Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

From Mostrous Regiment

The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it. (Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment)

I just finished Terry Pratchett’s latest book– it jumped into my hands when I was in the bookstore, and Quicksilver is just too big to read anywhere but in bed.

If you don’t read Terry Pratchett, start. His Discworld series is one of the best things in this world today: if it were coffee, the books would be Peet’s French Roast.

Don’t start with The Color of Magic, which is the first book in the series but least representative of its tone, and has an irritating main character besides. The Color of Magic is pretty conventional fantasy; the later books are like a cross between J.R.R. Tolkien and Monty Python.

Start instead with Men at Arms, or Soul Music; or, since it’s the holiday season, Hogfather, in which Death– the thin guy with the scythe– has to take over present delivery from the jolly fat man. These books introduce you to some of the major recurring characters in the series– the Ankh-Morpork Night Watch; the Unseen University, which trains wizards; and of course, Death, and Death’s faithful horse, Binky.

And when you start reading your first one, make sure you’re in a place where other people won’t be disturbed by you laughing.

1 Comment

  1. I finished it too – I find it amazing how his books are so consistently good. I really hope there’s a sequel to this one though – Borogravia seems to have aways to go yet. (And who ends up ruling it anyhow?)

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