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'Holy wood is a different sort of place. People act differently here. Everywhere else the most important things are gods or money or cattle. Here, the most important thing is to be important.' People might say that reality is a quality that things possess in the same way that they possess weight. Sadly alchemists never really held with such a quaint notion. They think that 'Holy wood is a different sort of place. People act differently here. Everywhere else the most important things are gods or money or cattle. Here, the most important thing is to be important.' People might say that reality is a quality that things possess in the same way that they possess weight. Sadly alchemists never really held with such a quaint notion. They think that they can change reality, shape it to their own purpose. Imagine then the damage that could be wrought if they get their hands on the ultimate alchemy: the invention of motion pictures, the greatest making of illusions. It may be a triumph of universe-shaking proportions. It's either that or they're about to unlock the dark terrible secret of the Holy Wood hills - by mistake...


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'Holy wood is a different sort of place. People act differently here. Everywhere else the most important things are gods or money or cattle. Here, the most important thing is to be important.' People might say that reality is a quality that things possess in the same way that they possess weight. Sadly alchemists never really held with such a quaint notion. They think that 'Holy wood is a different sort of place. People act differently here. Everywhere else the most important things are gods or money or cattle. Here, the most important thing is to be important.' People might say that reality is a quality that things possess in the same way that they possess weight. Sadly alchemists never really held with such a quaint notion. They think that they can change reality, shape it to their own purpose. Imagine then the damage that could be wrought if they get their hands on the ultimate alchemy: the invention of motion pictures, the greatest making of illusions. It may be a triumph of universe-shaking proportions. It's either that or they're about to unlock the dark terrible secret of the Holy Wood hills - by mistake...

30 review for Moving Pictures

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mario the lone bookwolf

    Welcome to the fabulous dream factory, the best place on earth, oh, sorry, wrong promo, I mean Pratchett´s dissection of the superficiality and deception of the mass production of entertainment and media. Thanks to the alchemists, the Discworld has become so much richer in high quality entertainment fun or the immensely useless waste of human lifetime, depending on the pro or anti movie watching standpoint, I am possibly a bit biased here. Evil movie, go away, don´t force me watching you, I want Welcome to the fabulous dream factory, the best place on earth, oh, sorry, wrong promo, I mean Pratchett´s dissection of the superficiality and deception of the mass production of entertainment and media. Thanks to the alchemists, the Discworld has become so much richer in high quality entertainment fun or the immensely useless waste of human lifetime, depending on the pro or anti movie watching standpoint, I am possibly a bit biased here. Evil movie, go away, don´t force me watching you, I want to read. Puh, now I can, oh, a 4k remake of a classic real time strategy game series. 500 hours later. Damn it. However, Holy Wood grows and I guess I know too less about real movie history to get all the innuendos, and stars are made, changing Discworld forever and potentially in a way nobody is aware of. (view spoiler)[Using the allegory of a portal to the dungeon dimensions, media fueled by demon powers, is ingenious and close to what I suppose for TV and games, technology so mighty and seductive that its power shouldn´t be underestimated. . (hide spoiler)] I mean, think about it, the focus, thoughts, life energy,… of million and soon billions of people is directly transmitted into these settings, what better medium could be used by evil, satanic, interdimensional, alien, or PR industry forces to reap huge stockpiles of psi, qi, karma, or pure brainpower, with whatever unit that could be measured, terrathinks, gigaponder, or something So media perverts and is dangerous, is this what it´s trying to tell us? Well, it again depends on the individual interpretation, but fueling awareness of the dangers and pitfalls of modern entertainment options is something always a bit underrepresented while everybody is just bashing against books of faces, agencies of national securities, of tubes of yous. After getting so used to, not conspiracy theory including, media irrigation this oldfashioned whipping girl/boy seems to have come completely out of fashion, because the meta big brother scheme sells much more clicks and coverage. I guess I should once watch the satirized movies, or at least read the scripts, but as they mostly aren´t my genre or are overrated classics that just became cult because of a lack of alternatives, I don´t really see a chance of this ever happening. Quite stereotypical, overused plots nowadays, fresh and original the first few times, but best consumed in a humorous format and used to get laughs instead of screams. Wait until the end to see how the protagonists reflect about what has just happened to them and how this could be interpreted and adapted for real life, especially the social media epidemic Pratchett sadly had no chance to enjoy. How he would have satirized it will forever stay a mystery. Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph... This one is added to all Pratchettian reviews: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheibe... The idea of the dissected motifs rocks, highlighting the main real world inspirational elements of fiction and satire is something usually done with so called higher literature, but a much more interesting field in readable literature, as it offers the joy of reading, subtle criticism, and feeling smart all together.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    This most Lovecraftian of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books (this being number TEN and first published in 1990) and first of the Industrial Revolution books. Moving Pictures, as a title of course makes me think of Rush’s brilliant 1981 album of the same name (Pratchett even makes droll word play just as in Rush’s cover art). Like so many of Sir Terry’s Discworld adventures, he liberally sprinkles popular and cultural references throughout and besides the ubiquitous Lovecraft allusions, he also tu This most Lovecraftian of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books (this being number TEN and first published in 1990) and first of the Industrial Revolution books. Moving Pictures, as a title of course makes me think of Rush’s brilliant 1981 album of the same name (Pratchett even makes droll word play just as in Rush’s cover art). Like so many of Sir Terry’s Discworld adventures, he liberally sprinkles popular and cultural references throughout and besides the ubiquitous Lovecraft allusions, he also turns The Camera Eye to a Philip K. Dick reference (if the reader is quick). A Discworld Tom Sawyer, protagonist Victor Tugelbend (stage name Victor Maraschino) is a perpetual student at Unseen University who is a practiced expert in doing nothing. His Vital Signs are honed to being as lazy as possible, working at not working as hard as other people work at … work. So when Red Barchetta Alchemists (not to be confused with Wizards) figure out a way to make motion pictures, Victor turns out to be a born actor. Pratchett has fun aplenty making fun of Hollywood and he also introduces more fantastic Discworld characters, the best being Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler, Discworld’s capitalistic icon. Sadly there is little Witch Hunting in the Limelight of this fine novel, but still very good. I recommend reading this while listening to Rush’s YYZ.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    Another great Discworld novel, just not quite 5 stars ⭐️. More tomorrow hopefully. 4.5 ⭐️ So a couple of days have elapsed and I still feel that this is not quite a 5 star read, far enough away to make it a solid 4 stars. It is , as ever with Sir Terry, a fantastic story and a wonderful parody of 20th/21st century life. This book starts with the death of an old man who was guarding the hill at Holy Wood by the sea. Without his daily chants, strange things start to awaken and attempt to escape from Another great Discworld novel, just not quite 5 stars ⭐️. More tomorrow hopefully. 4.5 ⭐️ So a couple of days have elapsed and I still feel that this is not quite a 5 star read, far enough away to make it a solid 4 stars. It is , as ever with Sir Terry, a fantastic story and a wonderful parody of 20th/21st century life. This book starts with the death of an old man who was guarding the hill at Holy Wood by the sea. Without his daily chants, strange things start to awaken and attempt to escape from the cave beneath the hill. The alchemists are drawn to the hill and are strangely interested in starting a moving picture industry, whatever that may be. So "clicks" are born, and people flock to Holy Wood to be a part of this new industry. But all is not well beneath the hill as more "magic" escapes than can be managed and the "click" industry expands at an exponential rate. (getting the picture ??? ) Enter Victor, the laziest of student wizards, Ginger, a farm girl, Gaspode the most scruffy of dogs, but a talker (!) and Laddie, the worlds best acting dog (Good boy Laddie); add these new characters to old favourites like CMOT Dibbler, The Librarian (oook) and 2 cameo appearances from DEATH. The Watch appear briefly as do the senior wizards. All in all a fabulous recipe for a marvellous novel, and Sir Terry does not fail to deliver. Oh gosh it is just so close to 4.5 stars but I can't keep giving all the DIscworld novels 5 stars, so this is just a 4 star ⭐️ read

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    This is a re-read and I'm upping my rating because, well, let's face it: this is the start of a brand new chapter in the Discworld and it follows the main style that I have grown to love over all the rest of the books. I was slow to love them at first, but as I continued to see Progress raise its great lumbering head above the trash heaps of Ankh-Morpork (from inside the river, of course,) I can't help but get all bubbly inside. Memorable moments, and there are a lot of them going well beyond thi This is a re-read and I'm upping my rating because, well, let's face it: this is the start of a brand new chapter in the Discworld and it follows the main style that I have grown to love over all the rest of the books. I was slow to love them at first, but as I continued to see Progress raise its great lumbering head above the trash heaps of Ankh-Morpork (from inside the river, of course,) I can't help but get all bubbly inside. Memorable moments, and there are a lot of them going well beyond this review, include a certain wild dash of the head magicians, a certain talking dog, Mr. Cut-Me-Own-Throat, and of course the clever use of the old Greek "anamnesis". And of course the lambasting of old-time Holy Wood. :) It's time has come. (Sounds rather ominous, right?) Quite funny through and through, too. And of course, it only gets better from here. The weight of the Discworld about to break the backs of a few elephants and a turtle. :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Can you hear that? It's the sound of a movie reel. Discworld has it's first foray into the industrial revolution. Here, in form of the last guardian of an old portal dying without anybody being there to take up his tasks. Not long after, some alchemists in Ankh-Morpork develop clicks, moving pictures painted by enslaved little demons. Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, the sausage dealer, isn't gonna miss out on a chance to get rich so he becomes the first agent/film studio executive. Soon, first people Can you hear that? It's the sound of a movie reel. Discworld has it's first foray into the industrial revolution. Here, in form of the last guardian of an old portal dying without anybody being there to take up his tasks. Not long after, some alchemists in Ankh-Morpork develop clicks, moving pictures painted by enslaved little demons. Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, the sausage dealer, isn't gonna miss out on a chance to get rich so he becomes the first agent/film studio executive. Soon, first people and then animals (that can suddenly talk) are drawn to where the portal used to be, Holy Wood, without knowing why they had the intense urge to be there and be in a picture or help make one. Holy Wood soon is growing, moving pictures are created in colour even (sound is still very complicated) and the place is becoming stronger while at least some people start noticing that something's wrong. Such as Victor, the male lead. From then on, the crack between dimensions gets larger and larger and there is a mad dash for nothing less than saving the entire Discworld - because that is what a male lead does, right? Some old beloved characters such as the Librarian or Death as well as some new ones like Gaspode or the trolls spice up this story and it's a delight. And let's not forget that the city of Ankh-Morpork itself, technically, is a character, too - just like the Unseen University's library. Oh, and the current Arch Chancellor (who will remain so for quite a while apparently) now is Ridcully, a fantastically quirky addition to the whole bunch of wizzards. I burst out laughing several times while reading it and could quote over half of the book. Pratchett, in his usual deadpan humour, parodies product placements, the treatment of cast and crew on a film set, actors' behavior, the making of movies (historically and mechanically), the plot points in movies, fame, the media circus, the power of imagination ... and even more serious topics such as discrimination and racism in the industry. There is also more than one movie reference in this, such as for Gone with the Wind, King Kong, Ben Hur, and a few others - with a Discworld twist, of course. Truth be told, I was reluctant to read this at first. I'd heard about the industrial revolution books, of course, that form a group much like the ones about the witches or the City Watch, but I didn't think I'd like them too much because I want my Discworld to stay almost medieval in its atmosphere and feared the changes. However, that fear was completely unfounded, at least in this book. On the contrary: especially because I feared a clash of the good old with the shiny new Discworld, it was all the more funny to read about A Wild Idea arriving and trying to find a place. Thus, it's no surprise this has fast become one of my facourite Discworld books! Once again, I've read this in the audio format; once again, the narrator was Nigel Planner; once again, he was brilliant. From the sound effects like the movie reels to the accents (especially of the trolls and CMOT), he nailed it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10), Terry Pratchett Moving Pictures is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, published in 1990, the tenth book in his Discworld series. The book takes place in Discworld's most famous city, Ankh-Morpork and a hill called "Holy Wood". It is the first Discworld novel to feature Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor of Unseen University, as a character. The alchemists of the Discworld have invented moving pictures. Many hopefuls are drawn by the siren call of Hol Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10), Terry Pratchett Moving Pictures is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, published in 1990, the tenth book in his Discworld series. The book takes place in Discworld's most famous city, Ankh-Morpork and a hill called "Holy Wood". It is the first Discworld novel to feature Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor of Unseen University, as a character. The alchemists of the Discworld have invented moving pictures. Many hopefuls are drawn by the siren call of Holy Wood, home of the fledgling "clicks" industry – among them Victor Tugelbend, a dropout from Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University and Theda "Ginger" Withel, a girl "from a little town you never ever heard of", and the Discworld's most infamous salesman, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, who introduces commerce to the equation and becomes a successful producer. The business of making movies grows rapidly, and eventually Victor and Ginger become real stars, thanks to the help of Gaspode the sentient dog (who also develops a relationship with Laddie, that everybody considers to be the real Wonder Dog, although in fact has a very simple mind). Holy Wood for a while becomes an effervescent place full of humans, dwarfs, alchemists, demons (which essentially constitute the main technological device to make movies), and trolls (among whom is Detritus) all living in harmony. تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز پنجم ماه سپتامبر سال 2017میلادی عنوان: تصاویر متحرک: کتاب دهم از جهان صفحه؛ نویسنده تری پراچت؛ در کتاب دهم از سری «جهان صفحه»ف یک دیو باستانی به نام «صنعت سرگرمی» وارد جهان صفحه شده؛ و به دنبال قرانیان تازه میگردد؛ از این سری، در جهان، تا کنون، بیش از چهل رمان، به چاپ رسیده، که در زمینه ی خیالپردازی، و طنز، و هزل هستند، و تقریباً، هر چیزی زیر این آسمان را، به‌ سخره میگرند؛ «دیسک ‌ورلد»، صفحه ی تختی است، که روی شانه ی چهار فیل غول ‌پیکر، قرار گرفته، فیل‌هایی که خود، بر روی پشت «آتوئین کبیر»، لاک‌پشت عظیم ‌الجثه ‌ای، قرار دارند، که در دنیای بیکران، شناکنان، به سوی مقصد نامعلومی، حرکت می‌کند؛ رمان‌های ایشان، هر چه شخصیت خیال‌پردازی، و علمی-تخیلی هست را، به ریشخند می‌گیرد، کتابهایش بیشتر ایده ‌ها، و حقه‌ ها، شرکت فیلم‌سازی برگمن، استرالیا، فیلم‌سازی، انتشار روزنامه، موزیک راک اند رول، فرهنگ، فلسفه، تاریخ مصر باستان، مهاجرت قبایل اولیه، بی‌نظمی، و سلطنت، و ... در بر میگیرند تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 16/11/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Smartarse

    The Discworld is constantly evolving, mainly courtesy of Ankh Morpork's guilds of something-or-other. The Alchemists Guild's latest bout of explosion for example, has produced the raw material for moving pictures (i.e. movies). Pretty soon, Ankh-Morpork becomes too cramped for the more "extravagant" movie directors, so cue a surprisingly fast and steady exodus to Holy Wood, a long abandoned dwelling in the desert. Holy Wood however, is not a normal place, housing some rather sinister things in it The Discworld is constantly evolving, mainly courtesy of Ankh Morpork's guilds of something-or-other. The Alchemists Guild's latest bout of explosion for example, has produced the raw material for moving pictures (i.e. movies). Pretty soon, Ankh-Morpork becomes too cramped for the more "extravagant" movie directors, so cue a surprisingly fast and steady exodus to Holy Wood, a long abandoned dwelling in the desert. Holy Wood however, is not a normal place, housing some rather sinister things in its long-forgotten ruins. Unfortunately for the Discworld, the only one whose sixth sense is tingling here, is a flea-ridden dog named Gaspode. I mean, he can speak, and think faster than most intelligent humans, however he lacks a certain... charm, to prevent the inevitable boot in its hindquarters. Luckily, he meets Victor, perpetual wizarding student, whose minds is open-enough to comprehend the existence of a real-life wonder dog. The overall reading experience of Moving Pictures was a very weird one. When I started, I felt completely disconnected from every character, action and even the general idea of the plot. All I could really appreciate were the occasional funny bits. Of course, it is very important to be sober when you take an exam. Many worthwhile careers in the street-cleansing, fruit-picking and subway-guitar-playing industries have been founded on a lack of understanding of this simple fact. A small crowd was collecting. A small crowd collected very easily in Ankh-Morpork. As a city, it had some of the most accomplished spectators in the universe. They’d watch anything, especially if there was any possibility of anyone getting hurt in an amusing way. “Did I hear things, or can that little dog speak?” said Dibbler. “He says he can’t,” said Victor. Dibbler hesitated. The excitement was unhinging him a little. “Well,” he said, “I suppose he should know.” I took a month-long break from reading it when I went on holiday, mostly because I didn't feel like carrying any physical books with me. When I ended up picking up the story again, things just... clicked. I suddenly got all the subtle nuances, and the funny references. I started enjoying the creepy atmosphere of the mysteriously moving sands in the desert. And most importantly: I was finally getting invested in the main characters' adventures, and stopped waiting for the cameos from other more familiar ones. Score: 3.7/5 stars ... is it a good book? At times, the story felt like it was criticizing the workings of a very remote place, that had nothing to do with me. Other times however, I could totally see it as part of one of John Oliver's tirades in one of his current... ugh... crusades. For anyone who likes to read the gossip magazines, gets invested in Hollywood stars' romances, finds themselves taking up a pitchfork against a celebrity or two, this book can be a truly entertaining read. Otherwise, just browse the funny quotes list, and skip this novel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    I'm stingy with my 5 star ratings and considered going with a 4 here, but I really enjoyed this read. It is hilarious. From Trolls who don't want to get "type cast" (I played a troll who runs out and hits him with a rock) to a talking wonder dog who can't get noticed because he's too "scruffy" the cliches of the movies get very skewered. Everyone is headed to (the?)"Holy Wood" to be a star. And of course as we all know, moving pictures or, "the clicks" can effect the fabric of reality. Sir Terry I'm stingy with my 5 star ratings and considered going with a 4 here, but I really enjoyed this read. It is hilarious. From Trolls who don't want to get "type cast" (I played a troll who runs out and hits him with a rock) to a talking wonder dog who can't get noticed because he's too "scruffy" the cliches of the movies get very skewered. Everyone is headed to (the?)"Holy Wood" to be a star. And of course as we all know, moving pictures or, "the clicks" can effect the fabric of reality. Sir Terry has a gift and most of the Disc world books are worth their freight...some are better than others, and this is one of the "better". So, Grab yourself a "sausage on a bun" and some "banged grains" find a comfortable spot and enjoy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    I wasn't under the weather this time, and again, I enjoyed, but didn't love it! Maybe I should just save the Terry Pratchetts for times when I'm sick. It's a weird quirk. Or maybe it's just that I love the Watch books, but haven't fallen for the rest of the universe quite so hard. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook I wasn't under the weather this time, and again, I enjoyed, but didn't love it! Maybe I should just save the Terry Pratchetts for times when I'm sick. It's a weird quirk. Or maybe it's just that I love the Watch books, but haven't fallen for the rest of the universe quite so hard. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    I love Pratchett and the Discworld but there are few DW books I didn't enjoy as much. Don't get me wrong this is funny book but nothing more than that and I come to expect lot more from Discworld. Simply there there is no that brilliance, sharp wit and excellent quotable dialogues that best of the books in the series seem to have in abundance. I love Pratchett and the Discworld but there are few DW books I didn't enjoy as much. Don't get me wrong this is funny book but nothing more than that and I come to expect lot more from Discworld. Simply there there is no that brilliance, sharp wit and excellent quotable dialogues that best of the books in the series seem to have in abundance.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    This is Holy Wood. To pass the time quickly, you just film the clock hands moving fast... but when it's being written by Terry Pratchett why would you want to? Moving Pictures, Pratchett's Discworld parody of Hollywood, appeals to me a great deal purely as a cinephile and wannabe film maker but as it's Pratchett it's also brilliant and brilliantly funny filled with wicked caricatures and wonderful characters, and of course evil puns aplenty. In this must-read episode you get to know more about the This is Holy Wood. To pass the time quickly, you just film the clock hands moving fast... but when it's being written by Terry Pratchett why would you want to? Moving Pictures, Pratchett's Discworld parody of Hollywood, appeals to me a great deal purely as a cinephile and wannabe film maker but as it's Pratchett it's also brilliant and brilliantly funny filled with wicked caricatures and wonderful characters, and of course evil puns aplenty. In this must-read episode you get to know more about the Del Boy like trader Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler who is possessed by the ghost of Cecil B. De Mille and is determined to rule all of Holy Wood whilst creating the greatest epic moving picture the multiverse has ever known, featuring no less than a thousand elephants. Pratchett further investigates the world of the trolls with a bulked up part for previous supporting player Detritus the Doorsplatter from The Broken Drum and several interesting smaller parts for less important but just as interesting moving rocks. At Unseen University there's a new Arch-chancellor as Ridcully finally arrives to solve the riddle of how to make the wizards recurring characters not just pointy hatted caricatures invited in to plots to solve a problem AND young Ponder Stibbons sits the easiest wizarding exam the Disc has ever seen. All of this is background stuff however as Victor Tuglebend, perpetual student, Heinleinesque hero, laziest man in Ankh-Morpork, not too bad with a sword, must rescue a swooning dame from the clutches of evil creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions intent on using the new Moving Pictures invention as a device to help destroy the Disc. With the help of Gaspode the Wonder Dog of course. Pratchett packs it in tight, makes his plot sing and dance and doesn't let any plates drop to the floor as they spin for hours. He makes you laugh and makes you think, Moving Pictures is just another in a decades long parade of classic Discworld novels that transcend the boundaries of humourous fantasy and once more demonstrates an author at his playful best as he comes in to his own as a writer of great human insight.

  12. 4 out of 5

    YouKneeK

    This is my least favorite Discworld book so far. I think this is mainly because I didn’t find the story appealing at all. The characters were ok, and I really liked Gaspode the talking dog, but I was bored by the story. At the beginning of the book, an old man living alone in a remote area called Holy Wood dies. After his death, strange things start happening and some alchemists develop the concept of “moving pictures” which become hugely popular. People travel en masse to Holy Wood (I trust you This is my least favorite Discworld book so far. I think this is mainly because I didn’t find the story appealing at all. The characters were ok, and I really liked Gaspode the talking dog, but I was bored by the story. At the beginning of the book, an old man living alone in a remote area called Holy Wood dies. After his death, strange things start happening and some alchemists develop the concept of “moving pictures” which become hugely popular. People travel en masse to Holy Wood (I trust you see the joke here), where the moving pictures are being made, in hopes of getting in on the action. Moving pictures don’t work in quite the same manner as real-world moving pictures. Recording a moving picture involves a box with a handle, some enslaved demons who can paint really fast, and some salamanders. Most of the jokes and satire centers around movies, TV, cartoons, and Hollywood (now do you see the joke?) life. These are things that just don’t interest me that much. If they did, I might have appreciated the story more. I did think the Laddie (i.e. Lassie) stuff was funny. I don’t know if Gaspode has any real-world film equivalent, but he was the best part of the book. This is the first book in the Industrial Revolution subseries of Discworld. I’m feeling a little skeptical about this subseries now, but maybe I’ll like the other books better. The next book is the 29th Discworld book on my list, though, so it will be a while before I find out. Since I’m reading in publication order, this is the last book flagged as a “starter novel” on the chart and I’ve now had a taste of all the major subseries. Except for Rincewind, though, I don’t feel like I’ve read enough books in any one subseries to choose any favorites. I’m particularly interested to read more from the Witches and Death subseries, though. Fortunately, the next two full-length books on my list are from those two subseries. I'm giving this 2.5 stars on BookLikes, but rounding up to 3 stars here.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*

    When I first read this as a teenager, I was mad at it. How dare they sully my precious Discworld fantasy realm with something as phony and banal as Hollywood?!? Yes, I was a dumb kid, and I am sure that I didn't get many of the references to classic movies and moviemaking culture in general. I had not read it since until my current publication order Discworld re-read. I'm a little more open-minded these days and I enjoyed the book a whole lot more. As it turns out, the Discworld is a perfect ven When I first read this as a teenager, I was mad at it. How dare they sully my precious Discworld fantasy realm with something as phony and banal as Hollywood?!? Yes, I was a dumb kid, and I am sure that I didn't get many of the references to classic movies and moviemaking culture in general. I had not read it since until my current publication order Discworld re-read. I'm a little more open-minded these days and I enjoyed the book a whole lot more. As it turns out, the Discworld is a perfect venue for satire of Hollywood and commercial filmmaking. But, I don't think that adding "Holy Wood" benefitted the Discworld in any lasting way, beyond the single-book broader roles that this story granted to Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler (a character whose appeal eluded me as a younger reader), and especially to Detritus the troll. What suprised me was how well put-together this whole book was. Pratchett struggled often, at least in his early books (imagine calling 10 books in a series "early") to string his scenes together smoothly to create a coherent whole. This is the first book in which I think he has perfectly pulled this off. It runs even smoother than in the deservedly-beloved Guards! Guards!, but that book is still higher than this one in my estimation, because Moving Pictures' characters are not nearly as endearing as the members of Ankh-Morpork's city watch. The only flaw in the plotting of Moving Pictures' is, I think, a failure to use the build-up of 1000 elephants to their full potential. Just imagine if they were a factor in the big showdown, rather than simply a deflated comedy pay-off tagged onto the end of the novel. Some reviews describe this as Pratchett's visit with Lovecraft on the Disc, but this honor was clearly accomplished in the first Discworld book, The Colour of Magic, in a woefully overlooked sequence in which Rincewind ventures into an obviously Cthulhu-mythos-inspired ancient temple to rescue the hapless Twoflower. One other highlight of this book in sequence is that the oft-changing faculty of Unseen University is finally starting to settle into its final form, with the introductions of Ponder Stibbons, Archchancellor Ridcully, and the Bursar.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melki

    Who'd want to spend their time moving pictures? Most of them looked alright where they were. A shady sausage vendor and a student of wizardry head to Holy Wood for fame and fortune in the early days of the Discworld film industry. Hey, kids! Let's put on a show! Sounds like wholesome family entertainment, does it not? Well...since this sprang from the mind of Terry Pratchett, expect chaos and devastation, licentious landladies, mass hysteria, dogs and cats sharing conversations... S-o-o-o-o...in a Who'd want to spend their time moving pictures? Most of them looked alright where they were. A shady sausage vendor and a student of wizardry head to Holy Wood for fame and fortune in the early days of the Discworld film industry. Hey, kids! Let's put on a show! Sounds like wholesome family entertainment, does it not? Well...since this sprang from the mind of Terry Pratchett, expect chaos and devastation, licentious landladies, mass hysteria, dogs and cats sharing conversations... S-o-o-o-o...in a world gone mad - a thousand elephants will cross a mountain, wizards will don fake beards over their real beards, a dog will advise some budding mammalian thespians, "Who's going to pay good money to see cats and mice chasing one another?", and the world may just end as a giant woman climbs a tall building while clutching a screaming ape. Of course, there will also be a few useful tidbits of information, like why it takes exactly SIX imps to make a moving picture. And then there's my new favorite expression, though I don't really know what it actually means - "Don't come the raw trilobite with me." Can't wait to use that one on one of the kids.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group. This is my second time reading this book, with my first when it first came out. I didn't particularly like it much back then and I didn't realize at the time how many ongoing Discworld characters were introduced here. In an area near the city of Ankh-Morpork the last follower of an ancient religion dies without passing on his knowledge. In Ankh-Morpork itself a group of alchemists discover the secret of a nearly-not-explosive new tec Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group. This is my second time reading this book, with my first when it first came out. I didn't particularly like it much back then and I didn't realize at the time how many ongoing Discworld characters were introduced here. In an area near the city of Ankh-Morpork the last follower of an ancient religion dies without passing on his knowledge. In Ankh-Morpork itself a group of alchemists discover the secret of a nearly-not-explosive new technology for making moving pictures, and those moving pictures are strangely compelling. Soon, there's a new area just outside Ankh-Morpork called Holy Wood that's inexplicably attracting huge numbers of people who want to work there and get into moving pictures. And the young student wizard Victor and the milkmaid Ginger are right at the center of things along with Discworld regulars Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler and Detritus the troll. This book also sees the introduction of Gaspode the Wonder Dog and the whole cast of Ridcully's Unseen University (minus Hex). As I said, I didn't love this the first time around. I think I was aware of all the nods to classic Hollywood movies and stories but didn't really appreciate the parody. This time around I appreciated it all a lot more, although I'm still fairly sure I missed some of the references. In fact, I would put this as my second biggest surprise of the series so far in terms of how much I enjoyed it. (The Light Fantastic still takes that prize).

  16. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    I have a lot of friends who swear by Pratchett, but I found him rather dull. I tried reading the first book in the series, but I couldn't finish it. A friend suggested this as one of his better outings, so I bit. He seems to harp on the most obvious jokes, extending one-note gags into paragraphs, chapters, or even whole books. I found that out of every ten jokes, one would make me laugh and nine would make me groan and roll my eyes. Really not a good rate of return. His world-building is passable, I have a lot of friends who swear by Pratchett, but I found him rather dull. I tried reading the first book in the series, but I couldn't finish it. A friend suggested this as one of his better outings, so I bit. He seems to harp on the most obvious jokes, extending one-note gags into paragraphs, chapters, or even whole books. I found that out of every ten jokes, one would make me laugh and nine would make me groan and roll my eyes. Really not a good rate of return. His world-building is passable, but the combination of vaguely interesting world and vaguely amusing jokes don't combine into something greater. Pratchett has nothing on the oddball musings of contemporary Douglas Adams, and doesn't have the same level of wit or insight. His generic fantasy world full of groan-worthy jokes reminds me of endlessly 'punny' American author Piers Anthony (thankfully, without the nods to pedophilia). As a Brit, Pratchett does have a certain refreshing command of language, but it's not enough to escape the huckster jokeyism. My Fantasy Book Suggestions

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I reluctantly rate this first Discworld novel I read 3 stars. I figure there are others in this long series that are better, and probably some are worse. I just have no base for comparison, and I may raise the rating later. I also can't judge the characters and plot with regards to the other books. Is Cut-me-own-Throat Dibbler a major character in the series? Will I read about Victor and Ginger again? Are the wizards of the Unseen University always the same? (I suppose they are, but I cannot tell I reluctantly rate this first Discworld novel I read 3 stars. I figure there are others in this long series that are better, and probably some are worse. I just have no base for comparison, and I may raise the rating later. I also can't judge the characters and plot with regards to the other books. Is Cut-me-own-Throat Dibbler a major character in the series? Will I read about Victor and Ginger again? Are the wizards of the Unseen University always the same? (I suppose they are, but I cannot tell). I learned a little about the Librarian before from some comment thread here on Goodreads (Oook!), and I already appreciate his way with language, and I know I'm going to see this guy again. What I liked most about the book is the unique (to me) kind of humor, and what I like least is the humor as well. Some parts were like listening to a guy on a party, telling one joke after another. Each one is hilarious as hell, but when the density of these kind of jokes gets too high, I'm beginning to loose interest. You could say I suffered from some form of comedy overdose. The satire on the dream factory Hollywood (Holy Wood) was another highlight for me. My reading experience became a little tainted after I learned about Terry Pratchett's untimely death. But I'm going to explore the Discworld world further, learn more about the characters and maybe even encounter a dragon or three at some point. For some reason I thought there would be dragons in this book. Why were there no dragons? Luckily I found this nice little cardboard dragon. I named him Fool-the-brain Redragon. He even carries a little wand. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This is going onto my pile of favorite Discworld books. I just loved all the movie references, the typical Pratchett humor had me laughing throughout, and Gaspode the Wonder Dog is now one of my favorite characters. Most of the main characters were new, but there were plenty of other characters we met previously that made numerous appearances - The Librarian, trolls, wizards, our friends from The Watch. The ending played tug-of-war with my heart strings, but that just made it all that more excit This is going onto my pile of favorite Discworld books. I just loved all the movie references, the typical Pratchett humor had me laughing throughout, and Gaspode the Wonder Dog is now one of my favorite characters. Most of the main characters were new, but there were plenty of other characters we met previously that made numerous appearances - The Librarian, trolls, wizards, our friends from The Watch. The ending played tug-of-war with my heart strings, but that just made it all that more exciting. And now I suspect I will be giggling when I watch Gone With the Wind, which I coincidentally plan to watch within the next week. I better make sure to have plenty of banged grains ready.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’ll start with the things I liked about this book. I liked Victor, how he’d managed to just barely not pass his wizarding exam multiple times so he could stay in school and how his basic decency helped save the day when things started going wrong in Holy Wood. The dogs--human-smart Gaspode and well-trained Laddie--were great fun. Even though Laddie wasn’t smart like Gaspode, he was so sweet-natured that he was lovable. The scenes involving the trolls were the best parts of the book, very creati I’ll start with the things I liked about this book. I liked Victor, how he’d managed to just barely not pass his wizarding exam multiple times so he could stay in school and how his basic decency helped save the day when things started going wrong in Holy Wood. The dogs--human-smart Gaspode and well-trained Laddie--were great fun. Even though Laddie wasn’t smart like Gaspode, he was so sweet-natured that he was lovable. The scenes involving the trolls were the best parts of the book, very creative and funny. Trolls doing movie stunts, trolls trying to overcome stereotypes, trolls courting--great stuff. I loved it when the wizards decided to venture out of Unseen University and investigate the clicks, then got involved in trying to fight off the forces of evil. The most hilarious wizard-centred bits were the Bursar and the Archchancellor (with a crossbow!) on a broom together, but the business with the massive wheelchair was good, too. Ginger was okay in that she was smart, cynical, and not easy, although her snippiness got a little old. I found the book mostly quiet-chuckle-funny. There were a few parts that made me really laugh, though. It wasn’t, like several of the other Pratchett books I’ve read, so continuously LOL funny that I had to read parts of it aloud to people (whether they wanted me to or not). Some of the puns were eye-rollingly bad. Maybe it was just me--there were real-life things going on other than what I’ll get around to mentioning later that could’ve influenced my attitude--but this didn’t strike me as being as fresh and funny as most of Pratchett’s other work. Part of the reason for that could be the huge number of other things that have poked fun at Hollywood over the years. It's an easy target. The lazy person as actor, the ambitious starlet, the scheming agent, the over-the-top ridiculousness, the moneygrubbing, the send-ups of Singing in the Rain and King Kong--we’ve seen it all before. Granted, there were Discworld twists to it all, but it didn’t feel as original as some of Pratchett's other stories. And maybe I’m just thinking about this too much or taking it personally, but I’m not quite clear on what, if anything, the author’s point is supposed to be. Is it just a silly story with people and animals acting goofy, monsters causing trouble, and people rising to the level of heroes to save the day? Or is the message really that movies are false and bad for those who make and watch them and that people shouldn’t waste their time with fiction? If so, how is reading books--unless you read nothing but educational nonfiction--any different? Although I like reading and movies as an escape from the drudgeries of real life, I also sometimes think I’ve spent too much time indulging. Unfortunately, I also happened to be reading this when the Aurora movie theatre massacre occurred. While I do not in any way blame fiction for the actions of any disturbed, real-life individual, it was eerie to read a mayhem-in-a-movie-theatre scene right after hearing and reading reports of the real-life attack. To me, the real attack was an assault on a sanctuary--a place where people go to be happy and should feel safe. This book was still worth reading, and I’d still recommend it to anyone who’s interested. It just doesn’t rank up there with my favourite Pratchett books.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paul Sánchez Keighley

    This seems like a good book to point out how cinematographic Pratchett’s writing is. I always thought he writes the way movies look, so this book felt like a tailor-made fit for his style. I see lots of reviewers saying it’s one of the weakest Discworld novels, but I had a blast. It's tightly plotted, introduces several memorable characters, and has a brisk pace. Not even all the obvious movie references rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because living in the age of references, nostalgia and fa This seems like a good book to point out how cinematographic Pratchett’s writing is. I always thought he writes the way movies look, so this book felt like a tailor-made fit for his style. I see lots of reviewers saying it’s one of the weakest Discworld novels, but I had a blast. It's tightly plotted, introduces several memorable characters, and has a brisk pace. Not even all the obvious movie references rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because living in the age of references, nostalgia and fan service (looking at you, Ready Player One ), Pratchett’s sprinkling in the occasional nudge-nudge felt tame in comparison. Also, while I prefer Discworld novels that come up with their own original premise ( Small Gods and Reaper Man come to mind) over the ones that simply rely on parodying some real-word theme (such as The Truth ; wasn't a big fan), I thought this one provided a very amusing deconstruction of the cinema industry and studio interference. I loved the new characters, especially Gaspode the Wonder Dog; Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler was utilised to perfection in this one; and although Pratchett’s endings tend to overwhelm me, I found this one, while still containing all his signature eldritch mayhem, to be very satisfying. Also, it packs a hell of a punchline. Anyway, great fun, as us’. Can’t really go wrong with Pratchett.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    Part 10 of the Complete Discworld Reread Wow, what a slog. When I started this reread I was wondering how a couple of those I had ignored would read a second time around, with “Moving Pictures” being my biggest fear. On this occasion my memory was correct, this may be the weakest Pratchett book until the football one released a few years back. Now don’t get me wrong, even a bad Pratchett book is worth reading, and this wasn’t a complete waste of time. As per the usual, some of the humor hits hard Part 10 of the Complete Discworld Reread Wow, what a slog. When I started this reread I was wondering how a couple of those I had ignored would read a second time around, with “Moving Pictures” being my biggest fear. On this occasion my memory was correct, this may be the weakest Pratchett book until the football one released a few years back. Now don’t get me wrong, even a bad Pratchett book is worth reading, and this wasn’t a complete waste of time. As per the usual, some of the humor hits hard (I was particularly fond of trolls worried about being typecast into a only a few roles). And it also has a better than average over all storyline; a strong setup, decent pacing, and a very good conclusion. So why did I struggle so much with it? Lots, and lots of “easy” jokes that just twist around Hollywood titles, often without much creativity. Follow the yellow sick toad. What’s up, Duck? Play it again, Sham. These are the things that dragged the story down throughout, and were all too common. Not all were misses, when you throw everything at the wall some will stick; I caught references to Merchant in Venice and King Kong that were a bit more subtle (and a King Kong reference that was not so subtle). Oh, the book is about the making of movies in Discworld. The alchemists who discover the process move to a small area called Holy Wood, where people are irresistibly drawn to in droves. Some kind of greater magic is in place, and in some ways the films start making themselves, going in directions the actors and directors don’t expect. Wizard’s apprentice turn actor Victor learns that for many years there were guardians to keep reality in check, but the last one’s death left a void, letting Holy Wood’s magic come through to mess with reality. The real star of this story is Cut my own throat Dibbler, in his largest role to date. Drawn to any money making scheme he can find, his escalation of everything in Holy Wood was what really kept me going. Constant attempts to force advertising into pictures made me laugh every time. The book also finally settled the Unseen University’s revolving door of Archchancellors, with Ridcully settling in quickly. Gaspode also makes his first appearance, and the talking dog doesn’t disappoint. There is a reason I am not talking about the main protagonists, Victor and Ginger; they were boring characters and I am not surprised they don’t show in any more books. I guess I am being hard on this book. The bad puns were not all that funny to me, but others may enjoy them more. The story itself is pretty solid, and the more I think about the ending I realize it was very strong. But if I, admitted Pratchett fanboy, struggle through a book of his I have to go with my gut. 3 stars. For film buffs and huge Pratchett fans only. I would hate for someone to read this and decide that Pratchett isn’t for them.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Celise

    “The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.” Holy Wood. The alchemists on the Discworld discover the magic of motion pictures! This novel parodies the creation of film, and the developments it went through in the first thirty or so years of its existence. Gone With the Wind fans might find a lot of Easter eggs in “The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.” Holy Wood. The alchemists on the Discworld discover the magic of motion pictures! This novel parodies the creation of film, and the developments it went through in the first thirty or so years of its existence. Gone With the Wind fans might find a lot of Easter eggs in here! I was pretty excited about this one, being someone working in the film industry with a love of film history. Sadly, it was a bit dull. My enjoyment of a Discworld novel, and many other people's as well I'm sure, usually hinges on the cast of characters in that novel. This one just wasn't as exciting. Victor wasn't all that interesting after the initial humour in his decision to go to Holy Wood. Ginger was just bitter all the time, but not in an overly humorous way. I disliked Throat so much. The majority of the characters lacked the charm of the City Watch, or Rincewind, or Granny Weatherwax, or Mort. Gaspode, the talking dog, was probably my favourite. I felt like this one was maybe a little bit long, as well. It seemed to ride more on making references and jokes about old Hollywood than carrying the story somewhere. I usually love Terry Pratchett's references to our world, but not in this case where the entire plot depended on them.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Executive Summary: After being pretty s0-so on Eric, I really enjoyed this one a lot. It's right up there with Guards! Guards! I'd say. Full Review It's been awhile since my last Discworld read. A lot longer than I had realized. I had been planning to read a book every other month or so. I'm stubbornly determined to read the books in publication order, and I'm finding some of these early books uneven. That's not the case with this book. I really enjoyed it a lot. It might be that I'm huge movie Executive Summary: After being pretty s0-so on Eric, I really enjoyed this one a lot. It's right up there with Guards! Guards! I'd say. Full Review It's been awhile since my last Discworld read. A lot longer than I had realized. I had been planning to read a book every other month or so. I'm stubbornly determined to read the books in publication order, and I'm finding some of these early books uneven. That's not the case with this book. I really enjoyed it a lot. It might be that I'm huge movie fan, and loved all the little easter eggs, and "in" jokes that you might not get if you hadn't seen the movie being referenced. The characters themselves are mostly forgettable save some of the recurring ones who make cameos: DEATH, the Librarian, and Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler. In fact Dibbler is probably one of the main characters in this book, rather than just a minor character in Guards! Guards!. That said, I didn't really need great characters to enjoy this one. The commentary on the world, and in particular the movie industry was more than enough to carry this book. Hopefully I won't take quite so long to pick up Reaper Man as I did to do this one, especially since I've enjoyed both the first DEATH book in the series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    This 10th book (in publication order) of the Discworld series was a lot of fun. As a fan of classic movies, I loved all the little parodies of them that occurred throughout the book. The best one may have been the spoof of King Kong when instead of Fay Wray and the giant ape climbing the Empire State building, Pratchett gives us a giant woman and an orangutan (the Librarian) climbing the Tower of Art!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Renée

    This may not be one of the longest Discword novel, but it certainly felt like it. I am reading the books in chronological publishing order if you’d like to see my previous reviews, so I’m rating them against one another by series instead of sub-collection (Wizards,Witches, Night Watch, etc.). I’ve talked before about why I find Pratchett at his least readable when he’s trying to do a straight satire. Much funnier (to me, at least) are the little send ups of universally human foibles, like the fu This may not be one of the longest Discword novel, but it certainly felt like it. I am reading the books in chronological publishing order if you’d like to see my previous reviews, so I’m rating them against one another by series instead of sub-collection (Wizards,Witches, Night Watch, etc.). I’ve talked before about why I find Pratchett at his least readable when he’s trying to do a straight satire. Much funnier (to me, at least) are the little send ups of universally human foibles, like the fustiness of the wizards or the hilariously bureaucratic approach to crime in Ankh-Morpork. Moving Pictures is largely dedicated to taking apart the quirks of Hollywood, or just running them through a Discworldian filter. It’s not that it’s not funny, it’s just that it’s not as funny as I wanted it to be. There are two main settings for this book: Ankh-Morpork and Holy Wood. The action really gets going in the former, at Unseen University, where we’re introduced to Discworld’s potentially most gormless straight white male hero yet, Victor Tugelbend (which is saying something when you’ve already been exposed to Rincewind, Eric and Mort). Victor is an aimless young man living comfortably off an inheritance that affords him enrollment at UU, which he has managed to prolong indefinitely by failing every exam he’s ever taken by just enough so that he’s not expelled. Victor is about as compelling a hero as a piece of waterlogged wood. He’s too lazy to ever fully engage with anything (except for learning the complex and arcane system of test taking at the University), has no obvious motivations, quirks, or personality traits. He’s meant to be the prototypical Hollywood leading man (a blank slate) and in this, Pratchett’s characterization succeeds, but he does it almost too well, because by the halfway point in the book I could not have cared less about Victor, even when he was facing potentially mortal danger. At least with Rincewind, his legendary cowardice is entertaining, and daresay, relatable; Mort also achieves relatability by being inoffensive, and so bad at everything he’s ever tried that the only thing left for him to do is become an apprentice to Death himself; and Eric is a horndog teenager, which like, hold that against him if you want and just focus on Rincewind instead. In Moving Pictures, Victor becomes a movie star, mainly by blacking out as he’s possessed by the spirit of Holy Wood. He has no interior life to speak of; he doesn’t struggle with the difficulty of acting or grapple with the problem of what makes a good actor, because he just loses consciousness and is supernaturally good at it. He’s thrown together with his love interest because Holy Wood compels his behaviour. It makes it hard to sympathize with him when he seems not to have any motivations of his own. Victor’s female counterpart, a sort of composite of old Hollywood actresses like Hedy Lamarr, Vivien Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, et al., is just as annoying as Victor, if not more so. Theda "Ginger" Withel, intentionally written as bitchy and shrill, and rude to everyone, is basically a foil for the more compliant women that Pratchett sometimes writes as romantic interests. She is completely obsessed by the idea of fame, and when she’s not spouting off the reasons why being famous is so appealing to her, she’s just a straight-up shrew. Pratchett’s depictions of women tend to be flat even in some of the Discworld novels I’ve enjoyed best so far, but Ginger’s one-dimensionality is just painful. Again, it’s easy to chalk this up to her character being meant as a take-down of shallow Hollywood actresses, but the value of this is somewhat lost when I am so disengaged every time there’s a piece of dialog with her name in the tag that I’m tempted to skip over it. The one exception to this is a monologue Ginger delivers toward the end of the book: "You know what the greatest tragedy is in the whole world?... It's all the people who never find out what it is they really want to do or what it is they're really good at. It's all the sons who become blacksmiths because their fathers were blacksmiths. It's all the people who could be really fantastic flute players who grow old and die without ever seeing a musical instrument, so they become bad plowmen instead. It's all the people with talents who never even find out. Maybe they are never even born in a time when it's even possible to find out. It's all the people who never get to know what it is that they can really be. It's all the wasted chances.” I thought this was such an interesting concept, and one I wish Pratchett had spent more time developing, instead of shoehorning in as many references to classic Hollywood films as possible in a 200+ page book. It would have been interesting to find out if Victor ever considered himself “destined” to be a wizard because of the inheritance his uncle left him, or if he had a secret passion that he had always wished for an opportunity to explore. Instead, we get pages devoted to not one but two talking dogs; the stupid intricacies of troll courting rituals; and descriptions of an idol at the defunct first temple of Holy Wood that looks like “everyone’s uncle Osric” and is in fact a giant man made of gold, meant to resemble an Oscar statuette. Most of the characters are just as shallowly drawn as the protagonists. We have Cut-Me-Own-Throat (CMOT) Dibbler moonlighting as a film industry bigwig, and it’s exactly as annoying as it sounds. CMOT is funny in small doses, especially when he’s trying to turn trade selling something that isn’t his or that came from dubious provenance. As a film director, he’s just irritating. He’s basically there as as mouthpiece to rattle off as many warped Discworldian equivalents to golden age Hollywood movies as possible. He’s entirely motivated by money and while it’s funny, it’s not exactly easy to cheer him on. He’s possessed by the spirit of Holy Wood and the understanding that it’s just slightly exacerbating his avaricious tendencies doesn’t garner any sympathy, much less approval. My biggest, and final bone to pick with Pratchett is Gaspode. Fucking Gaspode. I hated that damn dog. I have dogs, I love dogs, so it is not without pain that I say: I wish this dog had been run over by CMOT’s hot dog cart in the first chapter of the book. He’s like this tiny, self-loathing, misanthropic down-at-heels old man that Pratchett might as well have written with a cheroot stub in his mouth just to double-down on potential comedic points. Does anyone remember Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the terribly unfunny dog hand-puppet from Conan O’Brien’s show? Yeah. Gaspode is like that, but somehow unfunnier. He’s like Douglas Adams’ Marvin the Paranoid Android but with none of the charm. Not only is he an unending source of bitter observations that make no sense coming from a dog ("Messin' around with girls in thrall to Creatures from the Void never works out, take my word for it.") but Nigel Planer’s dour-toned, drawling interpretation of Gaspode's voice in the audiobook version makes him sound downright braindead. I know Gaspode crops up later in the series and I SORELY HOPE that Pratchett finds something better to do with him than have him along just to "crack wise". It’s not all bad, at least (although, don’t get me started on the goddamn trolls). Pratchett has an incredibly cinematic way of writing and it shines through here is some really great passages, like the part where the Librarian (ook!) tries to rappel down the Unseen University tower in order to stop one of the dungeon dimension creatures and succeeds only in making himself into a rather large orangutan-shaped pancake on the side of the building. There’s also the concept of realness, which Pratchett has explored in Discworld before, most notably in Mort, wherein the eponymous hero is at one point described as becoming “real” in the way that DEATH is “real”—he has such an impact on the world that his presence and actions start to reshape reality. The magic of Holy Wood and the moving pictures have their own potent effect on reality, and it’s up to the heroes of the novel to make sure that Holy Wood’s version of reality doesn’t supplant what’s already there. In an exception to the other boring characters, we do spend some time with the wizards, who provide a welcome bit of levity. The introduction of Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully injects the book with some much-needed personality. Playing against the rather milquetoast depiction of the Bursar, Ridcully is the first Archchancellor of Unseen University yet to carry his own crossbow in his hat and jog around the campus every morning after getting stone-drunk the night before. He is loud, quarrelsome and hilariously at odds with the rather sedate pace at which most of the other senior wizards at UU live their life. Basically, he is the Ernest Hemingway of wizards. The true star of the group though is Windle Poons, whom we see next as the main character of Reaper Man. Fucking Poons. Half-blind, nearly deaf, somewhat senile, and aggressively lecherous, Poons (whose name I cannot look at without laughing) is strapped into an archaic cast-iron wheelchair weighing roughly one thousand kilos that Pratchett devotes a full page to describing, like so: The rear wheels [of the chair] did not in fact have blades affixed to them, but looked as though these were optional extras. There were various dread levers which only Poons knew the purpose of. There was a huge oilskin hood that could be erected in a matter of hours to protect its occupant from showers, storms, and probably, meteor strikes and falling buildings. This chair is later depicted as careening wildly down a highway outside of Ankh-Morpork with half a dozen other wizards hanging off it, and slamming full-tilt into a barn, at which point it explodes in a storm of angry chickens and feathers out the other side. Poons is unapologetically terrible in this book and for that he is one of my favourite characters. His Dread Conveyance is a contender for my favourite (in)animate object next to The Luggage. The scene where the wizards go out “in disguise”, covering their beards in wire in an attempt to make them look like false, bad beards, then run up against the problem of convincing the theater manager that they actually are wizards so that they can get free admission to see a moving, had me nearly in tears. Overall, though, the wizards are not enough to salvage the bulk of Moving Pictures for me. Had it been shorter, it’s possible that I wouldn’t have found it as arduous (I know a lot of people strongly disliked Eric and I think its brevity is what made it less painful for me). If I was recommending any of the series to someone who was new to it, I’d leave this one out of my mentions, to be sure.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gabi

    This book was better than I remembered it, which was a nice surprise. All due to the secret star, the wonderdog Gaspode. All in all it's more on the sillyfunny side of Pratchett's early works with some sparks of social critique. And it is quite an adventure to read this to young boys who don't know any of the Hollywood references referred to within. ^^' This book was better than I remembered it, which was a nice surprise. All due to the secret star, the wonderdog Gaspode. All in all it's more on the sillyfunny side of Pratchett's early works with some sparks of social critique. And it is quite an adventure to read this to young boys who don't know any of the Hollywood references referred to within. ^^'

  27. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Discworld goes to Hollywood 21 May 2013 I must admit that this was not one of my favourite of Pratchett's books but I suspect that if I end up reading it again, the score might go up and the review may change, however we are getting to a point where maybe the best of Pratchett's Discword content is behind him and he is exploring other avenues to try and get a laugh. Okay, Pratchett does more than try to get a laugh, and in a way it is sort of like the Simpsons where Pratchett uses a fantasy world Discworld goes to Hollywood 21 May 2013 I must admit that this was not one of my favourite of Pratchett's books but I suspect that if I end up reading it again, the score might go up and the review may change, however we are getting to a point where maybe the best of Pratchett's Discword content is behind him and he is exploring other avenues to try and get a laugh. Okay, Pratchett does more than try to get a laugh, and in a way it is sort of like the Simpsons where Pratchett uses a fantasy world to poke fun at the weirdness of our world. In a way Anhk-Morpork is probably supposed to be London, though in this book I suspect it is more like Los Angeles (though I think I'll stick with London considering Pratchett is English). This entire story is a satirical look at the movie industry, and Hollywood in particular, however in my opinion it did not seem to work. Okay, I liked the book, but a part of me felt that Pratchett may have been trying too hard. There were some good jokes in the bok, though most of them didn't make me laugh all that much. I guess my favourite scene is where all the animals come and start talking with the hero Victor and the rabbit ends up taking huge offence at being called Thumper. It ends up that Victor makes a friend with a talking dog names Gaspode (though since he is ugly, he doesn't get noticed all that much). Poor old Gaspode though has to put up with all of the attention being focused on a stupid dog named Laddie (and it is clear that, even only being able to speak dog, all Laddie can do is say 'good dog Laddie, good dog). The tired old themes of 'everybody wants to make it in Holly Wood' are played out, as well as the idea that actors don't actually do all that much (which is why Victor likes the job so much because he does not like doing anything all that much). I would have to agree with Pratchett on that because there are a lot of people out there that work incredibly hard for a pittance, but actors seem to rake it in. Okay, I should be a little more specific and say that only a certain small group of actors seem to rake it in, when in reality all they have to do is to do stuff in front of a camera and that is it. In a way it is how the economic system of this world is structured. There are people out there who work incredibly hard every day of their life, are careful with their money, only to lose it all in a stock market crash. There are others that simply because they have the right connections, or make the right friends, end up living a life of luxury and doing token things to suggest that they care for the poor (for instance the CEOs who sleep out on the street for a night to say that they care about homelessness, only to go home to their mansions and sleep in a comfortable bed, or the same CEOs who say that they care about the poor in society but are not willing to substantially cut their pay to more realistic levels while the employees in their company struggle to make ends meet). When the global financial crisis hit I suggested to my boss that one way to actually kick start the economy was to increase the pay of the average worker so that they had more disposable income to go and buy stuff. Hey, I have quite a lot of disposable income, but I tend to shove a lot of my money away into investments. However, I am one of the few that would do that (and if my pay were increased, it would only mean that more money would get shoved away into investments). However, I am a bit more of a realist because I also understand the nature of supply and demand, and the fact that there are limited resources. The thing is that the more money there is in the hands on the ordinary person, the more people there are wanting to buy limited amounts of stuff, which means the price of that stuff increases to meet that demand. However, on the flip side, if there are less people out there buying stuff, and that means that there is less demand for the stuff, then the price will drop accordingly. However, the catch is also that the less people buying stuff, the less money companies are making, which means more people out of work. That is why I like investing in utilities.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Given a choice between books and movies, many people - myself included - will say that books are always better than movies. "You can use your imagination," we'll say, "drawing on the powers of the human mind to create things that manifestly are not real. You can decide for yourself what the scenes look like and how the characters appear, rather than have some director feed his or her vision over yours." Despite that, however, we all still love the movies. If you gave me a novelization of Casablan Given a choice between books and movies, many people - myself included - will say that books are always better than movies. "You can use your imagination," we'll say, "drawing on the powers of the human mind to create things that manifestly are not real. You can decide for yourself what the scenes look like and how the characters appear, rather than have some director feed his or her vision over yours." Despite that, however, we all still love the movies. If you gave me a novelization of Casablanca, for example, I would be hard-pressed to say honestly that it's better than the movie. There's just something about movies, how they take images and ideas and just pour them into your head whole. Ideas and emotions flood your mind, evading the more analytical parts of your brain (if it's a really good movie) and heading straight for the unconscious. Oh sure, you might analyze it later - take it apart for meaning and symbolism, dissecting the casting choices or praising the story arc. But for those couple of hours, when you're staring at the screen, there's magic happening. We're lucky that we know what to do with it. On the Discworld, though, movie magic is something new, and something very, very dangerous. You see, one of the flaws of the Discworld is that it's not horribly real. Not as real as our world, certainly, but just about as real as you can be, if you're a flat world being carried on the backs of four elephants, who are in turn standing on a turtle that swims through the stars. It has been shown in many other volumes that reality on the Disc is negotiable and variable. And if something should come along to make the Disc slightly less real, then that could be a danger to everyone. In a dry and sunny place far from Ankh-Morpork, something stirs. Long held at bay by ancient rituals and safeguards, something primal has finally been allowed out into the world, and it seeks the minds of those who dream. It is the dream of a place called Holy Wood, and it is where reality itself may be torn asunder. It calls many people to create thse dreams. It calls young Victor Tugelbend, the best bad Wizard student in the Unseen University. He wants nothing more than to live a life of leisure, without actually having to work. It calls Silverfish, an alchemist who has very nearly mastered the art of making octo-cellulose. With it, he hopes to change the world. It calls Rock, a troll down from the mountains who dreams of doing more with his life than just hitting things. And it calls C.M.O.T. Dibbler, the greatest opportunist and worst entrepreneur in Ankh-Morpork. Without really knowing why, they all head to Holy Wood, where the sun always shines and the clicks can be made on the cheap. A strange city springs up, made not of solid brick and mortar buildings, but shacks with false fronts, a city that is completely modular and impermanent. There they build worlds and lives and, yes, dreams. Through them, the people of Ankh-Morpork can dream as well. All those dreams, though, are a shining beacon for Things that live beyond the boundaries of our universe. They seek the warmth and light of our world, and will exploit any opportunity to break through. By bringing dreams to life, the people of Holy Wood risk dooming the world to nightmares. I could, if I wanted, just start to catalog all the movie references that Pratchett makes in this book, but that would be ridiculous. Besides, someone has already done that for me, over at L-Space, and even they say it's impossible to list them all. Suffice it to say, if enough people remember it from classic cinema, then it's in this book in one way or another. If it's a story told about Hollywood and they heyday of the studio system, then it's in here too. Whether you're an avid fan of the cinema or you just watch whatever your friends are watching, you should be able to get a lot of enjoyment out of this. The themes that Pratchett explores in this book are interesting, too. One of these is the nature of fame. In one scene, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, a man who holds the life of the city in his hands, is seated next to Vincent and Ginger, the Disc's first movie superstars. Even though the Patrician has worked hard to become the ruler of the city, even though he is responsible for the lives and well-being of everyone in it, he is still far less famous and beloved than these two people who are famous just for standing in front of a camera and saying things. And even though he knows this, he still feels an odd thrill that he's actually sitting next to them. In our own world, we hold celebrities to be almost apart from the rest of us - although that may erode slowly as social media such as Twitter and Facebook open up more and more of their mundane lives to their fans. Still, if we see someone famous in the grocery store or on the bus, we think, "Oh my god! That's [famous person:]! He's buying broccoli here, just like me!!" Even though they are made of the same flesh and blood that we are, we perceive them as something Other, often even confusing them with the characters they play. In our world that's merely annoying, but on the Discworld, it's downright dangerous. The power of belief, coupled with Holy Wood's need to make dreams into reality, are a potent and disastrous mix. As he does so often, Pratchett is using his world to comment on our own, and in doing so is taking note of the immense power that Hollywood has. I heard someone say once that America's greatest export is unlike that of any other country. Our greatest export is Dreams. And dreams can be wonderful or they can be horrible. But their power to affect the world should never be underestimated.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Beaumont

    This send-up of the movie industry is one of my favorite Discworld books. It's filled with wonderful characters, including two canines, Gaspode the Wonder Dog and Good Boy Laddie. I've read this in print several times, and this time I enjoyed listening to the audiobook, brilliantly narrated by Nigel Planer, who sounds like a full cast performing the various roles. This send-up of the movie industry is one of my favorite Discworld books. It's filled with wonderful characters, including two canines, Gaspode the Wonder Dog and Good Boy Laddie. I've read this in print several times, and this time I enjoyed listening to the audiobook, brilliantly narrated by Nigel Planer, who sounds like a full cast performing the various roles.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Esme

    This is the first book in what is sometimes considered a smaller subseries known as The Industrial Revolution, which also includes the more famous novel, Going Postal, starring Moist. LOL, It starts off with a Star Trek reference. Bonus points just for that. Through the course of the book there are illusions to Gone with the Wind, King Kong, Snow White and other movies. Terry’s books often have a strong theme to them, and obviously this one is Hollywood. The alchemists guild have discovered the “m This is the first book in what is sometimes considered a smaller subseries known as The Industrial Revolution, which also includes the more famous novel, Going Postal, starring Moist. LOL, It starts off with a Star Trek reference. Bonus points just for that. Through the course of the book there are illusions to Gone with the Wind, King Kong, Snow White and other movies. Terry’s books often have a strong theme to them, and obviously this one is Hollywood. The alchemists guild have discovered the “magic” of motion pictures, finding out that if you display one picture after another so quickly you can’t tell, it becomes a moving picture. They’re worried that the Wizards are going to get angry, calling it magic and feeling encroached upon, Wizards are testy fellows after all. They start to create a new tourist location in Holy Wood, putting up makeshift buildings with decorations on the outside instead of on the inside. Very strange, that. People are starting to find themselves unknowingly drawn to Holy Wood, thoughts suddenly popping into their heads that it would be a great idea to head down to Holy Wood to see if they can be in motion pictures. Victor is an ex-wizarding student who was trying his best to stay a perpetual student, just barely “failing” his exams every time. The goal was never to become an actual wizard with responsibilities and the like, Victor is an extraordinarily lazy person, you could say it’s his driving force in life. Do as little work as possible while getting the most out of it. He ends up dropping out of Unseen University and becoming an actor. Victor and Ginger become some of the first actors on the Disc under the direction of CMOT Dibbler. If you’re a fan of Dibbler in the later books, (mostly Watch books) you’ll really like this book, he’s featured pretty heavily. Eventually, things go awry when Victor discovers an ancient camera that’s also a portal to the Dungeon Dimension and they have to fight off monsters. This book also finally has the introduction of Archchancellor Ridcully! Ridcully was something of a prodigy, reaching level 7 wizardry when he was only 27 years old but left to go take care of family things on a farm. When he returns he finds himself arriving after the last Archchancellor died, and the remaining wizards thought it would be a perfect solution to their in-fighting to elect an “outsider” as the new Archchancellor. Ridcully is one of those characters that’s a fantastic foil to the characters around him. Watching him try to wrap his head around The Librarian, interacting with the Bursar, Ponder Stibbons, and generally being blustery while continually being affronted by everything was a highlight for me. He really is my favorite part of any of the Wizarding interactions. This is also the first book were Gaspode features heavily, he’s a sentient talking dog who’s rather rough around the edges. He later becomes linked to the Patrician and also Carrot from the Watch. Lots of animals in this book are sentient as a result of Holy Wood magic, it’s rather distressing for them. There they were, a happy bunny worried mostly about cabbage and sex, and all the sudden it finds itself pondering the meaning of life and all that. All things said, this isn’t exactly a favorite of mine, but it was really nice to revisit it since it’s been a long time since I read it. I think this book will have appeal to movie enthusiasts or people who once dreamed of acting. Favorite Quotes: “…inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.” “Everything looks interesting until you do it. Then you find it’s just another job.” “Can you swim?” said Victor. One of the cavern’s rotting pillars crashed down behind them. From the pit itself came a terrible wailing. “Not very well,” said Ginger. “Me neither,” he said. The commotion behind them was getting worse. “Still,” he said, taking her hand. “We could look on this as a great opportunity to improve really quickly.” Audience: comic fantasy high fantasy shorter books multi pov movies/acting/hollywood enthusiasts sentient animals old school wizards Ratings: Plot: 11.5/15 Characters: 12.5/15 World Building: 13/15 Writing: 13/15 Pacing: 13/15 Originality: 13.5/15 Personal Enjoyment: 7.75/10 Final Score: 84.25/100 = 4.21/5 stars

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