Best and Worst Discworld

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Orla » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:24 pm UTC

sleepygamer wrote: For example, Night Watch was a lot darker than most. And eternally at night, even during sections that were in daytime.

Night Watch remains possibly my favourite novel ever.


I read Night Watch on a plane journey and when I finished it, the first thing I though was "Who knew Ankh-Morpork could feel so dark‽"

It is also right up there at my number-one-super-special-reserved-place on my bookshelf. I don't quite know why, I just love it.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Dave_Wise » Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:18 pm UTC

I'd never heard of Pratchett in Freedomville, and when I came here, to describe him someone said, "Terry Pratchett is the kind of author read by people who don't like books. Like Dan UPS."

Nah, that's just snobbery. Whatever else he is, Terry Pratchett is a real author. He might have disappointed me with his cosy morality and emerging dubious ideology recently, but not only can he write a page-turner and a good story, he also includes loads of really cool stuff: folklore, science, etc.

My favourite is probably reaper man. It marks a departure from the 'Rincewind saves the world again' stories, has the wizards and ankh-morpork in and is the first one that I feel is set in a properly fleshed-out discworld rather than just a made-up-as-he-was-going-along fantasy parody setting. That said, it's like picking a favourite child. I just can't bring myself to do it.

My least favourite is probably making money. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and I re-read it recently, but it just never 'clicked' for me. The storyline about the thousands of golems never felt right to me and it just wasn't up to Pratchett's usual standard. Funnily enough though, I think unseen academicals marks something of a return to form.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Various Varieties » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:29 am UTC

Dave_Wise wrote:He might have disappointed me with his cosy morality and emerging dubious ideology recently,

What emerging ideology, and what's dubious about it? I'm curious about where you see it - in Vetinari's approach to modernising Ankh-Morpork, or in the science/spirituality stuff in Nation? Or are you referring to opinions he's voiced outside his books?

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Dave_Wise » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:11 pm UTC

No- in fact, I support his stance on euthanasia. What annoys me is the way, for example, nationalisation is described as 'naked theft by the government'. I would define it as de-monopolising the means of production by the government for the benefit of the people.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Aben Zin » Sun May 16, 2010 9:39 pm UTC

Night Watch remains one of my favouite books, in part due to my iPods choice of songs as I read the last part of the book. Won't get fooled again followed by Children of the Revolution. Just felt so awsome.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby GraphiteGirl » Wed May 19, 2010 2:39 pm UTC

Aben Zin wrote:As for least favourite, probably Equl Rites. Coming to it out of order, Granny Weatherwax just felt wrong!

I, too, felt this way; I'd read up to Carpe Jugulum before reading Equal Rites, and I wasn't used to, or terribly keen on, proto-Granny.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby demian » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:40 am UTC

In this part of the world where i lie (argetina) is practically impossible to get a discworld book beyond the first three boks.In fact,i only got the first two.The one i liked the best was the first, The Colour Of Magic.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby SpaceShipRat » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:50 pm UTC

For me it's a gaussian (shaped) curve. I like the ones in the middle best. The first are random, even he admits he "discovered the joy of plot" around the sixth. The last are too much at the other side of the spectrum, lots of plot and not enough throwaway jokes, puns and footnotes with the social commentary that I loved. Instead he's made the dirty jokes louder, instead of silly double entendres, he had a dog running around chewing a sex toy for an entire book (Making Money). Ok, I admit it, I loved the courtroom scene with the dog whirring across the floor, but it also pulled me right out of the story.
Reaper Man and Night Watch are two I would single out as really good. The Mayflies/Counting Trees... there's something about Reaper Man that makes it more than a Discworld book- while Night Watch is Ankh-Morpork and it's down-to-earth* characters at it's grimy best.
I really don't get Moving Pictures and Unseen Academicals, but maybe it's because I'm not into movies or football.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Various Varieties » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:18 pm UTC

SpaceShipRat wrote:I really don't get [...] Unseen Academicals, but maybe it's because I'm not into [...] football.

Neither's Terry Pratchett! (As well as that link, the Guardian Book Club's video discussion and the full-length audio version are also worth a download.)

I liked Unseen Academicals. Mr Nutt may have been reminiscent of some of Pratchett's earlier characters (in particular, his photographic memory and way of speaking reminded me of, respectively, Brutha from Small Gods and Carrot's naivete back in Guards Guards). But there were still plenty of funny moments quite apart from the main football story: pretty much everything involving the Ridcully/Dean rivalry or Dr Hix, for example.


Also, I watched Sky One's adaptation of Going Postal last week. Very good - miles better than Hogfather, the little I saw of The Colour of Magic, and the two '90s Cosgrove Hall animations (Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music). Good casting, particularly for Moist. As someone else pointed out, it's quite funny that a story about a public service battling valiantly against an unscrupulous private company should be shown on a Rupert Murdoch channel!

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby SpaceShipRat » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:14 pm UTC

Various Varieties wrote: But there were still plenty of funny moments quite apart from the main football story: pretty much everything involving the Ridcully/Dean rivalry or Dr Hix, for example.

I was used to think of the Dean as a fat funny man who acted like a child, like in Soul Music where he starts wearing metal studded robes, and Ridcully scolds him as if he was his rebellios teenage kid... so I really don't see where that whole "new university" thing came from. And I liked the Bursar more than Hix, as comic relief, I can't help but think Pratchett wrote him off because he doesn't find mental disease quite as funny, can't say I blame him. Oh and Vetinary's gone crazy, he's drinking, laughing, and doing strane stuff all through the book. He used to be way more badass, now he's resorted to making fun of his secretary.
Maybe I've grown too comfortable with the "status quo" of the midway books, and should embrace the change... I'm sure "I Shall Wear Midnight" will be good.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Various Varieties » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:26 pm UTC

Pretty hefty news update on Paulkidby.com:

- The fourth Tiffany Aching book, I Shall Wear Midnight is done! The cover art on the proof copy (a signed copy of which is currently going for £579 on eBay) is different from the cover art currently shown on Amazon.
- After that, the next Discworld book will be "based largely around Vimes, with the working title Snuff. A word that has, as you probably know, at least two meanings." Surprising; I was expecting the next Moist von Lipwig book Raising Taxes to be next. Maybe they're the same thing...
- There's also a tiny bit of commentary on Long Earth, Pratchett's recently announced sci-fi collaboration with Stephen Baxter.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby charliepanayi » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:37 pm UTC

Another Vimes book? Really? Don't get me wrong, I love the City Watch books but I wondered if like Rincewind (and matbe Granny Weatherwax outside of the Tiffany Aching books) Pratchett had taken the character as far as he could go - the 'darkness inside Vimes' stuff seemed to reach its natural conclusion in Thud!. But maybe I'm just overanalysing it. And it's better than another Moist von Lipwig book, I didn't enjoy Making Money anywhere near as much as Going Postal.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby rachelbonilla » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:30 pm UTC

I loved Colour of Magic. And have you seen the movie version of it? It is awesome, great casting!!! My favorite character by far is Death. I love when he takes a vacation in Soul Music and his granddaughter has to go to his house to set things straight.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Moo » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:47 pm UTC

Sky One's Colour Of Magic was pretty cool but I'll never get over an American Twoflower. Still, I'm sad to have moved from the UK in time to have not even *heard* of the Going Postal adaptation.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby pineapplepie » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:04 pm UTC

The earliest books, like The Color of Magic, don't have the complexity of some of the later books, so those are probably the worst.
I think Reaper Man and the other Death books are the best, though, since Death is one of the most interesting characters in the entire series.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby ConMan » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:31 am UTC

I really loved Thud! and Wintersmith, especially the climactic scenes in both which for me felt almost cinematic in their execution - I could hear the dramatic music swelling and see the imagery.
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I would pay good money to go to a movie theatre, just to see Vimes down in the caverns, caked in mud, tears rolling down his face, with a crazed look in his eyes as the Berserker takes reign, yelling "WHERE'S MY COW?". Pair that up with the near-opening scene of the race through Ankh-Morpork, filmed in the style of an action film car chase - particularly one of the classic Bond ones, or from The Bourne Identity or The Italian Job - and I'd be one very happy camper. I would pay almost as much money to see Tiffany filled with the spirit of Summer, and casting the big "frost to fire" spell that destroys Jack Frost and pulls his castle down as a result.


I read "I Shall Wear Midnight" last week, and it was also quite good, but not *quite* up the top of the list for me.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby MotorToad » Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:58 pm UTC

Moo wrote:Sky One's Colour Of Magic was pretty cool but I'll never get over an American Twoflower. Still, I'm sad to have moved from the UK in time to have not even *heard* of the Going Postal adaptation.

I think that may have been entirely the point. He was to be foreign, after all...
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby ConMan » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:57 am UTC

MotorToad wrote:
Moo wrote:Sky One's Colour Of Magic was pretty cool but I'll never get over an American Twoflower. Still, I'm sad to have moved from the UK in time to have not even *heard* of the Going Postal adaptation.

I think that may have been entirely the point. He was to be foreign, after all...

In the novels, given that the Agatean Empire is decidedly Asian (particularly Chinese but with bits and pieces of Japanese and a few other nationalities thrown in), I think Twoflower was meant to be the stereotypical Japanese tourist, rather than the stereotypical American tourist (although, again, with a few "American tourist"/generic stereotypical tourist characteristics thrown in). I remember hearing someone suggest Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura from Heroes) as Twoflower, and I think he would have been great.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Jorpho » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:26 am UTC

At least they had enough sense not to give him the literal four-eyes like Jack Kirby did, amrite? (That is a haunting image.)

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Moo » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

MotorToad wrote:
Moo wrote:Sky One's Colour Of Magic was pretty cool but I'll never get over an American Twoflower. Still, I'm sad to have moved from the UK in time to have not even *heard* of the Going Postal adaptation.
I think that may have been entirely the point. He was to be foreign, after all...
As ConMan explained, I didn't mean what you think I meant. I take it you've never read Interesting Times.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby AngrySquirrel » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:25 pm UTC

ConMan wrote:I remember hearing someone suggest Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura from Heroes) as Twoflower, and I think he would have been great.

This. Very much this. I think he'd be the perfect Twoflower.

As for favourite and least favourite Discworld I don't really have an opinion. The books kind of all blend together for me into a Discworld-world instead of individual books.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Ended » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:05 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:At least they had enough sense not to give him the literal four-eyes like Jack Kirby did, amrite? (That is a haunting image.)

Those illustrations confused the fuck out of me. Especially as I read Colour of Magic/Light Fantastic after Interesting Times. "Hmm, that must be Twoflower on the cov--wait, WHAT?"
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby MotorToad » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:20 pm UTC

Moo wrote:As ConMan explained, I didn't mean what you think I meant. I take it you've never read Interesting Times.
I don't recall if I have or haven't (but probably not), and even if I have that doesn't necessarily mean I remember anything about it. :) Even the bits I think that I manage to recall after three or four other books I confuse with similar concepts in other books.

Maybe the director had more personal experience with annoying American tourists than Asian tourists and wanted to make a point? :)
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby JayDee » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:55 pm UTC

Twoflower wasn't portrayed as a typical person from the empire at all, though. Hence "What I dd on my holidays" becoming a revolutionary text.

I had the impression he was meant to be an American (and everywhere else that has clueless tourists - I'd be curious to know if the portrayal was massaged into any other nationanility in various translations) tourist from an Auriental empire.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Various Varieties » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:58 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:At least they had enough sense not to give him the literal four-eyes like Jack Kirby did, amrite? (That is a haunting image.)

Josh Kirby. Jack Kirby was the superhero artist. (Yep, I've made the same mix-up a few times!)

I remember reading a couple of comments from Terry Pratchett saying, affectionately, that it took ages to explain to Josh Kirby what the brief was for the Soul Music cover artwork, because the artist was completely oblivious to trends in popular music and album covers since the 1970s!

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby JayDee » Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:09 pm UTC

Gotta be honest, I would love to see Jack Kirby covers for Discworld novels.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Amarantha » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:54 am UTC

I like Paul Kidby's DW artwork. Most of it captures pretty exactly the images I have in my head.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Talanic » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:49 pm UTC

Let's see.

Small Gods is one of my favorites. Similarly with Reaper Man - the ending alone is good enough to make me cry and laugh at the same time.

My fiance pointed out that the books starring Susan have a bit of a problem with her being such a sourpuss. She won't stop complaining about the facts of the world she lives in because they don't fit with what she accepts as logic - except that the facts of the world should be determining what logic is, not the other way around.

I didn't care much for Monstrous Regiment, largely because I saw what was going on pretty quickly. I'll be rereading it at some point, just to make sure.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Brother Maynard » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:08 am UTC

A few massively disliked books:

Monstrous Regiment - The first couple of twists were ok, but the book took it too far into the realm of the ridiculous with the actual ending of the book.

The Last Continent - This was the book that finally proved to me that I simply do not like Rincewind as a character. He's mostly a cowardly gimmick-character, but usually his stories have the rest of the wizards to really carry the magical comedy part of the story. For that reason, I also loathe Eric too.

Unseen Academicals - I'm not sure where to put my finger on this. It was simply the only Discworld novel that I had to force myself to pick up and finish reading.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby El Spark » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:14 pm UTC

MotorToad wrote:
Moo wrote:Sky One's Colour Of Magic was pretty cool but I'll never get over an American Twoflower. Still, I'm sad to have moved from the UK in time to have not even *heard* of the Going Postal adaptation.

I think that may have been entirely the point. He was to be foreign, after all...


It was so jarring to have a character in a recent fantasy film who DIDN'T sound like he was from some part of Europe that I definitely got the "foreigner" concept even though I'm American.

Seriously, film-makers...there are fantasies from other parts of the world. Also accents.

/endrant

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Jorpho » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:36 pm UTC

I started reading Thief of Time recently and I'm really liking it!

Just one question: I never read Hogfather; does it explain what happened to Imp y Celyn? Or is that dealt somewhere later on Thief of Time? Or did Pratchett just throw away entirely that little plot hook at the end of Soul Music?

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby charliepanayi » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:41 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:I started reading Thief of Time recently and I'm really liking it!

Just one question: I never read Hogfather; does it explain what happened to Imp y Celyn? Or is that dealt somewhere later on Thief of Time? Or did Pratchett just throw away entirely that little plot hook at the end of Soul Music?


The Band with Rocks In (Imp, Glod, Cliff etc) in Soul Music don't appear again after the end of that book, Hogfather primarily deals with Susan/Death/Albert and the wizards.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Jumble » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:21 am UTC

I go with the popular vote for Night Watch, and I'm a sucker for anything with the Nac Mac Feegle. I've liked them all since the first two, with a few exceptions. Thief of Time and Interesting Times were also surprisingly good and more than a little thought provoking.

Making Movies really didn't do anything for me, and I couldn't really sympathise with anything in Monstrous Regiment. I quite liked Thud, but the whole naked mud-wrestling thing between Angua and Sally just struck me as trying too hard. I mean, I know we are all geeks and nerds but it doesn't mean we are all visiting Mrs Palm. The one that sticks out for me as a big miss was Pyramids. The ending was just bizarre!

I've not read I shall wear Midnight yet. My daughter read it and really liked it, so I'll try it as soon as I can wrestle it from her.
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby EmptySet » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:37 pm UTC

SpaceShipRat wrote:I was used to think of the Dean as a fat funny man who acted like a child, like in Soul Music where he starts wearing metal studded robes, and Ridcully scolds him as if he was his rebellios teenage kid... so I really don't see where that whole "new university" thing came from. And I liked the Bursar more than Hix, as comic relief, I can't help but think Pratchett wrote him off because he doesn't find mental disease quite as funny, can't say I blame him. Oh and Vetinary's gone crazy, he's drinking, laughing, and doing strane stuff all through the book. He used to be way more badass, now he's resorted to making fun of his secretary.


I disagree about the Bursar - I think he was reaching the end of his comedic life. His insanity was getting a bit predictable, particularly with all Mustrum's shouting, and as amusing as his absurd behaviour was I think the joke would start to wear thin if it went on too much longer.

I believe Vetinari has deliberately been humanised - I recall Pratchett commenting that Vetinari as a character was in danger of becoming a black hole that derails plots and steals spotlights at the mere mention of his name.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby Jorpho » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:14 pm UTC

charliepanayi wrote:
Jorpho wrote:I started reading Thief of Time recently and I'm really liking it!

Just one question: I never read Hogfather; does it explain what happened to Imp y Celyn? Or is that dealt somewhere later on Thief of Time? Or did Pratchett just throw away entirely that little plot hook at the end of Soul Music?
The Band with Rocks In (Imp, Glod, Cliff etc) in Soul Music don't appear again after the end of that book, Hogfather primarily deals with Susan/Death/Albert and the wizards.
Well, you know, at the end of Soul Music it is strongly implied that
Spoiler:
Susan runs off to find Imp and live happily ever after together
but I guess Pratchett felt the narrative possibilities therein to be somewhat barren.

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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby ConMan » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:37 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
charliepanayi wrote:
Jorpho wrote:I started reading Thief of Time recently and I'm really liking it!

Just one question: I never read Hogfather; does it explain what happened to Imp y Celyn? Or is that dealt somewhere later on Thief of Time? Or did Pratchett just throw away entirely that little plot hook at the end of Soul Music?
The Band with Rocks In (Imp, Glod, Cliff etc) in Soul Music don't appear again after the end of that book, Hogfather primarily deals with Susan/Death/Albert and the wizards.
Well, you know, at the end of Soul Music it is strongly implied that
Spoiler:
Susan runs off to find Imp and live happily ever after together
but I guess Pratchett felt the narrative possibilities therein to be somewhat barren.

I thought it was just implied that
Spoiler:
when the guitar was destroyed, history healed itself up by making Imp choose to go to Quirm and get a part-time job at the chip shop. Leaving one last rock'n'roll pun in its wake.


Also, Susan seems to have historically had bad luck in romance - although when I say romance, I really just mean that all of her stories tend to involve her spending significant amounts of time with a guy with suggestions that they'll hook up romantically that wind up not happening because
Spoiler:
history was re-written, he fell in love with a tooth fairy, he had to take up his own Duty full-time unlike her tendency to just borrow the scythe and cowl when her grandfather was unavailable.
(Spoilers for Soul Music, Hogfather and Thief of Time inside.)
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I want to learn this smile, perfect it, and then go around smiling at lesbians and freaking them out.

EmptySet
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby EmptySet » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:12 am UTC

ConMan wrote:
Jorpho wrote:Well, you know, at the end of Soul Music it is strongly implied that
Spoiler:
Susan runs off to find Imp and live happily ever after together
but I guess Pratchett felt the narrative possibilities therein to be somewhat barren.

I thought it was just implied that
Spoiler:
when the guitar was destroyed, history healed itself up by making Imp choose to go to Quirm and get a part-time job at the chip shop. Leaving one last rock'n'roll pun in its wake.


I also thought that
Spoiler:
destroying the guitar changed history; Imp chose to try his luck in Quirm rather than heading straight to Ankh-Morpork. As a result, the Band With Rocks In was never formed, and like many struggling artists, Imp ends up working at the chip shop the girls frequent to support himself.

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charliepanayi
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby charliepanayi » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:26 am UTC

In Hogfather/Thief of Time:

Spoiler:
I never really thought Susan fell for the Oh God of Hangovers, though the end of Thief of Time maybe suggests there could be a little future between Lobsang and Susan. I'm not sure we'll ever see Susan again in a Discworld novel to find out though :(
"Excuse me Miss, do you like pineapple?"

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ConMan
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby ConMan » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:11 am UTC

charliepanayi wrote:In Hogfather/Thief of Time:

Spoiler:
I never really thought Susan fell for the Oh God of Hangovers, though the end of Thief of Time maybe suggests there could be a little future between Lobsang and Susan. I'm not sure we'll ever see Susan again in a Discworld novel to find out though :(

You're probably right. I think that Susan's story has now been told to the point that she's unlikely to be the feature character in another novel, although she may cameo. Similar to Tiffany (although I don't know if she'll ever cameo in a non-YA novel), they've both found their happy ending (of a sort).
pollywog wrote:
Wikihow wrote:* Smile a lot! Give a gay girl a knowing "Hey, I'm a lesbian too!" smile.
I want to learn this smile, perfect it, and then go around smiling at lesbians and freaking them out.

curiosity
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Re: Best and Worst Discworld

Postby curiosity » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:48 am UTC

ConMan wrote:You're probably right. I think that Susan's story has now been told to the point that she's unlikely to be the feature character in another novel, although she may cameo. Similar to Tiffany (although I don't know if she'll ever cameo in a non-YA novel), they've both found their happy ending (of a sort).


I feel like Susan and Tiffany were both very similar characters - spunky young ladies with a common-sense, practical attitude influenced or haunted by the spectre of their grandparent.


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