Over the past few years I’ve tried to get into Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, especially after I read Good Omens which he co-wrote with my favorite author, Neil Gaiman. I couldn’t do it. I could just never get an in, I wasn’t hooked, I couldn’t get through the prologue.
This time, however, the stars must have aligned or something, because everything clicked, and I loved every minute of my first adventure in the amazing realm Pratchett created.
We are introduced to a wizard, of a sort, his brain only knows one spell, and it can only be used once, and he’s not even sure what it does. On top of that, this wizard, Rincewind by name, seems to tumble from one misadventure to another, and this one, which is the introduction to the realm of Discworld is a lot of fun. It sees the arrival of the first tourist to Rincewind’s corner of the world.
Twoflowers, the tourist is keen to see all the things he’s only heard and read about, bar fights, heroes, magic, maybe even a dragon or two.
There are a lot of familiar fantasy elements in the story, but given a delightful, humorous bent as Practhett takes expectations and twists them towards the hilarious. There are nods to fantasy gaming like Dungeons and Dragons, Lovecraft, and even McCaffrey’s Dragonrider books.
There are a lot of laughs even as one gets wrapped up in the characters of the novel. The book is broken up into sections, each telling its own story, where the reader encounters fun creations, odd characters, and laugh out loud moments.
Even as we learn about the day to day existence of the tourist, Twoflowers, expectations are skewered here as well, as we learn about his touring accouterments, his picture box, and pocket watch are great examples. He’s also not above promoting his own job while traveling abroad.
I flew through this one, and am delighted to know that I still have some forty novels to work my way through. And all I can think is that this is going to be fun.
Pratchett has a delightful sense of humor and the adventures doled out in the first book may only be an appetizer for what is to come. I can’t believe it took me so long to get into these books, but I am absolutely ecstatic to know that I have so many books to enjoy in the series.
Have you read them? Do you have a favorite? I plan to read them in published order, and watch Discworld develop in my mind’s eye with each new adventure. It’s going to be so much fun!!