dimanche, juillet 31, 2005

Pratchett vs Rowling

The noughties have been the decade of recycling. The Da Vinci Code brought us a rehashed duped down version of the Umberto Eco classics like Foucault's Pendulum and The Name of the Rose. Nowhere has the recycle been more evident than in JK Rowling's rise to riches through the bespectacled geek she thought up. Most Potty readers do not have the least clue of the much more interesting worlds created by Terry Pratchett and might have just about seen JRR's trilogy on film. I find the Potter books mildly amusing and only because I recognise the formulae that make the books a hit. In my books Rowling is as original as Party Manifestos. She just takes the tried an tested and plays into the armns of an uunsuspecting audience who have just discovered the power of a book. Potter books are a fad, a trend, and just about as much a work of literary art as Coke and Fries are a gourmand's dream.

Why the venom? Well Rowling seems to have claimed to have just discovered that her books are science fiction and now seems to be claiming to have saved the genre from its boring roots.


I am biased. I am fanatic for the wit, the vision, and the variety of Terry Pratchett and his discworld novels. Pratchett is to Rowling as Shakespeare is to Stagno. She cannot even dare to get close to him. Sales wise she does of course... which does not prevent TP's books from hitting the top of the bestsellers list weeks before they are released (thanks mainly to Amazons pre-release purchase possibilities).

So go on Terry... dis the bit*h and show her what it is really like to write fiction. For Tp's comments on Rowling read here.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp. - Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times

12 commentaires:

MaltaGirl a dit…

There's no comparison between Pratchett and Rowling. I enjoy the Harry Potter books, but it's the Pratchetts that I constantly re-read.

Come to think of it, this summer marks my 10-year anniversary of discovering Pterry *raises a glass*

Athena a dit…

Okay now you brought up the subject... I've been meaning to start on Terry Pratchett for ages but never got round to it. So what do you experts recommend I read first? (All reading to be done after my thesis is written!).

Btw Jacques, have you ever read Tom Sharpe? I get the feeling you will enjoy his writings.

Fausto Majistral a dit…

Potter science fiction? What's this world coming to?

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

thats a good starting point.
but for a good guide on sequences of pratchett reading go to the best source for following pratchett.

Anonyme a dit…

To be honest I tried reading Pratchett but I couldn't get my head around his books. Maybe I am too ignorant to understand them. What I like about the Potter books is that they are straight forward and one does not need to have a university degree to understant them.

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

Yes, probably you are right. The hidden message is for the select few. For some there is the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and for others there is Hogwarts.

Oh for heaven's sake... this "university degree" business is so galling. Pratchett's books just need more patience the first time round until you manage to suspend belief and et into the unreality of discworld.

As my cousin's very trendy Speak & Spell machine would say whenever the wrong letters were input...


Athena a dit…

Thanks Jacques. Ehhh imnalla I'm at University, better read them before I graduate or I might risk misunderstanding *rolls eyes*

MaltaGirl a dit…

Athena, I wouldn't recommend reading chronologically because I think his style has changed a lot since the very early books and I have friends who found the first couple to be heavy going. I started with Guards! Guards! but I think Jacques's right that Sourcery is also a good place to start :-)

nigredo a dit…

good omens! good omens! and good omens!

vlad a dit…

Well of course, the point you're all missing is that the two authors raised are both specifically niche writer, for what should be niche readerships, i.e. children and spotty teenagers. Though it is marginally relieving that supposedly educated people are now getting excited by Harry Potter and the like instead of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Milan Kundera, and Umberto Eco for that matter.

Antoine Cassar a dit…

Gabriel Garc�a M�rquez
Milan Kundera
Umberto Eco

Three of the most intringuing authors I have ever read.

Add Italo Calvino and Andrea Camilleri and you will have (very possibly) my top five.

Tajjeb wisq, Vlad!

Antoine Cassar a dit…

I've just found an absolutely hilarious quote on the site quoted by Jacques (

"Let's just say that if complete and utter chaos was lightning, he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are bastards'."

-Rincewind discussing Twoflower (Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic)


For Camilleri readers, here's a great website:

There's even a glossary of Sicilian words and phrases used in his Vig�ta novels: