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The Wit & Wisdom of Discworld [Paperback]

Terry Pratchett , Stephen Briggs

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Book Description

Jan. 6 2009
The perfect book for die-hard Pratchett fans and newcomers alike, a collection of the wittiest, pithiest and wisest quotations from the Discworld universe, organized into categories including the principal Discworld characters (Granny Weatherwax, Lord Vetinari), places (Unseen University, Ankh-Morpork, the City Watch) or even the occasionally concept (magic).

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (Jan. 6 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552155381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552155380
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,690,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“When the least they could do to you was everything, then the most they could do to you suddenly held no terror.” –From, Small Gods

“A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.”
–From, The Fifth Elephant

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Stephen Briggs has adapted a number of the Discworld novels for the theatre, as well as collaborating with Terry Pratchett on various books including Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook, Death’s Domain and The Streets of Ankh-Morpork.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Impoverished in an Embarrassment of Riches Oct. 14 2007
By James D. DeWitt - Published on
The problems with selecting the best Pratchett quotes are that no one agrees on which are the best and there are too many to include them all. So while there aren't any bad Pratchett quotes, it's annoying to find your favorites aren't included in this compilation.

As just one example, the selections from "Soul Music" omit both the "felonious monk" pun - maybe the best pun in Pratchett - and "we're on a mission from Glod." I mean, reasonable minds can differ, but what can Briggs have been thinking? Maybe that's the best way to describe the problem with this book: what was Stephen Briggs thinking? Which is why I give this effort only two stars, the lowest rating I've given any Pratchett-related product. And it goes deeper than that. Many of the quotes in this compilation are only amusing in context. Lifted from context, they can be a little flat. So who is this written for? Folks who haven't read the books will be bewildered, unamused and disappointed. Hard core fans will disagree with and be annoyed by the selections. It's hard to see the target audience.

I respect Mr. Briggs' dramatizations of Pratchett's novels, and his various editions of "Discworld Companion." But this effort falls flat. Notably, it does not contain an introduction from Pratchett, unlike some of the other non-canon books. Perhaps that omission is a comment all by itself.

The bottom line: read the books. Read all the books. They are a lot more fun, and you can decide for yourself what's witty and wise. Recommended only for those who want to keep their Pratchett libraries complete.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wit & Wisdom, Cut Me Own Throat Sept. 29 2007
By Bruce Trinque - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Steven Briggs, the man behind the Discworld maps and stage versions of the Discworld stories and the Discworld Companion, has compiled in this single volume many of the funniest -- and wisest -- moments from the whole series of Discworld novels, all the way from "The Color of Magic" to "Making Money" (and including the four "youth" books). I say "many" moments, not all, because to do that, as Briggs says in his foreword, he might as well have tied a set of all the Discworld novels up with a ribbon. Some jokes, Briggs tellsus, would not fit in this compilation because too much context was required, and the judgment of what is most funny is too subjective for everyone to agree. But any Discworld fan can be assured that at least many moments happily remembered make their appearance in "The Wit & Wisdom of Discworld" (and, if the fan is like me, some moments you have forgotten). Excerpts range from single sentences to several paragraphs, and occasionally Briggs supplies a comment or two of background to explain what the joke is about. The excerpts are arranged in chapters, one for each novel. And there is even an index in which you can look up such things as "witches: Omnians and," and "Vetenari, Havelock, Lord (Partrician of Ankh-Morpork): tyranny in practice".

The book makes for wonderful browsing, or reading straight-through. And it makes you want to go back and read the novels themselves again.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE WIT AND WISDOM OF DISCWORLD by Terry Pratchett Nov. 20 2007
By MOTU Review - Published on
Stephen Briggs has compiled a selection of quotes and passages from every Discworld book through MAKING MONEY. As Terry Pratchett is known for his clever sentences, puns and jokes, this may seem like a great idea.

Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work. In the context of the Discworld novels, most of these passages are witty and humorous. Piled together here and ripped kicking and screaming from narrative context, it seems overmuch, and many passages end up giving the reader a "you had to be there" kind of feeling. Timing is everything with humor, but here, it's all out the window.

This is not to say there is no value here. Pratchett's cleverisms are certainly worthwhile and enjoyable. However, fans of Discworld are better off sticking with the novels, and those who are new to Discworld won't get it. Nor should they be expected to.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Whets your appetite for Pratchett Nov. 27 2007
By Meryddian - Published on
This is a decent book if you want to explore a bit of the humor that makes up the Discworld books, but you'll get a much better experience from reading the books themselves. It's also missing some of the reader-favorite quotes!

A fun book, but nothing I would recommend over the books on their own!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so good Oct. 4 2007
By Clayton Overstreet - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Obviously the book has some good parts. It quotes Pratchett. But the collection is lacking. Barely a half dozen quotes from any book and many of them cut off before they get to anything good. On top of that many of the more well known lines aren't even in it including "Light a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set him on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life." "Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind." and many others. Frankly I was disappointed and got the feeling that except for one of two of them the compiler just picked a few quotes at random and then had better things to do.

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