Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Turtles All the Way Down

Terry Pratchett; Eric (HarperTorch; 2002; ISBN 978-0-380-82121-1; cover artist not indicated).

Terry Pratchett; Jingo (HarperTorch; 1998; ISBN 978-0-06-105906-3; cover artist not indicated).

Terry Pratchett; Moving Pictures (HarperTorch; 2002; ISBN 978-0-06-102063-6; cover artist not indicated).

Terry Pratchett; The Truth (HarperCollins; 2000; ISBN 0-380-97895-4; cover art by Chip Kidd).

Terry Pratchett; Making Money (HarperTorch; 2007; ISBN 978-0-06-116164-3; cover art by Scott McKowan).

(NOTE: As of this writing, I am reading, but have not completed Moving Pictures and The Truth...just letting you know what is coming!)

Ah, the turtle that strides through space! The elephants! The disc! The humor!

Especially the humor. Things have been getting wacky again on the personal front, so I picked up The Canon According to Pratchett to Get My Mind Off Things.

Notice, kids, that is "canon" with one "n" not two "nn's" as in "cannon"!

Eric continues the adventures of the ever-bumbling wizard Rincewind after his troubles in Sourcery. It was a fun little romp, and any appearance by the feared Luggage is worth it, but the Rincewind tales tend to be my least favorite of the stories.

With Jingo, we see what is up with Sir Samuel Vimes and the City Watch. The drums of war are beating and Ankh-Morpork and the land of Klatch when an island (Leshp) rises between them. Assassination attempts, arson, beatings, attempted murder, armies being raised and the disappearance of Lord Vetinari (after he resigns as Patrician of Our Fair City) all scheme to make life for Sir Sam...complicated. Good stuff.

Making Money was a re-read, so to speak: I had come across a reduced-price copy of the unabridged audiobook and wanted to give it a try. A further incentive was learning that the next Discworld book, Unseen Academicals, is soon to be published, so I wanted to refresh my memory on events. The narrator, Stephen Briggs, has performed Discworld stories on the stage, has written or co-written a number of "non-fiction" Discworld books and has narrated several of the books previously. How good a job does he do? Well, in reading Moving Pictures and The Truth, I "hear" him as the voices of the narrator and the various characters. I will need to seek out more of his audiobooks!

With The Truth, we introduce a few new characters and add to the "Industrial Revolution" sequence. Newspapers and journalism come to Ankh-Morpork. Not only journalism, but sensationalist journalism and serious journalism. It is amazing to watch a whole new industry grow in the fertile...soil...of Our Fair City. One of Pratchett's best.

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