Sir Terry Pratchett

Hurrah! Hurrah!

I know, I know, his Discworld novels are pap for sad geeks, still hungering after Dungeons and Dragons (err, like me, although I never did do D&D).

And certainly, some of them are on the very light side of comic fantasy. However, there are some of them that climb very much higher on the totem pole to what I would consider the literary form (although I\’ve never quite worked out what it is that makes something a literary novel. Is it that the publisher\’s assistant will have a name like Jocasta? Or that it doesn\’t sell many copies? Or that it\’s about adultery in Hampstead? Dunno).

This one, The Truth, for any who have not tried one of other of his novels, is what I think is the best of them all. A delicious satire of the press. With some really rather wonderful economic insights (for example, the dwarves work out how to turn lead into gold. Yes, you guessed it, by making printing type.). Plus a lot of very good jokes.

If you\’ve not read any of them then I thoroughly recommend that one specifically. Not so much as part of the series but as a simply great piece of comic writing (and I see no reason why comic writing cannot be literature).

 

13 comments on “Sir Terry Pratchett

  1. That’ll be Sir Terence to you, Worstall.

    Good for him, anyway. Personally, I’d recommend the first couple: The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. Also his ‘Just William meets The Apocalypse of St John the Divine’ fantasy Good Omens (with Neil Gaiman).

  2. **snorts**

    Everyone knows the best Terry Pratchett is Hogfather. Also very appropriate during Christmas seasons 🙂

  3. I read the first page of one of the Discworld novels once, thought, ‘Fuck me, this is insufferably arch!’ and have never read a line of his work since.

  4. “I know, I know, his Discworld novels are pap for sad geeks…”

    Nah, you’re thinking of Terry Brooks… 😉

    Sir Terence well deserves his honour. He’s one of the best writers (and keen obervers of the human being in its natural habitat) we have in the UK.

  5. He’s one of the best writers (and keen obervers of the human being in its natural habitat) we have in the UK.

    Quite so. Quite so. And it’s worth pointing out that the Watch novels are surprisingly political. They’re essentially primers in what a free, liberal society should be.

  6. Terry Pratchett just gets better and better, though Small Gods is still my favourite.

    As for: “I know, I know, his Discworld novels are pap for sad geeks, still hungering after Dungeons and Dragons” Nope. A majority of his readership seems to be female, and over the age of 25. 😉

  7. “And it’s worth pointing out that the Watch novels are surprisingly political. They’re essentially primers in what a free, liberal society should be.”

    Can I be Vetinari, please?

    DK

  8. Moving pictures was pretty good too for a DW, I think his best overall is Good Omens..

    He’s literally an /infinitely/ better writer than that stupid labour supporting witch.

  9. I have all his Discworld books and a few others. When you laugh out loud because of his comic writing you know that you have found a real treasure in the author. It is such a shame about his early onset Alzheimer’s disease though. But good man that he is, he is publicising it and getting more research int finding treatments. He is one person I wouldn’t begrudge the honour.

  10. Small Gods is my favourite, it is a very powerful critique of religion in parts – but still funny.

  11. I’ve always thought “The Night Watch” conveyed some pretty accurate commentary about what happens when the state starts to restrict the rights of ordinary citizens “in the interests of security”.

  12. What I’d be really interested to know is what, as an economist, you thought of “Making Money” (title?). I thought it did a good job of introducing economic concepts. However, I’m not very economically literate, so I was puzzled as to what, if anything, the Golden Golems might represent in the real world.

    Tim adds: Well, careful, I’m not an economist. Only an interested amateur. I liked the book and thought that some of teh stories about the Mint were very good indeed. There have been many times ( a year or two ago with the US nickel because of the cost of, umm, nickel) when the cost of minting coins is higher than their face value. I actually bought a couple of container loads of old Russian coins once, to melt them down for their metal value (that was inflation that caused that). There have even been times when banknotes have cost more to print than their face value (two that come to mind, the Brazilian cruzerio at one point, the Hong Kong i cent bill. Obviously, Zimbabwe now as well).

    The Golden Golms I take to be representing wealth. That is, not gold pre se, but the ability to command other resources. As the golems will defend the City from all comers, they are clearly “wealth” in that sense, the ability to command other resources.

  13. I wondered if the Golden Golems might be leveraging, or debit financing or something like that, ie, a good tool but a bad master. Which would lead to a neat analogy for the current crisis, that someone let the golems out.

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