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KLIATTAGERANGE: Ages 12 to adult.
Fans of Pratchett’s wildly popular fantasy/satire series may enjoy dipping into this chatty guide to Discworld, and the forthcoming movie of The Wee Free Men is sure to create a new audience for his clever and funny writing. The authors, who have written a similar guide to the Chronicles of Narnia, give some background on Pratchett and explain the mythology he draws on and the many literary allusions in his work. The book is divided into three sections: “Pratchett, Parodies, and Plots: The Literary Roots of the Discworld,” including a chapter on Shakespearian references; “The Few, The Proud, The Inept: Who’s Who in the Discworld,” with chapters on the witches, Death, heroes, villains, thugs, and more; and “Power, Police and Paraphernalia: The Way Things Work in the Discworld,” with chains of command, weapons, warfare, and so on. There’s lots of trivia, sidebars, and charts, along with references to both the classics and pop culture. The tone is highly informal, with asides to the reader, which may appeal to some and annoy others (it isn’t to my taste). In a final chapter, “The Real World,” the authors speculate on how Pratchett’s characters would do on various TV reality/game shows, like Survivor and Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? Wonder what Pratchett would make of that? Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)