Pratchett, Terry & Stephen Briggs. Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion . . . So Far.

NY: Harper, 2014.

The late Sir Terry Pratchett had and still has a huge fan base — the largest and broadest of any living writer in English until Harry Potter came along — and that means a considerable aftermarket of associational publications. Cookbooks, calendars, tourist guides, maps, posters, probably action figures, they’re all available for purchase.

But there are also a number of actual books of potential use to readers of the fifty or so Discworld novels, such as this alphabetical compendium of topics, localities, and (mostly) people from the books. Whether they are ubiquitous, like Granny Weatherwax and Commander Vimes and Unseen University, or whether they appear only once in a very minor role, you’re likely to find them here. Like Aimsbury, remember him? (No, neither did I, not by name.)

Unfortunately, some of the latter sort of entries are very sketchy, so if it’s been a few years since you read a particular volume, you’ll have trouble understanding who exactly some of them are. Also, while Pratchett gets top billing on the cover, virtually all the actual writing here is by Briggs. And he doesn’t really have Sir Terry’s bent sense of humor, no matter how hard he tries. That being the case, this volume is likely to be more useful as the reference book it claims to be than as something to pick up and browse through.

It’s also the sort of thing that works much better as a physical book than as an e-text. You can’t easily flip through the pages on your Kindle to find the article on, say, C.M.O.T. Dibbler — and because he’s mentioned many times in various articles besides the main one, doing a search in the Kindle brings up dozens of hits.

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Published in: on 21 December 2015 at 8:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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