Moving Pictures – Terry Pratchett

Recently I visited the local second-hand bookshop, one of a Spanish chain called Re-Read, where you can buy 5 good quality books for 10€. Luckily here in Terrassa they have a fairly good English section and I was able to find 5 books that I wanted to read.

If you have never read any Terry Pratchett, you must! Pratchett is an author I file under ‘comfort-reading’, he is entertaining and you can easily get lost in his comic fantasy world. Discworld is his most famous creation; a magical disc-shaped world that balances on the back of 4 elephants which are riding a giant tortoise through space; the inhabitants of Discworld are humans, dwarfs, trolls, and many more creatures. The 41 Discworld novels you will find everything from magicians to priests, witches to assassins, engineers to policemen. Pratchett also incorporated aspects of various parts of our own world – the main city, Ankh-Morpork, is a composite of modern New York, 18th century London, ancient Rome, renaissance Florence and other famous cities. There are also various regions of Discworld with allusions to Australia (Fourecks), Scandanavia and the Himalayas (The Hub), China (The Agatean Empire), Western Europe (the Sto Plains), the Middle East (Klatch) and Central America (Howandaland). Using these excellent paMoving Picturesrodies Pratchett questions much of modern culture whilst also entertaining his readers.

Moving Pictures is quite clearly a send up of Hollywood, most of the action takes places in Holy Wood, a hill not far from Ankh-Morpork. When the Alchemists stop blowing themselves up, a regular occurrence in Ankh-Morpork, they invent moving pictures. Using this technology they start to make clicks (movies), and everyone in Discworld wants to be part of the new business. Our main characters are Victor Tagelbend, a dropout from the magicians Unseen University, Ginger, a girl from ‘a little town you’ve never heard of’, and the notorious salesman Cut-My-Own-Throat Dibbler – sound familiar? Pratchett takes the idea of the Hollywood dream and subverts it completely. These three set out to become stars, but with stardom comes responsibility. With his usual combination of fantasy, comedy and satire Pratchett produced another hilarious novel.

I think surreal is the best way to describe Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Moving Pictures is just that, and this is why I love his writing. He is so entertaining yet he does make his readers think about the world they live in. If you have never read any Discworld novels, please do, and if you have and love them, recommend them to a friend.


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