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MatthewHunter

MatthewHunter

Currently reading

MirrorMask (children's edition)
Neil Gaiman
The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth
Ursula K. Le Guin
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
Maud Hart Lovelace
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde, Camille Cauti
Riders of the Purple Sage
Zane Grey
Vampires, Zombies, & Wanton Souls
Marge Simon
The Color of Magic  - Terry Pratchett Oh the unpredictable gods of Discworld!
It is embarrassing to know that one is a god of a world that only exists because every improbability curve must have its far end; especially when one can peer into other dimensions at worlds whose Creators had more mechanical aptitude than imagination. No wonder, then, that the Disc gods spend more time in bickering than in omnicognizance.

It was all very well going on about pure logic and how the universe was ruled by logic and the harmony of numbers, but the plain fact of the matter was that the Disc was manifestly traversing space on the back of a giant turtle and the gods had a habit of going round to atheists' houses and smashing their windows.

On the Disc, the Gods aren't so much worshipped, as they are blamed.

And Pratchett's sometimes Leslie Nielsen-esque sense of humor!
'My name is immaterial,' she said.
'That's a pretty name,' said Rincewind.

Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying.

My personal favorite is Pratchett's depiction of the artform that is language translation. Rincewind attempts to speak Trob to Twoflower:
'At last!' he said. 'My good sir! This is remarkable!' (Although in Trob the last word in fact became 'a thing which may happen but once in the usable lifetime of a canoe hollowed diligently by ax and fire from the tallest diamondwood tree that grows in the noted diamondwood forests on the lower slopes of Mount Awayawa, home of the firegods or so it is said.'


Though I enjoyed Pratchett's first foray into the Discworld, I didn't love it. Some of the attempts at humor brought more eye roll (ba-dum-pum) than smile. The story skips months of action, and then lets readers in on small pieces of the recent action through after-the-fact conversations between characters and a number of sudden flashes-sideways to the aftermath of an encounter. Pratchett delights in causing confusion. He intentionally provides no maps or other helps for readers struggling to regain their wits. But what did I expect, really, from a story set in a world on the backs of four elephants, all traveling through the universe on the back of a great turtle? Chaos from cover to cover, I suppose. Pratchett's chaotic style and refusal to hold the hands of readers will take some getting used to. I suspect I'll like future installments in the Discworld series better than I did The Color of Magic.