What I've read lately

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Mon Jan 27 14:28:53 EST 2003

Ros wondered...
> A last question to everyone in general (though of course, everyone feel
> to comment on the above!): if you'd never read a single Pratchett, like
> what book would you start with?

I would say it depends to an extent on your tastes, but definitely avoid the
first three! ("The Colour of Magic", "The Light Fantastic" and "Equal

If you like witches and sly digs at NewAgers, go for one of the witch
books - "Wyrd Sisters" is the first, though I'm inclined to think that
"Witches Abroad" (which also plays with most of the classic fairy-tales) is
the best.

If you're into noir-ish detective stories and tales of city life, try one of
the city watch books - "Guards! Guards!" is the first one, and I think my
personal favourite might be the latest one, "Night Watch".

If the idea of a cowardly wizard who runs away from *everything* appeals,
try one of the Rincewind books, but not the first one, which is also the
first Discworld book!  "Interesting Times", which also messes with
stereotypes of China, might be a good one to try - it also includes the
oldest barbarian horde in the world!

Or if you like tales of Death (the anthropomorphic personification), there
are several of those; the first is "Mort", though "Reaper Man" or "Soul
Music" might be better starters.  My own favourite here is "Hogfather",
which also pokes a lot of fun at Christmas traditions and tales.

The Wizards of the Unseen University wander through many of these books and
several others; personally, I feel they appear to best effect in "Hogfather"
(which is one of my all-time favourite Pratchetts) and "Lords and Ladies"
(which is about elves, and plays with "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and is
rather cool too).

Hope that'll help you find something to your taste!

And when you do, check out the Annotated Pratchett File at
http://www.co.uk.lspace.org/books/apf/index.html which explains a lot of the
references he uses in the books, some of which you will have spotted and
some of which will be new to you and give you even more enjoyment!  (Though
the latest half-dozen or so books have no annotations up yet.)

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be
- O. Cromwell

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