Jingo by Terry Pratchett (Victor Gollancz, 1997); audiobook read by Nigel Planer (Isis, 2000) Plotwise, Jingo ties itself in knots and threads. The humour is less overt than elsewhere in the Discworld canon, but there remains a droll, page-turning appeal in Pratchett’s railing against—with every weapon at his disposal, primarily Sam Vimes—humanity’s absurd jingoism.
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (Victor Gollancz, 1992); audiobook read by Nigel Planer (Isis, 1997) Pratchett’s one-off Discworld novels were often rather special, and such is the case with this exposé on organised religion. The (formerly) Great God Om finds himself unwillingly manifested as a tortoise with only one follower. Nigel Planer is exquisite in his narration.
A Blink of the Screen by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 2012); audiobook read by Michael Fenton Stevens & Stephen Briggs (Isis, 2012) With the exception of ‘The Sea and Little Fishes’, this collection of short stories and miscellanea (some Discworld, some not) is sadly lacking, at least by Pratchett’s standards. The qualities that brought his novels alive simply don’t lend themselves…
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (Victor Gollancz, 1988); audiobook read by Celia Imrie (Isis, 1996) Terry Pratchett tells comic stories within stories within Shakespearian tragedy as the King of Lancre is murdered and Granny Weatherwax and her fellow witches take centre stage in the unfolding history of his succession. Celia Imrie does a wonderfully witchy job narrating.
Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett (Gollancz, 1991); audiobook read by Nigel Planer (Transworld, 1995) Having given Death a personality, Pratchett next postulated the consequences of him having to die. Since this was still quite early in the Discworld saga, the result is mostly comedic mayhem (although Death’s relationship with Miss Flitworth is both sweet and philosophical).
Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 2009); audiobook read by Stephen Briggs (ISIS, 2009) Pratchett brings together the wizards and staff of Unseen University and the traditionally violent Ankh-Morporkian game of foot-the-ball to explore notions of tradition and expectation. Glenda Sugarbean and Mr Nutt make for intriguing, rather serious, one-off characters, balancing out the madcap romp.
Making Money by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 2007); audiobook read by Stephen Briggs (HarperAudio, 2007) Pratchett, in the midst of a sequence of novels aimed as much at modernising the Discworld as making merry, pits former confidence man Moist von Lipwig against Ankh-Morpork’s banking sector. The telling is droll but by Pratchett’s standards the story is uninspiring.
Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett (Victor Gollancz, 1996); audiobook read by Nigel Planer (ISIS, 1999) Feet of Clay continues the examination of racism (on the Discworld, species-ism) begun in Men at Arms, adding little except welcome reiteration. Although the golems make for interesting characters, Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs—two of Pratchett’s less explicably favoured creations—don’t.
Mort by Terry Pratchett (Victor Gollancz, 1987); audiobook read by Nigel Planer (Isis, 1995) Mort is the book with which Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series turned from imaginative curiosity to comedic fantasy par excellence. The plot is atypically focussed for Pratchett, and Death (who in a mid-life crisis takes on an apprentice) becomes an instant fan favourite.
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 2002); audiobook read by Stephen Briggs (Isis, 2002) Night Watch is one of Pratchett’s least funny Discworld novels, in the best possible way. The gallows humour remains but the story — a poignant time travel paradox that sees Sam Vimes mentor his younger self through a bloody revolution — is more focussed.