I have been trying to complete as much of Discworld as I can, I find Sir Terry Pratchett’s humour incomparable, his keen understanding of us poor souls trapped in human form (I’d love to be an umbrella myself, if given the option to choose my next form) and his ability to write droll descriptions of commonplace objects fascinating and very absorbing; for instance – banged out grains (popcorn) and a silver screen (literally described as a hovering dense film).
This book is about the rise and subsequent fate of Holy Wood; where dreams DO come true, albeit in a thrilling, dreadful manner! We have our literal hero and heroine – Victor and Ginger – who as we read ahead realise are stand-ins for the characters and story of Gone With the Wind, and various other new characters (trolls & a talking Dog) and some familiar Discworld entities (the Librarian who speaks eloquently with an “Oook”), Death, and the wizards of Ankh Morpokh, the city that IS and isn’t at the same time, dealing with the dark magic that feeds moving pictures, and the entity that is “Hollywood”.
Sir Terry deals with the vagaries of production houses, the spell that moving pictures casts over ordinary mortals, weaving expertly mystic elements and adventure while poking fun at the absurdity of how movies are made and what the gullible public will devour in the name of entertainment; at all of our expectations from movies and movie stars, especially mocking when it comes from the mouth of a talking dog, Gaspode.
There are several funny bits in the book; too many to recount here, but the one quote that stood out to me made so much sense and was so deeply true – (Ginger expressing the desire to be the most famous person on earth) –
“Not ambition for gold, for power, for land or all the things that were familiar parts of the human world. Just ambition to be yourself, as big as possible. Not ambition *for*, but to *be*. “
A fine Pratchett novel; quickly completed, keeps you turning the pages with hearty chuckles and makes me so much more fond of his work. I loved my first complete read of 2020 and this makes me want to read and review a lot more of his work – if that was even possible, he is a force of his own – I cannot express how dear his words are to me.