Pratchett

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Tue Nov 18 14:22:31 EST 2003


On Tue, 18 Nov 2003 10:44:41 -0700, Otter Perry wrote:

>> Anyone know if this is a permanent change for Pratchett, away from the light
>> humor toward a more serious story enlivened by humorous moments?  _Night
>> Watch_ was in the same vein, so I wonder....
>
>I think he's been doing that for quite a while.
>The vast opportunities of the Discworld let him write
>any book he wants, and his devoted fans [like me!] are
>perfectly willing to read any book he wants to write.

Don't misunderstand--this is not a complaint.  I don't want him to move
*backward*, for heaven's sake!  He is one of the few writers in existence
who writes both in quantity and quality, and having been the victim of too
many long series that got Really Awful I am grateful for it.  As I said to
Robyn, I am curious about what he's thinking.  I believe it is his gradual
shift from zany humor to more serious themes that has kept him alive as an
author, but I wonder if he planned it that way or if it just happened over
time.

And while I do think he's been dealing in serious themes for a long time, I
see a definite difference in the way he handles them and in the kind of plot
he uses in the most recent two books than in most of the others.  _Jingo_,
for example, is "about" war, but the plot devices are mostly light-hearted,
like Captain Carrot organizing a football game between two teams of
bloody-minded idiots.  You can almost believe that war is a game until
Vimes's Disorganizer starts reading off that list of horrific casualties.
_Night Watch_ is also "about" war, but it's deadly serious from the start;
the people are funny and there are weird happenings, but it's never a joke.
Both are effective plot types; they're just different.

By the way, I had to make Amazon.uk give me a discount on _Monstrous
Regiment_.  It turns out that they only adjust the price if you ordered it
within a month of the price being lowered.  So basically loyal Discworld
customers like me get exactly no reward for pre-ordering months in advance.
I'm going to remember that for next time.

Melissa Proffitt

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