Joanna: how are we going to reduce the reflected sound of underground spirits now, Francine?
—Divider sound effect—
Francine: how often do you think you reread Pratchett books? Like, without us being on a deadline like this?
Joanna: I tend to treat them like palette cleansers – like, it’s very rare I do like a full reread. But say I’ve just finished reading a trilogy or I’ve just read a particularly heavy book and a want something that’s not new afterwards then I’ll read like a Pratchett book or a couple of Pratchett books. So, I’ll read, say, a few books from the Guards, a few books from the Witches. What about you?
Francine: Do you know what, I’m not sure I’ve ever done a full read through from beginning to end. But I would go and read like three or four at a time maybe twice a year. Something like that.
Then I’d revisit the favourites another couple of times. Like Night Watch or… Maskerade I was really into reading like a lot at one point. And… oh, The Last Continent is I think my favourite next to Night Watch. In fact, I would flip between them depending on mood. Like, I think Night Watch is probably objectively the ‘better’ book, but The Last Continent is one of the few books that still makes me absolutely belly laugh as an adult.
Like, as a teenager I feel it was easier to get those belly laughs out. But now the book has to be incredibly funny to make me do that and The Last Continent still is, even after so many rereads.
01:36 Joanna: yeah, I have to say, I’m more likely to get the belly laugh from one I haven’t reread for a while. Because in something like Night Watch… or Monstrous Regiment was one I reread a lot, that’s a bit of a – I think I described it the other day as ‘I’ll hold a book up in front of my face and then a film plays’. I’ve read it so many times and I know all the beats and what happens.
But one I haven’t reread for a while will suddenly surprise me with a joke I’d forgotten, or one I’ve missed before and haven’t got. So, like, I hold off on rereading Soul Music too much for that reason. Its one of my absolute favourites and I love it because “oh, that reference!”
Francine: Right, and you don’t want it to become just a movie playing in front of your eyes. Yeah. That’s why it’s been quite cool rereading this with a stack of post-it notes.
Joanna: and actually stop and think about what you’ve read and be like “is that something I can talk about? Is that worth talking about?”
Francine: yeah. And like whittling it down because it’s like… “oh, I love this line! Oh, I love this line!” like, if I’m reading a Pratchett book in the same room as Jack, I am unbearable because a) he does not really care for Discworld and b) knowing that fully, I will still read out passages every… hmm, two and a half minutes or so, probably?
02:53 Francine: right, ok, let’s do, like, the podcast or something.
Joanna: Oh, shall we make a podcast?
Francine: yeah, let’s make a podcast.
Joanna: Hello and welcome to The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret, a podcast in which we are reading and recapping every book from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series one at a time, in chronological order.
Joanna: I’m Joanna Hagan.
Francine: And I’m Francine Carrel.
Francine: The first book that we have read in an analytical fashion to regurgitate at you is The Colour of Magic, which is the first in a kind of – what’s it called – a couplet instead of a trilogy? Couplet. I like that, so let’s say that. Um, a couplet of books, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, which were released in the early 80s.
Joanna: 1983, I think?
Francine: 1983 for The Colour of Magic. The book itself is split into almost four novellas. And so we’re going to do just the first one of those today, and then in the next episode the middle two, and then in the last episode probably, like, the last one.
Francine: The third episode, rather than the last. Unless we really get sick of each other in the next two hours.
Francine: So, yeah, the basic idea is to recap these books and chat about some concepts within and just try and get a different perspective on things?
Joanna: Yeah. Talk about why we love them; as much as this comes from a place of love, maybe highlight a couple of things that… could be done better or that… well, not could be done better.
Francine: You’re so reluctant to say that, but yes it’s OK to say “could be done better”, because he got better at writing! I’m sure he would go back and do it better if he had the chance.
Joanna: OK, yeah. Maybe look at it from a slightly different perspective.
00:04:38: Joanna: So, a note on spoilers for this podcast. This is a spoiler-light podcast, so obviously heavy spoilers for this book.
Francine: Yes. This is a spoiler podcast in that respect.
Joanna: Yes. However, for the series as a whole we’re going to avoid revealing any major future plot points and anything that happens in the final Discworld book, The Shepherd’s Crown, we won’t be revealing until we get there.
Francine: Yes. Because there are people who are holding off reading it for various reasons.
Joanna: And hopefully those people might come on the journey with us.
Francine: [laughing] Oh my god, you sounded so wanky.
Joanna: I was about to say it sounded wanky, God damn it, Francine. Right, so.
Francine: Yeah, sorry. Read the blurb.
Joanna: The Colour of Magic. On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…
Francine: Do you think that Pratchett wrote his own blurbs?
Joanna: Reading that? Nah.
Francine: Do you not think so?
Joanna: Would Pratchett refer to The Luggage as having “dear little legs”?
Francine: Hmm… no, I suppose not. I dunno, maybe if he’s trying to sound…
Joanna: The main reason I think he didn’t is that for some reason THE EDGE of the planet is in capitals, and at no point in the book is it ever referred to as THE EDGE, it’s always The Rim.
Francine: Oh, yeah, good point. Hmm. I believe you, then. If you have any knowledge to the contrary, listeners, then please @ Joanna. It’s fine, I don’t read them.