And Then I Read: MOVING PICTURES by Terry Pratchett

The tenth Discworld novel by Pratchett is a book-length parody/satire of the Hollywood movie industry. In a remote coastal area of Discworld, an ancient gateway to the Dungeon Dimension is coming back to life after centuries of silence, drawing to it people and animals to create a new kind of entertainment, moving pictures, or “clicks.” Alchemists work their magic to invent the demon-run machinery, fledgling movie producers emerge, like the former sausage-vendor Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, actors perfect for film (with enhanced abilities from the Holy Wood site) like Victor and Ginger, and even a heroic dog star Laddie, become famous almost overnight when the new clicks begin showings in Ankh-Morpork. Things are not right, though, as Victor and another very smart dog Gaspode begin to understand. The entire clicks industry is a ploy to invade Discworld, but no one seems willing to listen to their warnings.

I didn’t like this one very much. Some of the characters and situations are entertaining, but the satire seemed heavy-handed, the author spent too much time making parallel versions of real Hollywood stars and situations, and the need to recreate the actual machinery of filmmaking with magic versions was awkward and difficult to accept, such as having demons inside the “clicks” cameras feverishly painting what they saw on each frame of film. The plot has some nice moments, but it’s too much in the forefront, and the characters are mostly pawns of it. Mildly recommended.

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