Terry Pratchett has died

by Henry Farrell on March 12, 2015

Fuck. Although we knew it was coming, and I am glad if he went out (as I am guessing) on his own terms. Guardian obituary here. I’m pretty sure that his books will continue to live, just as PG Wodehouse’s books have continued to live, although they were very different comic writers. Both were liberal in a small-l sense of the word, but Pratchett’s liberalism was very much more worldly. I’ll always have a particular fondness for the enlightened despot, Lord Vetinari and for the model of hydraulic Keynesianism in Making Money. And for the Ramtop Mountains, an antiquated technology joke that has long outlived its original meaning. And the constellation of the Small Boring Group of Faint Stars, which I bored my nine year old with the day before yesterday. And where Rincewind has seen his life flash before his eyes so many times that he can nap during the boring bits. And the gods’ celestial habitation – Dunmanifestin. And Wyrd Sisters, which is perfectly paced as a novel, with particular attention paid to the standing stone that refuses to be counted and the castle (if my memory is correct) designed by an architect who had heard of Gormenghast but didn’t have the budget. And I could keep on going, and going, and going, which is the point.



otto 03.12.15 at 10:27 pm

Very sad. He gave me many moments of delight. The Luggage!


Matt 03.12.15 at 10:52 pm

I was once in a book group that went gaga over the first Harry Potter book. I thought that meant they’d really enjoy Small Gods. I was wrong.

Some of the books I enjoyed in high school make me cringe now. I like his even better as an adult. RIP pterry.


floopmeister 03.12.15 at 11:33 pm

I was once in a book group that went gaga over the first Harry Potter book. I thought that meant they’d really enjoy Small Gods. I was wrong.

Harry Potter enjoyably reaffirms all the conventions and tropes of fantasy. Small Gods subverts them.

I would guess that for many people that subversion is far from pleasurable – or even comfortable.

Favourite Pratchett line:
Said Death to a wizard attempting to escape his clutches: “You’re only postponing the inevitable, you know”
Said the wizard: “That’s the whole point of life.”
Pratchett was one of the few writers (along with Dostoevsky and Nietzsche) who helped me through my cancer and the fear of leaving my partner and children behind.

F*cking sad news.



Akshay 03.12.15 at 11:34 pm

Someone who could be not just laugh-out-loud funny, but laugh-out-loud-till-you-are-out-of-breath-and-keep-giggling-afterwards-at-random-moments-funny. Amazing.

And Matt@2, who but exquisitor Vorbis could possibly dislike Small Gods??? It was the first Discworld novel I ever read and set new standards for hilarity!


Phil 03.12.15 at 11:38 pm

I was once at (not really in) a book group which had picked Woman on the edge of time and The Colour of Magic. Hardly anybody there had read either of them. Somebody gave quite a good account of the Marge Piercy; a couple of people said they couldn’t get on with TCOM. One woman said her teenage son liked Pratchett, and there was general agreement that this must be The Kind Of Thing They Write For People’s Teenage Sons. Somebody said, was it like the Hitchhiker’s Guide, and someone else said they hadn’t got on with that either. I explained rather laboriously – not having thought that it would need any explaining – that in fantasy fiction the settings, the characters and their actions are typically described very very seriously and as if on a heightened plane of existence, and that what Pratchett did (in the early books) was to have his fantasy characters act from very worldly, cynical motives while negotiating this fantasy setting. There was a pause, and then somebody turned to me – literally turned 90 degrees to face me – and said, “And is that the kind of thing you like reading?” I don’t think I’ve spoken to her since.

Pterry meant a lot to me in the earlyish days – up to about Guards! Guards!; I’ve tuned in and out since then. (I mean, I’ve read them all, but they haven’t all grabbed me; I think Thud was the last DW book I really liked, although the callback fest of Raising Steam was quite something.)

This news isn’t entirely unexpected, and it leaves me sadder than I thought I would be. Possibly it’s just because there aren’t many writers by whom I own more than 20 books, and with whom I’ve had personal contact (if only on alt.books.pratchett). I don’t think the books are wonderfully well-written or especially wise – Granny Weatherwax talks a lot of sense, but I don’t trust the part of myself that identifies with Vimes, let alone the part that identifies with Vetinari.

But he had something. There’s a superb joke in Jonathan Coe’s book What a carve-up! (which I won’t spoil for anyone who hasn’t read it) about a review which slates a writer for lacking “the necessary brio”. I think that’s what Pterry always had, and what kept us coming back to him: he had the necessary brio, and more to spare.

Farewell, Sir Pterry. Pat Binkie from me.


Phil 03.12.15 at 11:40 pm

Huh – modded. When you’re ready…


Chaz 03.13.15 at 12:54 am

Sad news. I’ve read a ton of those books. I’m in the middle of Sourcery right now.


Donald A. Coffin 03.13.15 at 1:08 am

And, from Small Gods, the notion that gods are everywhere, but only become powerful when lots of people believe in them (and act on those beliefs).

And the multi-faceted police force.



Doctor Memory 03.13.15 at 1:24 am

Phil: the spam queue here is a capricious beast which does not appear to be fully understood by either the commenters or, frankly, the site owners. Best not to take it personally.


Donald A. Coffin 03.13.15 at 1:33 am

I don’t know where he wrote this, but I copied it down:

“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”


Mr Spoon 03.13.15 at 2:20 am

Serious is not the opposite of funny. Anger is not always a bad thing. It is never too late to be kind, even to frogs.


MPAVictoria 03.13.15 at 3:09 am

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

/RIP Sir Terry


Tom West 03.13.15 at 5:57 am

There are very few comic authors who I felt held a deep and abiding affection for the very folks they were making fun of. Terry Pratchett was one of them, and I loved his writing for it.

That, and the fact that his words could bring me to tears within a paragraph of where I was laughing out loud.


Walt 03.13.15 at 8:12 am

Phil, the spam queue is a capricious god that we all believe in, and you have angered it.


Maria 03.13.15 at 8:40 am

The Luggage, indeed!

The only good thing about being on Twitter this week was yesterday being just awash in people who loved his books and said they’d been so much part of their lives. Amazing to think of one person doing all that.

And reminding me of Iain Banks, Pratchett was everything honest, courageous and unflinchingly funny about humanism in its best forms.


Zamfir 03.13.15 at 8:47 am

I guess I am a whiner, but I was always bothered by the Vimes Boots theory. It’s not literally true, in my experience. Good, expensive boots last longer than cheap boots, but not really so much that you make a profit. At best, you get to wear nicer boots for not as much of an extra cost as the sticker price suggests.

And the same goes for most products: if you consistently buy expensive but long-lasting products, you usually do not come out ahead. For that, you have to figure out the long-lasting, but n0t very expensive items. Or buy the cheap items and stretch them out.

There might something like the Vimes Boots mechanism in reality, but IMO it’s more subtle. More about time, effort, mental stress. It’s extremely valuable if you can just walk into a store, choose some nice boots, pay perhaps a tad too much but you can afford it, and don’t bother about it. Saves your energy for other activities, including money-making.


maidhc 03.13.15 at 10:08 am

I’ve read a lot of his books, but in the last few years I really slowed down because I would hate to be in the position when I had read all of them. I guess I’ll have to dole them out from now on. Ideally I’ll finish the last one just as I keel over.


sanbikinoraion 03.13.15 at 10:22 am

I stopped reading Raising Steam partway through because I couldn’t stand the thought that my partner’s father, who had just died, would have loved it the most of all. Now I don’t want to finish it because once it’s gone, I’ve read the last one.


Trader Joe 03.13.15 at 11:36 am

I’ve always enjoyed Pratchett because, while the stories weren’t always the cleverest or most engaging reads there was nearly a 100% chance that somewhere in the course of reading it you’d find an absolutely killer observation that resonated with you as though it was handed down from an immortal.

One I have stolen and find occassion to repeat regularly is

“Stupid men are often capable of things the clever would not dare to contemplate… ”

which came from Feet of Clay. See if you can go a whole day and not find some truth in that.

A sad bit of news, but fortunately there’s now a good excuse for some re-reading.


Lee A. Arnold 03.13.15 at 12:01 pm

Those hoping to introduce Terry Pratchett to non-readers should take note that he has a speaking part in the British screen production of Hogfather. Pratchett is excellent, and holds his own in a slew of great actors. It makes a perfect, Pratchett-certified introduction into his world, which is our world.


Francis Spufford 03.13.15 at 12:18 pm



dax 03.13.15 at 12:18 pm

This is completely off thread, but I think this issue needs to be raised and warrants its own thread. It seems to me there has been a large rise in a Contributor stopping people from making comments in her (or his) threads only because she (or he) didn’t like one of the person’s comments, in large part because it challenged her (or his) own view a bit too robustly. Are all the Contributors really in phase with this?


Brett Bellmore 03.13.15 at 12:35 pm

While I obviously don’t support such a policy, I have to take the position: His playground, his rules.


hix 03.13.15 at 1:02 pm

Also a fan, i`ve used my first ebook reader almost solely to read through a large Terry Pratchett collection.


MPAVictoria 03.13.15 at 1:14 pm

“I guess I am a whiner, but I was always bothered by the Vimes Boots theory. It’s not literally true, in my experience.”

I take it more generally. Rich people can afford to go to Costco and by their toilet paper in bulk to save money. Poor people go to the local corner store and by it 4 rolls at a time because that is all the money they have to spend on toilet paper. Same goes for food, cars, and so on.

And whether it is true in every instance or not you have to admit that it is a fine piece of writing.

/Dax you want to make the rules go start your own blog. I might even read it ;-).


Neil 03.13.15 at 1:15 pm


Barry 03.13.15 at 1:26 pm

Zamfir 03.13.15 at 8:47 am

“I guess I am a whiner, but I was always bothered by the Vimes Boots theory. It’s not literally true, in my experience. Good, expensive boots last longer than cheap boots, but not really so much that you make a profit. At best, you get to wear nicer boots for not as much of an extra cost as the sticker price suggests.”

At the risk of derailment, there have been a number of good articles on this.


MPAVictoria 03.13.15 at 1:40 pm

“At the risk of derailment, there have been a number of good articles on this.”

Also the excellent book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich makes a similar argument.



JanieM 03.13.15 at 1:40 pm

I’ve read a lot of his books, but in the last few years I really slowed down because I would hate to be in the position when I had read all of them. I guess I’ll have to dole them out from now on. Ideally I’ll finish the last one just as I keel over.

I stopped reading Raising Steam partway through because I couldn’t stand the thought that my partner’s father, who had just died, would have loved it the most of all. Now I don’t want to finish it because once it’s gone, I’ve read the last one.

Don’t want to derail but I’m having sort of the opposite problem in relation to David Mitchell. He’s 20+ years younger than I am, and in the normal course of things that means that I’m not going to know how it all unfolds in the long run. Not fair! Not that anything is.


Greg 03.13.15 at 3:30 pm

I got The Colour Of Magic for my 12th birthday, just after it came out, so Terry Pratchett books have been an almost constant companion throughout my teenage and adult life. There was almost certainly a tradeoff of quality for quantity at some point (in the weakest ones the mirroring of real life became a bit of a formula, a bit predictable and a substitute for storyline) but the cumulative effect is overwhelming. So much reading pleasure over such a long time.

As a teenager / student of limited resources I wouldn’t buy many books, but I remember that I used to get an uncanny feeling every now and then that it was about time for a new Discworld book to arrive in paperback, and more often than not I’d pop into W.H. Smiths and there it would be. Sometimes that would happen on a station concourse, just before a long train or bus ride. I still think a journey with a new Pratchett book might be one of the purest forms of gratification.


Zamfir 03.13.15 at 3:38 pm

At the risk of derailment, there have been a number of good articles on this.
I know, and I don’t think they support the Vimes-Boots theory. They show mechanisms that make poverty expensive, time-consuming, stressful.

But none of those mechanisms is that richer people save on durables by buying longer lasting ones. Richer people spend more on boots and anything resembling boots, year in year out. If they save along the way, they more than make up by buying more boots and fancier boots etc.

It’s a pet peeve for me. The Vimes Boots theory feels true, I nod along as if it’s insightful. But in the end it only feels true because I already knew that poverty can be expensive, not because it helps me understand how that works.


Neil 03.13.15 at 3:55 pm

The Vimes boot theory might at least have a drop of truth in it. There are many situations in which if you can afford to pay more at the outset, you pay less in the long run (for instance, in Australia you may defer payment of your higher education fees and pay them through the tax system. But if you can pay upfront, you get a discount). If we’re identifying political claims made by Vimes that are just plain false, you can’t go past the claim in Nightwatch that banning weapons makes everyone less safe because it leaves the criminals armed. It’s always had to tell, but the absence of any indication that Pterry distanced himself from the claim was for me the most disturbing moment in the corpus.


ragweed 03.13.15 at 3:58 pm

I think this may go along with the Keynesian/Post-Keynesian observation that investments lead to savings, not vice versa.

I just ordered the first Ringworld book from the library. Somehow in my youth I never picked up Pritchett books – was not aware of them at the right time I guess. Also, after hearing some of the references I feared it was a bit like Joyce, where you have to go to seminary to understand all the blasphemy. I kept saying to myself – ones I have read everything from the golden era of fantasy, then I might be able to get all the references. But I think I will have to forge ahead, without Lieber and Morecock under my belt, and hope for the best.


js. 03.13.15 at 3:59 pm


Re David Mitchell, curious if you’ve read Bone Clocks and what you thought of it. It’s definitely on my reading list (have read most of his other stuff and loved all of it).


MPAVictoria 03.13.15 at 4:06 pm

Ragweed a background in fantasy may add to the enjoyment of TP’s books but is not necessary. They are pretty broadly appealing in my experience


Theophylact 03.13.15 at 4:07 pm

Lovely tribute from Boulet.


Ian 03.13.15 at 4:11 pm

I got into Discworld via the witches: Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, and then Lords and Ladies. I love the first for all the reasons Henry mentioned, but it was the second that first convinced me that there was something more than cleverness going on, as the playing out of fairy tales in real life unexpectedly becomes a moral question about the interpretive frames we put on people’s lives, including our own. But it’s not until that Granny Weatherwax becomes fully herself, with all the pain and integrity and courage and loss that that implies. That book is still one I reread (which, given how many times I’ve read the entire series, is saying a lot).

But what captivates me most about Discworld these days is the ever-changing nature of Ankh-Morpork, which demonstrates most clearly Pratchett’s most impressive talent: revision. He returns again and again to the same stories, the same locations, and turns what had been a complete work of art into a sketch for something new. The urban context is where this process can be most thoroughly explored, as we see the city change with new technologies, immigration (the transformation of dwarves from a literary joke to an actual ethnic community is one of the most brilliant shifts), expanded police powers, and so on. This reaches its apotheosis in Night Watch, which bestows dignity and gravitas on the entire cast of characters, and represents for me Pratchett’s finest work.


Neil 03.13.15 at 4:13 pm

@ Ian. Well put, and spot on.


Brett Bellmore 03.13.15 at 4:14 pm

I would say the Vimes theory has a good deal of truth, when it comes to items a poorer person has to borrow to obtain, but which somebody with more money can just buy outright, avoiding paying interest. And, again, where the poor get trapped in the “can’t save to buy because of the cost of renting” trap. (Almost got caught by that one myself, after losing my home in a short sale; Nobody would permit me to get a mortgage for several years, and the rent wasn’t so much creeping up as sprinting. I’d still be renting were it not for a well timed inheritance I’d prefer not to have gotten.)

Not so much with shoes, in my experience: The cheap ones aren’t that much less durable than the expensive ones, until you get into a price range where buying several cheap ones is still less expensive.

As for the banning weapons claim, that’s been an established truth in criminology since the days of Cesare Beccaria. Why else do you think so many gun control ‘studies’ get published in medical journals? It’s because criminologists settled that question centuries ago.


Neil 03.13.15 at 4:28 pm


Policy of not arguing with Brett Bellmore activated. The last place I want to see the crap spread around is on a thread about Terry Pratchett’s sad passing.


Brett Bellmore 03.13.15 at 4:52 pm

Hey, I didn’t raise the issue, I just pointed out how poorly grounded the complaint was. Blame Neil for the attempted derailing.

As a long time Tolkein fan, I think Pratchett’s “dwarf bread” was comedic genuis. I almost spit my cherry coke all over the person in the next row down during a Lord of The Rings showing, remembering it when Frodo started eating the Elven travel bread.


JanieM 03.13.15 at 7:29 pm

js. @34

Yes, I read The Bone Clocks last fall and it prompted me to reread all the rest of them, except Number 9 Dream, which I never finished the first time around. Then I got very busy with work, so I haven’t reread TBC yet. I do tend to reread books I love, and Mitchell repays the effort with interest.

TBC dragged in places, and the supernatural battle toward the end was kind of lame. And yet — I loved the book. There’s a lot I like and am engrossed by in Mitchell’s books, but the overwhelming central thing that makes me keep coming back is a kind of longing, centered around various partings that are unbearably sad, and yet that tie into the notion of souls traveling across ages like clouds traveling across the sky. For me this motif carries huge emotional weight, and yet without being schlocky or sentimental.

I won’t say more on that…don’t want to perpetrate spoilers.


Metatone 03.13.15 at 7:36 pm

Like Greg @30, the thing for me is that TP has been writing books (and it seemed like a book a year) ever since I discovered him as a young’un. It’s really a stark loss.

Things that it’s perhaps not the time for, but I can’t resist:

1) Vimes & Boots – you have to factor in the pseudo-historical setting. Rubber makes cheap modern shoes and soles much more durable than the kind of thing Vimes is using.

2) Terry was happy with how things went. (There’s an anecdote out there about him consoling JKR : “I was in the audience at some literary awards ceremony or other with J. K. Rowling one time, and she was lamenting how they’d never give her one, so I turned to her and I said, Jo, me neither: we’ll just have to cry ourselves to sleep on top of our mattresses stuffed with £20 notes.””)

However, it’s always irked me how people, society and academics are much more inclined to invest meaning in drama and tragedy than comedy. The commentators struggle to put TP in the pantheon with Wodehouse, because they have no idea where else to put him. He’s just “entertainment” because he subverts with comedy, rather than shocking us with tragedy…


empty 03.13.15 at 7:45 pm

My twenty something year old son told me that one of his earliest memories is my reading Discworld books to him. May DEATH lead Terry Prachett to his favorite places.


Shatterface 03.13.15 at 7:59 pm

I’ve read as many Terry Pratchett books as I have Douglas Adams.

Which means I have many more Pratchett books to read but I’m all out of Adams.

It’s a sad loss but he left a legacy of books it will probably take me decades to exhaust.


MPAVictoria 03.13.15 at 8:30 pm

Oh God. Bloody Stupid Johnson…..

Just such an awesome gag.


js. 03.13.15 at 9:05 pm


Thanks — I’m going to pick it up soon. I really liked Number9Dream, but I really liked the formal elements/playing with genres he does in that (the repeatedly reworked beginning with fantasy action sequences, the roman a clef meets detective story, etc.) and that got me hooked. Of course, the formal and genre-related stuff, so to speak, is what made me a huge fan of Mitchell’s in the first place, with Cloud Atlas. That said, I do think the themes of loss and recovery make his novels more than simply formal exercises, and definitely a good part of why I find myself wanting to read more of him.


Rob Barrett 03.13.15 at 9:20 pm

There is one more Discworld book coming, Shepherd’s Crown (the fifth Tiffany Aching book). It’s supposedly out in Fall 2015.


Neil 03.13.15 at 9:22 pm

From now on, I shall call Brett Bellmore “Chrysophrase”.


hylen 03.14.15 at 3:33 am

By coincidence I’m just now in the middle of my first Terry Prachett book now. It’s great. Can’t wait to dig into the rest of them. Lucky me, having them all waiting, eh?

RIP Sir.


ozajh 03.14.15 at 6:04 am


The first sentence of Brett Bellmore’s post #39 contains real truth. I have known people caught in that very trap. Even the rest of the post is fairly valid, albeit a long way off topic.


Doug K 03.14.15 at 2:40 pm

soundtrack: Thomas Tallis, Lamentation

May his memory be eternal.

I thought Colour of Magic was funny but juvenile, excellent teenage boy reading, so of course I enjoyed it immensely. For a long while this seemed to be the generally-received litfic opinion of Sir Terry. It has been heartening to see that opinion shift.

on the Vimes Boots theory, it is true. See for example John Scalzi on the lived experience of being poor,
“Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they’re what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there’s not an $800 car in America that’s worth a damn.
Being poor is feeling the glued soles tear off your supermarket shoes when you run around the playground.”
I have an Acura, and a Honda. If I take the Acura to the dealership for service, they give me a new car to drive while mine is in the shop. If I take the Honda to the dealership, I have to find and catch a bus back to work. Being poor is expensive.


Theophylact 03.14.15 at 5:54 pm

The Colour of Magic is a fix-up, a novel pasted together from shorter stories on a theme. That’s not a criticism; most of the great sf books of the Golden Age were, too. The thing about TCoM is that the stories are pretty much all parodies of specific sf works, so if you’re not familiar with them you’re missing half the laughs.


Zamfir 03.14.15 at 6:40 pm

Before the colour of magic, there was Strata, a straight up parody of Niven’s Ringworld. With the ring replaced by a man-made Discworld.


Phil 03.14.15 at 9:53 pm

the stories are pretty much all parodies of specific sf works, so if you’re not familiar with them you’re missing half the laughs.

I don’t think I ‘got’ a single specific reference when I read TCOM, and I still loved it. I had read LOTR, the Earthsea trilogy and quite a lot of yellow-jacket Gollancz SF at a formative age, admittedly.


MG 03.15.15 at 4:26 am

I’ve never read Terry Pratchett — always meant to but never got around.
His work always came highly recommended but it was daunting to approach. Any recommendations on books to start with or a sampler? Or should I just read at random?


Nick Caldwell 03.15.15 at 9:11 am

I came to the conclusion recently that the Howard Stark as depicted in AGENT CARTER is basically the BS Johnson of the Marvel Universe. Such a tribute cheered me greatly.


Akshay 03.15.15 at 9:43 am

Dear MG@56, see http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/the-discworld-reading-order-guide-20.jpg for a “chronological” walk through the different Discworld series and their interconnections. The first two Rincewind novels is Pratchett just getting started, so they have a different, more purely parodic approach. You can start at the beginning of any other series however. The later works have more books I personally liked less, so I would recommend starting from the earlier ones in each series of stories.

For non Discworld, I remember loving Johnny and the Bomb, though that is actually the third part in a series.


Phil 03.15.15 at 9:52 am

MG – if you check Charlie Stross’s blog there’s a thread on TP running at the moment, with several reading recommendations. My own favourites are Small Gods and Mort, but I’d recommend anyone who likes their first Pratchett to follow up by going back to the beginning with The Colour of Magic (if only because it worked for me).


Neil 03.15.15 at 10:11 am

I would start with Guards, Guards and read the rest of the watchmen series. Small Gods would also be a great introduction, in part because the books in series acquire extra depth from familiarity with the characters (so they are each best on a second reading) but Small Gods doesn’t impose any such obstacle to entry.


MG 03.16.15 at 3:42 am

Akshay/Phil/Neil – thanks very much for the guidance. I think I’ll check Small Gods out of the library!


Ian 03.16.15 at 5:13 am

The problem with the “starter novels” at the beginning of the different series is that they’re not as good as what comes later. For example, it would be much better to begin with Wyrd Sisters rather than Equal Rites. I like Guards, Guards but Men at Arms is substantially better, Reaper Man is superior to Mort (and Hogfather puts both of them in the shade), and for Rincewind I would read Interesting Times and forget about the others (just my personal opinion, of course). Small Godsstands on its own, no question. You could also start with later Ankh-Morpork novels like The Truth or Going Postal, in which Vimes and Vetinari appear as strangers rather than old friends. That way you would get the more evolved writing without the problem of background knowledge.


Phil 03.16.15 at 9:38 am

Whereas I preferred Guards, Guards to Men at Arms and much preferred Mort to Reaper Man. I’d always rather go somewhere new (and Hogfather was pretty new, I’ll give you that).

Apart from that, I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to read them in the order their first readers read them and the order Terry thought of them – and follow the development of Discworld in the order it developed.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 03.16.15 at 9:39 am

According to what I’ve read he did not had an assisted suicide or anything.

I will miss Terry Pratchett, for the hours of enjoyment I got out of his work, and the lessons his work and life gave. It is not like all teachers have to be stuffy serious people – the ones that teach you in one or two clever phrases about simple humanity are also to be cherished.


Katherine 03.16.15 at 2:46 pm

I and my feminist ilk loved Monstrous Regiment, and as I read it as a teenage I have a very special place in my heart for Equal Rites.


Jeff R. 03.16.15 at 3:19 pm

@48. one more Terry Pratchett Discworld; I’m given to understand that Rhianna is to continue the series at some point, or at least that that was the plan as of a year or so ago.


Ian 03.16.15 at 9:56 pm

@Jeff at 66: I have the uneasy feeling that someone already did start taking over; in Snuff Vimes seemed to have an unusually vain appreciation of his own badassedness that clashed with my sense of the character in earlier novels.


Ian 03.16.15 at 10:07 pm

@Phil at 63: De gustibus and all that. As for why someone would want to read the books out of order, it’s just the way I did it: I started reading Pratchett in the late 1990s, so I filled in the older stuff haphazardly (sometimes in order, sometimes not) while reading the new ones in sequence (a significant point in my fandom was when I became willing to buy the hardcover editions instead of waiting another year). It didn’t seem to mar my experience of the development of the series; the Monks of History living in my brain made it all sort out pretty well.


yabonn 03.18.15 at 10:29 am

Ian @67 Had a comparable feeling about Snuff : the story of Badass Vimes and a bunch of idiots.

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