Monday, May 05, 2008

The Art of Discworld by Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby

I haven't read all that many of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. Mainly, I suspect, because it's hard to get attatched to the kind of humor that goes on in the books. I remember reading "The Color of Magic" with the characters of Rincewind and Twoflower and just feeling "eh" about the book. Since then, I have read "Nightwatch", which was better, but still just okay with, and have enjoyed "The Wee Free Men" and "Hat Full of Sky". Maybe it's time to re-read some of the older Discworld books and see if my taste for them has changed.

This book collects the art of Discworld into one book, with portraits of many of the main characters who have enlivened the books over the years, from Rincewind and Twoflower to the College of Magic, Death and his family, and the witches of the Downs, Nanny Ogg, Esme Weatherwax, Tiffany Aching, Esme's sister Lilith, Magrat and Agnes Nitt. And then there are the Nac MacFeegle, the wee free men, little blue fairies who speak a little too much like stereotypical highlanders, and are fond of drinking, fighting and more drinking.

They also have the most interesting names, such as my favorite, "Not-as-big-as-medium-sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-wee-Jock-Jock", which gives you some idea of their names.

Still, for anyone who wants to see what the characters they have been reading about and always imagined in their head really look like, this is the perfect book to read. You will come back to it over and over and over again, looking at the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the one who left before they got famous. Discworld itself, a giant disc carried on the back of four truly enormous elephants, who are standing on the shell of a much larger turtie.

Highly recommended, for the art, if not Terry Pratchett's recollections that accompany all the art.

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