assumed the reader knows that convention) you will find brief scenes
including him that don't mention his name or description, relying only on
the typeface to clue you in.  (My favorite one is in _Men at Arms_ and it's
exactly three lines long.)

>  Finding
>extracts in books of short stories didn't help.  However, I read "The Dark Side
>of the Sun" the other day, and did enjoy it.  It reads so like early Piers
>Anthony, though, that once or twice I found myself thinking it was actually by
>PA.  So I may try Good Omens (I've never read any Gaiman), but I fear that I
>shan't enjoy the Discworld books now that I'm no longer a Xanth fan :-)

Well...since _Dark Side_ *is* an early work, it's not going to give you a
fair idea of what his recent work is like.  It was written in the
mid-seventies, I think.

I enjoy the Discworld books precisely because I'm no longer a Xanth fan.
_Good Omens_ is wonderful because you can sort of see the influences of both
authors there.  If you want to try a Discworld book, don't start from the
beginning of the series.  Try _Mort_ and _Reaper Man_ first, or _Wyrd
Sisters_ and _Witches Abroad_, or _Guards! Guards!_ and _Men at Arms_. I
really don't like the first three much at all, and I do own all the books.

Melissa Proffitt
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