Your Favourite Discworld Novels (sort of)

Top40After sticking my neck out by trying to place the Discworld series into some sort of order, it’s your turn. Well, kinda. I have been grateful to each and every one of you who has taken the time to read, share and comment on my articles. I have also been fascinated to see what you have been reading. It has given insight into which Discworld novels you rate, and which you are less keen.

I have put together a top 41 of the most popular posts about the Discworld books on Pratchett Job, which includes my clunky attempt to explain why I have been doing this thing in the first place. You can read it after the jump, along with my Peter Snow on Election Night style analysis.

  1. Police Story – Men at Arms
  2. Death Might Be Your Santa Claus – Hogfather*
  3. No God, Only Religion – Small Gods
  4. I Love a Magician – The Colour of Magic
  5. Walk like an Egyptian – Pyramids
  6. Rebel, Rebel – Feet of Clay
  7. Toy Soldiers – Jingo
  8. Perfect circles – an apology
  9. The Rat – The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
  10. Royals – Lords and Ladies
  11. I Fought the Law – Guards! Guards!
  12. Revolution – Night Watch
  13. The Modern Age – The Fifth Elephant
  14. Letter from an Occupant – Going Postal
  15. Hollywood Babylon – Moving Pictures
  16. Death Trip – Snuff
  17. Strange News From Another Star – The Truth
  18. East of Nowhere – Interesting Times
  19. Rebel Girl – Equal Rites
  20. Tick of the Clock – Thief of Time
  21. Death is not the end – Mort
  22. Cut Out Witch – Carpe Jugulum
  23. The Opera House – Maskerade
  24. Weird Era Cont. – Wyrd Sisters
  25. Sympathy for the devil – Faust, Eric
  26. Strange Lights – The Light Fantastic
  27. Death and All the Rest – Reaper Man
  28. Strength of Strings – Soul Music
  29. Hero Worship – The Last Hero
  30. The End of the Line – Raising Steam
  31. War Pigs – Monstrous Regiment
  32. The Magician Versus the Headache – Sourcery
  33. Don’t Fight It, Feel It – Thud!
  34. Holiday Surprise – Witches Abroad
  35. And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda – The Last Continent
  36. Taxman – Making Money
  37. Kicker of Elves – The Wee Free Men
  38. Listen, The Snow Is Falling – Wintersmith
  39. Moon Witch Cartridge – I Shall Wear Midnight
  40. Way to Blue – A Hatful of Sky

First impressions: you could make an argument for this top 10 being a viable one. It includes a lot of the universally agreed greats – Small Gods, Pyramids, Lords and Ladies – and only The Amazing Maurice sticks out as a surprising inclusion. It is a fantastic book though, so I can’t be too miffed.

It was heartening to see The Colour of Magic in there. It has its flaws but I would not be here writing this without it. It’s an impossible book not to read without smiling.

As for shocks, I have two words. Witches Abroad. After a shaky start, this becomes one of Pratchett’s better Discworld novels, funny, intelligent and rather dark. It’s no Lords and Ladies, granted, but I was a bit surprised to see this as low as it was. Oh, and Snuff ranking rather highly was another surprise because it’s, um, not that great.

Finally, it is a DISGRACE that you are less keen on the Tiffany Aching series. I keep saying this – READ THE ACHING NOVELS. The new one is out on Thursday and if you start today you should be up to speed by then. I’ll be back, hopefully later this week, with my thoughts on The Shepherd’s Crown.

(One quick note on methodology. I have put this together based on views by using WordPress’s own statistics. So it will have a clear bias towards the earlier books, given those posts were published earlier. My maths is not great enough to have worked out some sort of weighted system. Sorry about that)

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15 Comments

  1. Belatedly, great job with this blog! I have/am/do thoroughly enjoy it.

    I read and enjoyed ‘Wee Free Men’, but (unfathomably, with the benefit of hindsight) didn’t pursue any of the others, because I assumed ‘they’re not for me’ being not (in purely marketing terms) being aimed at me/my demographic. I’m looking forward to remedying my earlier errors with the current Discworld (re)read podcast series I co-host.

    Also, I’m glad to see Pyramids getting so much love. It was always one of my favourites, but I half gleaned, half assumed that it wasn’t held in high regard in fan circles, being a standalone that’s not Small Gods.

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  2. I think the Tiffany Aching books are my favorite, but I have not found the need to post comments for any of the blog entries.

    Small Gods is the first Discworld book I read, it was given to me by friend who thought I’d like it. She was very disappointed in the U.S. Edition covers, but the book inside is the same. I have recommended and given Small Gods to other friends as a place to start Discworld. I own ver half the books, and do often re-read one.

    The Tiffany Aching books are the ones I enjoy reading over and over again. They are fun. I have some of the same worries about Shepard’s Crown: the Aching series seemed to get wrapped up so very well at the end of I Shall Wear Midnight, where can another book go without ruining a good ending? But I also look forward to see how Tiffany is doing as she gets older. I am a little annoyed that I can’t yet be on the book request list at my library, it’s not an option until the system has the book.

    I really enjoyed GoodOmens, I have not read it in a few years. I never would’ve thought of putting the writing style changes in TP’s writing into the context of ‘before’ or ‘after’ GO. I might have to go read a few bGO, GO, and aGO books to see if I notice changes myself.

    I DO remember reading Good Omens and thinking, This part is Pratchett, that part must be Gaiman. I have read the Long Earth series recently and it was not as easy to pull out Pratchett influence. I am thinking that this is due to Pratchett’s roll. It sounds as though he was very much part of the planning of the series and many ideas, but maybe due to the embuggerance he did not due much of the writing.

    Tiffany Aching books are a must read. As an adult I’ve realized that there are tons of amazingly good books in the young adult and juvenile sections. Don’t let those distinctions deter you from some really good literature. And read the Tiffany Aching books.

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  3. I have read most of them, mostly in order of publishing, and Thief of Time was/is still my fave. And even with the relative success of the chronicles of “Moist” making for decent television, I find myself still dreaming of a multi-part mini-series for ToT. It played in my head that way as I read it, for many reasons the reviewer cited (and a couple he didn’t), and hope springs eternal after all. The “Aching” novels were great, of the two I read, and I look forward to catching up soon. I’m glad Sir Terry was able to complete one last novel, and Tiffany is a compelling character to be sure. But now and then, my whistful, romantic mind will drift back to that conclusion in the stationery cupboard, and wonder what the offspring of Susan Death and Lobsang would be getting up to, in that flat world stacked on a quartet of pachyderms and a giant space turtle…

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  4. I’ve enjoyed your reviews immensely, even when I disagree with some of them (a fairly rare event, I assure you), and enjoyed the rankings as well (a few more disagreements there).

    I wonder if, after you read and review The Shepherd’s Crown, you will review The Science of Discworld series? Though these books are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, the fiction parts – featuring the wizards of UU – is, IMO, just as integral to the Discworld canon as any of the 41 ‘official’ Discworld books. My love for the wizards (with the exception of Rincewind) certainly has a lot to do with their hilarious antics in The Science of Discworld books, and I think that anyone skipping these books misses out on an important of part of Discworld.

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    1. Thanks for reading!

      Um, possibly. I finished all of my reading way back in April and as much as I enjoyed it, I was somewhat glad to start reading outside of Pratchett. I may revisit though – I have the Science books sat under my bed and I have his non-fiction collection to get tore into as well.

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  5. G

    The Science of Discworld books are definitely integral to the series, though perhaps a bit Rincewindy (more Faculty) for your taste. The short Discworld stories are really worth the time too, particularly; The Sea and the Little Fishes, which provides a great link link from the Agnes-Wtiches to the Tiffany-Witches books.

    Anyway, thanks for all your efforts. And please keep your review of TSC spoiler-free for those of us who have to wait for a library to get it in stock!

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    1. It will probably be my usual attempt at witty insight before the break, then spoilers after the jump. I probably won’t have it written until Monday. Good luck staying spoiler free!

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    1. Hi Michael, short version is ‘I couldn’t finish it’.

      Long version: I found it so utterly unPratchett like that persevering beyond the 150 pages or so that I had read seemed like a waste of my time, and whoever would have read the ultimate morose write-up. I have a brief explanation at the end of my Making Money post.

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