Regular readers of these reviews (are there any?) will have noticed I haven't posted many recently; that's because I've been rereading a big chunk of the Discworld series:
- "Thud!", which I got last year and had only read once. I liked it better this time, and am eagerly awaiting an update to the APF to fill in the references I'm sure I'm missing. I'm curious as to whether "devices" will play a more important part in future books, since they weren't really needed for this one (the cube could just have been ordinarily magical). The section with Vimes under Koom Valley struck me again as a bit clumsy, although the fuzziness is probably intentional. I wonder what the book on the construction of the Ankh-Morpork Underground is going to be called, and how many New York Rapid Transit references he'll get into it...
- "Guards! Guards!", the first Watch book, since I realised I hadn't reread this thread (my favourite) for several years. A good read, even if the plot's pretty fantasy-ish by Watch standards.
- "Men at Arms". I'd forgotten how strong a book this was. It features both impressive bits of humour (for example, the secret society scenes) and some of the first really serious and moving bits in the Discworld series; I was particularly taken with the Carrot scene at the end.
- "Feet of Clay", which used to be my favourite Discworld book until Night Watch came out, and which I've thus read something like six times. I still found the occasional pun or turn of phrase that I hadn't noticed before.
- "Jingo", another good one, and with the satire looking significantly sharper a few years into the Iraq war. I thought it did a particularly good job of giving "screen time" to all the personalities involved (Vimes, Carrot, Colon and Nobby, Vetinari, Leonard, Ahmed...) without ever feeling rushed or bloated. I wonder if we'll get a Klatchian Watch book at some point in the future...
- "The Fifth Elephant", which was all right, but nothing spectacular. Some nice Vimes bits.
- (I didn't bother with "Monstrous Regiment", since it's only been a year since I last read it, and it's only incidentally a Watch book...)
- "Night Watch", my current favourite Discworld book, and probably the most serious work of the series. It stands rereading exceptionally well; the early sections actually work better when you know what's coming.
- "Going Postal". This one's a lot of fun, and it's nice to see that a Discworld book without any of the regular major characters can still work. The telegraph system's quite interesting, but I doubt we'll see any more detail of it than we have here; the Gnu references made me giggle a bit (and frown a little at the blurring of the hacker/cracker distinction, although at least the portrayal's reasonably kind here). I'll guess "Making Money" is going to be along similar lines.
- "The Truth", another Ankh-Morpork "independent" book, although characters recur in later stories. On the "good" side of OK, and resonates nicely with the Michael Green autobiography I read a while back...
- "Thief of Time", which I'd also only read once before. I didn't think it was a very strong book when I first read it, and my opinion hasn't changed since; the History Monks bits are fine, but Susan Sto Helit just isn't an interesting character to follow any more, and Lobsang/Jeremy disappear before we learn much about them.
- "The Last Continent", another one I didn't care much for when it first came out; I can see why there haven't been any more Rincewind books lately. This one's essentially just a collection of Australia-themed set pieces without much in the way of actual plot, and as such doesn't really stand rereading well.
As I'm sure you've gathered, I'd generally recommend the series; I'd probably suggest starting with "Guards! Guards!" and reading the Watch books in order for new readers, rather than diving in at "The Colour of Magic" (as I did, many years ago).