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The Folklore of Discworld | [Terry Pratchett, Jacqueline Simpson]

The Folklore of Discworld

Most of us grow up having always known to touch wood or cross our fingers, and what happens when a princess kisses a frog or a boy pulls a sword from a stone, yet sadly, some of these things are now beginning to be forgotten. Legends, myths, and fairy tales: our world is made up of the stories we told ourselves about where we came from and how we got there. It is the same on Discworld, except that beings which on Earth are creatures of the imagination - like vampires, trolls, witches, and possibly, gods - are real, alive and in some cases kicking on the Disc.
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Publisher's Summary

Most of us grow up having always known to touch wood or cross our fingers, and what happens when a princess kisses a frog or a boy pulls a sword from a stone, yet sadly, some of these things are now beginning to be forgotten. Legends, myths, and fairy tales: our world is made up of the stories we told ourselves about where we came from and how we got there. It is the same on Discworld, except that beings which on Earth are creatures of the imagination - like vampires, trolls, witches, and possibly, gods - are real, alive and in some cases kicking on the Disc.

In The Folklore of Discworld, Terry Pratchett teams up with leading British folklorist Jacqueline Simpson to take an irreverent yet illuminating look at the living myths and folklore that are reflected, celebrated, and affectionately libelled in the uniquely imaginative universe of Discworld.

©2008 Terry and Lyn Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson (P)2012 Random House AudioGo

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  •  
    Sara Marshfield, WI, United States 08-27-12
    Sara Marshfield, WI, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2012
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    "An interesting listen"
    Any additional comments?

    As a big fan of Pratchett I had to check out this book and I found it interesting in general though I usually look for audiobooks I can listen to over and over. I can't imagine listening to this as often as most of my audiobooks but I don't regret getting this book as it compares the lore of our world to the lore of Discworld and I found it quite interesting. But if you are looking for another good story of Discworld this is not it. However if you often find yourself thinking "Where did Pratchett come up with that?", you should find this book interesting as well.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 08-26-12
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 08-26-12 Member Since 2005
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    "I wish it could never end."

    This is the perfect companion to the series and a educating look back at the books I love. If you enjoy the discworld I would reccomend this one.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Williams Charlotte, NC 08-23-12
    John Williams Charlotte, NC 08-23-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mostly a very interesting listen"

    I am a huge fan of Terry Pratchett and I quite enjoyed listening to some the background behind the myths and tales from which the discworld borrows. My only complaint is that is spent far too many chapters talking about the Tiffany Aching novels and not enough time on the earlier works. Further, I would have loved to have Nation and Long earth included in the analysis even though they aren’t discworld books. However, overall it was quite informative, interesting, and entertaining.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Winnetka, CA, United States 01-12-13
    Timothy Winnetka, CA, United States 01-12-13 Member Since 2005
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    "A look into the folklore origins of Discworld."

    This book can be alternatively a fascinating and a slog to get through. When I purchased it I was hoping for a more narrative approach to the material like the science of Discworld series where the chapters alternate between a chapter of narrative story and a chapter describing the science behind the elements of that narrative. The Folklore of Discworld instead is a straight up concordance of all of Discworld's magical creatures, sayings, and traditions and where Terry Pratchett got his inspiration for them in traditions and mythologies of Earth.

    The book is broken down into Discworld locations, Lancre, The Chalk, Ankh-Morpork, etc... The places are then further broken down into the creatures and folklore of that location and where the elements of those stories came from. A strange aspect of the Folklore of Discworld is that It never says that the real world counterparts were influences on Terry Pratchett, but instead treats Discworld as it it were a real place and chalks up the similarities it has to our world to Narrativium. The fictional Element on the Disc that causes it to resonate with other worlds and evolve similar folklore.

    The reader does as best as he can with the material since there is no story to speak of. He does get a few character voices wrong (For example he at first reads Magrat's quotes like an old woman, but later realizes that she is a younger character), but overall does a great job.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris18 Carmel, NY, United States 06-13-13
    Chris18 Carmel, NY, United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Never knew how well researched Discworld books are"
    Where does The Folklore of Discworld rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the best, despite the potential spoilers if you haven't listened to/read a lot of the series.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I always thought Pratchett just had a crazy imagination, but the majority of his characters & theories are taken from Earthly lore. This book shows how much effort he goes to in researching his writing.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Fenton Stevens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't, but I've listened to every other Discworld narrator. I'd rank him second behind Steven Briggs. I didn't like his portrayal of the Feegles. They are supposed to be quick in everything they do but he dragged out their speech.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    How many magpie rhymes do you know?


    Any additional comments?

    Serious spoiler alerts if you haven't read/listened to a lot of the Discworld series. Other than that it's great to hear how much goes into the writing of the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kathryn London, United Kingdom 05-22-13
    kathryn London, United Kingdom 05-22-13

    Kate

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    "Actually pretty great for a non-Discword fan"
    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I personally don't get on with Fenton-Stevens' reading. I think I've listened to other readings by him, and there's something I find a little grating about his tone - a kind of heavy-handed emphasis, where for something like Pratchett-related stuff I think a drier, subtler reading works better.


    Any additional comments?

    I say I think a non-Pratchett fan would enjoy the book because despite the title, the book is really about the folklore of the Earth, using the Discwrold books as a jumping-off point. This makes sense because practically very bit of folklore in the books is based - often surprisingly - on genuine Earth folklore. Critics who don't actually read Pratchett often give him the side-eye for filling his books with things that can't possibly belong to real literature (a world on the back of four elephants and a turtle, treacle mines, verruca gnomes etc) but this book demonstrates how much of the Disc is built not out of a crazed imagination but solid Earth myth and lore.Which is not to detract from the genius mind that put it all together in unique form; the book in fact serves to demonstrate just how learned and wise Pratchett is as a writer.I'm not sure this book added much to my enjoyment of the Discworld books themselves - Pratchett may have used Earth materials, but he has made them so much part of the Disc in the writing that knowing the origins of the ideas often doesn't add very much for me - but it was a fascinating look at folklore in general. There's also a lovely interview recorded at the end between Practhett and folklorist Jaqueline Simpson. Folklore is certainly an area I plan to read more about now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. P. Cunningham North Carolina, USA 03-06-13
    K. P. Cunningham North Carolina, USA 03-06-13 Member Since 2008

    I listen to books while I do the repetitive part of my job and while I do yard work. I can't use audiobooks that require strict attention.

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    "This is not a story"

    I was expecting expansion of the myths and tall tales that are referred to by the characters of the DiscWorld. Instead, I found a comparative analysis of DiscWorld and Our World myths and legends.

    It isn't uninteresting, but it isn't what I expected.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Waynesville , MO, USA 01-31-13
    Lee Waynesville , MO, USA 01-31-13 Member Since 2005
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    "So sad."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I always look forward to a new Pratchett book. This one is much less than a good effort. It is a random collecton of parts of old Pratchett books stitiched together with stories from earth. To say that it has any narrative value at all would be an exaggeration. Of DODGER, this was a terrible disappointment. Would recommend it none.


    What could Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    They could have put the book into a narrative stream and at least made stories out of the folklore and myths of the Discworld.


    What does Michael Fenton Stevens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nice narration, I would listen to other books he reads.


    What character would you cut from The Folklore of Discworld?

    All of the except Death.


    Any additional comments?

    Hope that this book does not indicate a trend in Terry Pratchett's work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shira Wilmette, IL, United States 05-28-13
    Shira Wilmette, IL, United States 05-28-13
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    "Not Much New Information"
    What was most disappointing about Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson ’s story?

    This is a very good book for those about mid-level familiarity with the series. If you've read it all, you know most of this. There is a lot of interesting information on folklore here, but there's more Discworld summation than new folklore tidbits, and it's a long wait from one to another. Worth it, but not by too much.


    Any additional comments?

    This is good for the devoted fan or the moderately curious, but know that most of it is review for the well-read Morporkian.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa SPOKANE, WA, United States 05-19-13
    Theresa SPOKANE, WA, United States 05-19-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Loved it!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, very interesting


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I clean house when listening, cleaned house REALLY well with this book.


    Any additional comments?

    Answered lots of "where DID he get that" questions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 13 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Amazon Customer
    Birmingham
    9/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where do the Disk world and ours touch"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    If you enjoy disk world (I do) the this helps you recognize where the folk lore of disk world draws on ours and may be where in the future our folk lore will draw on that of disk world


    Would you be willing to try another book from Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson ? Why or why not?

    Yes because whilst not as enjoyable as other disk world novels as there is no continual narrative it made other disk world novel's references clearer


    What does Michael Fenton Stevens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    You can listen whilst doing other things


    Could you see The Folklore of Discworld being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Derby, UK
    8/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Disappointing"
    What would have made The Folklore of Discworld better?

    The narrator appeared to have no interest in the book and read most of it in a very flat, almost monotonic voice, sounding thoroughly bored. Where he attempted to produce voices for the characters he was quite poor, IMO. The only thing that would improve this audio-book would be a complete re-recording with a narrator who had considerably more empathy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Folklore of Discworld?

    Listening to the discussion between the two authors at the very end.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He showed no interest and less empathy, losing any trace of the whimsey inherent in any Pratchett book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Grave disappointment.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • April
    Musselburgh, United Kingdom
    5/4/13
    Overall
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    Story
    "Fascinating."

    We own this in paper format too, and I enjoyed it so much that I wanted it in this format to enjoy on the go. A couple of mispronunciations pulled me out of the narration a few times, but this is such a great book. Full of fascinating insights into the Discworld and our own folklore. It's also worth buying the whole audiobook just for the interview at the end with PTerry and Jacqueline Simpson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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