The Great Discworld Thread

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
interesting Times

Rincewind novels have been getting pretty haphazard lately. not as good as they were, the wizards are getting annoying, useless backdrop that have little to do with the plots running around incompetently . this book reverses it.

suddenly the wizards are entertaining again. I love ponder in this. the whole hex thing. we also get a reintroduction to coen the barbarian and twoflower. these characters are partly why color of magic and fantastic lights were so good, so getting rid of them was a ad
idea. bringing them back is brilliant.

one thing that is both good and bad is the Chinese jokes. the book kind of jumped off the deep end trying to make the counterweight continent an exact duplicate for China. complete with jokes on culture and the culture of NOT china but fake china like Chinese takeout that was invented in America. it comes off as a little racist and unoriginal.

7/10

The Last Continent

and we're back.

the wizards are lame again. coen and twoflower have been removed again, and Rincewind is back to his post fantastic lights pre interesting times self.

there is almost no plot it just a ponderous plotting around notAustralia .

this still comes off as a little racist. and the jokes are still old reused cliches that a thousand comedians have said before.

4/10
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
Here's the thing that gets me when people point at Pratchett's handling of the Far East/Australia -

It's the same way he handles everything. What about the way he pokes fun at rural England in the Witches is different to how he does it for Australia in The Last Continent? Or the Highlands and the Nac Mac Feegle, Ancient Greece and Ephebe, academia and Unseen University etc.etc. He makes parodies of stereotypes.

Sure, sometimes he executes it better in some books than in others, and there's some extra baggage that comes with some stereotypes and not others... but ultimately it's the same approach.
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
Here's the thing that gets me when people point at Pratchett's handling of the Far East/Australia -

It's the same way he handles everything. What about the way he pokes fun at rural England in the Witches is different to how he does it for Australia in The Last Continent? Or the Highlands and the Nac Mac Feegle, Ancient Greece and Ephebe, academia and Unseen University etc.etc. He makes parodies of stereotypes.

Sure, sometimes he executes it better in some books than in others, and there's some extra baggage that comes with some stereotypes and not others... but ultimately it's the same approach.
I understand and agree with the spirit of your argument , but disagree with the specifics. his set of jokes he pokes fun of rural England are not targeting a specific race, or nationality, because in reality he is making fun of rural everywhere. (theres a heierarchy to where the jokes apply. 100% apply to rural New England and rural England, 90% apply to English speaking rural areas, 80% apply to rural Europe and places Europe settled, and 50% apply to any rural location including rural asia, and rural Australia) This puts the jkes in the realm of making fun of the human condition. You can also easily find examples today of most of the jokes without offending the person. Its like pointing out how much of a pickup truck culture they have in various rural America. They gleam with pride. In the counterweight continent Pratchett spends a lot of time dealing with the plot, making fun of ankh morpork making fun of English speakers (who don't speak their menu when its written in Chinese but say "#3 with fried rice") the jokes regarding the individuals based on race just show up randomly and you have to plow through them to get back to normal content and normal plot points.

my point is Interesting times is generally a good book it just has some irksome qualities.

LAST CONTINENT however, you can number the inside. its just a giant book of jokes one after another, all directed at Australia both the sttelers and the aborigines, and spending zero time at all making fun of ankh morpork (like they did in the previous book) . given a lot of the jokes are directed at the people of a nation so can't technically be called racist. The jokes in this book are so important they mostly take the place of the plot. So you now have an unending series of jokes with one people as the butt of all the jokes presented in a form that I could hardly call a novel since the plot is mostly missing. no plot, no story, just jokes

I don't think terry pratcyhett had done anything resembling this harshness before. and admittedly its kind of mild when you considering how bad it gets out there.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
The rural ones might be universal (personally I see a lot of very specifically English, West Country English in particular, things there) but the Nac Mac Feegle ones aren't.

Not that I completely disagree with what you're saying. I'm not a fan of the The Last Continent partially because it's mainly a series of jokes, mostly about 'STRAYA. Its one of his less sensitive handlings of stereotype by any measuring tape.

I have to say that, in general, I can't help but get the feeling that everytime Rincewind is the official main character of a book, there's very little plot and the humour is more obvious than with other characters. The only time that doesn't happen is when he's got secondary characters capable of taking over a book such as Cohen.