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Art of Discworld Paperback – Oct 20 2005
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About the Author
Terry Pratchett (Author)
Sir Terry Pratchett is a publishing phenomenon. Among his many prizes and citations are the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award, the Carnegie Medal, the BSFA Award, eight honorary doctorates and, of course, a knighthood. In 2012, he won a BAFTA for his documentary on the subject of assisted suicide, 'Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die'. He is the author of fifty bestselling books but is best known for the globally renowned Discworld series.
The first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983, and the series is still going strong almost three decades later. Four Discworld novels - Hogfather, Going Postal, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic - have been adapted for television, with more to follow. His books have sold approximately 85 million copies worldwide (but who's counting?), and been translated into thirty-seven languages.
In 2007, Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. He died in 2015.
Paul Kidby (Illustrator)
Paul Kidby discovered Terry Pratchett's Discworld in 1993 and since then has devoted his working life to the place. He is the illustrator of THE PRATCHETT PORTFOLIO, the bestsellers THE LAST HERO and THE ART OF DISCWORLD, as well as the Discworld DIARIES, cards, T-shirts, maps, mugs and, of course, the covers.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In addition to the artwork, there is also running commentary by Terry Pratchett on the many people, creatures, and places in Discworld. He provides interesting new insights on the conception and evolution of his creations and describes how his mental visualization of them compares with Kidby's execution. Kidby also adds his own comments on why he depicts the characters the way he does.
There are so many treasures in this book! There's Death dressed as the Hogfather. There's Angua in her human and wolf forms. There are depictions of the Librarian that show the man within the orangutan skin. There's a sketch of Twoflower that's a perfect rendition of the first Discworld tourist. Let's not forget the cosmos-scarred Great A'Tuin, bearing the weight of four elephants and a flat planet on his mighty back. I could go on and on, but I won't. You have to see these amazing illustrations for yourself. This is a must-have for a Discworld fan's collection.
Of course we don't just see Kidby's take on everybody from Lord Vetinari to Granny Weatherwax to Foul Ol' Ron, this volume also includes many notes from Terry Pratchett himself. Pratchett's notes make up the main body of the text and often Kidby's comments follow in italics. I especially enjoy seeing the evolution of different characters as when Terry reveals that Guards, Guards! wasn't intended to start a whole series of City Watch books. Rather he says that he wanted "to give them a moment in the sun, but it turned out to be a full tropical holiday."
One of my favourite illustrations is the one of Death as the Hogfather. I think the spirit of Death (and 'Pixie Albert') is perfectly captured with the grinning skull. Throughout the volume are many excellent full colour illustrations such as this as well as a number of sketches and line drawings.
I still imagine Discworld characters when I read a novel, but with this volume I can delve in a bit deeper and see them in new situations. Where else will you see apt parodies of The Scream, The Mona Lisa, or Rembrant's Night Watch?
If you're a long-time Discworld addict then your collection should not be without this volume. However, if you are a newcomer then beware. You're sure to enjoy the illustrations, but they and the text will spoil many of the previous books.
There are a couple of inexplicable omissions (for instance, Magrat Garlick is barely shown in the background of a picture, even though she is mentioned repeatedly in the accompanying text) and several images have already been featured elsewhere (e.g. several book covers, the Mapps,the Calendars).
Finally, the illustrations and the text correspond to the Discworld situation as it was by 2006, which means there are some serious SPOILERS in the text for those who haven't read the corresponding books.
Overall, this is an absolute MUST for any serious Discworld fan. It's gorgeous to look at, interesting to read and at times hysterically funny like only something written by Terry Pratchett can be.