32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
starts well, shows signs of wearing thin, comes to a rushed conclusion,
This review is from: Thud!: A Discworld Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
Reading this book is pretty creepy. The first half is pretty much a commentary on different ethnic groups trying to get along in modern day British cities. What is really creepy is that this book was released in hardback last year, but some of the situations have been paralleled in ones that have happened for real since then.. Perhaps Terry Pratchett is right. There is an element called Narrativium, that ensures that once a story has started it must progress to its preordained conclusion, and it doesn't just exist in fiction, its out here as well. What we do seem to lack at the moment is a Vimes, an old school, warts and all, honest to goodness, commonsense before political correctness figure, who can't be bribed by anyone, to get us out of our pickle.
Pratchett's inventiveness continues in his send ups of every new bit of electronic gadgetry, and who can complain when he invents a new board game and a children's bedtime book (with noises) to add a little extra to the plot. But the main characters are being worn thin through over use, making Discworld books less like novels and more like episodes in a long running sitcom. The same old lines get trotted out like catch phrases: about the just human status of Nobby, Carrot the six foot dwarf, Angua's time of the Lunar month and so on. At this rate the books will soon be supplied with little speakers delivering canned laughter when each of the old faithfuls makes an appearance.
The story is perhaps strongest when it is going nowhere in particular in the first half of the book. Somehow the plot resolves it self too easily as it gallops towards its conclusion.
So, In Thud! as in other recent Discworld Novels there are signs that Pratchett needs to shake things up. Perhaps he doesn't aspire to anything more than producing the next episode in the Discworld sitcom? He might claim to take a dwarfish view of things, and say that nothing is finer than Low Art. But as any real dwarf can tell him, if you want to produce real Low Art, you have to dig deeper.
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Initial post: 9 Dec 2010 20:05:05 GMT
I think this is happening more and more with Pratchett. I appreciate his sense of humour a lot, but he tends to stuff his novels too tightly. Instead of developing a few ideas and characters, he adds anything that comes to his mind. And that doesnt work, because even for his evident talent he is not Cervantes or Sterne or Dickens. Recently I heard that he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and that he has pledged to write as much as he can before disease makes him stop. This could be the case, but somebody should tell him that producing many novels is not the best receipt to produce good novels
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