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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Among the best, despite the potential spoilers if you haven't listened to/read a lot of the series.
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.
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.
How many magpie rhymes do you know?
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.
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.
This is good for the devoted fan or the moderately curious, but know that most of it is review for the well-read Morporkian.
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.
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.
Yes, very interesting
I clean house when listening, cleaned house REALLY well with this book.
Answered lots of "where DID he get that" questions.
I have to give this book a good overall rating but low story grade because it is a sort of Best Of Album . Also if you are one of the few people who hasn't read anything it is chock full of spoilers. A good listen for a long drive.
I would, but only to someone who has already read all the disc world books.
This book could easily be compared to any book on mythology or folkloric that gives an overall look into myth and mythology without giving large depths for the whole story..
A strong masculine voice, that you could fall asleep too.
As a Pratchett addict this book helped me look into the mind of the author.
I don't know if I will listen to this book twice, but the once was an intellectual look into my favorite book series.
"Where do the Disk world and ours touch"
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
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
You can listen whilst doing other things
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.
Listening to the discussion between the two authors at the very end.
He showed no interest and less empathy, losing any trace of the whimsey inherent in any Pratchett book.
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.
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