Newest Review: ... Shall Wear Midnight" the latest novel in the series under my tree instead I received "The Wit and the Wisdom of the Discworld&q... more
A Book of Ook and Ogg
The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld - Terry Pratchett
Member Name: duskmaiden
The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld - Terry Pratchett
Advantages: well presented, its theDiscworld
Disadvantages: its only a compilation not a new Discworld novel
The concept of a flat world carried on the backs of four giant elephants who themselves are carried by a humongous Turtle named A"Ttuim floating through the multiverse is a strange one. Add to this the many weird and wonderful inhabitants from witches and trolls to dwarves and wizards that populate this world and you get perhaps one of the most successful series in modern literature, Terry Pratchett's Discworld.
Like millions of others I am very much a fan of Pratchett's brand of silly intelligent humour with its wry observations on all aspects of modern life, the parody, word play and the downright awful puns he writes. Who can resist his larger than life characters from his anthropomorphic Death with his white horse Binky, the majestic Granny Weatherwax, the wise beyond her years Tiffany Aching and her sidekicks the vaguely y Scottish Nac Mac Feegles. Of course not forgetting my all time favourite discworld character the Unseen University's Librarian who just happens to be an Orang utan after being transformed in a nasty magical accident.
This Christmas I had been hoping the Hogfather (or even Santa) would have slipped a copy of the "I Shall Wear Midnight" the latest novel in the series under my tree instead I received "The Wit and the Wisdom of the Discworld". Following in the footsteps of a number of books such as the Discwolrd maps, "The Science of the Discworld", "The Folklore of the Discworld" and the Companion to the Discworld" this is very much a companion book to complement your collection of original Discworld novels. Published in 2007 with the only new materiel coming courtesy of Stephen Brigg's introduction to the book "The Wit and Wisdom of the Discworld" is a compilation of some (but obviously not all) of the best quotes from the series, as selected by Briggs.
I have the hardback version of the book and I really can not fault the presentation, The cover is faded and aged to make it resemble one of the ancienter tomes in the Unseen University's library and there's even a very useful ribbon bookmark incorporated in the binding. Its very easy to use, its written chronologically with a chapter dedicated to each book up to "Making Money". Each chapter is preceded by the official book blurb to introduce the book. There's also a useful index if you are looking for quotes about a particular, place character or situation.
"The wit and wisdom of the Discworld" could be viewed, as a book full of trailers for those new to Discworld or those familiar with the series its more like greatest hits compilation. I read my first Discwolrd novel "Witches Aboard" over a decade ago so it was nice to revisit those books I had read many years ago remembering half forgotten jokes, and plot line, as well as reacquainting myself with now elusive characters such as Gaspod the Wonderdog and Twoflower the first tourist.
Its the type of book that you don't need to read cover to cover, instead you can dip in and out of it when and where it takes your fancy. I must admit I read it cover to cover which I found it quite useful. It was interesting to see how the books, ideas, characters and plot lines have developed over the years from the original magic based books to the City Watch and Tiffany books that seem to predominate nowadays. It confirmed my original suspicion that I found Rincewind the useless wizard to a bit tedious despite loving all he other University wizards and it was nice to see how all th characters were introduced in the series.
A compilation is always going to be subjective, as the compiler is always going to miss out your own personal favourite quotes from the books. I'd love to have read some of the bad puns from Soul music such as "We're Certainly dwarves" The Whom and "He's a bit Elvish". Running and in jokes often make a series what they are but throughout the book similar quotes were published such as Anoia the goddess of jammed knives and Nanny Ogg's perception of her cat Greebo the killing machine as an old softy or references to witches s dancing around at night without their drawers cropping up frequently. It would have also been nice to have a few colour plates or illustrations from the cover art to make it a really nice book to look at.
It occurred to me whilst chuckling my way through the "Wit and Wisdom of the Discworld" that the format of the book would be better suited to a quote a day desk calender especially with the shorter quotes. Dooubleday and Sir Pterry take note.
The Wit and Wisdom of the Discworld" is a handy companion to the books for a discworld die hard or a nice introduction to the uninitiated. However it is not a book of original material just a book of quotes so not essential but nice to have nevertheless.
You can get the paperback version from Amazon from £5.99
Summary: A book of quotes from the Discworld novels