Calum Childs Blog

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Discworld Series Book Review

17th November 2020 Book Reviews No Comments

Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree.

The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett is strange, funny and, in some ways, educational. There are 41 books in the Discworld series (just a disclaimer: I haven’t read them all!)

Unlike many other series, each book can be read on it’s own, in any particular order. Here are some of my favourite Discworld books that I have read so far:

Hogfather

It’s just over a month until Christmas, so I might as well start with a Christmassy-book.

The book is set at around the time of Hogswatch, where children receive presents from the Hogfather (basically Father Christmas mixed with a pig.) However, something has happened to the Hogfather, so Death has to take over in order to make sure children still believe in him, otherwise the sun won’t rise.

Without giving too much away, it is a great parody of Christmas and some of the things we associate with it – such as shop displays, children believing in Father Christmas/Tooth Fairy and getting everything you wanted.

My favourite quote

“You can’t give her that!” she screamed. “It’s not safe!”

“IT’S A SWORD.” said the Hogfather. “THEY’RE NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE.”

“She’s a child!” shouted Crumley.

“IT’S EDUCATIONAL.”

“What if she cuts herself?”

“THAT WILL BE AN IMPORTANT LESSON.”

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Moving Pictures

Moving onto another subject entirely, Moving Pictures is about… well, moving pictures. It is set in Holy Wood, a desert in the middle of nowhere. Alchemists have invented the technology of moving pictures. Everyone wants to be in Holy Wood. But something’s not quite right. Many people are becoming completely devoid from reality, and strange forces are being unleashed…

It is a fast-paced, action-packed book that gets stranger and stranger as it goes on. The book describes the film and TV industry – what’s described as the “clicks” in the book – quite accurately. For example, one of the main messages that I got from the book was that Holy Wood was completely different, completely separate from the rest of the Disc.

This isn’t far off from the real Hollywood, which many people think is out of touch with the rest of the United States of America. It is a similar situation in the UK, where the “mainstream media” (BBC, ITV, Sky, etc.) failed to correctly predict the results of 4 separate general elections and a referendum. Many Western media outlets, such as Netflix and the BBC, seem to be more left-wing than the audiences they serve.

My favourite quote

“Why is it all Mr. Dibbler’s films are set against the background of a world gone mad?” said the dwarf.

Soll’s eyes narrowed. “Because Mr. Dibbler,” he growled, “is a very observant man.”

Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

The Truth

The Truth is about William, who accidentally becomes the world’s first newspaper editor, and the troubles that brings, from people wanting to kill him to a gardener asking him to put pictures of funny-shaped vegetables into his paper. It’s not easy, and it’s only been the third edition…

I found this book very entertaining, and very accurate in terms of what the press do to grab our attention.

My favourite quote

Sometimes glass glitters more than diamonds because it has more to prove.

The Truth by Terry Pratchett

The Shepherd’s Crown

The Shepherd’s Crown is about a young witch called Tiffany. OK, before I can explain this book further, I need to establish something:

Witches in the Discworld are not old women gathering round a large stove cooking evil spells to unleash among the world. Witches are a bit like nurses: they look after people and protect everyone from dangerous creatures, such as the magical elves (which is what this book is all about her defeating.)

This book was really good, as it had an engaging story as well as lots of jokes and references to previous Discworld books. It was also Terry Pratchett’s final book that he wrote before he died in 2015.

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