The Wit & Wisdom of Discworld Paperback – Jan 6 2009
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“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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
The book makes for wonderful browsing, or reading straight-through. And it makes you want to go back and read the novels themselves again.
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.
TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT
A fun book, but nothing I would recommend over the books on their own!