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Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo
Terry Pratchett
Doubleday, 118 pages

Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett lives in Somerset, England, where he spends all his time, and more, writing his rigorously naturalistic, curiously entertaining, shamelessly popular Discworld novels which have earned him extravagant acclaim and puzzled stares from millions of readers around the world.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Snuff
SF Site Review: The Wit & Wisdom of Discworld
SF Site Review: Terry Pratchett's Hogfather: The Illustrated Screenplay
SF Site Review: Going Postal
SF Site Review: The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch
SF Site Review: The Art of Discworld
SF Site Review: Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collector's Edition 2005
SF Site Review: Going Postal
SF Site Review: Monstrous Regiment
SF Site Review: The Wee Free Men
SF Site Review: The New Discworld Companion
SF Site Review: Night Watch
SF Site Review: The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
SF Site Review: Thief of Time
SF Site Review: Nanny Ogg's Cookbook
SF Site Reading List: Terry Pratchett
SF Site Review: The Truth
SF Site Review: City Watch Trilogy
SF Site Review: The Fifth Elephant
SF Site Review: The Discworld Assassins' Guild Yearbook and Diary 2000
SF Site Review: The Science of Discworld
SF Site Review: The Last Continent
SF Site Review: Hogfather
SF Site Review: Jingo
SF Site Review: Feet of Clay
SF Site Review: Maskerade

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven H Silver

Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo Over the years, Terry Pratchett has referred to numerous fictional authors and their works in his expansive Discworld series, from Achmed the Mad's Necrotelinomicon to Cohen the Barbarian's Inne Juste 7 Dayes I wille make you a Barbearian Hero! In his novel Snuff, Pratchett introduced the prolific chidren's author Miss Felicity Beedle, and he has now published one of Miss Beedle's books, a tribute to a lost style of children's book where all the kids are well-mannered and all the adults are infinitely patient. Pratchett and Beedle's book (written with the assistance of Bernard and Isobel Pearson), is entitled Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo.

At the beginning of the book, Geoffrey is sent into exile by his parents, as his father is constantly traveling and his mother is about to give birth to a second child. Although excited about the prospect of visiting Ankh-Morpork, Geoffrey is concerned about staying with his grandmother, whom he barely knows. As it turns out, he needn't worry about her since he quickly develops an hobby which his grandmother indulges without reservation.

Upon leaning that being struck by bird poo is lucky, Geoffrey decides his life's work is to collect as many different kinds of poo as possible and put them on display in his grandmother's shed, which he styles as a museum. Not only does his grandmother help him, but he enlists the aid of the gardener and, eventually, Harry King, who has a monopoly on the waste disposal franchise in Ankh-Morpork.

Although the topic would seem to be rife with opportunities for scatological humor, Pratchett and his co-authors have written about Geoffrey's adventures in Ankh-Morpork in a straight-forward manner. A similar lack of any conflict may lead to reader to wonder if Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo has a point. As a book which has fallen into our universe from the Discworld, it does provide a slight look as the fauna of the Discworld which has not previously been explored as Geoffrey visits the zoological gardens and the dragon sanctuary in his quest for feces.

The sort of children's book that Pratchett is satirizing hasn't been published in decades, although it is a recognizable artifact from an earlier time. This distance means that the satire is not as effective as it once may have been since the battle against this type of literature has already been won. However, the book does provide some insight into areas of Ankh-Morpork and the Discworld which have previously been ignored. While the book isn't a full-fledged Discworld novel, it does offer more of a feel of the Discworld than previous children's book tie-in Where's My Cow? Neither of those, however, fulfills the desire for another book along the lines of Small Gods or Making Money.

Copyright © 2012 Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is a seven-time Hugo Nominee for Best Fan Writer and the editor of the anthologies Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings. He is the publisher of ISFiC Press. In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is heavily involved in convention running and publishes the fanzine Argentus.

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