I have decided to start reading the whole Discworld series again gradually – it was partly out of wanting to do it, and partly from meeting a random guy on a train who was doing the same thing.
The first Discworld novel I read was The Light Fantastic, which wasn’t a great choice to begin with, as it continues the story directly from this one. This book introduces one of the best Discworld characters, Rincewind the wizard who can’t spell “wizard”, as he is charged with showing the Discworld’s first tourist, Twoflower, around. The Discworld, for anyone not familiar, is a disc-shaped planet situated on the back of a turtle and four elephants.
The story is often hilariously funny, and sets the tone for the entire Discworld series, as Rincewind and Twoflower blunder from one awkward situation to another, and Terry Pratchett makes the characters entertaining, as well as sending up many typical fantasy conventions, just by having characters who are breathtakingly silly. My favourite part of the book actually involves Rincewind and Twoflower accidentally slipping into a parallel universe that appears to be Earth – so, definitely not a standard fantasy novel. Some of the humour is also very dark, as Rincewind is constantly pursued by Death, who wants him to die.
If you’re interested in reading the Discworld series, then this is a good place to start; it’s hard to believe that it was first published almost thirty years ago!
Next book: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins