The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Heh... That makes me glad I got the... Uh... Whatever edition mine is.

    It's always fun to see creative use of the media. I wonder how they tried to reflect it in the audio books, if at all. I did listen to the Mort audio book (after reading the book), and DEATH at least is given a far more powerful and imposing voice than the other characters... Maybe they did something similar for Azrael?
    I'm sure they have done so. I've met multiple times with Steven Briggs, who has done a most of the audio books (not all, and not the first ones) and he's very good at it. He has some very funny stories about the recordings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    I think that's because the sub-plot with the sentient shopping mall is pretty forgettable. The characters involved are great, but the actual story concept is bizarre even by Discworld standards and feels more like something out of Hitchhiker's Guide. In addition to all that, they're competing with Death for the spotlight, and it's an easy blow-out win for everyone's favorite anthropomorphic personification.
    Despite the wacky nature of the Reaper Man sub-plot, it's pretty important to the Discworld series as it is the beginning of Mustrum Ridcully as the Archchancellor of Unseen University, along with the rest of the faculty... "stabilizing", for want of a better word. It's the first time that the Dean, Bursar, Lecturer in Recent Runes and the rest of them will be the same person for two consecutive novels, and like the Witches they grow into something hugely entertaining in later books.

    The next time you see them will be Soul Music (which is another Death-centric story) but their involvement is more significant and they are better fleshed out. I may be biased, as it was the first Discworld book that I discovered and it drew me into the series, but it's definitely one to look forward to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    I did listen to the Mort audio book (after reading the book), and DEATH at least is given a far more powerful and imposing voice than the other characters... Maybe they did something similar for Azrael?
    The version I listened to was narrated by Stephen Briggs, who did the narration for the first 15 or so books, I think. I don't remember any special effects, but he definitely bumped the volume up and gave Azrael an impressively deep baritone voice. He made a single syllable stand out, but there's no reverb or other trickery that might have been done in a radio drama version with a full cast and a budget.
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  3. - Top - End - #273
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    I've had at least one audio version of a Discworld once where they super-distorted deaths' voice. Like, tuned it down to demon in a cheap horror movie levels. Plus tons of alone in a cathedral level reverb. Barely understandable, most of the time.
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    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
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    For as long as I shall live.

  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Spoiler: Late half serie spoiler
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    Despite the wacky nature of the Reaper Man sub-plot, it's pretty important to the Discworld series as it is the beginning of Mustrum Ridcully as the Archchancellor of Unseen University, along with the rest of the faculty... "stabilizing", for want of a better word. It's the first time that the Dean, Bursar, Lecturer in Recent Runes and the rest of them will be the same person for two consecutive novels, and like the Witches they grow into something hugely entertaining in later books.
    I just kinda dislike that it also marks the period where the Wizards more or less became neutered.
    Mostly turning from wizards into academics. More or less effectively losing their magic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Spoiler: Late half serie spoiler
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    I just kinda dislike that it also marks the period where the Wizards more or less became neutered.
    Mostly turning from wizards into academics. More or less effectively losing their magic.

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    This already started in Equal rights, where they had the introduction of 'we can do magic but we don't to not attract the dungeon dimensions' plot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    It's always fun to see creative use of the media. I wonder how they tried to reflect it in the audio books, if at all. I did listen to the Mort audio book (after reading the book), and DEATH at least is given a far more powerful and imposing voice than the other characters... Maybe they did something similar for Azrael?
    I love that the Auditors' speech is part of the narration. It's a shame that was dropped later on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    I think that's because the sub-plot with the sentient shopping mall is pretty forgettable. The characters involved are great, but the actual story concept is bizarre even by Discworld standards and feels more like something out of Hitchhiker's Guide. In addition to all that, they're competing with Death for the spotlight, and it's an easy blow-out win for everyone's favorite anthropomorphic personification.
    The B plot of Reaper Man feels like a decent short story awkwardly crowbarred into a really good novella about something else.

    As a stand-alone it would have come off better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I've had at least one audio version of a Discworld once where they super-distorted deaths' voice. Like, tuned it down to demon in a cheap horror movie levels. Plus tons of alone in a cathedral level reverb. Barely understandable, most of the time.
    I think they did something similar to that in the Audible version of the first two books (or at least, that's what a few comments said). I can't say for sure, since I only downloaded the "Mort" audiobook, read by Nigel Planner,
    I believe, who makes a great DEATH, IMHO... And at least in that audiobook, there's no distortion or effects other than Nigel himself giving DEATH a more powerful and imposing voice. I can only guess what he did for Azrael... Maybe something similar but amped to 11? I might actually get the "Reaper Man" audio book just to find out!
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Spoiler: Late half serie spoiler
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    I just kinda dislike that it also marks the period where the Wizards more or less became neutered.
    Mostly turning from wizards into academics. More or less effectively losing their magic.
    Spoiler: The Wizards
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    I feel that is appropriate for what Discworld was becoming. Heroes are just macho thieving jerks with really good PR. Witches are magical, but their main strength is in how they apply common sense and 'women's intuition' to a subject. That Wizards are a relatively normal University faculty that just happens to be the centre for wacky magical hijinks certainly fits the theme.

    I suppose I agree with what you say, considering what it became later on - Discworld started to lose too much of it's magic and fantasy elements towards the end, and certainly by Raising Steam I was ready to check out so I appreciate why you weren't so fond of it.

    The middle 25 or so books, however? I think that's where the joke was at it's best, and that the few times that magic was employed - Interesting Times and Hogfather for example - it was all the better for it being rare and spectacular.
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  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    The B plot of Reaper Man feels like a decent short story awkwardly crowbarred into a really good novella about something else.

    As a stand-alone it would have come off better.
    That's a very good way of describing it, IMHO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Spoiler: The Wizards
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    I feel that is appropriate for what Discworld was becoming. Heroes are just macho thieving jerks with really good PR. Witches are magical, but their main strength is in how they apply common sense and 'women's intuition' to a subject. That Wizards are a relatively normal University faculty that just happens to be the centre for wacky magical hijinks certainly fits the theme.

    I suppose I agree with what you say, considering what it became later on - Discworld started to lose too much of it's magic and fantasy elements towards the end, and certainly by Raising Steam I was ready to check out so I appreciate why you weren't so fond of it.

    The middle 25 or so books, however? I think that's where the joke was at it's best, and that the few times that magic was employed - Interesting Times and Hogfather for example - it was all the better for it being rare and spectacular.
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    I tend to agree with you there, especially about the later steamtech type books.

    Interesting Times is one of my favourite books in the series actually and I do appreciate we get some genuine spellcasting there.

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    Witches Abroad

    Hello, everyone!

    Sorry I haven't posted in so long... But these were some seriously busy weeks for me (and I wanted to take a break so as not to suffer from uh... Franchise fatigue, I guess).

    Anyway... I finished reading Witches Abroad a couple days ago, and I can honestly say it's the best Witches book so far. I really enjoy the idea of a villain that not only "metagames" fable and folklore tropes, but also creates a sort of dictatorship around them (like punishing a toy maker for not being jolly and not telling stories to kids). The numerous references to all sorts of fairy tails during the witches' travel through not-Europe were pretty funny, with some making em actually LOL.

    Granny Weatherwax is still my favorite characters from the Witches series (I love how she defeats Lilly and how she escapes the mirror dimension... Heh... "Is this a tricky question?" *looks at herself* "this one!". Awesome!), but Nanny Ogg is also really fun, and even Magrat has a lot more charm and presence in this book than she did in Wyrd Sisters... And Greebo was hilarious every time... Both for his evilness and for his confusion in operating a human body. It's also pretty cool to see the "fairy godmother" turn out to be the evil one while the "wicked witch" ends up being right... Both without ever admitting that they aren't quite as good (or wicked) as they pretend to be.

    Witches Abroad reminds me a bit of the first two books in the sense that the characters travel around finding all sorts of humorous situations and parodies of fantasy tropes (accompanied by an evil -or at least amoral - non-human being), and one of said characters doesn't know how to use their big magical tool... But of course, the writing is much better.

    All in all, a really good book. Next comes Small Gods! I can't wait to see what it's in store for me!
    Last edited by Lemmy; 2019-09-15 at 10:54 PM.
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    Yay we're back!

    I don't have much to say about Witches Abroad, it didn't leave tha much an impression on me, though I love the way Granny dealt with the voodoo doll.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    All in all, a really good book. Next comes Small Gods! I can't wait to see what it's in store for me!
    Ooh, that's one of my favourites!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  14. - Top - End - #284
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    I think Witches Abroad is the best of the Witches books, though I'm sure someone will be along shortly to make an overwhelming case for one of the others... Glad you liked it.

    Small Gods regularly makes people's favourites lists, too. You're midway through what I call the Golden Age of Discworld now, where every book is brilliant. Enjoy it.
    Last edited by veti; 2018-11-21 at 01:53 AM.

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    Yeah, WA is really good. I almost wish there was another like that. I'm sure pratchett could have parodied a dozen more fairy tales if he wanted to.

    SG is often much praised and surprisingly (I feel) never criticized. It's a stand alone one, kind of sadly.

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    You're midway through what I call the Golden Age of Discworld now, where every book is brilliant. Enjoy it.
    If you say he's halfway through I'd be curious where that begins and ends for you
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    I'd say he's only just starting it, yeah.

    Anyway, I think I prefer Lords and Ladies over Witches Abroad. WA is funnier, but i prefer the subject matter in L&L.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

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    Small Gods is top tier Discworld for me too (Witches Abroad is slightly-below-top tier, if anybody's interested ). You're in for an interesting ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Anyway, I think I prefer Lords and Ladies over Witches Abroad. WA is funnier, but i prefer the subject matter in L&L.
    I was about to say the same; if you enjoyed Witches Abroad, I feel that you will probably very much enjoy Lords & Ladies and Carpe Jugulum, which is my favourite of the Witches books. They are all similar deconstructions of a popular theme - one being Shakespearean Faeries and the other being Vampires - but I think they're much sharper and tightly written.

    Not that I dislike Maskerade of course, but that feels more like a parody than a deconstruction, as it's more focused on one specific real-world story than a genre or theme. It's very good, but in a subtly different way.

    Anyways, on to Small Gods. In a way I envy you - I think that among most of the Discworld fandom, it's generally regarded as one of the best books in the series, and to hear about someone reading it for the first time is always a treat.
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    I loved Witches Abroad, but I liked Lords and Ladies and Carpe Jugulum less. Small Gods is quite fun.

    At the DWCON of 2016 we have done a musical of Witches Abroad. It was really hilarious to see, but the casting was done just perfect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    Not that I dislike Maskerade of course, but that feels more like a parody than a deconstruction, as it's more focused on one specific real-world story than a genre or theme. It's very good, but in a subtly different way.
    It is very focused on one specific story, but also the industry around that story. But that's not an industry most people are used to thinking about.

    Also one of the central jokes is almost completely inaccessible to people born outside of the UK or after a certain date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Also one of the central jokes is almost completely inaccessible to people born outside of the UK or after a certain date.
    Since I'm not from the UK, do tell more.
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    Between Witches Abroad, Lords & Ladies and Carpe Jugulum, Lords & Ladies is by far my favorite (but all are good).

    If I had read Carpe Jugulum first I think I would've enjoyed it even more, but it felt to me like
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    it repeated too many plot elements from Lords & Ladies
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Between Witches Abroad, Lords & Ladies and Carpe Jugulum, Lords & Ladies is by far my favorite (but all are good).

    If I had read Carpe Jugulum first I think I would've enjoyed it even more, but it felt to me like
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    it repeated too many plot elements from Lords & Ladies
    That's about the time I caught up with Terry. The Truth I remember seeing new (I got the hardback for Christmas, Hogfather, Jingo and 5th elephant I got the paperbacks for).
    And I got similar feelings about the same time, I suspect partly because before then I was reading them in a more random order.
    But also
    Spoiler: partly the books
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    Rule of 3 by that time you had the story straight (1st subversion if you count roundworld), twisted once and then again, small, medium and large, etc...
    Last edited by jayem; 2018-11-21 at 03:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Divayth Fyr View Post
    Since I'm not from the UK, do tell more.
    Spoiler: Maskerade spoilers
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    The character of Walter Plinge in Maskerade is based on the character Frank Spencer, from a TV series called Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em that aired between 1973 and 1978. He was basically the same kind of nervous, hapless bumbler wearing a beret and falling over his own broom.

    Frank Spencer was played by Michael Crawford. The original actor to play the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera.

    (Walter Plinge is also the traditional name used in playbills in London when an actor wants their name taken off the production or is playing a character uncredited for some other reason)



    I think we're about catching up to the point I started reading the series. I think Men at Arms was the latest one when I started.
    Last edited by GloatingSwine; 2018-11-21 at 03:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    If you say he's halfway through I'd be curious where that begins and ends for you
    Obviously very subjective, but I think - from Pyramids to Men at Arms is the period of unalloyed gold. Soul Music introduces
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    the most contrived, annoying character in the series, "don't call me Mary-" Susan, who deadens every story she appears in (only Hogfather is good enough to rise above her baleful influence).
    There is plenty of great material after then, but - in my estimation - it's mixed with a slowly increasing proportion of base metal.

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    It is very focused on one specific story, but also the industry around that story. But that's not an industry most people are used to thinking about.

    Also one of the central jokes is almost completely inaccessible to people born outside of the UK or after a certain date.
    What industry are most people used to thinking about? I think "musical theatre" gets about as much of most people's attention as, well, most things going on around us. And I wouldn't say the joke you speak of is particularly "central" - all the books are replete with pop-culture references of all kinds. The Annotated Pratchett Files make a decent attempt to collate them - and it's at least twice as many as anyone I know could have hoped to spot solo - but even they don't have everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    If I had read Carpe Jugulum first I think I would've enjoyed it even more, but it felt to me like
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    it repeated too many plot elements from Lords & Ladies
    I agree, some of the books do grow repetitive. I also get fed up with what I see as revisionism in later books, of which Carpe Jugulum is one of the earliest examples -
    Spoiler
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    the sense of rules being rewritten just so that some character, usually Granny Weatherwax, although later Sam Vimes and Vetinari both approach the same level of favouritism, can get to be more badass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    What industry are most people used to thinking about? I think "musical theatre" gets about as much of most people's attention as, well, most things going on around us.
    You really think so?

    You'd say that musical theatre in all its forms combined reaches the level of public awareness as movies or TV?

    Hell one of the jokes in Maskerade is how niche it is (The fastest way to make a small fortune in Opera is to start with a large one).

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    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Spoiler: Maskerade spoilers
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    The character of Walter Plinge in Maskerade is based on the character Frank Spencer, from a TV series called Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em that aired between 1973 and 1978. He was basically the same kind of nervous, hapless bumbler wearing a beret and falling over his own broom.

    Frank Spencer was played by Michael Crawford. The original actor to play the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera.
    Wow... I *am* both old enough and local enough to remember that show (at least, the reruns of it if not the originals) and I didn't make that connection. I certainly didn't know the Phantom connection, what a wonderful little bit of trivia.

    Then again, "good natured fool with a silly hat" has been something of a staple in British comedy for decades, so it's possibly that I didn't spot WHICH ONE was being referred to.

    With that in mind, I wonder if the L-Space website has ever been updated. It also used to list the pop culture references and trivia in the Discworld books, though I believe it more or less petered out around the time of Going Postal or thereabouts. Fond old memories of reading through the lists, seeing how many I had spotted and how many I had missed, back when I was in school.
    Last edited by Wraith; 2018-11-22 at 06:05 AM.
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    Yeah, the page-per-page trivia information stops at some point before Going Postal. I remember, because I tried looking up something that is in Going Postal and that book didn't have any.
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    Small Gods

    Hello, everyone... And welcome back!

    After a long hiatus due to a bunch of different factors, I finally got the time to retake my efforts to read every single Discworld Book for the first time. In order.

    And my latest read is the 13th book in the series: "Small Gods".

    Once again, Sir Terry Pratchett uses humor, wit, great writing and remarkable characters to make a point in the best possible way.

    "Small Gods" criticizes and parodies organized religion, fanaticism and blind following... But clearly differentiates between "religion" and "faith", and it never feels too preachy, heavy-handed or mean-spirited. It's clear that whatever good or ill, PTerry thought of religion, he still cared for and valued religious people as much as he did anyone else.

    All in all, despite being somewhat darker than most other Discworld book I've read so far, it still ends out as a story about hope, open-mindedness and forgiveness.

    Brutha is a very likable and memorable character. On the other side is Vorbis, who is very unlikable, but equally memorable. Somewhere in the middle is Om, who isn't quite as nice as Brutha or quite as mean as Vorbis... But is certainly just as memorable as the other two central characters.

    Some passages of the book are really dark, humorous or biting... Many are all of those at the same time.

    I really liked the last conversation between Vorbis and Death... As well as the final scene of the book.

    What else to say, other than... The Turtle Moves.
    Last edited by Lemmy; 2019-09-15 at 10:55 PM.
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  30. - Top - End - #300
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

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    Jan 2007
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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    ... Yes. This is really dark for a Discworld book. Indeed.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
    To defend the Constitution of Man,
    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
    For as long as I shall live.

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