The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
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    I personally thought they were going for a council of new bloods approach. They slowly but consistently reduce the power of both the nobles and the guilds, and place new meritocrats like Moist, Vimes, De Word, King and Stibbons into places of power. Even the old gangs are being replaced by the Troll mafia.

    Vetenari's plan seems to be to slowly gather the reins of power into the hands of the government and government back enterprises (takes control of crime fighting (several books), banks (making money), communications (Going Postal), transportation (raising steam), and is working on industrial factories powered by the device.

    The rise of guilded age industrialists and expanded government was replacing the old guilds and nobles and then the series ended.
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    Oddly, he hasn't actually taken over any of those things. He's put people he can trust in charge of them, even when it takes decades for someone to grow into the role as it did with Vimes. Government oversight, but not government administration, if you follow me. He's building the city infrastructure, but not the government's role in it. He's putting every ounce of his political capital into making the city effectively bomb-proof, regardless of what government takes over after his departure, because we've seen rather clearly what happens to the city when the Patrician is removed (The Truth) or even sick (Feet of Clay): it falls apart and the old guard jumps back in to take all the power they can. I believe, if the thread had ever been completed, Vetinari would say this Great Undertaking was to build a city that could outlive its rulers rather than being reinvented every time there is a coup.

    Vetinari runs Ankh-Morpork as a meritocracy - Vimes and Moist get their ever increasing power because they earn it. He wouldn't be nearly so amiable with Carrot if Carrot weren't a proper leader in his own right. He tolerates De Worde and King because they, too, earn what power they get even if he wasn't the one to give it to them. I mean, he'd probably be okay letting Carrot take over if he ever so much as asked to, but that's because Carrot is awesome and not for any trivial reasons.
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calemyr View Post
    Otto is also one of my favorite characters to read aloud, rivaled only by Teatime and Rob Anybody's crew.
    His "Oh, SHEEE-YUT!!" is still one of my favorite exclamations of all time, to the point that I still use it occasionally in real life.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Moving Pictures

    Finally finished "Moving Pictures". It's a very fun book that introduces a bunch of new characters, most of which are very likeable and/or entertaining.

    I particularly liked Gaspode and the trolls (specially their courtship rituals)... Although C.M.O.T Dibbler was hilarious as the greedy producer meddling with the story. The little nods to the history of cinema and the whole concept of "Holy Wood magic" were really fun... Heh... I love how they find the closing line for "Gone With The Wind" "Blown Away".

    The history climax is as fun as always... The mix between "Attack of the 50 ft woman" and "King Kong" was hilarious. It actually saddens me that Holy Wood is gone and moving pictures were forbidden. I hope they find a way to return. I'd like to see more of Victor, Ginger and Gaspode.

    Next, I believe is "Reaper Man", which sounds like a DEATH book... Considering how much I loved "Mort", I'm pretty excited!
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post

    I particularly liked Gaspode and the trolls (specially their courtship rituals)... Although C.M.O.T Dibbler was hilarious as the greedy producer meddling with the story.
    I love the Brick Joke at the end, where Dibbler's

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    (nearly a) thousand elephants


    finally arrive in Ankh Morpork.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2018-09-18 at 09:33 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Finally finished "Moving Pictures". It's a very fun book that introduces a bunch of new characters, most of which are very likeable and/or entertaining.
    Most of them stick around!

    I particularly liked Gaspode and the trolls (specially their courtship rituals)... Although C.M.O.T Dibbler was hilarious as the greedy producer meddling with the story. The little nods to the history of cinema and the whole concept of "Holy Wood magic" were really fun... Heh... I love how they find the closing line for "Gone With The Wind" "Blown Away".
    You better get used to this kind of thing!

    The history climax is as fun as always... The mix between "Attack of the 50 ft woman" and "King Kong" was hilarious. It actually saddens me that Holy Wood is gone and moving pictures were forbidden. I hope they find a way to return. I'd like to see more of Victor, Ginger and Gaspode.
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    Holy Wood doesn't come back. The first few Wild Ideas don't. It's only with the Truth that they start doing so.

    Next, I believe is "Reaper Man", which sounds like a DEATH book... Considering how much I loved "Mort", I'm pretty excited!
    That one defenitely my least loved of DEATH's books. It isn't bad or anything but it's an average Discworld book for me while the others are some of the very best.
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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.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Next, I believe is "Reaper Man", which sounds like a DEATH book... Considering how much I loved "Mort", I'm pretty excited!
    "Reaper Man" is definitely a Death book and that line has a very high bar of quality. If you liked "Mort", I think you'll really like this one, as it continues Death's development as a character and a job, this time without Mort's perspective getting in the way of things. It's got an awful lot of side stories muddying things up, which I feel drags the overall quality down some, but, when the story is focused on Death, it's really on point.

    Also, a minor spoiler regarding a favorite Moving Pictures character:
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    Gaspode will return, and pretty soon. "Men at Arms", I believe. And he remains every bit as awesome as he was in Moving Pictures, presenting a far more practical mindset than most of the "intelligent" species seem capable of. So, yeah. He's a lot of fun.
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Ah yes, reaper man is my personal favourite so look forward to seeing what you think. (It does have some issues but won't mention them until you are finished to avoid tainting your perception.)

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    They will mention Holy wood a couple of times, mostly as a negative example. Just like Mr. Hong and his take-away bar.
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    This going to sound super hypocritical given I'm forever moaning about the steammagipunk version of the Disc in the later books but I honestly wished the clicks stuck around. I don't know whether the difference is I just love the cinema (which alone makes Moving Pictures great for me) or because the moving pictures are so clearly their own unique thing rather than some greater kernel of industrialistion.

    Regarding Gaspode.

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    I wasn't a huge fan of the Men at Arms retcon that all dogs are as smart as he is and that Laddie is just a simpleton.

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossN View Post
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    I wasn't a huge fan of the Men at Arms retcon that all dogs are as smart as he is and that Laddie is just a simpleton.
    I don't remember that.

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    Wasn't the idea th[at he slept too close to magic waste?
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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.

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I don't remember that.

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    Wasn't the idea that he slept too close to magic waste?
    Gaspode is unique in that he can speak Human,

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    but when the dogs are talking about themselves in Canine, they all come across as a lot brighter than Laddie.


    In The Fifth Elephant

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    The regular wolves (as opposed to werewolves) are also pretty capable of holding conversations.
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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Gaspode is unique in that he can speak Human,

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    but when the dogs are talking about themselves in Canine, they all come across as a lot brighter than Laddie.


    In The Fifth Elephant

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    The regular wolves (as opposed to werewolves) are also pretty capable of holding conversations.
    Oh, those. Heh, it did not bother me. To each his own, I guess.
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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.

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    It doesn't bother me - but I can see why people might regard it as a retcon.

    Still, even before Men At Arms, regular animals having unusual intelligence was established. Camels being amazing mathematicians, for example.
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  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossN View Post
    Regarding Gaspode.

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    I wasn't a huge fan of the Men at Arms retcon that all dogs are as smart as he is and that Laddie is just a simpleton.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I don't remember that.

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    Wasn't the idea th[at he slept too close to magic waste?
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    The only thing I can say to excuse Laddie is that, like Gaspode and the others, he is under the effects of movie magic. That said, Gaspode made it abundantly clear that Laddie was good looking but "had the brains of a stunned herring". It just gets much, much worse compared to Men at Arms.

    In Men at Arms, the Bad Dogs Guild was a lot more intelligent than Laddie ever was - even the dumbest Bad Dogs were able to think simple thoughts beyond "Laddie good boy!". And then we get Poodle Hitler. End result is that Laddie goes from being a common dog paired with a super smart Gaspode to being a simpleton paired with a marginally clever but magically vocal Gaspode. The Fifth Elephant splits the difference by giving us Gavin, who is stated to be smart (basically a lupine approximation of Carrot) but he never "speaks" so we only have outside interpretations regarding how smart he really is.

    I still have to admit that it surprised me that we never found out that Laddie was a girl, seeing as Lassie was a boy. Or maybe the Disc has enough sense to check gender before selecting a name.
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calemyr View Post
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    The only thing I can say to excuse Laddie is that, like Gaspode and the others, he is under the effects of movie magic. That said, Gaspode made it abundantly clear that Laddie was good looking but "had the brains of a stunned herring". It just gets much, much worse compared to Men at Arms.

    In Men at Arms, the Bad Dogs Guild was a lot more intelligent than Laddie ever was - even the dumbest Bad Dogs were able to think simple thoughts beyond "Laddie good boy!". And then we get Poodle Hitler. End result is that Laddie goes from being a common dog paired with a super smart Gaspode to being a simpleton paired with a marginally clever but magically vocal Gaspode. The Fifth Elephant splits the difference by giving us Gavin, who is stated to be smart (basically a lupine approximation of Carrot) but he never "speaks" so we only have outside interpretations regarding how smart he really is.

    I still have to admit that it surprised me that we never found out that Laddie was a girl, seeing as Lassie was a boy. Or maybe the Disc has enough sense to check gender before selecting a name.
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    Then again the Dogs Guild live in Ankh-Morporkh where pets can be negotiated with by Vetinari. they may not be your average Discworld dogs.
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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.

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    I have a question:

    Did Pratchett ever give a reason why he rarely wrote two consecutive books focused on the same characters?

    Was it to avoid getting tired of them? To make it more interesting for the readers? To explore more of Discworld? Simply because he was inspired by different things at different times? Something else entirely?
    Last edited by Lemmy; 2018-09-18 at 05:23 PM.
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    He said he was usually writing on several of them at the same time, in various stages of development. So he probably just had one per character going.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    I have a question:

    Did Pratchett ever give a reason why he rarely wrote two consecutive books focused on the same characters?

    Was it to avoid getting tired of them? To make it more interesting for the readers? To explore more of Discworld? Simply because he was inspired by different things at different times? Something else entirely?
    I guess to some extent if he had a good joke/situation for book 2 he'd have put it in book 1.
    I think he also had a few books on the go (it talks about books being destroyed) so it would be confusing to remember what elements happened in which book.

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    Also many of the books in a theme have much the same plot. Maybe with one or two things reversed and paired with other plots. Going straight from one to the next might be a bit jarring. Guards guards, Men at arms and feet of clay are all "Someone tries to put a fake/real king on the throne".


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    Eric, Moving Pics & Reaper man are a run of adjacent half-wizardy books
    Then you have a run of watch books close together Feet of Clay, (Death), Jingo, (Wizards), (Witches), 5th Elephant,

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
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    Holy Wood doesn't come back. The first few Wild Ideas don't. It's only with the Truth that they start doing so.
    Not quite. The first recurring Wild Idea I can think of makes its debut in Interesting Times. Another grows up over several books beginning, if I recall rightly, with Feet of Clay.

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    For clarity, I'm talking about Hex and the Clacks, respectively.
    Last edited by veti; 2018-09-19 at 02:09 AM.

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Not quite. The first recurring Wild Idea I can think of makes its debut in Interesting Times. Another grows up over several books beginning, if I recall rightly, with Feet of Clay.

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    For clarity, I'm talking about Hex and the Clacks, respectively.
    I don't think those are really Wild Ideas as such.

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    The clacks to me is more a first step towards the Victorian times that Terry was pushing Ankh-Morpork in And Hex can be seen in the same way.
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  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by farothel View Post
    I don't think those are really Wild Ideas as such.
    ...
    You have the actual "wild Ideas" of which Moving Pictures (already read) is one and the general recurring technological development, and then they kind of meet.
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    In narrative because the Patrician allows it around truth time.


    Speaking of Moving Pictures I've been listening to the radio version of Dr in the house, and it has a pretty much identical form of the Will situation. Which previously I'd assumed had been Terry's own spin (inspired perhaps by something like Pirate of Penzance), but now wonder.

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Reaper Man

    I just finished reading "Reaper Man" (Slow day at work! Sue me!).

    As always, DEATH is a great character. Incredibly entertaining, relatable and... Well... Human. Once again we see how much he cares. Previous books already showed this but not as clearly as "Reaper Man" does. His time as Bill Door and his friendship with Miss Flitworth are delightful to read... As is his disgust at the cold, uncaring "New Death", created by the imagination of modern humans, who greatly fear death.

    The "Fresh Starters" are all around hilarious. The vampire couple and the blooming relationship between the wolf-girl and the man-wolf are my favorite part of that story, never failing to make me laugh! The boogey man too made me LOL multiple times... Widdle Poons being followed around by a door is just too funny!

    Speaking of which...

    Winddle Poons adventures are equally funny. I love how the other wizards try to exorcise (?) him time and time again, failing every time... And Winddle Poons' response is to feel sorry and apologize for bothering them. The subplot about the city-parasites that hatch from a Snowglobe, become shopping carts and eventually grow into a mall was pretty interesting, although I felt it took too much time from the "main plot" (but at least it gives readers an opportunity to see the wizards in action).

    "Reaper Man" has possibly the best main plot line in all Discworld books I've read so far, with some genuinely touching moment (like Miss Flitworth's final moments and resting place), even if the secondary plot line isn't quite as endearing as those from other books, IMO.

    All in all, (unsurprisingly) a great book. And definitely one of my favorites so far!

    Next is "Witches Abroad". I'm not as excited, as the Witches books are my least favorite sub-series so far (not counting one-shots), but "Wyrd Sisters" was a great read. And Discworld has come a looooooooong way since Equal Rites.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    I just finished reading "Reaper Man" (Slow day at work! Sue me!).

    As always, DEATH is a great character. Incredibly entertaining, relatable and... Well... Human. Once again we see how much he cares. Previous books already showed this but not as clearly as "Reaper Man" does. His time as Bill Door and his friendship with Miss Flitworth are delightful to read... As is his disgust at the cold, uncaring "New Death", created by the imaginarion of modern humans, who greatly fear death.

    The "Fresh Starters" are all around hilarious. The vampire couple and the blooming relationship between the wolf-girl and the man-wolf are my favorite part of that story, never failing to make me laugh! The boogey man too made me LOL multiple times... Widdle Poons being followed around by a door is just too funny!

    Speaking of which...

    Winddle Poons adventures are equally funny. I love how the other wizards try to exorcize (?) him time and time again, failing every time... And Winddle Poons' response is to feel sorry and apologize for bothering them. The subplot about the city-parasites that hatch from a Snowglobe, become shopping carts and eventually grow into a mall was pretty interesting, although I felt it took too much time from the "main plot" (but at least it gives readers an opportunity to see the wizards in action).

    "Reaper Man" has possibly the best main plotline in all Discworld books I've read so far, with some genuinely touching moment (like Miss Flitworth's final moments and resting place), even if the secondary plotline isn't quite as endearing as those from other books, IMO.

    All in all, (unsurprisingly) a great book. And definetely one of my favorites so far!

    Next is "Witches Abroad". I'm not as excited, as the Witches books are my least favorite sub-series so far (not counting one-shots), but "Wyrd Sisters" was a great read. And Discworld has come a looooooooong way since Equal Rites.
    Apropos of nothing, what was your thoughts on Reg Shoe, the leader of the "Fresh Starters"?

    But, yeah, Reaper Man really does a lot to humanize Death. It's funny you should mention it, though, because I feel "Witches Abroad" does the same thing with the witches. In Wyrd Sisters they were still sketches of their characters and it's Witches Abroad that really shows them for who they are. You truly haven't seen Magrat, Gytha, and Esmerelda in their full glory yet.

    A fun participation game for you: try to spot as many of the literary, mythical, and fairy tale references as you can. This particular book is jam packed with them and some of them are really great when you spot them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kairos Theodosian
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  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calemyr View Post
    Apropos of nothing, what was your thoughts on Reg Shoe, the leader of the "Fresh Starters"?

    But, yeah, Reaper Man really does a lot to humanize Death. It's funny you should mention it, though, because I feel "Witches Abroad" does the same thing with the witches. In Wyrd Sisters they were still sketches of their characters and it's Witches Abroad that really shows them for who they are. You truly haven't seen Magrat, Gytha, and Esmerelda in their full glory yet.

    A fun participation game for you: try to spot as many of the literary, mythical, and fairy tale references as you can. This particular book is jam packed with them and some of them are really great when you spot them.
    I think Reg's character concept is super funny and creative (subversive revolutionary fighting for the rights of an oppressed people: Dead people), but in general, his scenes weren't quite as entertaining as the boogey man and vampires (vampire by marriage... Heh).

    I do think Reg has a lot of potential as a character. I'd like to see him again (maybe coming into conflict with the Patrician?).

    Well... Given that I still have 30 books to go through and am avoiding spoilers like the plague, AFAIK, he could be main protagonist of 15 books... Or never show up again. I dare not try to predict Sir Terry Pratchett's imagination!

    And don't worry! I already learned to keep my eyes open for all sorts of in-jokes and references when reading Discworld books.
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  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Hm... I guess I really should reread RM. I forgot almost everything but the main plot, which seems to be a shame.

    Witches Abroad is great. As Calemyr said, the witches weren't really fleshed out before. For better or worse, WA will probably tell you if you should stick with them or maybe skip future witches books (unlikely, but no point reading things you don't enjoy)
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    With Witches Abroad I Always think back on the musical we did during one of the Discworld Conventions. It was hilarious.

    I must say that Reaper man is one of my least favourite Death books, but I do agree that it changes Death.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    BTW, I forgot to mention, but my two favorite moments of "Reaper Man" are when the priests are super frightened at the approach of DEATH Misses Cake (I honestly LOLed at work when reading that part) and the moment when turning the page I'm faced with a humongous "YES".
    Last edited by Lemmy; 2018-10-10 at 03:26 PM.
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Hm... I guess I really should reread RM. I forgot almost everything but the main plot, which seems to be a shame.

    Witches Abroad is great. As Calemyr said, the witches weren't really fleshed out before. For better or worse, WA will probably tell you if you should stick with them or maybe skip future witches books (unlikely, but no point reading things you don't enjoy)
    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.

    Witches Abroad is easily my favorite of the Witches books. It's the story that nails the characterization of the Wtches the best while being a non-stop laugh riot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    BTW, I forgot to mention, but my two favorite moments of "Reaper Man" are when the priests are super frightened at the approach of DEATH Misses Cake (I honestly LOLed at work when reading that part) and the moment when turning the page I'm faced with a humongous "YES".
    The humongous YES is one of my favorite moments in all Discworld. According to Sir Pterry, he had to spend AGES on re-writes to make sure that the words would finish exactly on the page before so that the big YES could surprise the reader.

    ...And then in the initial printing of the American version, they went and used a different font size and screwed it up anyway.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    The humongous YES is one of my favorite moments in all Discworld. According to Sir Pterry, he had to spend AGES on re-writes to make sure that the words would finish exactly on the page before so that the big YES could surprise the reader.

    ...And then in the initial printing of the American version, they went and used a different font size and screwed it up anyway.
    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?
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    Default Re: Reading Discworld!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    I

    Next is "Witches Abroad". I'm not as excited, as the Witches books are my least favorite sub-series so far (not counting one-shots), but "Wyrd Sisters" was a great read. And Discworld has come a looooooooong way since Equal Rites.
    I strongly recmmend not thinking of Equal Rites as a witches book. It's a very early book, Pratchett had not hit his stride yet, and it features only one of the witches, who isn't quite Granny Weatherwax yet. Wyrd Sisters is where the series starts (with all three witches) and Witches Abroad is where it gets good.
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