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November 3rd, 2012, 10:13 AM #1
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What is the best Discworld story by Terry Pratchett?
Honestly I don't know if anyone has gone here before but I'm very curious to hear your opinions over which of Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld books are the best? I've read a couple of them (I liked Carpe Jugulum). However the man is quite prolific and I would like to hear your recommendations over which books to try next!
November 3rd, 2012, 12:10 PM #2
Tough choice, I love them all: the Witches books, the early Rincewind ones, of course the Ankh-Morpork City Watch books and the ones featuring Death. My all time favorite was for a long time Small Gods, closely followed by Men at Arms, Making Movies , Pyramids (the first one I ever read). Now, it's one of the last ones that pushes for the top spot, partly because it's fresh in my memory, partly because it's an example of his more mature style - less slapstick, more social commentary - Night Watch  . I also loved his non-Discworld YA book Nation.
November 3rd, 2012, 02:23 PM #3
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I read Reaper Man and enjoyed it immensely. Then I noticed it was a series and started at the beginning, reading the first several. For some unknown reason, I never liked any of them, other than Reaper Man (with the exception of the Tiffany Aching YA books).
November 3rd, 2012, 02:38 PM #4
Discworld is more a universe of series than a single series. It's got Death, The Witches, City Watch/Sam Vimes, Rincewind, Moist von Lipwig and a few other series.
But no, there isn't a "best" Discworld book, as each "series" has its own strengths and so on. I would say the books about Death tend to be the more popular ones, followed by Rincewind. I would say my favourites are the City Watch books (because I love the characters), followed by Tiffany Aching, followed again by The Witches books. It is best to read them in some vague order, though. The City Watch books slowly expand the cast and the stories, the Witches books do reference each other and so on. Here's an excellent reading order guide, though it's a little out of date. But you can see it's mostly made of distinct series that have no real connection to each other.
As for single books, Witches Abroad was definitely one of my favourites, as was The Truth.
November 4th, 2012, 04:04 AM #5
Small Gods. Pratchett doing religious fundamentalism and getting quite angry about it and turning it into a smart and sustained attack on the phenomenon without it ever becoming polemical or obvious. Plus the ending, after a slightly more serious book than most in the series, is hands-down the funniest moment in the entire Discworld canon to date.
Otherwise the Guards sub-series (starting with Guards! Guards!) is also excellent, culminating in the superb Night Watch.
November 4th, 2012, 12:06 PM #6
November 5th, 2012, 11:09 AM #7
I meant culmination as in apex/climax. There are books in the sub-series which came after Night Watch, some of them very good, but not quite as great as Night Watch.
I find it interesting that Small Gods and Night Watch - which by as much of a consensus as can be discerned on the Internet - are generally regarded as the two best books, or two of the very best, and they also the most serious. Nation was also very good and was pretty serious. I wonder what Pratchett could do if he actually sat down and wrote a 100% serious novel.
November 5th, 2012, 03:24 PM #8
I don't know, I really didn't go much on Night Watch. I suppose it's also when the City Watch books truly morph more into Vimes books (which starts to happen with The Fifth Elephant). It's definitely worth reading, but I think I might have had Discworld fatigue at the time. I'll re-read it at some point.
Personal favourite is probably Thud! from the City Watch sub-series, but I'd not recommend it without having read the six or so that come before.