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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Moving Pictures

Moving Pictures
by Terry Pratchett

Although set in the Discworld, this is a fairly standalone book with very few recurring staple characters.

While not one of Pratchett's best, it has a few interesting breaks in an otherwise run-of-the-mill parody.

Of course, I love Pratchett! So, I did look for his Midas touch in this book. Perhaps that was my fault as I found very few.

However, the book has his special brand of poking fun at everyday things which forces us to stop and think anyway. And Pratchett on an off-day is much better than most other fantasy writers I have read, so, while it is entertaining none-the-less, it seems like one of those blockbusters that the editors forgot to snip and tighten.

During one of my chats with D (a fellow Pratchett fan), we realized that Pratchett's books we've read so far roughly fall into one of the three categories:
  • Brilliant, Hilarious, Thought-provoking, Memorable Characters, Captivating - like, Small Gods, Monstrous Regiment, Mort, Thief of Time
  • Good Parody, Funny, Curiously Interesting Take On Things, Very Satisfying - like, Guards! Guards!, Wyrd Sisters, Equal Rites, Carpe Jugulum
  • Fairly Standard, Slightly Funny In Parts, If-this-were-the-first-book-i-read-i-probably-wouldn't-read-another-Pratchett - like, Moving Pictures, Colour of Magic, Feet of Clay

Moving Pictures is Pratchett's take on... yes, Motion Pictures and Hollywood :)

Gaspode, the Wonder Dog was an interesting character. Other than that, the book generally meanders about the Hollywood culture, how it came into being, how it became what it has become, how people get ahead in such a culture and so on...

In addition to innocent victims of circumstances like the heroine and the hero of the movies which turn into blockbusters, we have CMOT (Cut Me Own Throat) Dibbler and suchlike who know how to work the system to their advantage and essentially pioneer the direction in which things flow.

We also get to know about the intimate connection between Banged Grains (aka Popcorn) and movie-viewing, about the magic of silver screen that the alchemists accidentally discover (unbeknownst to them), and about the strong emotions movies can generate in the viewer.

Ultimately, alien creatures puppeteering the show are thwarted, Boy gets Girl, everybody goes back to what they were doing and things end well.

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