I came across someone the other day who sorts their books into “Pratchetts” and “not Pratchetts”. The Pratchets are on the shelf in the order that Pratchett wrote them, the rest are in any old order at all.
(That’s nothing by the way. You would not believe the number of people who sort by size. And then there’s the couple who sort by owner (a shelf for His and a shelf for Hers). And those are the sane ones. What about the person who sorts his books, all his books, in the order they were first printed? Or the girlfriend of mine who sorted hers by colour? And an upsetting number of people don’t sort them at all.)
I distracted myself on my way to the point, there. Sorry.
The point is that I have a colleague who hasn’t read any Pratchett at all and in this case it’s a shame, because he’d like them. He tried The Light Fantastic once, and found it irritating so gave up which is fair enough: the first two are irritating plotless and, to be honest, not particularly good.
So I have taken it upon myself to pop his Pratchett cherry – but where to start? The early ones are weaker, the later ones assume a certain level of familiarity with the Discworld. The Witches series go down better with the girlies. The Watch series are better read in sequence. The Death series are just a little too odd to start with. Hogswatch is too dark. Pyramids too lightweight. The Truth and Going Postal too fair to middling. Small Gods too unusual. Monstrous Regiment is really too unusual, and Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Carpe Jugulum and Thud all have the same plot anyway.
It’s an onerous responsibility, choosing someone’s first Pratchett.
So I’m re-reading them to work out which one would be best.
I may be some time.