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The Art of Discworld Hardcover – September 30, 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Kidby discovered Terry Pratchett's Discworld in 1993 and since then has devoted his working life to the place. He is the illustrator of THE PRATCHETT PORTFOLIO, the bestsellers THE LAST HERO and THE ART OF DISCWORLD, as well as the Discworld DIARIES, cards, T-shirts, maps, mugs and, of course, the covers. Terry Pratchett lives in Wiltshire. Paul Kidby, who also lives in Wiltshire, is now established as the most popular Discworld artist.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; hardcover edition (September 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575075112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575075115
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,184,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bruce Trinque on November 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terry Pratchett's Discworld is an extraordinarily varied and detailed creation of fantasy-that-is-awfully-real (not to mention being seriously funny). I suppose all of us who are fans of this work carry an assortment of internal visual images of what the world and its inhabitants look like, but "The Art of Discworld" comes pretty close to showing us how Terry Pratchett envisions his own creation. The drawings and paintings are by Paul Kidby, and Pratchett assures us in the introduction that "Paul sees things my way about seventy-five per cent of the time, which suggests either mind-reading is happening or that my vision of my characters is really rather vagues until I see his drawings." The illustrations in the book are, as might be expected, numerous and wonderfully vivid, showing us everyone and everything (some of those things animate and some not) of importance in the Discworld universe. But as absorbing as the paintings are, they are matched in interest by Pratchett's comments on each character, telling us how they came about and how they have evolved over time. I would have a hard time selecting my favorite illustration from the book. Heck, I would have a hard time limiting my choice to the top ten -- or twenty -- pictures. "The Art of Discworld" is guaranteed to be a delight to any fan of Pratchett's fiction. Or as the Librarian would say, "Ook!"
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Format: Hardcover
If you have read even a few of the books in the Discworld series, you know that this fantastic and satirical world is populated with a parade of colorful characters and unusual geography. Haven't you wondered what Sam Vimes really looks like? How about Lord Vetinari, or Rincewind, or the Nac Mac Feegle, or those wacky witches of Lancre? "The Art of Discworld" brings together artist Paul Kidby's renderings of the wonders of Discworld. Filled with both color paintings and black-and-white sketches, this book brings Discworld alive. Kidby's works are not only painstaking in their detail, but they faithfully capture every nuance of the characters as described in the books.

In addition to the artwork, there is also running commentary by Terry Pratchett on the many people, creatures, and places in Discworld. He provides interesting new insights on the conception and evolution of his creations and describes how his mental visualization of them compares with Kidby's execution. Kidby also adds his own comments on why he depicts the characters the way he does.

There are so many treasures in this book! There's Death dressed as the Hogfather. There's Angua in her human and wolf forms. There are depictions of the Librarian that show the man within the orangutan skin. There's a sketch of Twoflower that's a perfect rendition of the first Discworld tourist. Let's not forget the cosmos-scarred Great A'Tuin, bearing the weight of four elephants and a flat planet on his mighty back. I could go on and on, but I won't. You have to see these amazing illustrations for yourself. This is a must-have for a Discworld fan's collection.

Eileen Rieback
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Format: Hardcover
I was introduced to the art of Discworld a bit late and The Last Hero was the first I saw. Currently I'm reading the Josh Kirby illustrated edition of Eric and I'll say up front that I prefer Paul Kidby's illustrations. From the brilliance of the Mona Ogg on the front cover to the masterful illustrations of Death I think that Kidby captures the spirit of the Disc.

Of course we don't just see Kidby's take on everybody from Lord Vetinari to Granny Weatherwax to Foul Ol' Ron, this volume also includes many notes from Terry Pratchett himself. Pratchett's notes make up the main body of the text and often Kidby's comments follow in italics. I especially enjoy seeing the evolution of different characters as when Terry reveals that Guards, Guards! wasn't intended to start a whole series of City Watch books. Rather he says that he wanted "to give them a moment in the sun, but it turned out to be a full tropical holiday."

One of my favourite illustrations is the one of Death as the Hogfather. I think the spirit of Death (and 'Pixie Albert') is perfectly captured with the grinning skull. Throughout the volume are many excellent full colour illustrations such as this as well as a number of sketches and line drawings.

I still imagine Discworld characters when I read a novel, but with this volume I can delve in a bit deeper and see them in new situations. Where else will you see apt parodies of The Scream, The Mona Lisa, or Rembrant's Night Watch?

If you're a long-time Discworld addict then your collection should not be without this volume. However, if you are a newcomer then beware. You're sure to enjoy the illustrations, but they and the text will spoil many of the previous books.
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Format: Hardcover
As another reviewer mentioned, in the US the artwork differs from the British novels. Since I had never had the chance read the British versions of the Discworld books this compendium of artwork was very fresh while not exactly what I had pictured in my mind while reading through the novels. I definitely enjoyed seeing the Discworld characters portayed through someone else's perspective, especially since it so closely mirrors the author's own.
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