Tag: In-Jokes

Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen – The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch | Review

Title: The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch

Author: Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen

Type: Fiction/Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 346

Rating: 5*/5

 

Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen - The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch

Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen – The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch

 

I loved, loved, loved this book. I mean, I’ve read the first two books in the Science of Discworld series and I enjoyed them both a lot, but nowhere near as much as this one. I’m not sure if that’s because this book was better than the others or because it came along at just the right time.

Here, we have the usual mixture of fiction and non-fiction in the form of a Discworld story from Terry Pratchett that’s offset by chapters from Stewart and Cohen that delve into the science of both the Discworld and Roundworld, where we live. The title itself references The Blind Watchmaker, a Richard Dawkins book, and there are plenty of references to both Dawkins and Charles Darwin, who appears as a character in Pratchett’s sections.

What surprised me here was that I actually enjoyed the non-fiction parts more than the Discworld story that accompanied it. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy Pratchett’s contribution, though. It was all fantastic, which is why I didn’t hesitate to give the book a 5/5. I put off reading it for a while purely because it’s a thick old hardback, but in hindsight I think that was a mistake. It’s worth reading whether you’re a Pratchett fan or not, although there are plenty of in-jokes for seasoned fans to enjoy, too.

The best thing of all is the fact that you don’t have to read the Science of Discworld books in order. Sure, they reference each other, but they’re more like little self-contained releases that act as a beautiful add-on to the Discworld series. I have a horrible feeling that they get overlooked when compared to the rest of Pratchett’s releases, which is a shame. I could name at least a half-dozen Discworld books that weren’t as good as this. So go out and buy it – you won’t regret it.

 

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett

 

Click here to buy The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch.

 


Jasper Fforde – Lost in a Good Book | Review

Title: Lost in a Good Book

Author: Jasper Fforde

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 376

Rating: 4*/5

 

Jasper Fforde - Lost in a Good Book

Jasper Fforde – Lost in a Good Book

 

This is the second book in Fforde’s Thursday Next series and I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to get around to it. I really liked the first book and I was pumped about continuing, and I even bought a copy of this book immediately after finishing the first one. It just took me a while to get around to it.

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was expecting to. I think I’d subconsciously geared myself up for a mind-blowing read, and it left me a little disappointed with the end result. Sure, it has all the hallmarks of Fforde’s storytelling, including the Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams influences that you’re probably expecting if you read the first book. But for me at least, the novelty is starting to wear off.

That’s not to say that it isn’t a funny book. It’s just that after a while, it feels like the same joke over and over again. Then there’s Fforde’s complex world building. In the first book, I thought it was incredible. In this one, I found it hard to focus on the story line while simultaneously building up a bigger picture of how Fforde’s world works.

 

Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde

 

Perhaps that’s a problem on my part. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is, and I did still enjoy it overall. It’s the type of book where there’s something there for everyone, even if some of it goes over your head and you’re just enjoying the one liners and occasional in-jokes. Fforde is also a master of using popular culture to make his stories – and his characters – more relatable, and even though this book is a good few years old by now, it doesn’t really make any difference. The popular culture that Fforde references is the popular culture of books and literature and so there’s plenty to pick up on if you’re a big reader.

Overall, then, I’d recommend this book – but only if you read the first one and enjoyed it. I think that was a better introduction to his work.

 

Jasper Fforde Quote

Jasper Fforde Quote

 

Click here to buy Lost in a Good Book.

 


Newsletter Signup

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