Quite fancy starting to read Terry Pratchett but not sure which one to start with . . .

(84 Posts)
BalloonSlayer Tue 07-May-13 17:21:53

any ideas?

kelda Tue 07-May-13 17:24:08

Probably the first witches one. I started with Wyrd Sisters, although Equal Rites is the first one in the witches series.

JeanBodel Tue 07-May-13 17:26:50

I would echo that - the witches are very accessible and contain some of his best writing. I'd probably go for Wyrd Sisters over Equal Rites, as he doesn't really get going until WS.

To quote Lewis Carroll, my advice would be "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end" smile

The Colour of Magic is the first in the discworld series. But to be honest, it won't matter too much, other than you might miss some running jokes.

I'm a big fan, and have pretty much everything he's written. <gazes at bookshelf with misty eyes>

Another vote for Wyrd Sisters but tbh just go to the book shop/library and pick the one that you like the look of. It really doesn't matter which order you read them in although once you have them all you probably will want to read them in the right order

BrienneOfTarth Tue 07-May-13 17:39:11

Skip The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic - they aren't as interesting or creative as the later stuff and would be more likely to put you off and prevent you from discovering the delights of the later stuff. The best ones are the run from Mort to Lords and Ladies - though Equal Rites is certainly better than the first two he's not quite in his stride yet.

piprabbit Tue 07-May-13 17:43:23

You could also try the Tiffany Aching series - start with Wee Free Men. They are young adult books, but sort of encapsulate TPs story telling.

MissRenataFlitworth Tue 07-May-13 18:59:15

Doesn't matter where you start, really. I love the City Watch ones; Sam Vimes is a wonderful character. May I also recommend Reaper Man, in which you can read about me?

Slubberdegullion Tue 07-May-13 19:08:19

Wyrd Sisters.

The best stand alone book in the series is Small Gods imo.

superbagpuss Tue 07-May-13 19:10:14

start with Mort, its what got me started 16 years ago
they are amazing but once you start you won't be able to stop

Teladi Tue 07-May-13 19:10:16

I read Equal Rites first (I was 12), I didn't realise it was part of a series, but it read fine as a stand-alone and I was hooked from then on!

musickeepsmesane Tue 07-May-13 19:11:59

I think starting with The Colour of Magic then read them all in order. Kinda gives a foundation. I have read them all and would say don't be tempted at all by the new stuff with Steven Baxter cos it is pants. If I had to choose a favourite it would be Lords and Ladies

CMOTDibbler Tue 07-May-13 19:12:25

Oooh, imagine having all the TPs in front of you unread. Bliss grin

I'd start with the Wee Free Men as a nice intro too

Jux Tue 07-May-13 19:17:04

I agree with Brienne, skip those two, start anywhere else. You can go back to them later.

I think the first one I read - at my brother's urging, I had been resistant for years - was Sourcery, or it might have been Masquerade. Though Sam Vimes is my favourite character, I think you should save him until you've been in DiscWorld for a little while.

StrangeGlue Tue 07-May-13 19:20:09

The witches ones!

ItsallisnowaFeegle Tue 07-May-13 19:21:19

I second Mort, as a great starter, or Feet of Clay, or ANY of the books about the Witches... but to be fair, whichever you choose is going to have you hooked (except maybe The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic...I would say leave these until you're well acquainted).

Can I also say, leave 'The World of Poo' well alone. I was so disappointed. The Tiffany Aching series is ace and actually so is The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.

How bloody exciting, please come back and let us know what you chose and what you thought.

<<Waves to all the TP quiche>>

Spero Tue 07-May-13 19:21:20

I completely agree about the first two. I didn't like them but the rest are fantastic and work fine as stand alones - but the development of Sam V would be better followed chronologically I think. He and the Witches are my favourites so,anything with them.

Sadly I think the more recent ones are slipping a bit but I have no criticisms of the middle ones. I think he is right to be pissed off he isn't accorded more recognition, he is an excellent writer.

Wyrd Sisters or Guards Guards.

I read, 'The Colour Of Magic' first and hated it so much I didn't try another for ages. Then somebody lent me, 'The Hogfather' and that got me hooked. I don't much like the Witches ones tbh - I'd say start with the first Sam Vimes one - somebody will remember what it's called on here but it escapes me right now. Is it Guards, Guards?

glorious Tue 07-May-13 19:31:05

Oh lucky you! envy I started with Going Postal but I'd go with an earlier one as others have said. I like the police ones the best but they're all good.

superbagpuss Tue 07-May-13 19:38:01

am I wrong to have started to read that's not my cow - picture book to my DT? I wanted to start them early, they are 3

Neil gainman wrote a children's book called chu I think, anyone read that?

I have told my dh he has to read good omens at some point or I will disown him

marissab Tue 07-May-13 19:57:03

I hate fantasy novels but love the police novels with sam vimes. Guards guards is a great one. Really great grin

I quite like The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic, if only for The Luggage!

NewFerry Tue 07-May-13 20:44:53

Another vote for wyrd sisters, we read it as our book club novel one month. It was my first intro to TP, and I was hooked!!

TallyGrenshall Tue 07-May-13 20:48:28

My favourite is Mort

Or Carpe Jugglum

The Wintersmith is good as well

The Hogfather is brilliant

Ah, just close your eyes and randomly pick one grin

Springforward Tue 07-May-13 20:58:21

Guards! Guards! is a good start, but I like the Sam Vimes books best so am biased. The Colour of Magic in the first Discworld book but IMHO is virtually unreadable - I saw TP interviewed on telly once and even he said that after he wrote it he discovered the Joy of Plot.

I have been reading That's Not My Cow since he was 2 blush.

The Tiffany Aching books are really quite charming, as was Nation.

elfycat Tue 07-May-13 21:02:20

I've started 3 people on TP, one on Equal Rights, one on Mort and DH on Hogfather.

Do you like...

Witches? - Equal Rights + Wyrd Sisters
Death (as a good guy) - Mort or Hogfather
Police and politics - Guards! Guards!)
Smurfs (erm) - Wee Free Men (another one DH loves)

Springforward Tue 07-May-13 21:05:49

Sorry, should have been a DS somewhere in the second paragraph!

ItsallisnowaFeegle Tue 07-May-13 21:26:09

Emmmmm, We Feegles do NOT take kindly to being likened to bloody smurfs elfycat

Think of us more like the wee bastards that'll conquer the smurf's villages, but we'll no be rude to smurfette grin

HerrenaHandbasket Tue 07-May-13 21:30:48

I got started with Mort and read them in order from there. I can safely say that TP has played a major role in shaping my character.

For good or bad remains to be determined wink

BurnThisDiscoDown Tue 07-May-13 21:32:29

The first one I read was Mort, it's a nice introduction to the character Death and a good stand alone book. The witches ones are all good too, think the first one I read was Witches Abroad (read the series in a slightly random order from the school library!).

My other favourite is, 'Reaper Man.'

I read some of them when I was younger, about 10 years ago, and while I enjoyed them they were only ok. I think I read about 5 of the early ones and only remember Mort.

I want to try another one and have been advised to go with Good Omens due to my love of Neil Gaiman. Any other suggestions?

ScrambledSmegs Tue 07-May-13 21:36:58

Wyrd Sisters was the first one I read, and I've been hooked ever since. I remember hooting with laughter while reading it. Shame I was on the tube at the time blush

But definitely, Wyrd Sisters is a great one to start with. Or Guards! Guards! One of those two, I reckon.

HerrenaHarridan Tue 07-May-13 21:45:00

Monstrous regiment! Best standalone IMO

I started at the beginning, and spent a year and a half reading the 30 odd then read the science if the discworld, the kids ones and the non disc ones. Then I started rereading favourites smile

Another vote for mort, I love Death. The witches and guards are fab too.

Once you get a taste for them, go bak to the start. Every time a new one comes out, I read it and then go back to the start again and read them all till the next ones out. Takes me the whole year mins you!

He also releases his new books just before my birthday smile

I started with Mort too (I'm another Pratchett geek smile. I also loved Moving Pictures, it's one of my favourites. And anything with the Unseen University!

AvrilPoisson Tue 07-May-13 22:05:08

Aw... I'm alone in loving Colour of Magic then?

I really like it... though there are some fantastic later ones, they never quite captured the originality of CoM I feel.

Just genius.

AvrilPoisson Tue 07-May-13 22:06:09

The one with Brother Brutha in is good too...

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GirlWith... I do that too. I have them all lined up in order. When a new one comes out, they all have to shuffle along on the shelf to accommodate it. I read them all before starting the new one. Every time, I find something else funny/clever hidden.

Any Pratchett fans here read A Blink of the Screen?

UniS Tue 07-May-13 22:55:58


CMOTDibbler Wed 08-May-13 07:41:10

Feegle - my ds was watching the smurf movie and commented that the one in a kilt was 'a bit like a feegle but with less drinkin, fightin and stealin (in feegle accent)'

We are listening to 'Thief of Time' in the car atm, and he has started quoting bits of wisdom from Mrs Cosmopolite

SorrelForbes Wed 08-May-13 07:57:34

I love the Colour of Magic too but that's probably down to The Luggage!

Wyrd Sisters
Moving Pictures
Soul Music

Oh, all of them are more than worth a read.

notcitrus Wed 08-May-13 08:31:32

Mort, Wyrd Sisters, or Pyramids if mathematically inclined.

TCOM is only really funny if you've read a lot of fantasy and know what it's satirising. Once I'd read Anne Macaffrey's Dragon books the third section worked.

elfycat Wed 08-May-13 09:36:02

Apologies to Feegles for likening them to Smurfs except I am an Elf... sorry SMURFS!

It seems you can start anywhere, but I'd agree TCOM and TLF might be for after you've enjoyed a couple of the others.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Wed 08-May-13 11:41:54

CMOT I see his logic. A smurf with a kilt is probably a Feegle scouting out the local sheep wink

elfycat it's absolutely fine. I'll call off the Feegle invasion now grin

Balloon You're in an extremely enviable position. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

MikeandLor Mon 13-May-13 18:14:20

This is Mike of the Mike and Lor husband wife combo! I'm a huge TP fan and love all Discworld. I've selected several for my wife and she's loved them all, except Reaper Man oddly enough.

I would recommend Guards! Guards! to start the City Watch series as the Watch books are the most consistently great. I started my wife with Maskerade which she enjoyed. My personal favourite is Small Gods which is a great stand alone novel. The Hogfather and Thief of Time are fantastic all rounders and I would suggest Lords and Ladies as the best Witches novel. Or Carpe Jugulum.

Essential love them all. You can do no wrong with starting in The Colour Of Magic and reading them in order. It's true in the first three (Colour Of Magic, Light Fantastic, Equal Rites) he is finding his voice in Discworld but that doesn't mean they aren't great, just a little inconsistent withered books when he settles.

Ahh I want to read them all again now. On Game Of Thrones right now. Bit different.


MikeandLor Mon 13-May-13 18:15:23

Sorry, was punched by the typo fairy a few times there

LetUsPrey Mon 13-May-13 19:06:59

Happy to have found this thread. Found three Terry Pratchett books in the second hand part of a bookshop: Equal Rites, Mort and Carpe Jugulum. Couldn't resist them for 50p each!

Just need to know where to start and then where to go from there.

Also, wanting to get DS1 (11) into them.

Not had chance to read through the thread but I'm sure there's a lot of useful stuff I need to know already on here smile

piprabbit Mon 13-May-13 19:09:32

LetUsPrey, unless you are a devotee of vampire literature (in which case Carpe Jugulum might suit you nicely) you can start with Mort or Equal Rites, just pick one and dive in grin.

LetUsPrey Mon 13-May-13 19:17:46

I've already started Equal Rites but only the first chapter! Vampirey stuff not my particular thing but I'll keep Carpe Jugulum in the pile of books to read.

piprabbit Mon 13-May-13 19:19:29

Let us know how you get on with Equal Rites and then maybe someone can suggest the next book to read, depending on how much you enjoyed it.

henbane Mon 13-May-13 19:27:17

At some stage you have to read The Colour of Magic - for the Luggage

katherineptinytalk Mon 13-May-13 21:53:38

Wyrd Sisters or Mort. Very addictive though... and be prepared to dissolve into uncontrollable laughter regardless of your surroundings...

Weegiemum Mon 13-May-13 21:59:18

I'd also recommend his non-discworld books, I love both Dark Side Of The Sun and Strata.

edam Mon 13-May-13 22:02:19

Ooh you lucky cow, having the whole of Terry Pratchett ready to explore. envy

Leave Nation (non-Discworld) until you are somewhere private with a ready supply of tissues...

edam Mon 13-May-13 22:02:47

oops, that sounds really dirty! Tissues for blowing your nose on, it's really sad...

ThrebnellBlewitt Mon 13-May-13 22:29:50

Oh one of the difficult questions .

You could just start with The Unadulterated Cat as an introduction to TP's sense of humour. DH is of the view Good Omens would be best. Wee Free Men caused our eldest to laugh out loud.
Warning read on the train/ in public at your own risk as TP apt to make you laugh out loud.
Thud/Nightwatch and Jingo (if only for the Wilson, Keppel and Betty section).

Enjoy !

edam Mon 13-May-13 23:39:02

Yes, Good Omens is a great place to start. Dh had to practically drag me kicking and screaming to read TP because of the cover design on the early Discworld novels - I think it may have been Good Omens and The Unadulterated Cat that persuaded me it was worth exploring his work some more..

Tinwe Tue 14-May-13 07:00:07

Just to add to the throng, I started with Equal Rites and loved it. I would also leave the first two until later, they are so different theres not much pll

Tinwe Tue 14-May-13 07:10:17

Argh! Posted too soon.

There's not much plot which you will have missed in the later books. I'd try to start near the beginning though as you get the joy of seeing the characters grow and hearing their stories unfold that way, if you started midway through the order of publishing, read a few and went back you'd already know what happens to some of the characters.

If it hasn't already been made clear above though, there's different groups of characters, eg witches, police, wizards, barbarians etc and each novel tends to feature one group. Therefore, if you are careful, you can read all the books about one "group" without fear of spoiling too much of the plot about other groups. We could guide you on the next book of each group, IYSWIM. smile

LetUsPrey Tue 14-May-13 07:53:58

Can I just thank BalloonSlayer for starting this thread and MN for putting it in the Books email round up. I don't seem to venture into this section very often so would have missed it.

I'm going to start checking charity shops and will be at the library a lot!

Jux Tue 14-May-13 14:57:02

DD started with The Hogfather, as we saw the tv adaptation. She must have read it 30 times before she was 12! Then she got onto the Tiffany Aching series (I shall wear midnight, Wintersmith, one other?), then Wee Free Men (that's a TA as well isn't it?!). There are so many, I can't remember which is which, really. blush

I like the ones with Foul Old Ron because I still puzzle over "Millenium hand and shrimp". What is that?!!!

Jux Tue 14-May-13 14:57:33

And I like Sgt Angua.

pointythings Wed 15-May-13 22:12:06

The Watch series is my favourite, I love Sam Vimes as a character. The witches run a close second. The first of either of those would be a good start.

The Colour of Magic/ The Light Fantastic do a lot of sending up of established fantasy authors, so if you aren't into the genre they're a bit hit and miss.

Death in Reaper Man is beautifully done, and Maskerade is a hilarious send-up of Phantom of the Opera. TP hasn't written any really duff books - a dodgy TP is still miles better than nearly everything else.

I'm reading them to the DDs right now - we've done Mort and Reaper Man, the entire Witches series, all of Tiffany Aching and are now on the Watch series about to start Fifth Elephant (which is a bit dark, but very good).

I envy you.

edam Wed 15-May-13 23:09:41

I am very proud to report that ds has discussing the brilliance of Pratchett with his teacher and she is a fan too - ds reports she described TP as 'a king' (which sounds a little odd but hey, it's a 9yo's recall of a conversation that happened several hours previously).

LetUsPrey Wed 15-May-13 23:21:01

So do you think The Hogfather would be a good place for DS1 to start? He's 11. He used to be an avid reader but now not so much and I'm trying to find something to whet his appetite you will enjoy reading again child, you will

He's got the latest Rick Riordan from the library but he doesn't seem to be getting into it. I'm not sure if the size of the book is something to do with it - it's quite hefty - and he might actually have to make an effort hmm

The TP books seem to be on the smaller side don't they? I could fool him into thinking he'll have it read quickly but there'll be the bonus of him hopefully enjoying it IYSWIM

Also, I am enjoying Equal Rites very much grin

Steffanoid Wed 15-May-13 23:31:44

good omens, love that book!

Jux Thu 16-May-13 17:47:41

The Hogfather is one of the slightly longer ones, I think. What sort of stuff is ds interested in, LetUsPrey?

I think the most 'masculine' oriented ones are probably the ones featuring Sam Grimes and the watch, but he might enjoy Going Postal (post office and telecommunications - not computer/tech stuff though, they don't have that yet!) or Making Money (banking). Then there's the one about setting up a newspaper which I can't remember the name of, there's the witchy ones, there's the Unseen University ones (wizards). Oh they cover everything really! There'll definitely be one which covers things your ds is interested in.

LetUsPrey Thu 16-May-13 18:58:40

Thanks for the suggestions. DS1 likes sciencey stuff, his DS and his Kindle. Sadly the Kindle is not being used for its intended purpose. In a moment of madness, I said that if he tried his best and did well in his SATs, he could have Minecraft. If I can forge any sort of connection between Minecraft and a TP book, I'm sorted!

He was editor of his class newspaper though so the newspaper one might be good too. Thanks for all your help smile

AndrewD Thu 16-May-13 19:00:28

I started with Guards Guards, got hooked and decided to start at the beginning.

LetUsPrey Thu 16-May-13 19:01:26

Is this the newspaper one? The Truth.

Library visit on Saturday I think.

Jux Thu 16-May-13 21:55:07

The truth, yes! That's the one. It's the start of the printing and the start of newspapers.

It's one of the things which lifts Pratchett out of 'comic fiction' or whatever, and into a rather more lofty category. He thinks about how things might begin and how they could develop, things whch are shrouded in the mists of time, and then incorporates them into Ankh Morpork.....

pointythings Thu 16-May-13 22:06:39

The Truth is not one of his great ones, but it does make some serious points. I just think that many of his Vimes novels make those same serious points and do it better. I've just finished reading Jingo to the DDs, they had a lot of questions. TP is a great talking point in addressing some of the big questions children ask about life, the universe and everything.

OrangeFireandGoldashes Sat 18-May-13 13:27:16

"I started with Guards Guards, got hooked and decided to start at the beginning."

Me too, in the very early 90s at the point when there was only Eric and possibly Moving Pictures already published after it (I definitely remember waiting impatiently for Reaper Man to come out). If I'd started with CoM / LF I doubt I'd have perservered, because I don't read conventional fantasy (if that's not an oxymoron) and they are very much a parody of that genre so no doubt most of the satire went straight over my head, plus as others have said he was still finding his 'voice' - compare the Granny Weatherwax of ER with the later incarnation, for instance - but knowing that they evolved into the delights of Guards, Guards kept me at it. And I do love The Luggage.

Wyrd Sisters was the one that then rubber-stamped my love for TP, having studied Macbeth at A level, and ever since the Witches and the Watch have been my favourites.

EatenByZombies Wed 22-May-13 17:15:25

My absolute favorite is Reaper Man it's completely amazing. Read it. READ IT NOW! grin

his other best books (IMHO) are;
Small Gods
The Wee Free Men Series
Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
(The latter two being young adult). Like everyone's said, it doesn't really matter where you start, they don't have to be read in any particular order

GoingGoingGoth Mon 27-May-13 17:44:07

I will sit on the fence and and say to either start from the beginning, or read the Watch books first.

Also wanted to point out that Radio 4 extra is starting a serialisation of Night Watch tonight at 6. grin My Favourite

PiratesLifeForMe Mon 27-May-13 20:10:20

I started with Mort and loved it - but don't think you can go too far wrong if you started with either the Witches or the City watch books.

Louise1956 Tue 04-Jun-13 23:20:13

the first one, The Colour of Magic, is very good and might be a good one to start with. I personally like the ones about the witch Granny Weatherwax very much, the first of those is Equal Rites, which is another good one. guards! guards! Is the first of a number about the Night Watch, and is quite a good one. my personal favourites, and their main characters, are;
Reaper Man (Death and the Wizards)
witches Abroad ( Granny Weatherwax and Co)
the Last Continent (the wizards, and their housekeeper)
the Fifth Elephant (the Night Watch)
going Postal (a dashing conman)
unseen Academicals (the Wizards and their servants)

the Discworld has changed somewhat over time, in recent novels it has become less magical, and there tend to be fewer laughs and more discussion of social issues.

BooCanary Tue 04-Jun-13 23:23:17

Totally agree that Good Omens is a great book to start.

CaurnieBred Thu 13-Jun-13 00:52:12

Does anyone else, when disobeying the instructions they have been given by their Satnav, imagine there is an Imp in there screaming "I told you to go the other way!!!". Or is that just me . . .

CaurnieBred Thu 13-Jun-13 00:52:39

Oh, and I love Vimes and anything to do with the NightWatch.

NotDead Thu 13-Jun-13 01:21:56

don't do it! it will end up with 16-sided dice

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