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Review: Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day

By / October 1, 2013 / no comments

When I was first asked to review one of Terry Pratchetts ‘Science of Discworld’ I was intrigued as I have been a long time fan of the Discworld series and thought a little behind the scenes science might be interesting. Unfortunately I was wrong.

At this point in the review I must confess I have not managed to complete the book. I have struggled endlessly with it (over several months now!) and have come to the conclusion that this series of books is just not for me. I like to think I have a modicum of intelligence and can follow along with most things but I genuinely struggled with some of the concepts in the early Science chapters of this book.

I found there to be too little Pratchett & far too much Science. At times I felt the science writers were being too clever and diverged a lot, so that it felt like they were repeating themselves. They may or may not have been for all I know, as I often struggled to stay awake and complete an entire chapter. (Given that the majority of my reading time is in the evening lying in bed before going to sleep, this book was awesomely soporific!)

The Discworld storyline loosely links the Science chapters together. The Discworld storyline was well written but not chuckalicious as it’s narrative flow was interrupted by the explanations of the Science in between, which was written well and read like they had researched everything properly (they had footnotes and gave credit to numerous authors), but at times tried to be both witty and intellectual and just came across as dry and almost textbook like.

I believe with this book they were aiming for a style similar to American author Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. Unfortunately the combination of fictional Discworld storyline driving the factual Science chapters and the sometimes less than accessible language used in the Science chapters leaves this book falling short of the mark.

Many people will read this book and enjoy it, I however will not be one of them.


Review written by Brenton Cumberpatch for bestfantasybooks.com

About the author


Blog editor, admin and founder of BestFantasyBooks.comYou'll find me on the BestFantasyBook forums and spending my spare time reading fantasy books and writing lists for this site. In fact, I have no spare time -- running this site IS my spare time!


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