Terry Pratchett Book Club

Welcome to the Sir Terry Pratchett Forums
Register here for the Sir Terry Pratchett forum and message boards.
Sign up

Penfold

Sergeant-at-Arms
Dec 29, 2009
8,823
453
3,050
Worthing
www.lenbrookphotography.com
#2
Thanks Dug. I enjoyed that read.

I thought much of the book was lampooning the 'Disneyfication' of fairy tales. I think the only Disney films that I actually enjoyed was The Aristocats and Jungle Book, both for the music*, and 101 Dalmatians.

EDIT: *Fantasia as well, for this same reason.
 

RathDarkblade

Moderator
City Watch
Mar 24, 2015
12,887
928
3,400
45
Melbourne, Victoria
#3
This comment (and Penfold's too) is right on the money:

I see much of this book as the anti Disney fairy tales. Disney, in its movies and Disneyland attractions, takes Grimm’s Fairy Tales and sanitizes them. Terry proceeds to destroy them.
Terry didn't just destroy them. He picked up the Disney fairy tales, shook them down until their teeth fell out, mugged them for any loose change, and then barbecued whatever was left. :devil:

I get a feeling (from reading Terry's other books, e.g. "Lords and Ladies", "The Science of Discworld II", 'The Wee Free Men") that Terry was definitely for the old-fashioned versions of fairies (i.e. with blood and 'orrible murder), and thus against the Disney interpretation (i.e. making fairies twee).

I agree. Fairies are not, and shouldn't be, twee. They were created by parents to warn their children to stay away from dangerous situations. The problem is, if you say "Stay away from the river because you might fall in and drown," children might not understand (especially very young kids). But if you say, "Stay away from the river because Jenny Green-teeth will get you," any child will understand that. ;)

The idea of fairies is much older than Jenny Green-teeth, of course. I'm just using her because she's so familiar. :) I've noticed similarities between her and the Slavic Rusalka, the Australian Aboriginal Bunyip and the Japanese Kappa.

Wikipedia mentions another similar figure: in Jamaican folklore there is a figure called the River Mumma, who lives at the fountainhead of large rivers in Jamaica and sits on top of a rock, combing her long black hair with a gold comb. Does this remind anyone else of the Irish Banshee? :) Just wondering.

One last thing: I don't recall any fairies in Tolkien (I may be wrong? Please correct me), but Tolkien's elves - at least in "The Hobbit" - were problematic. The elves from Rivendell are friendly enough, if a little silly; but the elves in Mirkwood, led by Thranduil, are taciturn, sullen and unfriendly. They are much closer to what fairies in the old legends were, complete with the food-that-disappears-when-you-get-close. (Then again, consider how dangerous Mirkwood was...) ;)

No wonder Gandalf tells the dwarfs not to deviate from the path through the forest. ;) Peter Jackson's films tried hard to portray how claustrophobic Mirkwood is, but I think Tim Burton would've done a better job.

Anyway, sorry - I've been digressing for way too long. *blush* What do you think? :)
 
Jul 27, 2008
18,594
1,279
3,400
Stirlingshire, Scotland
#4
I liked the nod to Lord of the Rings, especially where the bit where a creature was following there booat and said it was his birthday and Granny whacked it oved the head with a paddle.:laugh:
 

RathDarkblade

Moderator
City Watch
Mar 24, 2015
12,887
928
3,400
45
Melbourne, Victoria
#5
Yup. It happens earlier, too, when the witches try to get into a dwarf mine that's all sealed up unless you can correctly figure out the password. :mrgreen:

Gandalf sure takes his time over it (dramatic license). Granny doesn't bother. "Open up, you little sods!" ;)

Oh, yes - and then there's the time when they fly through "a maze of twisty mountains and canyons, all alike..." *BWG*
 

Book of the Month

Good Omens

"Pratchett’s wackiness collaborates with Gaiman’s morbid humour; the result is a humanist delight to be savoured and read again and again."

Latest posts

User Menu

Newsletter