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The Turtle Moves!: Discworld's Story So Far
Lawrence Watt-Evans
BenBella Books, 285 pages

The Turtle Moves!: Discworld's Story So Far
Lawrence Watt-Evans
Lawrence Watt-Evans is the author of The Lords of Dus series (The Lure of the Basilisk, The Seven Altars of Dusarra, The Sword of Bheleu and The Book of Silence), as well as The Rebirth of Wonder (Wildside Press/Tor 1992), Split Heirs (with Esther Friesner), and the Three Worlds trilogy, among many others.

Lawrence Watt-Evans Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Turtle Moves!: Discworld's Story So Far
SF Site Review: The Wizard Lord
SF Site Review: Touched By The Gods

Past Feature Reviews
A review by John Enzinas

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John E The Turtle Moves! Discworld's Story Unauthorized by Lawrence Watt-Evans is, to quote the author, "light and fluffy literary criticism."  It is a light examination of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series1 written by someone who lets his love for the series and his admiration for Mr. Pratchett show clearly.

The book is broken into several sections. The first is an examination of the Discworld phenomenon as a whole. Mr. Watt-Evans looks at the overarching themes of the series and breaks it down into eight sub-series. In this section, he talks about the writing style and some of the underlying mechanics of how the Discworld works, at least as an evolving work of fiction. The second section is a brief review of each of the books in the Discworld series. There are quite a few so this is the longest section of the book.  The third is a discussion of each of the sub-series and how he has gone about making the distinctions that he did. The final section looks at the literary aspects of the series and what, if anything, he felt that Mr. Pratchett was trying to say within the confines of the series.

There were two minor annoyances. Firstly, the author does take a little while to settle down with his use of footnotes. I do understand that this was done as an homage to Mr. Pratchett's style but, in my opinion, it was a touch over done. Secondly, the author has a tendency to repeat himself and add what I felt was unnecessary exposition. The best example of this was how he would explain which chapter the reader should read next, depending on what they want to know. This did give the book the feeling of an encounter with a fan who is sure that he can make you love the series as much as he does, if only he tells you enough about it.

On the plus side, as I said before he is very much a fan of the series and is not ashamed to show it while still being willing to point out things that he did not like. He also has some very worthwhile things to say about the nature of the series and what we can learn from it. His analysis is interesting and engaging and definitely worth reading. Finally, he takes the time to dissect Mr. Pratchett's writing and boils down the secret of his success into four main points.

The book is, in many ways, a Cole's (or Cliff's) Notes for the Discworld series. If you hadn't read anything from the Discworld series, this is a good introduction to what it's all about but no substitute for actually reading the Pratchett books. If you've read some of it, this can give you a good idea of what to read next. If you've read the whole thing, it is extremely unlikely that you will discover anything new, but it's like a pleasant wander down memory lane with little reminders of things you know and enjoyed and may want to look at again.

1 With foot notes.

Copyright © 2008 John Enzinas

John Enzinas reads frequently and passionately. In his spare time he plays with swords.


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