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Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:33 pm
by [AlmightyPyro]
Terry Pratchett has been said to be like the Douglas Adams of fantasy. Now I recently read The Color of Magic, and it really made me want to start reading the Hitchhikers' series again (especially after The Color of Magic's ending OMG!!) So I just finished The Life the Universe and Everything, and I got to tell you, I personally think Adams makes Pratchett look campy. So I just had to know from those of you who have maybe read more Pratchett than I, am I wrong or am I right?

Also, please tell me why you like your favored the most. I'm really interested in seeing how other people feel about this. No one I know has ever read Pratchett to give me their side.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:45 pm
by Tellurider
I vote Prachett, because I read the whole Hitchhiker's series and the end had me going "whut" but Prachett keeps getting better.

Seriously, by Pratchett standars, The Color of Magic really isn't that good. You don't get to really enjoy Death as a character until Mort, and my favorite characters of the witches and Vimes aren't even in that book. Don't get me wrong I like Rincewind, especially in Last Continent, but the first Discworld book I read was The Fifth Element so I have a huge soft spot for Vimes. Color of Magic and Sourcery aren't *bad* per se, just not as good as later books, so they pale in comparison.

Really if that's all you've read of the Discworld, you pretty much know squat about it. Give it more of a chance dude.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:52 pm
by BrownEyedCat
Color Of Magic may look campy compared to Hitchhiker's, but Color of Magic is a rather straightforward parody of its contemporaries in the fantasy field. Light Fantastic has a more unified plot, and wraps up all of CoM's threads - and from there on, basically all of Pratchett's books can stand alone, unlike the HitchHiker books.

Once you get to Discworld books that are even middling compared to the greats in the series, Pratchett blows Adams out of the water. He knows how to pick a plot, stick to it, and serve up powerful emotional themes without losing the fun and creativity. I didn't read Adams until after I'd read some Discworld, and was disappointed in it. It was fun, but doesn't GO anywhere.

Wrap that all up in 'BEC likes Adams, is a major Pratchett fangirl who spend a great deal of money on limited edition for-charity Discworld merchandise' tags, and you have my official opinion.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:23 am
by KWill
Pratchett has written more than Adams and didn't really suffer from a bit of a meltdown that turned the later Hitchhiker's Guide books into something less enjoyable than the first few.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:30 am
by Brockway
Pratchet easily. Douglas Adam's was great at funny dialogue, but nothing in the Hitchiker series had anywhere near the kick that the climax of Men at Arms had. Never read the Color of Magic or the Light Fantastic, but I have it from a good source that they weren't very good compared to the rest of them.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:54 am
by Robin Pierce
Brockway wrote:Pratchet easily. Douglas Adam's was great at funny dialogue, but nothing in the Hitchiker series had anywhere near the kick that the climax of Men at Arms had. Never read the Color of Magic or the Light Fantastic, but I have it from a good source that they weren't very good compared to the rest of them.


I'm a DAMN good source, I'll have you know.

As a set of really disjointed statements:
    I voted Pratchett as well.
    I could never really sink my teeth into Douglas Adams, though I do give some of the credit there to sci fi versus fantasy, and some of the votes here are going to be tilted because of that.
    Pratchett is one of the only fantasy authors I'm still bothering to read, because the rest have become very cookie cutter.
    I think both authors are epic in their own genres, but I am a pratchett girl, I'm afraid.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:11 am
by Killbert-Robby
I've only ever read like the first ten pages of a Pratchett book, so I kinda have to vote Adams

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:43 am
by McDuffies
If I had to vote for one, that would be Adams. Fis first "Hitchiker" books had me in stiches, Pratchet's books were moderately amusing at best.
Whatever I've read from Pratchet (and I might have been reading all the wrong books, mind you) reads more like a straightforward fantasy with occasional humor, than an actual parody.
He's got that "poetic" style of his which I find mildly irritating and unsuitable for that kind of fiction. Of all of Pratchet's works, my favourites are actually Discworld video games.
Mind you, I think that Douglas is largely blown out of proportion, those are rather unpretentious funny books, easy read if you will, but legions of geeks turned them into a whole legacy, pretty much like Star Wars and Star Trek. Pratchet at least had some pretense, but Adams' books were so unbashedly shallow that he's probably turning in his grave every time a fan applies new meaning to "42".

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:27 am
by Dracomax
While I enjoy both authors, I have to go with pratchett.

You really can't judge pratchetts work by the first 3 or 4 discworld books,. even he says he hadn't really hit his mark there. the characters aren't really on the way they are later, and there are a lot of unintentional problems, not to mention that it's far to straight a send-up of then-popular series. Later books tend to be more character driven, and he has some generally funny characters.

but The whole discworld series is fun in a way that hitchhiker's really isn't, IMHO. I can laugh at it, while hitchhikers is much more dry humor. I might get a chuckle here and there, but mostly it's more of an intellectual "that's funny".

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:49 am
by [AlmightyPyro]
Those are all very decent and well thought out points. I have decided to find Light Fantastic and read it then maybe skip to a later unrelated book in the series.

I Think McDuffies summed it up the best for me. Out of the two I enjoy Adams' style more in that I find it hilarious, and if not that, very entertaining to read where the Color of Magic seemed to have less humor and more actual fantasy action, which sometimes I really feel like reading, but in whole I love Adams' flat, cheap laughs over intense action %90 percent of the time.

For those of you that have read a lot of Disc World, which books should I look into picking up? Or which Characters would you suggest I follow more?

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:07 am
by Tellurider
I think the book I have read the most times is Thief of Time. You should be able to start reading it on its own, but it does feature characters from previous books.

But it has Death in it, and Death is awesome.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:24 am
by MixedMyth
[AlmightyPyro] wrote:So I just finished The Life the Universe and Everything, and I got to tell you, I personally think Adams makes Pratchett look campy. So I just had to know from those of you who have maybe read more Pratchett than I, am I wrong or am I right?


Honestly, I would advise you to read some of Terry Pratchett's later stuff before you decide that.his early works are great, and loads of fun, but he has definitely matured as a writer since then. His later stuff is less helter-skelter and a little more profound. they use disk world to comment about our own society, but without shoving it down your throat. Satire at its finest. Unfortunately, there are a lot of books between his early works and his later works to get through. Well, this is actually a good thing since they're fantastic, but it does mean that it's hard to get a taste of his mature style right away. I suppose you could read Nation. It's not a Discworld book, but it is a good example of this style I'm talking about and is one of my favorites of his.

As for Adams, I love this stuff, of course. That is, I love the first two hitchhikers guide books... after that they become kind of... depressing? I don't know.they just really changed and I wasn't a big fan of where it was going.

Also, along with thief of time I would suggest Mort. I think it was his first book where he really started to get into the new style. Plus it has Death! And as has been mentioned before, Death is awesome. Night watch is also awesome, but you really can't pick it up without reading the previous books.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:45 am
by IVstudios
I voted Adams, though I only recently started Reading the Diskworld series and I'm only up to Sorcery . I Started with Feet of Clay and then went back and started at the beginning, and it was noticeably better than the early stuff. I do really like Diskworld, but I went with Adams because there are always a few little things in the Diskworld books that leave me disappointed. Nothing major, but little nitpicks that annoy me.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:58 am
by Laundromatcomics
I figure this comparison would probably be a little easier to make if Adams was nearly as prolific as Pratchett, but I think in this case I'm going to have to go with Pratchett. I respect anyone that can pull off an effective parody of MacBeth.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:45 pm
by Rkolter
Adams.

Adams books have stuck with me long past any of Pratchett's. This is not to say that Pratchett is a bad writer - I have lots of his books, I think he's a great writer. But my copies of Adams' books are more dog-eared.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:02 pm
by BrownEyedCat
Anything with Vimes in it is a good place to start - he's just plain fantastic. Even the earliest Vimes books - Guards Guards, Men at Arms - are great reads. The latest ones (Night Watch, Thud) won't have the same power if you aren't already familiar with the character, but aside from that, you can pick up any of them in any order.

Everyone's recommending the Death books. With good reason. Reaper Man was my favorite for a long time.

Men at Arms and Wyrd Sisters were the first two Discworld books I ever read, and I have considerable affection for them. I hear a lot of people counting Wyrd Sisters in with the older, drier books - but I still love it. It's oozes Shakespeare parody, so if you want that, pick it up. If you don't, it may be best not to start with it.

Fact of the matter is that the Discworld books vary so much in terms of content and style over the years, that aside from the general consensus that his earlier books aren't his best, there's a lot of disagreement as to what books are his best and when, if ever, he jumped the shark (I am among those who don't believe he has). So the weird fact of the matter is even if you find some of the books slightly not to your taste, other books from the same series may strike a chord with you.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:47 pm
by MixedMyth
Actually, I'm not sure I would recommend night watch for an introduction to vimes et all. one of my friends read it as their first disc world book and was so utterly confused... you probably don't notice it because we've read the others, but there actually is a fair amount there that might be confusing if you aren't already acquainted with the characters.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:23 pm
by BrownEyedCat
Specifically, I mentioned it as a 'this won't work as well' if you haven't read the earlier ones. So, go with any Vimes book except Night Watch or Thud.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:21 am
by Rkolter
Odd, I thought Thud was one of Pratchett's best books, and I hadn't read any of the other Vimes books at that point.

Re: Douglas Adams Vs. Terry Pratchett: The War of the Writers!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:14 am
by Dracomax
Thud was awesome, but it makes more sense if you've read jingo and The Fifth Element. Certain running jokes and character motivations are clearer. Not to say it isn't a great book by itself--it's just better after reading those two.