Monday, January 18, 2010

Discworld: The Color of Magic finished, The Light Fantastic begun.

There's one big problem with me taking on this reading list; I am a slow reader. I always have been. I sometimes wonder how long it will take me to finish this list.

For that reason, and because of the holidays, it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to finish The Color of Magic, which is the first in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Over a month.

Having said that, I checked The Light Fantastic (book 2 in the same series) out at the library one week ago, and I'm already half way through it. This is the equivalent of a normal reader getting half-way through a book in one day.

I really like these books. I tried reading The Color of Magic once before, and it didn't stick with me so I gave up. I think the main thing is I was distracted and reading it at the same time as a whole bunch of comic books. But I also think I expected the Discworld series to be the fantasy version of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and it is not. I'm actually very pleased that it is not, because there's no need for imitation here, and you might wonder why it took Terry Pratchett 37 novels (soon to be 38) to accomplish what Douglas Adams managed in 5.

Discworld is a comical adventure of unlikely heroes. In fact, "unlikely heroes" doesn't really cover it. Unheroic heroes? People who aren't really trying but keep ending up being heroes? People who have no desire to be heroes but keep having heroic opportunities thrust upon them, no matter what they do to avoid it? It is frequently a parody of fantasy as a genre, and the genre is ripe for both the satire and the silliness that Terry Pratchett delivers. And that's just at the halfway mark of book 2.

The Color of Magic read like a very good starting point for things to come. I read the first book thinking I might just read Discworld novels between other novels, as a little break. I finished the first novel wanting more, so I started book 2. It's nice to read a series where I am hungry for the next book, instead of just trudging through in an effort to get it all over with (Chronicles of Narnia, I am looking at you).

So more updates as I progress. Maybe I'll actually make time to update the blog before getting half-way into book 3.

Side note: Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's Disease. So does my grandmother. It's a bad disease. If you agree and feel like doing something about it, there are charities and funds out there that you can donate money to. You are intelligent people and you are on the internet right now, so I'm sure you can figure out the rest.

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