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An Unofficial Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett [Paperback]

Andrew M. Butler

Price: CDN$ 14.61 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 10 2007 1846450438 978-1846450433 2
Terry Pratchett's brilliantly vivid imaginative worlds have entranced millions of readers all over the world. Here, for the first time, is a fans' guide to everything Terry Pratchett has written, including the "Discworld[registered]" novels, the "Bromeliad", the "Johnny Maxwell" trilogy, stand-alone fiction, graphic novels and rare short stories. Entries on plot lines and characters, articles on key themes and discussions of artwork, television adaptations and collaborative work make this the most comprehensive, fascinating and illuminating companion to the work of Terry Pratchett, one of our most entertaining - and greatest - writers.In terms of worldwide sales (around 25 million copies to date, and no signs of stopping), Terry Pratchett is one of the leading writers in English. He is also a writer of complexity and allusiveness, whose rich work raises important issues about the real world within a fantasy/comic environment. This encyclopedia mixes shorter entries conveying specific information with longer, more discursive articles for readers wanting more reflective engagement with Pratchett's novels.Entries on novels and characters not only highlight Pratchett's celebrated inventiveness but also analyse the underlying meanings. Entries on 'Fantasy', 'Science Fiction', 'Fairy Tales' and related topics situate the novels within literary genres, and other articles discuss the scientific, social and philosophical ideas underpinning Pratchett's playful but sophisticated narratives. Associates and collaborators, such as Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Ian Stewart, feature in articles discussing contemporary influences, and plentiful information about the fascinating peripheral detail of audio editions, radio broadcasts, TV adaptations and film scripts enhance the fun. "An Unofficial Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett" is essential reading for fans who want to unpick the allusions and appreciate the rich complexity of one of the great bodies of contemporary popular literature.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood; 2 edition (Oct. 10 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846450438
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846450433
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 22.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 780 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,637,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Large (over 450 pages), sweeping in scope (Lu-Tze would be proud) and reasonably priced (trust me on this), An Unofficial Guide to the Novels of Terry Pratchett belongs on the bookshelf of any true Pratchett aficionado."-WOSSNAME

Book Description

A hugely revealing critical encyclopedia of the whole Pratchett oeuvre, including non-Discworld novels, works for children and miscellania.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Discworld Companion Without Pratchett's Humor March 13 2008
By James D. DeWitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like Terry Pratchett very much; I think I have everything he has published. I like some of Mr. Butler's literary criticism of Pratchett. In particular, "Guilty of Literature, " edited by Butler, is excellent. But it's hard to see what help "Unofficial Companion" offers that the revised "Discworld Companion" doesn't.

Oh sure, there are a few things. Butler looks at the non-Discworld books, including both the "Johnny" series and the "Truckers" series, but I've always regarded those as Pratchett's lesser efforts. Butler and his fellow essayists also cover all of the miscellaneous publications, even such items as the Maps (Discworld, Ankh-Morpork, Lancre, Death's Domain) and, heaven help us, "Nanny Ogg's Cookbook." Even the "Science of the Discworld" books are covered. I guess I'd question whether they should have been included.

On the other hand, while some of the major characters are described, the descriptions aren't terribly insightful. Groups of characters - the wizards, the witches and the watch, for example - have their topics but the analysis of these groups is simplistic and sometimes just wrong. None but major characters are given their own topics, and largely repeat what's found in "Discworld Companion." Perhaps most importantly, the touches of light humor that grace the "Discworld Companion" are completely missing. It's all dreadfully serious.

And whoever proofread the "Unofficial Companion" is dyslexic. There are egregious errors on many pages, some of them the kind of errors that bring your reading to a complete halt. These are the kind of mistakes you'd expect in a knock-off paperback; not in a hardbound volume that goes for $50.00.

So what you're left with is a poorly edited, not particularly insightful, nearly humorless series of notes on Pratchett's works and major characters and locations. Admittedly, it covers all of the works, even the lesser efforts, but how much do you need to know about a map of Ankh-Morpork? "Discworld Companion" is much more fun and more complete in discussing characters and places. And if you can find a copy you can afford, "Guilty of Literature" offers much more insight and thoughtful criticism.

Three stars for a yeoman-like effort. But wait for the paperback.

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