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Getting started with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books

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Discworld reading order chart Last Monday, I posed the following question to my Facebook friends:

Let’s imagine that you have a friend who has read a few Terry Pratchett books, but none of the Discworld books, and would like to start somewhere – which book would you recommend?

This friend has also seen the Sky TV adaptions of Colour of Magic, Light Fantastic and Going Postal.

And this friend may also be me.

27 comments later, and I received a useful list of starter books:

  • Guards, Guards!
  • Wyrd Sisters
  • Pyramids
  • Equal Rites
  • Mort
  • Reaper Man
  • Going Postal
  • Soul Music

Of these, ‘Guards, Guards!’ was the most popular suggestion, and so that’s my next audiobook on Audible. I’m about 30% of the way through it already. It’s okay – it’s narrated by Nigel Planer, who does a good job, however the breaks between scenes could be handled better. I think I found Good Omens to be a funnier book.

Discworld is a bit like the Marvel Cinematic Universe; there are lots of books that follow different groups of characters. There are several books with which you can start with, and some of these coalesce into a larger story. There’s even a diagram. You could, of course, read the Discworld books chronologically, starting with The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, but I gather that these aren’t Pratchett’s best works. That, and I’ve already seen the TV adaptations so I know the plot.

I will probably read another of the starter books next, before delving into any particular pathway through the Discworld universe. However, I have a couple of other books to listen to first, thanks to some recent Audible daily deals. These include The Long Earth, another Pratchett book which was a collaboration with Steven Baxter, and is more science-fiction than fantasy.

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