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A Pratchett Gateway Book

I think this book will hook you into an amazing fantasy world. I'm excited (and deeply envious) of the journey you are about to go on.
A Pratchett Gateway Book

I want you to try a book by Terry Pratchett (Sir Terry, technically). He is one of my favourite authors. I think his wit, take on the world and the human condition is amazingly insightful while deeply funny. The quotes littered though this post will give you an idea of what to expect when you read his books.

“Steal five dollars and you're a common thief. Steal thousands and you're either the government or a hero.”
― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

A hugely prolific author (394 distinct works according to good reads), Pratchett grew up in my home town, his first book was published in 1983 and his last in 2015. His books are very popular and has been dramatized for TV a few times.

The TV dramatization you may have heard of is Good Omens, his most high-profile work which comes from a book collaboration with Neil Gamen, and was turned into a mini series, produced by in 2019 by Amazon and the BBC.

Good Omens (TV Series 2019) - IMDb
Good Omens: Created by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett. With David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Frances McDormand, Sam Taylor Buck. A tale of the bungling of Armageddon features an angel, a demon, an eleven-year-old Antichrist, and a doom-saying witch.

But, that’s not where I want you to start. Skip Good Omens for now, and the other TV shows - dive into the books!

“In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.”
 ―     Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

Pratchett has crafted an entire world, the discworld. Spanning 47 books, inter-weaved storylines and character arcs it’s a huge corpus and one I wish I could read again for the first time, I’m envious of those who are discovering him for the first time. I'm currently re-reading the books with my daughter, who is enchanted by his turn of phrase.

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”
 ―     Terry Pratchett, Diggers

The Discworld books are not a linear series, more like a complex web, so reading them in published order isn't the best way to enjoy them. Luckily people have drawn a map, a reading guide, to let you follow the threads of stories in a much more satisfying way.

So, where to start? If you are a programmer (or have a technical/logical mind), start with Going Postal - I’ve hooked many a developer on the Pratchett drug with this book. It's the first book in the Moist Von Lipwig series and so much fun.

“It's not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing it.”
 ―     Terry Pratchett

Once you've finished the Lipwig thread, go back and do all the Industrial Revolution. Then I really like the Witches thread (which is where I've started with my daughter) and after that, go to the Watch! I hope my excitement for your future enjoyment comes across - I'm deeply envious of your road ahead.

“Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
 ―     Terry Pratchett,  A Hat Full of Sky

OK, back to Going Postal.

"Moist von Lipwig was a con artist, a fraud and a man faced with a life choice: be hanged, or put Ankh-Morpork's ailing postal service back on its feet."

It’s a story of a con-man, trying to rebuild the postal service in the biggest city on the disc. But it’s so much more, redemption, injustice, stamp collecting, open source, politics, love and so so so much cutting and hilarious observation. You will find yourself laughing out loud.

Go read it. (amazon link here)

“Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.”
 ―     Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time

Actually, I want you to enjoy this book so much, I want to buy you a copy. The first 5 people to ask, I will buy and send them a copy, under the agreement:

  1. You read it
  2. You let me know what you thought
  3. (If you liked it) You pass the book on to at least 2 more people.
“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.”
 ―     Terry Pratchett


“If you kept changing the way people saw the world, you ended up changing the way you saw yourself.”
 ―     Terry Pratchett,  Going Postal