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53 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Finishes 'Discwor... · 0 replies · +6 points

Hey! Congratulations on finishing the series. I've generally devoured these books in the past, so seeing you go through these so deliberately is impressive. And having this record of your experience is fantastic -- like, I can't go back and reread Going Postal and believe for a second that Moist is going to die, but I can read about your experience.

Uh, how do you think the books changed over the course of the series? It seems to me that the books started out much more fantastical, like the Dungeon Dimensions and the witches jumping Lancre forward ten years, but he shifted his focus from that to more human conflicts.

Also, what do you think about his treatment of trolls and dwarves?


53 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Finishes 'Discwor... · 0 replies · +2 points

Seconding (thirding?) this rec. I think it's more on the HP side of things than the Discworld side, but it's fantastic.

53 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Shephe... · 3 replies · +17 points

Yeah, Geoffrey's story is a little flat. I'm fine with Geoffrey being a good person and winning people over to his side, but that doesn't mean that he can't make mistakes and struggle with it.

I wish Pterry had used Nanny as a foil for him. She's a believer in gender roles (while not necessarily applying them to herself); I could see her telling Tiffany that Geoffrey is a bad idea and coming to the rescue when he makes some mistake (ideally due to male privilege), while Geoffrey could struggle a bit about whether he's right to want to be a witch, and he could help out Nanny's suffering daughters-in-law. Add some resolution at the end, and done, he's become a much more interesting character.

I'm also pretty OK with the witches in general having an easier time accepting Geoffrey than the wizards did Esk. Witches are good with dealing with the world as it is, whereas the wizards deal with the world as they think it should be.

59 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +6 points

Hello! This is the third time I've started writing essentially the same comment about this book, but this is my last chance, so...!

This is a really weird book. It's nearly entirely written in a sort of "storytelling" mode. I appreciate this reread for bringing forward a lot of the details that I glossed over when I read the book, but I don't think it adds up to anything. The main plot is "The Discworld gets railroads", and while it's a struggle and a lot happens, there's very little actual conflict. It would've been a much more interesting -- but very different! -- book if it'd been about the dwarven struggles, which have conflicts and stakes. I get the impression this book exists because Pterry wanted to write about railroads and shoehorned in the dwarves to give it some sort of narrative structure.

Compare it to the clacks, which just show up between books. They get introduced and developed a bit, but it's a while before we get a book actually about them. I don't think he felt like he had enough time to do that. :(

I do appreciate how much of the entire series it touches on, though. It's a goodbye to the Discworld.

... Now I'm getting sad again >_>

63 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 2 replies · +9 points

This is a great opportunity to point out how amazing Witches Abroad is on this front. All the major players in the plot are women, and it quietly does its thing without drawing much attention to itself. It's quietly radical.

80 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +2 points

Is Stratford a significant character? He's important to the story and as a symbol, but I never really cared about him as a character, whereas Carcer was terrifying every time he popped up.

82 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +3 points

I read Dodger about four years ago. According to my fuzzy memories, it's more of a romp. There's some social satire in there, but it doesn't go nearly as hard as this book. I spent the entire book waiting for gur nihaphyne zragbe punenpgre gb trg xvyyrq, naq abcr; vg'f abg gung xvaq bs obbx.

But yeah, I totally agree. I think there's always been anger in his writing, and he's been writing about oppression and injustice since at least Equal Rites. His two most important characters (IMO), Vimes and Granny Weatherwas, are both motivated by an inner core of rage. But it's moved from subtext to text.

82 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +6 points

> (Somehow I missed that the damn slam could be a metaphor for the entire goblin history until Mark said it, but that really does fit well! The Shires are about to get a very purifying wave crashing through.)

Zomg, yes, I completely missed that when I first read the book. Huh. It's even called "Old Treachery".

86 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 4 replies · +18 points

To me, the awkward thing is that the daughters are pulled from a Jane Austen novel, and Austen makes it pretty clear that it's the system they live under that forces these women into being relatively helpless. In this book (so far, at least), it comes across like it's the daughters who have this foolish idea on how to live. The elder generation all thinking it's bull, and relying on Vimes to communicate it, makes it paternalistic and kinda sexist and yeah, really uncomfortable.

97 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 0 replies · +12 points

I wouldn't say "democratically inclined", he's made a lot of jokes about democracy in the past, and one of his tactics is keeping people busy with committees so others can do the real work. But he is shockingly pro-freedom (including, of course, the freedom to take the consequences). The book is cynical about people in groups, but optimistic about individuals and their power to change themselves and their peers for the better.