Welcome to the magical land of Terry Pratchett’s Disc World. A world like no other that fundamentally defies all of physics. In fact, its inhabitants are probably disgusted that physics is even mentioned in its presence. This book, like so many others found in the Disc World series, has the wonderful balance of wit, humour, fantasy and real life parallels that is commonly found within Pratchett’s writing. Now where to begin?
At the beginning, of course. One of the specific reasons why I liked this book in particular was that there was a running theme throughout. Constantly Pratchett hid little Easter Eggs (you know like Disney and Pixar always seem to be doing) that tied this story to that of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (thou who should not be named on stage for fear of bad luck, despite it being the name of a whole play, they didn’t think that one through….). He does this humorously, a good example being, changing “When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain.” which is the 3 witches most famous saying, to actually writing:
“ An eldritch voice shrieked: “When shall we three meet again?” There was a pause. Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: “Well, I can do next Tuesday.” “
These constant famous lines answered with back of the hand comments continuously appear though out the book and are one of the many ways the observant reader is entertained in Pratchett’s writing. This paralleling of reality in such a clearly fantasy world is not just reduced to speeches. No, Pratchett even alludes to Hwel the Dwarf to be the Disc’s version of Shakespeare himself, describing plot lines from other famous plays though also keeping the sense of non-reality with the Dwarf’s dreams of a wave machine also in these plays (now I’m quite confident to say this mechanism did not feature in Shakespeare’s vocabulary).
A reason why Terry Pratchett is up there in my top authors list (I would write it down if I wasn’t constantly changing my mind!) is because his imagination is superb and the way he captures and wrestles it down into writing is just magical. No other author I know would literally personify a storm to that of an actor’s life waiting for its big break. Don’t get me wrong here for I am not meaning he compares the look of the storm to that of an actor at an audition. No, what he cleverly does is write in a third person narrative of the storm as if it was an actor, saying how it had played as an extra next to huge storms but had never got its break in the weather to show its true talent. It is these small witty details that make this book, and many others, such a joy to read.
My recommendation for those who have read this or like the sounds of this book is to read any other of his 40 Disc World books (insane right, there are 40 of them!!!). Another fantasy author who likes to create a little world for their books is Robin Hobb, who is best known for the books set in the Realm of the Elderlings. I should warn those who don’t like gore too much that she doesn’t depict topics like fighting in an overtly child friendly way. However, if you like gore then read away and read my new blog which will be on the last book in this realm when I finish reading it. It will be soon don’t worry, I can’t seem to put it down!