Number of pages: 333
The tenth discworld novel revolves around the arrival of "Holy Wood", and not surprisingly, this is a satire on the movie industry. The art of making movies is created by alchemists, and suddenly everyone is drawn to Holy Wood, wanting to become an actor.
Typically for a Discworld novel, things are not straightforward and in addition to a number of digs at the movie industry, with jokes about how everyone wants to be the first to make a talking picture, the story gets increasingly bizarre as reality and unreality start to merge. This book introduces the character of Gaspode, the talking dog, and various other talking animals show up that are intended to parody other well known cartoons (Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry and Donald Duck - a duck who is supposed to talk, but doesn't make sense to anyone). Not surprisingly, Terry Pratchett has also filled up the book with movie quotes, and obvious movie homages, particularly King Kong.
There are a number of characters who are familiar from the other books, including Sergeant Detritus of the City Watch and the wizards of the Unseen University, with Archchancellor Ridcully making his first appearance. One of the funniest sequences in the book involves the wizards when they attempt to disguise themselves as people badly disguised as wizards, "because no one would think that someone wearing a false beard had a real beard underneath" (moments like this show Terry Pratchett's comic genius at its best). There are also a number of appearances from the Librarian and, of course, Death.
I remember being a bit bemused by this one in the past, but reading it again, I have started to appreciate it for what it is. There are a few moments towards the end where the storyline gets a bit too confusing, but otherwise I had no problems with it.
Next book: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde