The Compleat Discworld Atlas by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If the overtly colonial ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ was my secret porn (as I wrote recently), then Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is my opium – and one I’m open and honest about.
The series of books was unique for a number of reasons, not least being that you could take any book in any order and enjoy it without having to know the back history of any of the multiple characters which appear, sometimes as main characters, sometimes as quick cameos, sometimes not at all.
For me, the collection was the perfect balance of sharply accurate comedy, well thought out fantasy and insanely spot-on social, political and religious commentary on today’s (equally insane) world. It isn’t an understatement to call Pratchett a genius and the world is a sadder place for his loss. From beginning to end, every book is a gem.
You would be forgiven for thinking that an atlas to accompany the Discworld series is merely something for the fantasy geeks and die-hard fans of the series and really isn’t important as part of the canon. But Pratchett manages to weave his magic, wit and keen eye for human behaviour even into a simple atlas. There were huge sections which were borderline ‘laugh out loud’ moments and every single page has insight and humour in good quantities.
In this respect then, ‘The Compleat Atlas’ sits worthily on the shelf alongside my many other Discworld books and, I suspect, I will dip into it whenever reading a new book (I am far from finishing all the series – I’ve read maybe 20 or so?) for a better understanding of the background and a taste of the enjoyment I know is sure to come.
If you’ve not yet tried any Terry Pratchett novels I do thoroughly recommend him. It is a very British humour, it’s true; nonetheless, his writing is intelligent, fast-paced and sparkles with every line. You’d have to be a Golem not to enjoy the books.
Social Entrepreneur, educationalist, bestselling author and journalist, D K Powell is the author of the bestselling collection of literary short stories “The Old Man on the Beach“. His first book, ‘Sonali’ is a photo-memoir journal of life in Bangladesh and has been highly praised by the Bangladeshi diaspora worldwide. Students learning the Bengali language have also valued the English/Bengali translations on every page. Ken has two new books coming out soon – don’t miss them!
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