I have a number of Terry Pratchett Books. Some of them are even unsigned.
Mort has come off the shelf to be re-read. Probably closely followed by Wyrd Sisters, Pyramids, Guards Guards, Small Gods and The Truth.
Which was then followed by Going Postal, Making Money & Raising Steam. I then wen back and read the rest of the Guards books in order: Men At Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Nightwatch and Thud. I followed that with Unseen Academicals before going back to some earlier wizard books. Interesting Times and Lost Continent were harder going, but nowhere near as though as Making Movies proved. the last time I can remember reading that was on the train to Southampton for my interview in early 1991! Currently reading Reaper Man which is holding up better than I remember, much better, though I'm seeming to recall some dissatisfaction with how the plot threads come together, or don't, at the end! Masquerade is next on the menu followed by Monstrous Regiment and Thief of Time I think.
I,ve basically been re-reading Pratchett ever since he died and have read more of his stuff this year than probably in the last decade combined.
Just this evening finished reading Wings to the Cub. That's the first time I've read the Bromeliad Trilogy since... since I read it the first time. Which would've been some point in the early '90s. I wasn't a huge fan of it back then - I preferred the crazy, skewed look at fantasy at the time, and I don't think I fully engaged with the satire, which is what the Bromeliad really is.
It's odd, I think - and my memories of reading his earlier books are possibly also distorted by time - but if you compare the Bromeliad with the Discworld novels he was writing at the time, the Discworld stuff ended up more like the Bromeliad. Which has kind of surprised me.
But it shouldn't have surprised me. This was, of course, Pratchett.
To my mind there's several distinct phases to the Discworld books.
1) Colour of Magic - Equal Rites
The earliest books. The tone varies, and Colour makes very odd reading now. But something clicks at the start of Light Fantastic.
2) Mort - Guards, Guards!
It's during this period he invents the majority of the characters and situations he returns to later. This is the point his popularity really takes off.
3) Moving Pictures - The Fifth Elephant
A LOT of repetition in here with the same characters cropping up again and again. Moving Pictures stabilises the University faculty but apart from that the only new characters he'll reuse are Susan, who's an extension of the Death/Mort idea and new guards. Small Gods stands out here as a situation and characters that aren't returned to and really is the only completely original idea there. For my money the Guards books work best in this period and the witches, save their excursion to Ankh Morpork, are very much a case of diminishing returns. It's notable that Carpe Jugulum is their final appearance.
4) The Truth - onwards
The Truth is the first real extension to the character set for a while. The idea had been floating around for some time as William De Worde is mentioned years previously in a Discworld encyclopaedia. And it's about something, the idea that just cos it's in the newspapers it isn't necessarily true. Several of the books from this point on will also have a message and there's a real anger in some of them. For my money The Truth is his best book. It's from here that Ankh Morpork starts to progress technologically in the final few books and Moist Von Lipwig, the final returning character makes his debut.
I noticed this made the ten o'clock news last night talking about the midnight openings.
I'm in no rush to read this. It seems to have been whipped up into some kind of JK Rowling like frenzy, but this is the end! I don't want it to end! I've still got the last four or so Discworld books deliberately unread, and I'll savour them sparingly.
Couldn't find it locally. Will put in a request at the library!
Good man. Support your local library.
I am informed by someone in the know that libraries are getting it in but some of their suppliers may have made a bulls up of taking TP off their suppliers list given his death and have now been caught out with this new release so some are experiencing minor delays getting stock in.
Oh what a shame. I can see him not wanting to succumb to the monetise every snippet possible mentality that's happened to authors like Adams and Tolkien, but a coffee table book on what might have been would have been a nice end cap.
And also we don't really know how he worked, do we? The liklihood is that there was a lot of crazy stuff there never destined to be printed, but were ideas he was playing with. So you wouldn't want to tarnish his legacy with "OH MAN Patchett's last book was going to be about ALIENS in Discworld wtf???" or something like that. If there were ten books in various drafts there, he strikes me as a guy who throws things at a wall and sees what sticks