Literary Disappointments (was: The LKH thing)

David Silberstein davids at kithrup.com
Mon Feb 17 12:49:27 PST 2003

On Mon, 17 Feb 2003, Chris Turkel wrote:

>I tried reading several Discworld books but gave up. Its not they are
>bad writing, they are very good, its just whimsical, light hearted
>fantasies ain't my thing. 

Hmm.  I would distinguish between "having whimsy" and being "just
whimiscal & light hearted".

Starting around the fourth book - "Mort" - and with occasional
relapses of being "just whimsical", I would admit - the Discworld
books start to include greater amounts of darkness.

"Guards! Guards!" has some very dark themes indeed.

   "I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are
   the good people and the bad people. You're wrong, of course. There
   are, always and only, the bad people, but *some of them are on
   opposite sides.*"


   [He indicates the city below:] "A great rolling sea of evil.
   Shallower in some places, of course, but deeper, oh, so much
   *deeper* in others. But people like you put together little rafts
   of rules and vaguely good intentions and say, this is the opposite,
   this will triumph in the end. Amazing!"


   "Down there are people who will follow any dragon, worship any god,
   ignore any iniquity. All out of a kind of humdrum, everyday
   badness.  Not the really high, creative loathsomeness of the great
   sinners, but a sort of mass-produced darkness of the soul. Sin, you
   might say, without a trace of originality. They accept evil not
   because they say *yes*, but because they don't say *no*."
       -- Patrician Vetinari on humanity