Troll Bridge (2019)- Experiencing Discworld at World Con

‘HIT ME YOU BASTARD!’

Welcome back to the Disc! This is my first time discussing a movie on my blog and it seems fitting for me to literally bring you to the actual Discworld.

As many of you may know, I attended Worldcon in Dublin this year, had the best time and honestly I’ve been waiting to finally write this post. One of my main highlights of the entire week was the premiere of ‘Troll Bridge’, a film directed by Daniel Knight and Snowgum films that adapts the Discworld short story of the same name into a short film. I’m sorry what? How did I not know about this already? I fucking ran to the screening. I swear.

‘Troll Bridge'(based on the short story of the same name) follows Discworld hero, Cohen the Barbarian. He is now 87 and he is angry. Angry he hasn’t died in battle yet. Angry that he can’t pee like he used to. Angry that his horse can talk. Now as a final act of bravery as his father advised him when he was young, he’s heading to a bridge and he’s gonna kill it’s Troll.

Honestly, I was on the edge of crying watching this. Everything about this is wonderful and crafted so perfectly. The make up, the acting, the special effects. The trolls, oh my god the trolls! It’s honestly a flawless adaptation. The casting of Don Bridges as Cohen is wonderful, I never could put a voice to Cohen while reading ‘The Light Fantastic’ but now I can hear Bridges’ voice screaming in my head ‘HIT ME YOU BASTARD!’

‘Troll Bridge’ is an example of why book adaptations of beloved series need to be placed in the right hands. It not only comes down to production and acting but the rewriting of the story and putting it to a visual medium can’t be done right unless those making it give an honest shit about the material. Daniel Knight cares about this story very deeply. It’s very easy to see that this entire work is one big passion project. Snowgum films have spent over 9 years trying to make this the most ambitious short film ever made and they have indeed succeeded.

The film is currently travelling a festival circuit, screenings and any other information can be found here, including info about the delicious pre order (I may have pledged) for the Blu Ray. Please check them out, also please read Discworld books so more of these lovely films can be made. Terry Pratchett would be proud.

Mort- Terry Pratchett Review

“If there’s one thing that really annoys a god, it’s not knowing something.”

Welcome back to my holiday on the Disc! This is my latest post in my Discworld Project. If you aren’t aware of this project you can click here . I recently got back on track with the publication continuity of the series and Mort is my most recent read. Now, its my favourite.

In this book we meet Mort (short for Mortimer), a young, awkward lad from the Ramtops. Mort is looking for work and when his father gains him an apprenticeship he is finally employed. Does it matter that his employer is Death himself? The actual Grim Reaper? Not at all, its quite a noble position. Prospects, uniform and a company horse. Soon enough Mort discovers there is more to Death than life, where to keep a Scythe when indoors and why working for Death can affect his love life.

I was really looking forward to reading this and I was not disappointed. This is the shining star of the Discworld series so far and I enjoyed it even more than the last one I read. This is the beginning of the Death novels, a character we have already been introduced to in the previous books but we do get his perspective in this.

This is obviously set on the Disc and we do see previous locations such as Ankh Morpork and the Unseen University but a good chunk of the novel takes place within Deaths Domain. We get to see the realm through the eye of Mort, a human like (the majority at least) of us readers who is understandably scared yet fascinated. The descriptions of the rooms, particularly Death’s study, is wonderfully gothic and has traits one would assume from Death (skull and crossed scythe motifs along with black grass included). It also thrills me that Death puts his scythe in an umbrella stand when not in use.

Mort is a very entertaining character to read. Although his is young he very much knows his own mind and isn’t afraid to speak up, correcting people who call him ‘boy’ instead of using his name for example. Death is as intimidating to Mort as he is as a figure to us and most of the questions anyone would living would ask Death do get brought up by Mort frequently. Mort isn’t afraid to challenge Death and Death begins to allow himself to learn more about humanity. Their dynamic is one that is rewarding while also being entertaining. The humor is a strong motif as ever especially between characters but this one is definitely more emotional than previous books. I definitely had feels while reading this but then again, I am emotional with many books. Also big plus that Death loves cats.

The story flows so well, switching mostly between Mort and Death’s perspectives as they both travel around the Disc and learn more about life. Mort mostly about taking it away and Death just basically having some to himself. The climax of the narrative is very satisfying while also doing a brilliant job of pulling all the different smaller strands of plot together. This is where I really love Pratchett outside of characters and dialogue. There is never any room to be bored and every single novel wraps up really well without all having similar plot beats to the last book in the series.

This is another ideal starting point for those who want to start their own journey to the Disc. Death is my new favourite character. He loves cats, trying different drinks and loves a good curry. His library is filled with stories that write themselves and if its one trope I never get tired of is the Death learns to be human trope. Please try this if you have never read Terry Pratchett, you won’t be disappointed.

★★★★★/5 

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents- Terry Pratchett

“To be a leader you have to learn to shout! But after you’ve learned to shout, you have to learn not to!”

Welcome back to the Disc! My apologies for the lack of posts. I had World Con last week, went back to work and now I’m out sick for five days with no voice. This is my next book in the Discworld Project. I am still intending to read the series in publication order but this one was a bit too special to delay and is one of the few YA novels within the world .

Here we meet the Amazing Maurice. Maurice is a cat who has gained sentience and employs a group of fellow sentient rats. Along with the cat and the rats we have Keith, an orphan who plays the flute. Maurice, the rats and Keith go from town to town running the same scheme: rats arrive, boy plays flute, boy and cat chase away rats, boy collects money from grateful villagers. Then comes their arrival in the village of Bad Blintz. Something is wrong, and now Maurice’s scheme needs to become a plan. A plan for survival.

This was a joy to read and a nice change to the Discworld continuity that I am currently following. This was the first of the Discworld books to be written for younger readers and I was concerned that it may water down the usual strength of the other books but thankfully I was proven wrong. This is a remarkable story and is just as enjoyable being read by an adult. (Yes. Sadly I count as an adult)

The world building isn’t something that we need to discuss but as always, it’s nice to see another new part of the Disc. Bad Blintz reads like an old English village that has yet to discover the world outside it’s confines. Although it is a very typical fantasy trope/location, Pratchett still makes it work as a point of satire.

The characters are the true standout of this book. Maurice, a ginger street cat, is our main POV but we do move between Keith, some of the rats and an unnamed narrator we come to discover later on. Maurice is definitely my favourite, filled with all the sassiness of any cat but despite his crookster persona he has genuine moments of caring and nature throughout the story. One of my favourite aspects of the rats is how they have named themselves (Dangerous Beans, Nourishing and Sardines to name a few) and how they are adjusting to their new found conciousness. It makes for some brilliant dialogue, which is one of Pratchett’s true talents. We also meet the village girl of Malicia. Malicia loves fairy tales, wears black and never shuts up. I think I may have been Malicia at a younger age.

The plot flows very freely aswell, making for a quick and fluid story. At the stage of this novel being published there were 27 in the Discworld so I feel that compared to some of the other ones I have read so far that you can see how Pratchett has developed. Not only Pratchett but the whole of the Discworld series at this point of publication, had developed to a fantasy favourite with a dedicated fanbase.

This is a good fun read that is easy to get through and is a perfect stepping stone (as a lot of the novels are) on to the Discworld but even if you just want to read this as a standalone work you can. However, I have a new found phobia over this book, and a comment from Pratchett in the acknowledgements. That’s all I can say.

★★★★/5

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

‘ ‘And they do say the p-pen is mightier than the sss-
‘-sword,’ said Esk ‘All right, but which would you rather be hit with?’ ‘

Welcome back to the Discworld! This is part of my return to the Disc to finally finish the series so I am very excited to review this to begin the entire journey here on the blog.

The eighth son of an eighth son is a powerful thing living on the Disc. The eight son of an eighth son is destined to be a wizard, but what if that eighth son is not a son? Meet Eskarina Smith! She is going to be the first lady Wizard, but women can’t be wizards can they?

This book got off to a slower start than the previous two books in the series but has quickly become my favourite. In terms of worldbuilding, the groundwork has already been laid in the previous novels, namely A’tuin and the Disc but Esk’s (Eskarina) home is in a new part we have yet to see. Esk lives in the town of Badass (haw) in the Ramtops. The Ramtops are the mountains, 500 miles Hubwards of the city of Ankh-Morpork which is the main setting for many of the Discworld novels. It was very entertaining to see that small village mentality in action and under the hand of Pratchett.

The plot itself is pretty well contained and follows the journey of Esk and Granny Weatherwax as they make their way to Unseen University so Esk can be trained as a wizard. It does have a slower build up to the climax and it speeds up very suddenly when it does arrive. This didn’t really impact my enjoyment much but it did make it seem a bit like it was slogging in places but it still works perfectly for a Discworld novel.

At last, the characters are WONDERFUL. We meet our first witch on the Disc, Granny Weatherwax. Granny is honestly my favourite character in the story, I love Esk too but I really loved the way Granny was written. She is the resident witch of Bad Ass and when she takes Esk in she struggles with how to navigate dealing with someone Esk’s age (she is nine years old). Esk is the kind of little girl we all wished we could be, taken in by a witch with a big set of powers passed on to her and a bigger undertaking for being the first girl to enter the Unseen University. Granny and Esk develop a close bond as the novel progresses and its honestly heartwarming. We do meet other characters at the University but since this is a story focusing on feminism and women most of all I feel that Granny and Esk stand out in a way they are supposed to.

This is not a perfect book by any means but it still has all the elements of Discworld that I fell in love with in the first place and it further expands the world for us. The wit is razor sharp, the characters fall out of the book and on to your desk while you’re eating your lunch and we continue to learn more of the ways of this world. This was only the third book in the series aswell so I think it’s only fair to give Pratchett the benefit of the doubt on this one.

★★★★/5

My holiday on The Disc; Rereading and Finshing Terry Pratchett’s Discworld

Sir Terry Pratchett died in 2015 from early-onset Alzeimers and issues associated with the illness. What he left behind was a legacy stretching across the decades that included humor in fantasy, wonderful characters and a dedicated fan base who loved Terry as much as his memorable world of the Discworld.

I first discovered Terry Pratchett when I read ‘Good Omens, during the Christmas of 2011. I had just began my first year of art college and felt a little lost in life in general. ‘Good Omens’ was the lift I needed. I actually didn’t begin reading Discworld until the year Practhett died meaning I read the first three in quick succession. Life however got in my way and despite collecting them still I’ve only just recently returned to the world.

If you are not aware of Discworld, it is a long sprawling fantasy series that all takes place in the one world. This world is a flat disc, that rests on the back of four elephants that are on the back of a giant turtle floating through space. The turtle is called Great A’tuin, gender and journey unknown (to me, currently). The series can be read chronologically or by series, reading guides can be found online by people better at this stuff than I. The book focuses on characters and interloping storylines and often offer a humourous view of fantasy tropes.

So this is my Return to the Disc. And I recently started this journey by reading both the graphic novel adaptations of both the first books, ‘The Colour of Magic’ and ‘The Light Fantastic’. I used it as a quick refresher and also because I love comparing graphic adaptations of my favourite books.

After reading this I’ve moved on to the next book chronologically in the series, ‘Equal Rites’ which is the first in the Witches series. So it seems only natural to me to follow chronological order for my journey across the Disc. I finished ‘Equal Rites’ this weekend and will have a review posted shortly. This is a small project which will probably be long to complete but I am so excited. Keep an eye on my instagram and my new weekly reading report for updates! Feel free to join, share and discuss with me!