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on 13 September 2004
This is the tenth book in Terry Pratchett's series on the Discworld--a flat world, supported on the back of four massive elephants riding on the back of a planet-sized turtle, anything hilarious can happen here, and eventually does. When the last Keeper of the Door dies, there is no one left to remember, and the idea must be remembered. So, the idea seeks to break back into the Discworld, the idea of Holy Wood.
First the alchemists of Anhk-Morpork discover a way to make moving pictures, and then "Cut-me-own Throat" Dibbler discovers the idea of being a movie mogul, then Victor Tugelbend and Ginger Withal discover the idea of being a star. And so, the dream of Holy Wood begins to awaken...but, could that dream be a nightmare beyond anyone's understanding?
As always, Terry Pratchett is the master of telling a story that is both gripping and hilariously funny. Indeed, while reading this book I woke my charming wife up several times, laughing out loud! The author succeeds in keeping multiple storylines on track and easy to understand, and the book zooms along to its finale, and boy is it a funny one. I loved this book, and highly recommend it to you!
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Pratchett's books are about the only ones I make the time to occasionally re-read, because sometimes you just need a dose of pure [intelligent] fun. I barely remembered this one, reading it as I did when I was teenager, and not fully understanding it. This is a satire on the movie-making business, and is very... direct, in borrowing material from real life, shall we say. Indeed, at times the phenomena he is parodying mirrors too closely/exactly the activity that goes on in the "real world" that the it makes the satire slightly heavy handed, but I really really don't care. I loved it. I don't remember loving it this much the first time round, but I definitely did. This has blown through my head like a fresh breeze and cleaned all the cobwebs away. You know, those cobwebs you occasionally get (if you're anything like me as a reader) when things seem to be getting a bit stale.

This is incredibly funny, very warm, clever, gripping, etc etc. The greatest thing I can say about Pratchett's books, really, is that they make me very, very happy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2001
Victor Tugelbend ("Can't sing. Can't dance. Can handle a sword a little") and Theda Withel ("I come from a little town you've probably never heard of")are the ultimate movie stars (i.e. Moving Pictures stars) they bring to your mind images of Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe in Discworld style.
C.M.O.T. is simply hilarious in his part as an Holy Wood producer - no more sausages for him - with a very peculiar teory about subliminar messages and marcting.
Sham Harga has never been happyer.
Oh, and the tecnical explenation of how the "picture box" works is...well...interesting.
The wizards are just magic.
I realy enjoid this book and I'm sure you will as well expecialy if you are fond of classical movies (like Ben Hur, Gone With The Wind...).
See Ankh-Morpork burn.
See a Dungeon Dimention creature climb a tower.
See dead people...and Death.
See Klatch as you have never seen before.
See sword fights.
See club fights.
See a lot of fights.
See camels.
See trolls and dwarfs working together.(And they sayd it couldn't be done!)
See talking animals.
See how the Oscar puts you in mind of your Uncle Oswald.
And above all see... A THAUSAND ELEPHANTS!!!
All of this in an prodoction of epic proportions by the master him self: Terry Pratchett (with the suport of Harga's House of Ribs).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2006
A stray idea leaks into the discworld through a portal that had been sealed and guarded for hundreds of years, until the last guardian passed away. This idea gravitates towards the bright lights of Ankh-Morpork where it penetrates the unconscious of some of the more receptive minds it finds there. As a result, a very discworldish sort of film industry is born. Soon there are movie-moguls, film stars, fast-food and bad attitudes. And if all that wasn't bad (or good) enough, the horrors from the dungeon dimension are (as usual) trying to elbow (figuratively speaking, as tentacles don't have bony joints) their way in through the leaky portal. Will anyone notice the danger before it's too late? An alert hero and heroine and a wonder dog or two would be useful.
It's a very funny and entertaining story, well written by Terry Pratchett and well read by Tony Robinson. Even so, I'm going to have to read the book too. After listening to the audiobook twice, I still have a sense of something missing. The 339 page book has been abridged to a 3 hour reading and I can't help thinking some vital connective tissue has been excised. Why can't the rascals make unabridged readings? I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for the full glory of the whole story.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 October 2013
Moving pictures is Terry Pratchett's highly satirical and fantastical take on the Discworld's version of Hollywood. It is an interesting tale that extends beyond the universe of the Discworld and seems to be almost a parody on the strange effect Hollywood and the movie industry has on people in the real world.

As always there is an interesting cast of characters in this and the usual appearances from death. It was funny and there were plenty of amusing tangents that the author always goes off on. I would like to see a bit more in the way of character development as I have long been of the opinion that just because these are funny serial books there is no reason why the story can't be polished off that little bit more.

All in all though this is one of the more successful Discworld Novels in my opinion and I recommend it to those who enjoy Terry Pratchett's books.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 2 December 2012
When the boundaries between reality and make-believe become blurred, what do you end up with - Holy Wood of course! In this, the tenth novel of the Discworld series, Victor, a somewhat reluctant wizard student, becomes involved in the `clicks' - the Discworld's answer to moving pictures. But if you can make acting look like reality, does that mean reality becomes something else? Possibly; and only Victor and Gaspode the Wonder Dog, helped by Laddie (good boy, Laddie!) can stop the other dimension from coming through.

This is another great Discworld novel, make even more memorable with a major part being played by Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, one of my favourite recurring Ankh-Morpork characters; the Patrician makes a cameo appearance, and the Wizards of the Unseen University tackle their problems in their own unique way as well. A wonderful read, and highly recommended.
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on 11 July 2011
I found this novel was a departure from Mr Pratchett's usual fayre in some ways. Oh, the comedy was great as usual but it was the enchantments of Holy Wood I only now start to understand.

Have you ever gawped open-mouthed at a film or TV screen to the exclusion of everything else?

Think about it ...

Have you EVER channel-hopped the TV to watch anything you can to stop yourself from having to get up from the sofa?

OK so earlier in your life ...

Have you EVER had junk food or empty cans, cartons or bottles of drink piling up in the lounge?

Think, honestly ... I know I have have ... not now of course.

Have you EVER been on stage or on a film set?

If you can answer 'yes' to any of the above questions then you will like this book, a lot.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon 17 December 2004
. . . are best accompanied by some "banged grains", which, with butter and salt added, taste just like "salted butter". What better typifies the role of moving pictures in our lives? Terry Pratchett performs literary vivesection on the film industry in this classic parody. He has reached through time and space, exposing the hidden world of film making. The unreal lives of actors and actresses and the hype accompanying movies in our many local Bijou and Rhoxie Theatres is vividly conveyed in this superb novel. The film industry has always been an unlikely marriage of art and business. Yet even the clash of culture and commerce pales against the strength of what "popular appeal" can invoke.
Moving Pictures follows individuals from the population melange of the Discworld's greatest city. An unseen force entices them from reasonably comfortable lives in Ankh-Morpork to a realm of uncertainty and confusion. Victor Tuglebend, aspiring almost-wizard, is inexplicably lured to a desolate desert site. The trees have but one real side, and houses are one type in the front, something else at the back. He's not certain he wants to stay, but the life is too compelling to leave. How do you build a career in a new form of communication? Especially one built on the most unsubstantial foundation of fantasy - and film that explodes. What actually happens before an imp-inhabited box that transforms a chaos of people, contrived scenery and improbable stories into something we willingly - no, eagerly, shell out hard-earned money to watch?
Victor's becomes immersed into the "clicks" industry as he deals with all these improbabilities. As Pratchett builds his story, his expressive genius is given full rein. He draws cliches from the film industry's giants - Producer Thomas Silverfish is derived from Samuel Goldwyn [born Samuel Gelbfisch] among innumerable others. In a narrative rich with imagery - exotic dancer Ruby, a Troll, moves around the stage "like continental drift with curves" - Pratchett traces Victor's increasing awareness of the industry. An inexplicable force is drawing people to Holy Wood. It changes the lives of everyone as it's influence permeates the Discworld. This force builds in vigour and influence. Its effect seems stronger with actresses. Victor's co-star, Ginger, is even more vulnerable to its call. She wants to be the "most important person in the world". Who will consider her "important"? You?
There's a positive side to Holy Wood's mystical powers. On the Discworld there are many species - trolls, gnomes, dwarves. Many of these would battle each other on sight. In Holy Wood, however, they mingle and cooperate. Getting the click finished, on time and over budget is the commonly held goal. Tradtitional animosities are set aside to complete the project. Is the price worth entering the world of delusional images and the admiration of millions? You must decide that for yourself. Pratchett will help you settle the question. And in doing so, will keep you chuckling and reflecting. An amazing and captivating story.
Oh, yes. That'll be ten A-M cents for the bag of banged grains. Thank you. Enjoy the show. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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on 30 October 2013
I had great fun reading this novel.. All the little bits of Holy Wood that hark to our world's Hollywood..
Loved to see Cut-Me-Own-Throat in a more central role, and, as always, enjoyed reading about Gaspode, who now has a companion in Laddie..
Also liked seeing the alchemists taking the limelight away from the wizards..
Victor, the main character, was good fun..
Sorry, I feel my review is a bit lame, but can't think of what to write without giving the plot away..!
I did enjoy this book, and will probably re-read it in the near future..
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on 22 July 2013
bought this and lots of other pratchett books when got my first kindle so could read as liked. All the older books haven't read for a while and can not afford the prices for the hard backs (from middle to latest have a hardback collection). Took great pleasure in re-reading this again. The magic is still there and he's still the only author that keeps me glued to page chuckling away. If you haven't read a Pratchett novel before then buy one quick and be prepared for whole other world of entertainment. This is a good one to start with!
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