by Terry Pratchett. Read by Stephen Briggs.
So I bought an audiobook! I've listened to a couple before, and it's a really good experience. I either have them on while going on epic walks along the Norfolk coast, or I listen to half an hour each night in bed.
I've only done it for books I've already read so far, otherwise I'd feel under pressure to pay too much attention. I read The Fifth Elephant ages ago. The same applies to all Pratchett, I read them ages ago. Except the recent ones, which I read... recently.
As you may or may not know (an ambiguous state of affairs that will be rectified forever by this very sentence) I love Pratchett. Or Tezza P, to his friends. The Pratch. T-Bone. But I've also read his whole catalogue, more than once per book, and so it's not a love that I partake in regularly. This love is not, to the horror of DCTalk, a verb. It's a state of being. It also makes it dificult to review.
What do I think of this particular novel? It's incredibly full. It's a thriller and a mystery and a political whodunnit and all those other things that I don't usually read, but it's also about people doing peopley things like relating, with varying degrees of failure, to other people.
And there's all that fantasy stuff, and jokes (laughing out loud is more natural when you hear something than when you read it, it turns out), and it's probably a parody of hundreds of things I don't know of, so the parodies pass me by. Which is how I like it really; parodies being a thing of the 'humour' shelves in bookshops*.
I'm useless at talking about Pratchett, because I am a fan, not a critic. Half the point of this blog is to teach myself how to be both at once, but most of that can wait until I read a Pratchett again.
The reading itself was excellent, though. I can talk about that. Our man Stephen Briggs... he did the voices. Bear in mind these are characters I've known and loved and grown with (flipping VIMES)... and he gives them voices. Risky business. I'm sure there's stuff in the text that imply that Carrot has a Welsh accent, or that Vimes has a bit of cockney twang, but I never picked up on them. I ignore that sort of stuff.
But every time I heard Briggs giving them the voice, it was spot on. 'Oh, of course that's what she sounds like!' sort of thing.
Conclusion: I will be buying and listening to more audiobooks. Maybe the whole of Discworld? If they've all been done by Briggs, that is. And if I discover lots of money next time I look inside my ukulele.
And: Pratchett is the lemur's femur. The slug's mug. The mouse's spouse... et cetera.
*Humour shelves in bookshops don't have to be so bad. There's Miles Kington and Robin Cooper and Andy Riley and Parkinson and Peanuts, and all that narrative non-fiction like Danny Wallace and Dave Gorman. Which all prompt the question, why fill the shelves with Crap Roundabouts 2, Isn't Stuff Shit? Well Isn't It?, The World According To Whatever-that-guy-from-Fifth-Gear-is-called, and A List Of Things That Rhyme With Douche?