A few years ago I made it my mission to read all of the Discworld books. I had the complete collection (which I've since added to, with the help of friends and family) and so it only seemed natural that once I'd finished all the Discworld books, that I should go on to read some of the other books by Sir Pterry.
After reading the Johnny Maxwell books I moved on to The Dark Side of the
Sun, one of Pratchett's very first books. This is a sci-fi story in which
the character of Dom tries to get to the bottom of an ancient, extinct race
known as the Jokers.
I found it a fairly quick read although I can't say that I really enjoyed it
a great deal. It feels almost like blasphemy to say that about one of Terry
Pratchett's books considering he's one of my favourite authors, but I really
struggled with it. It did start well and I got really into it for the first
third, but after that I found it really hard to figure out what was going on.
There was clearly a lot happening but I just couldn't keep track of any of
I liked that I could see glimpses of things that would crop up later in the
Discworld books. It was like Pratchett was trying out ideas which he would flesh
out in greater detail once Ankh-Morpork came into existence. I had great fun
playing 'Spot the Discworld reference'. It didn't take me long to find mention
of Hogswatch and Soul Cake Friday. Dom also lives on Widdershins which gets a
mention in Discworld as well. It's really cool to think that Pratchett was
developing these ideas so far back before the Discworld books were created.
Even though I found myself growing confused as the book went on, I think I
might actually have enjoyed it more if it was slightly longer. There were lots
of characters and it seemed to jump around quite a bit. Perhaps if it had been a
little longer there would have been more opportunity to flesh out these
characters and places. I think that might have given me more to get my teeth
into and so might have untangled some of the tangles.
Although I didn't enjoy this one as much as many of the other non-Discworld
books, I'm still happy to keep delving into Pratchett's non-Discworld books.
Reading this one has made me want to reread The Carpet People, another
of his very early books. I'm going to have to find myself a copy of that one