Soul Music was definitely lighter than our recent reads, but turned out not to be everybody’s taste, common finding with humour. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series are well loved but as an introduction it was probably not the best choice. It is the sixteenth in the series and so if you have read the books in order a lot of characters are already well known and Pratchett has reached the stage of not explaining the structure of his world.
Soul Music starts in a very bitty way jumping between various characters and it takes a while for the links between them to become apparent and this put some of our group off. The main plot follows the fortunes of the band from small beginnings to massive concerts and burnout all fuelled by Imp’s guitar and its awareness of primordial music that was responsible for bringing the universe into existence. The ending is rather weak – the blip in the space/time continuum created by events is corrected and most of the characters return to whence they came with no memory what happened – not an unusual denouement in Discworld books.
The book is full of puns and references to rock music some of which we picked up, but I’m sure many more passed us by. One of the main characters is called Imp Y Celyn – celyn in welsh means holly and he takes the stage name of Buddy. He comes from a rainy place called Llamedos which reads backwards as ‘Sod em all’ which is a reference to Llareggub from Dylan’s Under Milk Wood. Another band member, a troll named Lias, takes the stage name Cliff … and so it goes on. Other features that were enjoyed included the high energy magic wizards from the Unseen University – portrayed in the stereotype of physicists, the world of Death – and the idea that he could have a granddaughter with the sensible name of Susan.
For me this was a return to Discworld after a long absence, and although I enjoyed it I wasn’t gripped with the same enthusiasm that I read the books with first time round.