So You Want to Read… is a new monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂
For this month’s edition of So You Want to Read…, I will be featuring Sir Terry Pratchett. He sadly passed away on 12 March 2015 from a rare for of Alzheimer’s that he was diagnosed with back in 2007. He was known for his Discworld novels, which are fantastical, thoughtful, and satirical, though he’s also written a number of non-Discworld novels as well.
Because there are plenty of Discworld novels with one forthcoming (I think we’re sitting at 40 right now, but that could’ve been the count a few years ago), it can be a bit overwhelming to start. Luckily you don’t necessarily have to start with the first novel, The Colour of Magic; Discworld is divided into a number of “series” featuring/following a particular character or theme/storyline. You can check out this guide to know what the reading order is for those storylines and work your way through there. Or you can check out the following recommendations I have on which Discworld novels to check out 😉
- Mort — This is the first of a number of books featuring the character of Death. Death is my favourite charcter from the Discworld novels (and Death of Rats…and the talking raven Quoth…and Death’s manservant, Albert); indeed he is the personification of death and he does start off rather cold and impersonal as you would imagine, but he’s my favourite character because he’s always seeking to understand humanity and what it means to be alive. This can lead to some rather hilarious moments and situations, but he also has some really profound thoughts on a wide range of subjects. Oh, and the premise of this book? Death gets an (human) apprentice 😛
- Guards! Guards! (review) — This is the first of a number of books featuring Sam Vines and the City Guard of Ankh-Morpork, which is the city’s police force. The novel itself follows a plot from a secret brotherhood that wants to overthrow the current government of Ankh-Morpork and sets a dragon out to cause some chaos. It’s down to the City Guard, which is pretty much in shambles at the start of the novel, to uncover the plot and stop the dragon, leading to hilarity all the way. So yeah, hilarious and it features another favourite character, the Patrician Vetinari, the leader of the city 🙂
- Hogfather — This book features Death quite a bit again (Death as…the Hogfather? What in the world?) but also the University of Wizards and an assortment of other characters including the Auditors, who wrecks havoc in Discworld by constantly fidgeting around with reality and eliminating figures and elements because it doesn’t fit into their view of order (I imagine them as Dementors from HP…only these guys talk…). It’s an interesting novel, and feels quite seasonal if you’re looking for something like that.
- Going Postal — A more recent title, this book is the first featuring Moist von Lipwig (yeah, his name, anyway!), a con artist who narrowly avoids hanging when the Patrician (yup, he’s back! And played by Charles Dance in the television adaptation so I can never read anything about the Patrician without conjuring an image of Charles Dance speaking the lines, haha) who presents an offer to him to become the Postmaster of the city. Hijinks ensue as the task is larger than it seems, not to mention some dangers along the way. It’s fun, and the underlying satire and commentary very amusing.
- Good Omens (with Neil Gaiman) — For something outside of Discworld, Sir Terry Pratchett was also known for this novel, co-written with Neil Gaiman, which covers the Apocalypse, the coming of the Four Horsemen, and the attempts of an angel and a demon to stop the end of the world. It’s been a long time since I read the book but I remember finding it rather amusing, albeit a wee bit complicated at times re: Adam’s storyline. Nonetheless, Sir Terry Pratchett’s wit is out in full force in this novel.
I hope this list of books helps if you’re interested in reading some of Sir Terry Pratchett’s novels! What do you think? Have you read any of his books? Which were your favourites and/or ones you’d recommend to first-time readers? He will be greatly missed.