Saturday, March 14, 2015

How to Read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series FOR THE FIRST TIME

Note: This post is most useful if you have never read the Terry Pratchett books before and want a map for rereading them. There is another post for people who want to reread the series available here. 

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld universe is a complicated series of 41 books involving a host of characters from all walks of life. They are fun, fascinating, and fabulous, but reading them in chronological order can be exhausting because of the many interconnected story lines. This is one order that might help make order out of chaos. (I’m also not doing a lot of commentary because I don’t want to give spoilers).

Discworld First Time Order:


Okay, so if you’ve never read the Discworld books before then DO NOT READ THE FIRST THREE BOOKS. The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, and Equal Rites are all fun fantasy novels, but the universe isn’t fully baked and it will make it harder to get into the later novels. If you really want you can watch the two-part television adaption Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic. It stars some guy I’ve never heard of as Rincewind, but—more importantly—Sam Gangee is Twoflower!! Plus Tim Curry and Jeremy Irons! 

The City Watch Part 1 (aka ‘Monarchy: the Vimes and Carrot show with comedy effects provided by Nobby Nobs’):

  • Guards! Guards! (1989)
  • Men at Arms (1992)
  • Feet of Clay (1996)
  • Jingo (1997)
  • The Fifth Elephant (1999) 

Some Random Books (Discworld Culture Edition):

  • Pyramids (1989)
  • Small Gods (1992)

These are both ‘Discworld Culture’ books according to Wikipedia. I don’t know what they’re smoking, but I’m buying. These two books don’t really have any recurring characters, but they’re awesome. Read them. 

The Death (Not Susan) Books:

  • Mort (1987)
  • Reaper Man (1991) 

The Rincewind/Early Wizard Books:

  • Sourcery (1988)
  •  Eric (1990)
  • Moving Pictures (1990)
  •  Interesting Times (1994)
  • The Last Continent (1998) 

The Witches (Not Tiffany Aching) Books:

  • Wyrd Sisters (1988)
  • Witches Abroad (1991)
  • Lords and Ladies (1992)
  • Maskerade (1995)
  • Carpe Jugulum (1998) 

The Death/Susan Books:      

  • Soul Music (1994)
  •  Hogather (1996)

Stop reading. Step away from the novels. Go watch the television adaptation of the Hogfather (available on ITunes people) starring Lady Mary Crawley as Susan. Do it now.
  • Thief of Time (2001) 

Time out for Some Random Books (Truly Random Edition):

  • The Truth (2000)
  • Monstrous Regiment (2003)
  • Unseen Academicals (2009) 

The Moist Von Lipwig Books:

  • Going Postal (2004)
I’m in love with Carrot (who isn’t) but I want to freaking marry Moist. While you’re having a moment (come on, be honest, we’re all having a moment) why don’t you skip back over to ITunes for the television adaptation starring Richard Coyle and Claire Foy (who also play opposite each other in NBC’s Crossbones). It’s delicious. 
  • Making Money (2007)

The City Watch Part 2 (aka Carrot is still cool but VIMES IS AWESOME):

  • Night Watch (2002)
  • Thud! (2005)
  • Snuff (2011)
  • Raising Steam (2013) 

Some Random Books (Childrens Edition):

  • The Last Hero (2001)
  • The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (2001)

The Tiffany Aching Books (AKA Terry Pratchett uses a series of children’s novels to work through his thoughts on alzheimer’s. Just cry the entire time):

  • The Wee Free Men (2003)
  • A Hat Full of Sky (2004)
  • Wintersmith (2006)
  • I Shall Wear Midnight (2010)
  • The Shepherd’s Crown (2015)


Congratulations, you made it to the end (if you want to go back and read the first three books now you can, but it's super not necessary). What do you think? Are you in tears yet?

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