Thursday, March 02, 2006

Reader's Diary #42- Terry Pratchett: Carpe Juglum (up to p. 170)

I feel like I keep flip-flopping on this book. But I'd like to complain once again. This time it's about the character or Mightily Oats.

This should be an interesting character. After a all, he's a priest who's filled with doubts, trying to fend off vampires, and one of the few whose mind doesn't succumb to the vampires for some (as of yet) unknown reason. But Pratchett too often sinks the character in not-so-funny satire. Some of Pratchett's satire works, no doubt about it. As I mentioned in my last posting on this novel, when he satirizes the goth-vampire culture of the 90s it's funny and well done. But when he satirizes world religions (especially Christianity) through Mightily Oats, it's not funny. And please don't let this be misconstrued as me taking offense- I don't offend easily, especially over topics such as these. Nor does Pratchett seem bent on offending (I have no idea what his religious beliefs are). But whatever the case, it's just not funny. First of all it's a little too serious of a topic anyway in such a silly book filled with puns and slapstick. It's like the writers of Gilligan's Island trying to write for This Hour Has 22 minutes. Okay, so it's not that bad. Pratchett's obviously not an idiot. He could probably write for both shows successfully- except for the occasional time that he'd forget which one he was working on at the present.


Scotty said...

You are breaking my heart, John.

Robert Hiscock said...

I remember never being quite sure what Pratchett's intent was. I always questioned whether I was getting the whole joke. I'm sure I wasn't quite often. His books are rich in reference and he must command quite a body of knowledge and an impressive intellect to weave all his seperate references into one coherent story... not that he always manages. That would be one of my beefs with his writing. I find that he sometimes seems to digress for the purpose of a reference at the expense of narrative flow. He bends his story too far to include a parody-like take on modern living, through a fractured glimpse of western culture. It can be interesting and even fun but somewhere along the way I felt, as reader, I was paying for that chuckle cause I had to work my way back from that digression to get to where the story was leading.