Tag: Folk

Woody Guthrie – Bound for Glory | Review

Title: Bound for Glory

Author: Woody Guthrie

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 320

Rating: 4*/5

 

Woody Guthrie - Bound for Glory

Woody Guthrie – Bound for Glory

 

I have mixed feelings about this book, but I think that’s largely because it’s a bit of a beast if you’re not properly psyched up for it. It takes time and concentration to get through it and feels like too much of a chore to be a 5/5, but it’s still culturally significant. In fact, it’s even a lot of fun from time to time, and it’s impressive how Guthrie is able to capture the vernacular – and the lifestyle – at the time.

For a book that’s about a musician, there isn’t a huge amount of information here about Guthrie’s early musical career, but that’s okay. We still get to see him travelling around with his guitar and playing songs to the folks he met along the way. In many ways, that’s the point – this isn’t a ‘coming-of-age’ kind of story but rather the non-fiction equivalent of the fabled great American novel.

It’s also interesting to some of the themes that followed Guthrie throughout his life, of which fire is probably the most prominent. In fact, he lost several houses as a kid and spent a lot of time on the move, which is probably why he grew up to live a life on the rails. Say what you want about Guthrie, the man was a real character – and I can see why Bob Dylan used to re-read this book over and over again.

Ultimately, then, this book isn’t for everyone – but if you’re a big fan of either Guthrie or the folk music that he influenced, you’ll definitely enjoy this. But you’ll also enjoy it if you’re interested in America during the 1930s1950s. Guthrie’s writing is as evocative as any novelist’s, which means you can almost taste the dust and smell the sweat of the men in the taverns.

 

Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie

 

Click here to buy Bound for Glory.

 


Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson – The Folklore of Discworld | Review

Title: The Folklore of Discworld

Author: Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 512

Rating: 8/10

 

Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson - The Folklore of Discworld

Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson – The Folklore of Discworld

 

You shouldn’t need me to tell you too much about what this book is about, because the clue is in the title – it’s essentially your hands on guide to the lore and legends that make up the Discworld’s equivalent of our folk and fairy tales.

Because of that, you’re not going to be able to fully appreciate the book unless you’ve read a good chunk of Pratchett’s Discworld series – that said, there are plenty of thorough explanations of our own mythology as well, and so you’d still get a decent amount from it. It might even make you want to check out some of the Discworld books!

Simply put, Terry and Jacqueline segment some of the traditions of the Discworld into different categories, and then they systematically explain both the fictional tradition and its real-life equivalents – some of them are obvious, like the Hogfather being similar to Santa Claus, while others are tenuous links at best which still serve to show how much research Pratchett has done in to the field over the years.

 

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett

 

Sure, it’s occasionally heavy-going, and it takes quite a long time to read, but it’s not as difficult as plenty of other books on the market – it’s a bit like how watching Q.i. takes up more of your brainpower than watching Deal Or No Deal does. Thing is, if you’re in to this sort of fantasy stuff, then you’re going to love it regardless, and you’ll find that it’s well worth the time investment that it takes if you plan to read the book from cover to cover.

To give you an idea of what to expect, the book is split in to sixteen different sections, covering everything from the different races (dwarfs, elves, the Nac Mag Feegle, trolls and others) to beasties, witches, heroes, lore, legends and, of course, Death.

Death is one of the Discworld’s most-loved characters, and you’ll be pleased to know that he gets his fair share of action here – the two authors often refer back to passages from Pratchett’s novels to give the reader examples of what they’re talking about, or to have something explained in a character’s own words. Because of this, and because of his immortality, Death makes quite a few appearances.

 

Terry Pratchett on the difference between erotic and kinky...

Terry Pratchett on the difference between erotic and kinky…

 

So do the myths and legends of the Ancient Greeks, the Romans and the Ancient Egyptians, all of which have their place – the Discworld’s Ephebe is essentially their equivalent to Egypt, and the denizens of the Disc owe a lot to the Greeks and the Romans, just as we do.

What’s cool about this book is that it makes you aware of your own ignorance whilst simultaneously rectifying it – you don’t know what you don’t know, until you find out about it. Terry and Jacqueline have done a fantastic job of teaching you about things that you might never otherwise hear about, without making you feel stupid while they do it. So buy it!

 

Terry Pratchett Quote

Terry Pratchett Quote

 

Click here to buy the Folklore of Discworld.

 


Newsletter Signup

Get special offers, new book news, cover reveals and more!