Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby gordonfreeman » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:06 am

So I'm doing a book report for school, and the genre we have to read is fantasy so I decided to do a Discworld book. I own some so which one should I do? The ones I own:

Eric
Jingo
Reaper Man
The Last Continent
Making Money
Guards! Guards!
User avatar
gordonfreeman
New member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:04 am

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby RolandItwasntmyfault » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:20 am

Wow, genre you have to read is fantasy? You are lucky! Our teachers never ever would have let us read/report fantasy if they were dragged through the eight hells of discworld. :lol: :)

My answer to your question is very very clear:

Guards! Guards!


This book I always would recommend as entrance to discworl, I even would recommend it to somebody would otherwise has no interest in fantasy at all. It works on so many levels, as humorous book, as fantasy book, as discworld book.
There there are dragons, there is the typical twist to thousands of other storyline with dragons in it, there is the typical Pratchettian mockery of plot stereotypes. I think, with G!G! you cannot fail (if you yourself like the book that ist, of course). :)
"A thousand elephants!" (Moving Pictures)
"Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time." (Hogfather)
User avatar
RolandItwasntmyfault
Member
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:01 am
Location: Much (near Bonn and Cologne), Germany

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby Tonyblack » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:17 am

I agree, Guards! Guards!. It's the perfect book to explain a lot of what Discworld is all about. :) Good luck with the report.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 29000
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby pip » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:56 am

From that list definitely Guards Guards. Its the start of a sub series and embodies so much of the wit and humour of the series.
'There is no future for e-books, because they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel.'
Ray Bradbury (RIP)
User avatar
pip
Member
 
Posts: 9385
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:20 am
Location: KILDARE

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby =Tamar » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:39 pm

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ALL BOOKS LISTED

gordonfreeman wrote:So I'm doing a book report for school, and the genre we have to read is fantasy so I decided to do a Discworld book. I own some so which one should I do? The ones I own:

Eric
Jingo
Reaper Man
The Last Continent
Making Money
Guards! Guards!


I assume you have already read all of the ones listed. What does your teacher really like to hear about, generally?
Teachers are human and they sometimes react better to topics that push their happiness buttons, and worse if a particular story element triggers one of their strong personal opinions.

Eric has classical allusions to Dante's Inferno and Greek myths, and it has pimply-schoolboy jokes.
Jingo is about a cultural clash and has both-sides ethnic jokes (yes, there are ethnic jokes in it about British culture).
Reaper Man is about how a (Western-culture) man is expected to behave (get a job, rescue the innocent, finish the job, etc.), and it has farmboy, macho-man, and zombie jokes.
The Last Continent includes a whole lot of religious discussion and has Australian jokes, and comic-professor jokes.
Making Money is about economic theory, but has some religious jokes too.
Guards! Guards! is about government, power, and of course, guards, what they guard, and the kind of man who stays in the job and the rewards they get. It has conspiracy jokes and hero jokes.

Depending on the teacher, any one of them could be a good one. This is late enough in the year so that you might have some idea of what works with that particular teacher. In the unlikely event that the fantasy genre assignment was pushed by someone higher up and the teacher isn't familiar with fantasy, probably Guards! Guards! is best, because it includes a police procedural mystery.
=Tamar
Member
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 1:16 am

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby gordonfreeman » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:39 pm

To clear some things:
Tamar wrote: I assume you have already read all of the ones listed.


All of the books listed are ones I own and have NOT read. I also own Going Postal and Soul Music, which are the only ones I have read previously, other than the Amazing Maurice book which I got from the library.

RolandItwasntmyfault wrote:Wow, genre you have to read is fantasy? You are lucky! Our teachers never ever would have let us read/report fantasy if they were dragged through the eight hells of discworld. :lol: :)

So yes, my teacher is letting us read a fantasy book OR a mystery, so I opted for fantasy! :dance: We weren't going to do fantasy or mystery at first, my teacher was going to collaborate with the science teacher and do a non-fiction science book for the science fair or something like that, but she found we weren't going to have a science fair so fantasy it is! (and my teacher hates fantasy as far as I know. she's being really nice :lol:) Also, I was a bit wary of doing some of the other books like Eric or Reaper Man because of the Demons and Death because I go to a private Christian school and some people might be offended. I'm a Christian and I'm not offended, but you'd be surprised I guess how easily some are offended.

And because you all suggested it, I will read Guards! Guards!. Thanks for helping me! :D
User avatar
gordonfreeman
New member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:04 am

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby pip » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:32 am

Depictions of Heaven and hell and demons don't always go down to well in the Christian schools. better to err on the side of caution. :D
'There is no future for e-books, because they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel.'
Ray Bradbury (RIP)
User avatar
pip
Member
 
Posts: 9385
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:20 am
Location: KILDARE

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby RolandItwasntmyfault » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:13 pm

Actually, you could try to report about eric and compare it with the classics, Dante's inferno, the Trojan War, even the tezuwhatweretherenames and their maya like calendar, even the process of creating the world, show how it has been handled in a process of parodizing... everything a matter of packaging it right... but on the other hand.. the jokes wouldn't really fit to this implicated "depth" references. They are not bad, but they still are rather from this custard pie throwing fashion... There only would be a few jokes I would read out before my teacher and then this few would be anything but not representative for this book...

As said as above, Guards! Guards! is a very good mix and it has everything you would expect of a fantasy story. :)



gordonfreeman wrote:
RolandItwasntmyfault wrote:Wow, genre you have to read is fantasy? You are lucky! Our teachers never ever would have let us read/report fantasy if they were dragged through the eight hells of discworld. :lol: :)

So yes, my teacher is letting us read a fantasy book OR a mystery, so I opted for fantasy! :dance: We weren't going to do fantasy or mystery at first, my teacher was going to collaborate with the science teacher and do a non-fiction science book for the science fair or something like that, but she found we weren't going to have a science fair so fantasy it is! (and my teacher hates fantasy as far as I know. she's being really nice :lol:) Also, I was a bit wary of doing some of the other books like Eric or Reaper Man because of the Demons and Death because I go to a private Christian school and some people might be offended. I'm a Christian and I'm not offended, but you'd be surprised I guess how easily some are offended.


Oh, yeah, I know your meaning, teachers only like high literature/the classics.

I myself went to a catholic school but I don't think it would have been a problem apart from that "in the land of Goethe and Schiller" fantasy simply would be unbearable at school for reading. :roll:
In fact we could speak really free in classes, even in religion's class where we even had a open confessing atheist (err... somehow this word combination seems slightly unfitting... :shifty:) and interesting discussions between him and our teacher (one of ouer padres) and nevertheless always got best grades.
Of course I don't know what your teachers and/or your schoolmates make tick.
"A thousand elephants!" (Moving Pictures)
"Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time." (Hogfather)
User avatar
RolandItwasntmyfault
Member
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:01 am
Location: Much (near Bonn and Cologne), Germany

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby Penfold » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:55 pm

RolandItwasntmyfault wrote:I myself went to a catholic school but I don't think it would have been a problem apart from that "in the land of Goethe and Schiller" fantasy simply would be unbearable at school for reading. :roll:
In fact we could speak really free in classes, even in religion's class where we even had a open confessing atheist (err... somehow this word combination seems slightly unfitting... :shifty:) and interesting discussions between him and our teacher (one of ouer padres) and nevertheless always got best grades.

You were lucky. At my school (C of E), I did Religious Studies as O' Level thinking it would be about comparative religions (e.g. Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, etc) when all we got was 'The Acts of the Apostles' instead - nothing like what I had signed up for. One of our essay questions was "Is Jesus the Son of God?". I wrote a long essay giving reasons and historical context as to why he wasn't the son of god, just an enlightened man, only to have it returned with the comment in big red capital letters "0/10 HE WAS THE SON OF GOD. REWRITE!" :roll: So I did giving the essay a one word answer "Is Jesus the son of god?" "Yes". I still got 0/10. :lol:

@ Gordon: Small Gods (one of my all time favourites) is well worth a read but I definitely wouldn't recommend it for your school report since it does tackle issues of religion and how human nature corrupts the institutions. :D
The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
12
User avatar
Penfold
Member
 
Posts: 7216
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:59 am
Location: Worthing

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby RolandItwasntmyfault » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:36 pm

Penfold wrote:
RolandItwasntmyfault wrote:I myself went to a catholic school but I don't think it would have been a problem apart from that "in the land of Goethe and Schiller" fantasy simply would be unbearable at school for reading. :roll:
In fact we could speak really free in classes, even in religion's class where we even had a open confessing atheist (err... somehow this word combination seems slightly unfitting... :shifty:) and interesting discussions between him and our teacher (one of ouer padres) and nevertheless always got best grades.

You were lucky. At my school (C of E), I did Religious Studies as O' Level thinking it would be about comparative religions (e.g. Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, etc)


Oh, yes, this I also would have liked to be the content of our religion lessons, or generally the history of biblewriting and so on. Okay, it also was content of our religion lessons, but religion lessons here is compulsory and mostly about indoctrination the opions of your own confession (read: either catholic or evangelical). more so if you go to a religious orientated school. I easiely would have wanted to skip the indoctrination part but at least it convinced me in my opion why not to believe what they were telling me. :lol:

Penfold wrote:when all we got was 'The Acts of the Apostles' instead - nothing like what I had signed up for. One of our essay questions was "Is Jesus the Son of God?". I wrote a long essay giving reasons and historical context as to why he wasn't the son of god, just an enlightened man, only to have it returned with the comment in big red capital letters "0/10 HE WAS THE SON OF GOD. REWRITE!" :roll: So I did giving the essay a one word answer "Is Jesus the son of god?" "Yes". I still got 0/10. :lol:


Oh my g... goodness, yes, I really see I was really really lucky. :pray:


Penfold wrote:@ Gordon: Small Gods (one of my all time favourites) is well worth a read but I definitely wouldn't recommend it for your school report since it does tackle issues of religion and how human nature corrupts the institutions. :D


Small Gods also has a different kind of humour, a think-and-then-laugh-humour, more depth but also more criticism.
You could get away with it, but it all depends on your auditorium.
"A thousand elephants!" (Moving Pictures)
"Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time." (Hogfather)
User avatar
RolandItwasntmyfault
Member
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:01 am
Location: Much (near Bonn and Cologne), Germany

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby gordonfreeman » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:25 pm

Never mind, can't read Guards! Guards!. The book has to be a certain "Lexile level" and apparently G!G! doesn't fit the bill. :violin: The book has to have a lexile of like 725 or over or something like that. I can't do basically any of the books I listed now, other than Making Money and The Last Continent.... or The Colour of Magic, which I own the e-book of.
User avatar
gordonfreeman
New member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:04 am

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby RolandItwasntmyfault » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:18 am

Um, what is a "lexile level"? And how you calculate this?

Strange that G!G! would be on a lower level than two of the most silly hopping-through-the-country-of-your-choice respectively custard-pie-throwing-humouresk books of the whole series (The Last Continent/The Colour of Magic), without much depth, without much sense (although I love the plot about the god of evolution in TLC)...
Okay, The Colour of Magic you can say it was the first, the beginning, but I don't know if I ever would have appreciated DW in this manner I appreciate it today if TCoM had been my first DW novel.
Making Money on the other side is based on a very very broad, err, base, there would be so much you would have to explain before you even could begin with a summarizing of the plot... Also, I wouldn't call it one ot Terry's classics or typical novels.

Hm, you couln't look out for i.e. Wyrd Sisters (good to compare with Shakespeare and McBeth) or one of the other "classics"?
"A thousand elephants!" (Moving Pictures)
"Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time." (Hogfather)
User avatar
RolandItwasntmyfault
Member
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:01 am
Location: Much (near Bonn and Cologne), Germany

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby RolandItwasntmyfault » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:16 pm

RolandItwasntmyfault wrote:Um, what is a "lexile level"? And how you calculate this?



Just read on Wiki about "Lexile" (I think this is what you mean).

Okay, clear case: Rincewind's ability to scream for mercy in 19 languages und just scream in another 44 takes the score. :lol:
"A thousand elephants!" (Moving Pictures)
"Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time." (Hogfather)
User avatar
RolandItwasntmyfault
Member
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:01 am
Location: Much (near Bonn and Cologne), Germany

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby Molokov » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:18 am

Interesting topic... never heard of Lexile until now.

Found Guards! Guards! It has a level of 690L so it's a little bit lower than what gordonfreeman needs

http://www.lexile.com/book/details/9780061020643/

Click through on Terry's name at that site to see the levels of the other books.

It does seem an odd measure of a book reading requirement, to me. I think I'm with Neil Gaiman - you should be allowed to read whatever you want for school, in fact, the more you read (and the wider range of authors and genres) should be encouraged :D
Nullus Anxietas V - The Australian Discworld Convention
10-12 April 2015
Novotel Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
http://ausdwcon.org
User avatar
Molokov
Member
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:31 am
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: Which Discworld Book is the Best to Read for School?

Postby Mixa » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:42 pm

A really interesting topic, Gordon! ;) I wish more young people of my age would read Discworld as well, but it’s difficult to make it known…

Well, although I recommend every single Pratchett’s book, I think Terry has already written some juvenile novels a little bit less complicated to understand such as “The amazing Maurice and his educated rodents” (one girl from the catalan literary forum I joined a long time ago started with this one and liked it very much), “Only you can save mankind” and so on…

But I think you chose the best option from your list.
What a pitty you can't read“Guards! Guards!”. I can assure you it has a better level than a LOT of other books. In any case, try then with “Making money”, it has a great criticism.

But I’m with you, Molokov, I think this is certainly not a good way to make people want to read.
:|

Mx
The good judgement is in the little book
User avatar
Mixa
Member
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:46 pm
Location: Barcelona, Catalonia

Next

Return to Discworld novels

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest