Author Topic: Best Discworld Book To Start With?  (Read 1629 times)

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Kaora

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Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« on: December 07, 2012, 08:25:48 PM »
I'd like to say I'm already a fan, though I've only read three books (The Color of Magic and Equal Rites, though my first, borrowed from a friend, was The Amazing Maurice and his Intelligent Rodents.)

However, I think I've interested my dad in the series, and I was curious if anyone else had a suggestion where to start?  I keep hearing Guards, Guards!, and that The Color of Magic is a bad place to start for a new reader, but...

I wanted an eHellion's opinion. :)

sevenday

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 08:32:34 PM »
It depends on what you think your dad would like best.  If he would like Rincewind, Color of Magic is an excellent start.  (It's a good intro to the author since it's relatively short too).  If he'd like the Watch, then yes Guards, Guards!   For Death, start with Mort.   Witches:  Equal Rites.    For the ehh... revolution of sorts, Moving Pictures.  I would go with Color of Magic, see what he thinks of that, and branch out from there.  I personally love the series.  :)

Kaora

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 08:48:34 PM »
It depends on what you think your dad would like best.  If he would like Rincewind, Color of Magic is an excellent start.  (It's a good intro to the author since it's relatively short too).  If he'd like the Watch, then yes Guards, Guards!   For Death, start with Mort.   Witches:  Equal Rites.    For the ehh... revolution of sorts, Moving Pictures.  I would go with Color of Magic, see what he thinks of that, and branch out from there.  I personally love the series.  :)

My dad has a great sense of humor, with slight snark and a perchant for bad puns. :P  We both share a love in Hitchhiker's (which has significantly less books, but almost as much material in plays, miniseries, radioplays, a short story, and a movie alone :P ), so that's the issue.  I'd like to get a book so we could share it once we're done, and maybe get him hooked too. :)

The local bookstore doesn't carry Pratchett, or its so popular I'll never get there in time. :) I found Equal Rites in the used section once, and got The Color of Magic out of town.  Otherwise, I'd have a few more. :D

Bright

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 09:31:37 PM »
I found The Colour of Magic difficult to get into and not the best example of his writing. The later books are better and each book does, generally, stand on its own so you can dip in wherever. You don't need to read them in order. I definitely haven't.

While all the books tie together in various ways, even if it's just that they're all set in the discworld, there's a few series' within the series. (Even within those series you don't need to read them in order.)

The Watch Series starts with Guards! Guards! most people say it's probably the best place to start. I read it first in my teens and didn't really get into it but when I picked up the books again a few years ago I enoyed them a lot more.

The Witches Series begins with Equal Rites. I prefer the Witches to the Guards, but that's just personal taste.

The Death series starts with Mort. Mort was the book that really got me interested in the Discworld, as a teen I really enjoyed the Death stories. As an adult I've not gone back and reread them.

There's also the Tiffany Aching books, which are children's books. I actually really enjoyed them and thought they were a great introduction to the Discworld. They start with Wee Free Men.

There's the Wizard books, which are my least favourite of the story-arcs. They begin with The Colour of Magic, but I think the Colour of Magic is a bad place to begin. The Discworld isn't fully formed there and there's quite a lot that changes in the later books. I also think Terry Pratchett's writing gets better from the later books. (Although speaking of his later books, I'd sincerely advise against starting with the most recent ones.)

According to the chart there's also The Industrial Revolution books, but they're even more loosely related to each-other than any of the others.

I actually think Going Postal's a good place to start. It's the beginning of Moist Von Lipwig's story.

There's a handy reading guide at http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/the-discworld-reading-order-guide-20.jpg It's not quite up to date but
 

learningtofly

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 09:39:39 PM »
I started with Mort and Wyrd Sisters. I've read 24 of his novels. The library has a good selection and is why I've been reading out of order. You could ask Terry Pratchett. He's on Facebook and if you post the question he or his fans will probably answer.

sevenday

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 11:20:45 PM »
I will say that Color of Magic was not the first book I read, by dint of "hey this looks cool" - it was Interesting Times. I backtracked to read what else existed, then kept reading.   The Tiffany Aching books (teen) might be a good starter, to see if he likes them.  Of course, if all you have on hand is Color of Magic or Equal Rites, give him Equal Rites first.  Another poster commented that the Discworld novel wasn't as fleshed out in that book, which is a bit of a given since it was first. 

Lynn2000

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 12:03:58 AM »
Interesting. I started by watching the TV movie Color of Magic, which was based on the books Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic. So then I started out by reading those two books. Then I read Sourcery, which continues the Rincewind story. I decided to switch over to another "track" and right now I've got Equal Rites on my shelf, so I'm glad to hear people recommend it. I watched the Hogfather movie, too, and I rather like the concept of Death as a character, so I might try those next as well.

In concept I like the books, I want to like the books, but honestly I'm kind of relieved to hear that maybe I've not been reading the best examples of the series so far (i.e., that they get better).
~Lynn2000

Petticoats

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 12:56:24 AM »
I started with the TV movie of Hogfather, which I loved, so that was the first of the books that I read. I stuck mainly to the Death books at first, and he's still my favorite character, but I did read The Color of Magic, which I found, well, colorless. I don't think I managed to make it all the way through the film version of that one either. I also wouldn't start your dad with Monstrous Regiment, which despite some nifty touches I found terribly dark. Since it's Christmas, maybe Hogfather would be a good place to start. :)

Kaora

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 01:26:28 AM »
Interesting. I started by watching the TV movie Color of Magic, which was based on the books Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic. So then I started out by reading those two books. Then I read Sourcery, which continues the Rincewind story. I decided to switch over to another "track" and right now I've got Equal Rites on my shelf, so I'm glad to hear people recommend it. I watched the Hogfather movie, too, and I rather like the concept of Death as a character, so I might try those next as well.

In concept I like the books, I want to like the books, but honestly I'm kind of relieved to hear that maybe I've not been reading the best examples of the series so far (i.e., that they get better).

I might have managed to convince my parents to watch Hogfather on Amazon's streaming service. :) I think I saw it earlier, and it was free for Prime!

Mum also wanted to order the book earlier than I expected, so I simply asked for Guards, Guards!  Its more for my dad and I to share, since we're allowed to read his books, and he ours if he sees anything we have that interests him. (I.E. Harry Potter, though I've been trying to get him into the Riordanverse books! :) We have similar tastes in snark, hard and soft scifi, and low fantasy.  Though we like The Hobbit equally :) )

Thanks for the help all, though! :D

I'd really like to see more of Weatherwax.  This is also a great way to get me to read more of them... :P

Morrigan

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2012, 07:02:56 PM »
There's also a movie for Going Postal.

DH recommends starting with the Vimes novels.  Starting with Guards, Guards, he thinks.

agentsmith

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 08:32:43 PM »
Guards! Is good but I suggest Going Postal followed by Making Money.  Thief of Time is standalone.   Those three are my favorites.  I don't care for the older, mostly wizards/Rincewind novels at all.   

PeterM

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 01:58:15 AM »
As you've no doubt already guessed, this is not an easy question. Everyone has their own favorites. I love anything to do with Sam Vimes, personally, so for my taste I'd say start with Guards! Guards! It's quite a good book in its own right, and the various guardsmen (and women, and dwarves, and trolls, and gnomes, and golems, and...) show up as background or minor characters in pretty much any of the books set in  Ankh-Morpork so it's not a bad idea to know who they are.

I've never been as fond of the Witches sub-series, though I do enjoy those books quite a bit. I also agree that the  Tiffany Aching books might make for a nice introduction. They're aimed at kids, sure, but the series matures with the character and the Nac Mac Feegle are as funny as anything Pratchett has ever devised. I'd put the series up against pretty much any so-called "adult" book I can think of, at least in the same weight class. They make for a very good example of the kind of mythic grandeur Pratchett is so good at blending with humor and realism, too.

For the more-or-less standalones, I can't fault those who suggest Going Postal. I just finished re-reading its sequel, Making Money. They're both great, and Going Postal especially is an excellent example of another of Pratchett's specialties, finding the nobility in everyday things. Another very popular standalone is Small Gods, which I think was excellent but have never personally wanted to re-read. It's many people's favorite of the entire series, though, and a pretty good introduction to the Discworld concept of religion.

The Death books are great, though I'm not much of a fan of Susan, which is annoying since she gets to be a bigger and bigger character as time goes on. Death himself is a truly amazing character, and he's got a great character arc over the course of his sub-series.

The Rincewind books start out maybe the weakest of all, but they surely do end strong. Interesting Times and especially The Last Hero are just great reads, and the latter might be my favorite Discworld book of all. You can't really appreciate it if you haven't read at least Interesting Times, though. Cohen The Barbarian is just an amazing character, and his ending was truly worthy of an epic song.

Hell, all the series are good. Pick one and dig in.

redcat

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2012, 11:15:17 AM »
I second Small Gods.

I liked the Tiffany books too, but I think you might get more out of them if you were at least familiar with the witches first.  They show up as supporting characters and understanding them adds a dimension to Tiffany's growth.

cicero

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2012, 12:26:25 PM »
I got the following reply from DS (he tried to get me into the series but i just couldn't connect). he says:

"tough question cause the DW is based on sub series that all takes place in the same world and are intertwined between each other, especially in the later books. he should basically choose the first book based on his general likes and dislikes:

If he likes adventure - Color of Magic is more of an adventure. and the world expoloring of the Disc.

If he is into police/detective works - Guards Guards is more police work and racism issues.

Wyrd Sisters - suitable for people interested in folklore and myth.

Mort - humanity and philosphy.

The above are the sub series so once you read one of them you have the rest of the series. they are also early in the series so the order in which you read them is not important. 

Small Gods
- is a stand alone book.

The amazing Maurice
also a stand alone book , short, and more for the younger crowd."

DS likes all the above except Color of Magic. Small Gods is a good place to start he says...


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atirial

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Re: Best Discworld Book To Start With?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2012, 04:53:34 AM »
I got into Pratchett's books through Guards, Guards and I'd recommend it. The Colour of Magic has a lot of sci-fi and fantasy specific injokes that you might not get if you aren't a fan of the genre, while Guards Guards has a broader appeal.