Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Book 60 of 2014: The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett

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 it.

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 soon.


  1. It is nice to think he did a "practice run." :-)

    1. Yeah, it made me smile every time I caught something that was familiar from his other books.


Let me know what you think. :-)