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expat
10th February 2009, 17:34
I'll probably make myself (more) unpopular now, but I think his books are drivel.

Much the same idea as the late Douglas Adams. It's formulaic: Take one idea/joke/conceit and beat it wafer thin over several million words.
I agree about Pratchett: I read one book and thought it quite amusing. Then I started to read another, and stopped because of the strong feeling that I had already been there.

I don't see Adams in such a bad light: I think the number and depth of thoughts/jokes/etc in his books is higher, and the number of books is so much lower (not just because he died); it's not spread out nearly so thin. With Pratchett I just couldn't face the idea that he could seemingly churn it out as fast as I could stand reading it.

Cliphead
10th February 2009, 17:40
I actually like his books, of course some are better than others but if I want a light read for a change I delve in.

cailin maith
10th February 2009, 17:40
I never "got" either of them TBH... Normally at a push I would read anything... but those two, just never got it. Have friends who have raved about both and tried to enthuse me but.... nope, still nothing there!!

eliquant
10th February 2009, 17:45
Yeah theres a geeky stigma attached to Pratchets books but some people have told me that they're hilarious.
Just as a side note - I used to work in a company and the owner also owned the film rights to the making of a movie version of 'DiscWorld', the owner interviewed Tim Burton and he said that the guy 'just couldn't communicate effectively and was too wierd' do the human version of the film never got made, just as well as this was in the 1990s when CGI was a bit crap.

Bagpuss
10th February 2009, 18:01
I found his stuff intensely formulaic and utterly boring. Adams I found to be funny, but then I've only read a couple of his books.

Platypus
10th February 2009, 19:37
I found his stuff intensely formulaic and utterly boring.

Yes, me too.

EternalOptimist
10th February 2009, 20:23
I admit, I sometimes wondered if he 'farmed out' his books, to aspiring writers

i.e. he gave them the synopsis and filled in some bits later. A bit like the grand master painters who ran painting factories.

On the other hand, some of his phrases and metephors are excellent,

like describing someone as being so far out of his depth that the fish were swimming around with funny lights on their heads



:rolleyes:

cojak
10th February 2009, 20:50
His early book are slapstick and packed with puns that can prove irritating if you're not into them.

His writing in later novels is sparer - darker and melancolic; not relying so much on literary fireworks.

Night Watch is the best, but Monstrous Regiment is close.

And his Wee Free men books are a delight.

NotAllThere
10th February 2009, 21:10
I've just read Nation. Which isn't a discworld novel, and so stands alone. A good place to start for anyone willing to give Pratchett another go.

Tiffany Aching series is sheer brilliance. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, and the Johnny series, likewise.

The worst of his books, while still a reasonable yarn, is Making Movies. The best are:

Night Watch - "Shoot first and ask questions later?" "There's nothing I want to ask him".
Monstrous Regiment - "Upon my oath, I'm not a violent man."
The Last Hero
Thud.

Of the rest, the following deserve an honourable mention.

Going Postal
Reaper Man
Small Gods
Hogfather
Jingo
Carpe Jugulum
The Fifth Elephant

Of the films, The Hogfather is outstanding, the rest are ok, but I do like the soundtrack for Soul Music.

I can only think the preceding posters haven't read any of the really good books, or are Harry Potter fans. :tongue

NotAllThere
10th February 2009, 21:16
From the other thread


But the universe we already have is infinitely diverse. Even the world we inhabit has too many stories to tell.

Fantasy writing is ok if that's your thing but surely you realise why it is not considered 'top drawer' literature when real life offers so many stories and challenges to the writer?

Fantasy writing at its best isn't about the fantasy world; it's used as vehicle to say something about ours. I don't care what the genre is - I like a good story. ( Which is why I read Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Pratchett, Niven, Asimov, Dostoyevsky, Victor Hugo... )

snaw
10th February 2009, 22:17
I agree about Pratchett: I read one book and thought it quite amusing. Then I started to read another, and stopped because of the strong feeling that I had already been there.

I don't see Adams in such a bad light: I think the number and depth of thoughts/jokes/etc in his books is higher, and the number of books is so much lower (not just because he died); it's not spread out nearly so thin. With Pratchett I just couldn't face the idea that he could seemingly churn it out as fast as I could stand reading it.

Shouldn't really have to choose, but Pratchett get the nod - Adams himself said he was lazy. Pratchett isn't. In simple terms he set out to more or less write two books a year (Not exactly onorous) - I'm happy he did, he's been doing it since I was 13 years old, and they're generally some of the literary highlights of my year and have been for 25 years.

The volume of books 'churned' out means nothing imo. Some great authors only ever write one book. Some great authors write many great books, some write one or two and a whole heap of rubbish as well. The number of bad books written, or indeed number of total books has no bearing on a book being good or not.

And stopping on the 2nd cause you'd 'been there', while entirely your own choice equally gives you no insight whatsover to him as an author or the ability to compare him to other authors.

Personally I think he's one of the true great authors this country has produced.

snaw
10th February 2009, 22:22
From the other thread



Fantasy writing at its best isn't about the fantasy world; it's used as vehicle to say something about ours. I don't care what the genre is - I like a good story. ( Which is why I read Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Pratchett, Niven, Asimov, Dostoyevsky, Victor Hugo... )

Adding to that, why do people assume that because you read fantasy you don't read 'serious' fiction. I devour books of all genres, including most of the classics (I made a point of it), and I'll read at least a couple off the booker shortlist every year. There's an incredible amount of snobbery in literature when it comes to sci fi and fantasy which I never quite understood, a fair bit of it stands comparison with any other genre on any level you wish to compare.

bogeyman
10th February 2009, 23:22
Which is why I read Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Pratchett, Niven, Asimov, Dostoyevsky, Victor Hugo... )

Niven?

Pratchett?

The rest I respect but Larry Niven (used to write ignorant puff pieces for BYTE in the 1980s) and Pratchett, are not even remotely in the same ballpark as Dickens, Hugo et al.

That's just farking laughable.

snaw
10th February 2009, 23:55
Niven?

Pratchett?

The rest I respect but Larry Niven (used to write ignorant puff pieces for BYTE in the 1980s) and Pratchett, are not even remotely in the same ballpark as Dickens, Hugo et al.

That's just farking laughable.

Scratch Niven, but it's a not totally unreasonable to compare Pratchett and Dickens for example - but pointless since they they write in different genres, in different era's. But I'll say one thing they both have in common - they're superlative storytellers. Actually I'll some more - the volume of work they both produced is comparible, and equally you can pick fault with Dickens - he wasn't writing fantasy, but he wasn't exactly writing true to life characters or plausible real world stories either, gritty and grim as his social commentary might have been.

d000hg
11th February 2009, 00:24
There's nothing that remarkable about the storylines in Dicken's books.

NotAllThere
11th February 2009, 07:02
Niven?

Pratchett?

The rest I respect but Larry Niven (used to write ignorant puff pieces for BYTE in the 1980s) and Pratchett, are not even remotely in the same ballpark as Dickens, Hugo et al.

That's just farking laughable.

You've taken the list out of context I wasn't suggesting that these authors are all the same calibre or even great literature. My point was I like to read books that have a good story. There's a difference between a "thundering good read" and "great literature". Niven, Asimov, Pratchett are in the former camp, Hugo et al are in both. ( For their best novels ). About half of Wilkie Collins books, for example, really aren't very good.

( And later Niven deteriorates - he used to write decent hard sci-fi, now his plots aren't easy to follow. Lazy writing. Has some good ideas then loosely tries to connect it all together ).

I doubt Niven or Pratchett will be considered great literature in a hundred years. Mervin Peake possibly. Rowling - never. Frank Herbert's Dune... maybe.

I've had to read modern English literature, as my kids have had to start reading at school. So far, I'm unimpressed. They seem to concentrate more on having a clever style than having a decent plot.

NotAllThere
11th February 2009, 07:08
There's nothing that remarkable about the storylines in Dicken's books.

Most of it is soap opera in book form. But he does use words beautifully!

I read Jane Eyre recently. That really was good. Though again, to modern eyes, the story line seems contrived.

expat
11th February 2009, 07:10
From the other thread



Fantasy writing at its best isn't about the fantasy world; it's used as vehicle to say something about ours. I don't care what the genre is - I like a good story. ( Which is why I read Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Pratchett, Niven, Asimov, Dostoyevsky, Victor Hugo... )Agree there. I've always thought that "High Noon" would make a good Startrek episode (possibly has for all I know); and Shatner once commented that playing Capt Kirk was very much like playing a king in Shakespeare. The genre is only the medium (and the medium is not the message).

NotAllThere
11th February 2009, 07:13
...possibly has for all I know...

:laugh Yes, quite probably!

thelace
11th February 2009, 08:35
Love both Pratchett and Adams

The only writers that have made me laugh out loud whilst reading.

NotAllThere
11th February 2009, 09:47
Which are tastier? Humans or Kzinti?