Comments: 19
This was pretty much my reaction to Equal Rites -- which I enjoyed decidedly less than this book, though; on several levels. But, yes, essentially Pratchett was still finding his Discworld feet here. All the concepts are there already; they just get a whole lot better and more poignant in the later books.
Murder by Death 3 months ago
Equal Rites is the one with the girl who wants to be a wizard, right? If so, yeah, that one was meh for me as well, although if forced to rate the two against each other, ER would squeak out just ahead because I found it easier to care about the characters (Granny Weatherwax).
Oh, Granny is definitely the best thing about Equal Rites ... without her, I'd have been even more disappointed.
Murder by Death 3 months ago
tbf, time-wise, this book didn't get the fairest reading; between travel, jet-lag and the cold-from-hell, I'm certain I've missed heaps and my attention span didn't do the story the justice it deserved.
Well, whichever way, we know it's going to pick up after book 3! :)
Portable Mistletoe 3 months ago
I felt the same way. Equal Rites has been the weakest of the DW books I've read so far.
Murder by Death 3 months ago
Is ER #3? If so, then I'm definitely looking forward to our March read and moving past these first 3 books. I can't say I'm really looking forward to Light Fantastic (comparatively speaking - his worst writing is still better than most writers' best efforts).
Tannat 3 months ago
Just think of it as an introduction to the Discworld. Death becomes more personable the more he has human experiences.
Portable Mistletoe 3 months ago
It was THE introduction to DW for me, and I was delighted by it when I read it the first time. But after reading deeper into the collection, it was easy to spot its flaws on this re-read.

The book didn't get worse, it's just that the later books set the bar higher.
Murder by Death 3 months ago
Mort was my first book in the DW series, so you can imagine how different I found Death to be here, but it didn't surprise me; I doubt even the infinite imagination Pratchett possessed could see how successful DW would be.

As I said above, this book didn't get as close a reading as it deserved from me, but the one over-riding sense I have from the story as a whole is that the Narrator (3rd person voice, not the audio narrator) wasn't invested in the story. I'm not sure I can explain it well at all, but it felt as if the 3rd person voice was telling the story at a remove; he didn't know or care about the characters so much as he was just relating a rather amusing story he'd overhead on the tube.

This isn't the first time I've had this reaction (most of EW), and a lot of it is the result of the dryer British humor (which I prefer most of the time), but in the other DW books I've read, we are allowed to get to know at least a couple of characters well enough to like them and want them to succeed. Or enjoy watching them fail. This one, the only character that appealed to me was The Luggage, a little bit, and the camera imp. Rincewind was too busy feeling put upon by life and Twoflower was too 2 dimensional. I liked the water troll though; we got more story about him than either of the main characters.
BrokenTune 3 months ago
I really did not like this one and it was my introduction to DW. It took me a few years to pick up another one in the series - luckily that next one was Hogfather. That changed everything. I prefer Equal Rites to this one, too, even tho ER is not a great DW novel.
Murder by Death 3 months ago
No, ER was deadly dull for me throughout most of the book; it wasn't until the end when I started 'bonding' with Granny Weatherwax that I started to like the book. I had the same problem in the beginning with Mort, but that was my very first DW book, so there was a steep learning curve, and I loved it by the end.

If this had been the first DW book I'd ever read, I'm not sure I'd have picked up another one for years either; and a lot of coaxing would be needed. This one just left me flat.
Tannat 3 months ago
It's starting to sound like Equal Rites is going to be another contentious read. I prefer The Colour of Magic to both Equal Rites and Mort, personally.
Can't speak to "Mort" yet, but I definitely agree on "The Colour of Magic" ...
Tannat 3 months ago
Lots of people love Mort, and it has some great moments, but I find the story arc to be too formulaic for Pratchett.
Well, I guess that's another one I have to see for myself then, either way. I'm definitely happy we're starting right at the beginning and going through all the novels in the order of publication, though. It's almost like being in at the beginning and gradually seeing the whole thing (and Pratchett's writing) evolve more and more.
Murder by Death 3 months ago
I should have probably written my last comment better: by the end I loved Death; Mort remains meh. Of course, as I've said before, a 'meh' Pratchett is still better than most 'good' books. He's really only competing against himself (in my mind).
Tannat 3 months ago
Oh, of course. One must always judge Pratchett against himself. If only other authors were half as well read and put in half as many easter eggs for the rereader and history reader.

[If you get multiple notifications it's because I failed at replying correctly.]
@Tannat (re: replying): I'm glad I'm not the only one who keeps doing this ...