Saturday, August 1, 2009


Oh, we stumbled on a great success the other day.

Do you know Terry Pratchett’s long-running sci-fi novel series called Discworld? If you’re a sci-fi nut, you probably do. (Actually, to clarify, the books are comic fantasy novels.) If not, and you have a kid sitting around this summer, watching too much TV or perhaps wishing they hadn’t finished the last Harry Potter book, you might want to check them out. According to Wikipedia, “newly released Discworld books regularly top The Sunday Times best-sellers list, making Pratchett the UK's best-selling author in the 1990s, although he has since been overtaken by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.”

Son K has been reading the Orson Scott Card Ender’s Game novel series, and I’m going to encourage him to take a look at these. I came across the DVD, and then read about the books, and they sound like a ton of fun.

This DVD is a made-for-(British)-TV adaptation, running approximately three hours, following the first two Discworld novels, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic (there are over 30 books in the series).

Get this:
The wizard Rincewind is in charge of the naïve Twoflower (a “tourist” from the Agatean Empire) during his visit to the magical Discworld, a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle.

No, I didn't make that up.

The snippets I saw during K’s viewing were really wonderful. He and his 9-year-old cousin watched it, and loved every strange minute of it... I popped in and out at the beginning to get a sense of the content, and left them to the task, feeling it was more than appropriate and probably a wild ride. K told me later how much he and his cousin really enjoyed watching, over the course of a couple of nights.

I think I need to devote an evening to watching it with K (who wouldn't mind seeing it again), as it looks quite beautiful and wickedly fun in that Terry Gilliam kind of way. Actors like Jeremy Irons and Tim Curry make appearances as well. (Oh, and it's not rated by the MPAA, but I'd figure it falls into the "PG" category quite comfortably.)


  1. Have you read the books? I'm thinking about using them as bedtime stories for 5-8 year-olds? Any idea?

    (And the movie was great. It would be very close to a 'G' except my kids thought it was a bit scary in a couple places.)

  2. We have not read the books .... but I think we're going to try them. The might be a bit dense for younger kids, from what I've read about them.

    If anyone has read them, please drop a note!

  3. What, didn't anyone else comment since August?
    I guess I'd better. I'm one of the many fans of Terry Pratchett. I buy the books in hardback. I'm 61, by the way, and I've been reading them since the first one came out over 25 years ago. They won't hurt a kid but there is a very great deal in them that kids don't have to understand to enjoy the books. For younger kids I think I would start with Equal Rites, Mort, The Wee Free Men, and maybe The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. I recommend that you read them yourself, as well.

  4. i love boooooooooooooooooks


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