Wednesday, 30 August 2017

But is this a loss?

Terry Pratchett had up to 10 unfinished books left on a hard drive - now apparently crushed according to the BBC.

I've not read a novel in ages, but Ben had "Raising Steam" from the library to keep him company while recovering from his op recently, & I've been reading it now he's finished it.

Disappointing is a good word.

Basically it just seems to lack imagination: lets bring 19th century technology to the magical discworld. Also let Dwarves = Islamic fundamentalists, but let them just be cardboard cut-out characters, written from a deliberately myopic understanding of people.

Pardon the pun, but all the magic that was present in The Colour Of Magic has by now been thoroughly drained to create a society that kind of looks like ours, but one which can be used to protest about what's wrong with the world and where a main character falls dully and predictably in love. It's boringly moralising, despite trying to raise a sense of outrage at the mistreatment of (fictional) goblins, predictable and not much fun.

The more the Discworld has been developed, the less exciting and novel it has become. I'm not sorry there won't be any more novels from 'beyond the grave' (that's a phrase that should resonate with Pratchett fans) though if a different writer had been at the helm then perhaps they would have been more enjoyable.


  1. I was at the hospital with Luke this week. He was reading one of the Maze Runner books (YA dystopian series). The doctor who saw him spoke very highly of the Discworld series and encouraged him to read them. This post was in the back of my mind when he said this.

  2. I have mixed feelings about Pratchett's work. The early discworld stuff was highly imaginative and fun, even though many more conservative Christians would not be happy with the amount of 'wizard-stuff', demons and soul-eating creatures etc. But Pratchett was a convinced atheist AFAIK, and never took any of this seriously. The images of these things are therefore done tongue firmly in cheek, rather than in a way to get one dancing naked round pentagrams.

    Later books were patchy, some banal, some failing to understand history and human nature, and some deliberately spinning things to suit his thesis that witchy/demonic stuff is innocent and harmless. They're not something I'd recommend to someone young who would get very serious about what they read without having the objectivity that an adult *should* have - I'd feel more comfy about LOTR in that situation. At the same time some were just a very good read, and well worth exploring. For Luke, I'd probably suggest you read the books first, but The Colour Of Magic is a good place to start. See also his Carpet People, Truckers and Dark Side Of The Sun books for smaller and less controversial universes.


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