Rita Writes

January 21, 2010

I don’t like Terry Pratchett’s books about Discworld

Filed under: Review,Uncategorized — Rita @ 1:12 am
Tags: , , ,

It doesn’t take much to be a critic.  Opinions are like elbows, we all have them.  For me, in order for an opinion, mine or any one else’s, to have meaning, it needs an explanation.  Why I like something adds value to the opinion.

For instance, if I say I don’t like Oreo cookies, it means nothing.  But if I say I don’t like Oreo cookies because I don’t eat sugar, I provide a frame of reference; one the listener can either accept or reject as their own. The very act of explaining gives credibility to my critique.

A thoughtful friend sent me two brand spanking new Terry Pratchett books.  She intended the gift as an introduction to one of her favorite escapism treats and private entry to Discworld.  Always delighted to read an author who surprises me, I am conflicted by my reaction.   On the one hand, I believe the writing worth lingering over.

On the other, I just don’t seem to be able to embrace his phantasmagoric world of dwarfs, invented demons and dark powers. I love vintage science fiction, but science fantasy irritates me.  I have long ago abandoned any interest in dragons or magic. Thus, my overall critique of Mr. Pratchett’s books is negative.  It isn’t an issue of ‘willing suspension of disbelief,’ it is simply that I don’t enjoy this particular invented world.  One of my favorite series of books is of a contrived, “Riverworld,” by Larry Niven.  So I pass that test. I simply accept that each of us has a different reader’s palette. Guess that’s why there are so many genres from which to choose.

Yet I confess his turn of phrase and imagery are delightful.  His writing, were it in another, more traditional genre, would put him at the top of any literary list.  Much as Author C. Clarke was one of the best writers of the 20th century but was ignored because he wrote science fiction, so I see Mr. Pratchett.

I certainly hope she continues to send me books to enlarge my literary world.  Few things delight me more than the gift of books I have not read.

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1 Comment »

  1. I do have to say that if you abandoned any interest in dragons or magic, Discworld certainly wouldn’t have tempted your palate in the first place. I have not personally read the books, I simply have the movie tagged as one of my favorites on my iPod =).

    Stories can be anything, by anyone and so I learned (personally) long ago not to write off anything, because there’s always someone who can come along and shock or surprise you in a delightful way. Now, I’m a writer of ‘science fantasy’, but it was mainly comic books for youth and it did very well (http://www.wantedhero.com). However, the emails I received told me that they enjoyed it…simply because it made sense.

    I never thought Discworld made sense. It just made for fun watching.

    Jaime Buckley

    Comment by Jaime Buckley — February 9, 2010 @ 4:59 am | Reply


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