Last first time

Today I’m starting on Unseen Academicals. The last time I get to read a Discworld novel for the very first time.

(I’m glad it’s this one, though, as both Raising Steam and The Shepherd’s Crown (at least, everything after the first chapter) were complete disappointments.)

6 thoughts on “Last first time

  1. Sorry to hear you were disappointed by Raising Steam. What disappointed you? I finished the series (again) just last week and put off reading the Raising Steam until I was in sore need of some Discworld travels. Have you finished Unseen Academicals in the meantime?


    1. It didn’t feel like a Moist von Lipwig novel. There was no Moist scheming himself into a corner and then pulling off a magnificently daring heist to save his own skin. It was just them sitting on a train and dealing with crises as they arose. And while it featured Vimes much more than most Moist novels, it also didn’t read like a whodunit with a strong social justice theme like the regular Vimes novels.

      Raising Steam felt unfinished (same with Shepherd’s Crown). It felt like they just went and published Pratchett’s initial draft, instead of waiting for him to rewrite it and mould it into the right shape. And in neither (with the exception of the first chapter of Shepherd’s Crown) did I ever encounter that beautiful moments of Pratchett prose that makes you have to put down the book to think about what you just read, those passages you have to go back and keep re-reading to make sure you’ve absorbed all of it… I really got the idea the priority with these two were just getting them published, rather than getting them finished.

      I’m still busy with Unseen Academicals. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately, so I’m taking it slow. I’ve also discovered I really like Steampunk, and splitting reading time between Unseen Academicals and a steampunk anthology 🙂

      But I really like Unseen Academicals. I’m glad it’s my last new Discworld novel.


      1. Ah, so you had “expectations.” 😉 No, I also didn’t think it read like Making Money or Going Postal, but by the time Raising Steam rolled around, Moist’s character was pretty well established from those books so perhaps no need to give him full center stage again. It felt more like visiting with old friends and I enjoyed it for that reason. Waiting for your review of Unseen Academicals. FWIW I think I remember reading that Pratchett’s unfinished books were destroyed.


      2. FWIW I think I remember reading that Pratchett’s unfinished books were destroyed.

        I didn’t say these were unfinished. I said they felt unfinished 🙂

        Pratchett was known to rewrite and change his manuscripts continually to get them just right, and it doesn’t feel like this process had been allowed to run its full course with the last two.


      3. Agreed. Which is why I don’t blame Sir Terry. But it does make these my two least favourite Discworld novels, and I’m glad they’re not my last.


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