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Terry Pratchett: BBC Radio Drama Collection

Seven BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations
Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (87 ratings)

Non-member price: $48.62

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Publisher's Summary

Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different.... 

Collected together for the first time are seven full-cast BBC Radio dramatisations of Terry Pratchett’s novels, with star-studded casts including Martin Jarvis, Sheila Hancock, Anton Lesser, Philip Jackson, Alex Jennings and Mark Heap.

Now being published for the very first time, the adaptations in this collection are:

Mort

Hopeless young peasant Mort is hired as an apprentice to Death. He'll have free board and use of the company horse, and being dead isn’t even compulsory. In fact, it's a dream job - until he discovers that it can be a killer on his love life....

Wyrd Sisters

Three witches meet on a blasted heath. A king is cruelly murdered. A child heir and the kingdom’s crown are both missing. But Granny Weatherwax finds that meddling in royal politics is a lot more complicated than certain playwrights would have you believe.... 

Guards! Guards!

In Ankh-Morpork, the Haves and the Have-Nots are about fall out. Again. The Night Watch’s Captain Vimes is used to this, but when the Have-Nots find the key to a lethal, dormant weapon that even they don’t understand, he knows it’s time so sober up. 

Eric

When precocious young Eric Thursley summons a demon from the loathsome pit to fulfil his every wish, he wants what everyone wants - immortality, to rule the world, and to have the most beautiful woman love him. Instead he gets Rincewind, the Disc’s most incompetent wizard. 

Small Gods

On the Discworld, Gods are as numerous as herring roe, all elbowing for space at the top. In such a competitive environment, you need an acolyte, and fast. For the Great God Om, Brutha is the Chosen One, or at least the only One available....

Night Watch

Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy, especially when there is a serial killer on the loose who targets coppers. Commander Sam Vimes of the City Watch is back in his own rough, tough past, and he has a job to do.

Bonus story: in addition to these Discworld novels, this collection also includes a full-cast dramatisation of Only You Can Save Mankind, from the Johnny Maxwell series. As an alien fleet crosses his computer screen, Johnny prepares to blow the ScreeWee into a million pieces....

©2018 Terry Pratchett (P)2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Phoebe D
  • Melbourne Victoria Australia
  • 16-01-2019

A very enjoyable to listen to books

I really enjoyed this collection I listen while doing my craft work and drinking tea.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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good listen

good adaptions but definitely abbreviated from the originals. good performances and sound effects but sometimes sound levels at start and end credits much louder than the actual book which gets annoying when suddenly deaffend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fun Short Dramatization collection

Whilst the stories by necessity were cut a bit short in places for the BBC dramatizations this is a fun, enjoyable collection of several of Terry Pratchett's most memorable books well performed by varying casts

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyable. BBC has not let itself down

Thoroughly enjoyable. BBC has not let itself down. Forget they're abridged versions. Immerse yourself in smooth flowing theatre - disc world style.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Return

Loved all Terry Pratchett books we have read, but not this BBC production Thank you.

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Wonderful!

It is laugh-aloud funny. The BBC does this sooo well. A joy to listen to, just a risk that you won't want to "put the book down"

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  • Ewan
  • Sydney
  • 03-09-2019

Good value

Some of the adaptations are better than others but all worth a listen, none of them poor. Performances are all up there. Given the number of tales, definitely some value here.

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lovey

well the BBC, god bliss you. love and miss Mr P and you brought these favourites to life for me

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Great adaptations for radio!

Loved how the books were transformed into radio plays. The narration and range of character voices were done to perfection.

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Great short stories expertly portrayed

My first time of reading or being read too anything by Terry Pratchett. Superbly written and acted.
I would highly recommend these as a lighthearted fun read. The early stories are the best in my view although they are very entertaining in their own right.

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  • S. Horn
  • 09-11-2018

Get the unabridged audiobooks, instead

While the performers gave each of these abridged versions of Discworld novels their best, the audiobook originals are far, far better. These radio plays are such abbreviated renditions that the stories barely hold together, and, in truth, sometimes they don't. The magic and weirdness of the Discworld that make Pratchett's books such rare treasures are lost in the rush and jumble of these very short plays. Do yourself a favor and listen instead to the excellent, unabridged audio versions of each of these remarkable books. You'll be so glad you did.

87 of 92 people found this review helpful

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  • Art_VT
  • 01-11-2018

Cut too much, and most of the jokes.

Each story is about 2 hours, and to get a 11 hour book to fit in a 2 hour story, much of the extraneous stuff has to be removed. Extraneous is all the interpersonal stuff that makes Terry Pratchett books so much fun. If you knew the story to begin with the radio plays are a nice reminder (allowing that you did not look forward to, and miss the parts that were removed), I think you would be happier to get the entire book and enjoy it.

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacobus
  • 14-11-2018

Radio drama + Terry Pratchett = MAGIC

Yes, it is not the complete text of the books, but I still enjoyed revisiting some of the best Discworld stories through this collection of BBC Radio 4's dramatisations. You will meet the Weird Sisters, Mort, get acquainted once again with the Small Gods, feel the Ankh Morpork cobbles under your feet while patrolling with Captain Vimes of the Night Watch dealing with dragons. "Guards! Guards!" and suddenly you travel back in time becoming the impeccable Sgt Keel. But just for the fun of it, the collection has one non-Discword story in it... helping you to remember WHY you love the disc world.

I really enjoyed these dramatisations. It is an excellent tribute to the work of Sir Terry Pratchett whose whit and unexpected take on things we miss so dearly. Buy this if you want to go on a trip through memory lane. Enjoy the radio dramas for what it is, radio dramas. Then I can guarantee you, you won't be disappointed.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Amanda Cook
  • 07-11-2018

Wasn't Sure At First

Most of it was delightful but Guards Guards was unfortunate. I understand having to change some things to make it work for radio but it didn't work for Guards Guards and Carrot was all wrong I feel.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Rosenberger
  • 11-11-2018

Just ok

I'm a huge fan of Terry Pratchett, but this collection made me rather sad. "Guards, Guards" was the best of the group, but I've actually heard that one several times before purchasing this collection. I was hoping to find some new favorites among the others. But no... These were all wonderful books, so I blame the adaptations. I feel like all that was wonderful about the books was removed for these radio versions. "Guards, Guards" was good. At least that one was somewhat funny. The others were not. Overall I'd say skip this and buy an audio version of one of Terry Pratchett's books instead.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 02-11-2018

It's not "by Terry Pratchett"

This is a dramatized performance based on Terry Pratchett books. The books are shortened and pretty much only dialogs are left.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian Douglas
  • 11-03-2019

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

The Good: Nice dramatization of the stories we know and love.

The Bad: This comes across more as Fan Fiction due to the changes in the stories. More than just abridged, the stories have been changed. Sadly, some of the changes were what made the originals so great so it was disappointing to see 2 dragons in love flying off into the sunset.

Overall: Treat it as Fan Fiction dramatized and you can still enjoy it. Highly anticipated this release but was left a bit dispointed in the final product. Overall rating 3 Ankh Morpork Sausages... and I'm cutting me own throat.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary K. O'connor
  • 04-09-2019

Adore Terry Prachett, BUT not this book...

This compilation was very difficult to listen to/hear-perhaps it was because it originally was a BBC Broadcast? Regardless, hard to understand some of the lines, accents hard to follow, especially when they mumbled. Music came on loud, then voices hushed-very hard to listen to.
Loved Mort, tho the ending was a little disappointing. Other stories not that great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-08-2019

Not so good

The performance was good but the manuscript was very lacking and kind of ruined the story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Shawn G
  • 13-11-2018

Terry's characters brought to life

This collection is amazing. It is a little odd to have Death's voice change in some of the stories but overall, I highly recommend this for anyone who loves Terry's work. #Inspiring #Magical #Satire #Funny #Heartfelt #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • colin mann
  • 12-11-2018

If you Love and have read Terry Pratchett

You're going to hate this. The disc world novels are cut to pieces like never before. The characters we love are here but the plots and humour have been mercilessly cut to pieces to fit a radio slot. Treat yourself to the unabridged Audible books if you would like to experience Disc World in all its beauty and humor.

45 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-11-2018

Excellent radioplay renditions of Pratchett's work

For all its many failings it cannot be doubted that the BBC knows how to do radio drama, and with these full-cast radio play versions of some of Pratchett's best writings they have pushed the bar even higher than before. These really are very, very good, with just the right level of dryness and subtlety mixed with slapstick that makes Pratchett's humour so good to read. The characters all seem true to how Pratchett imagined them (for example casting Melvyn Hayes as Nobby Nobbs in 'Guards! Guards!' was a work of genius) and the actors really seem to understand the world that their characters inhabit and take on their mantles as if born to the play the role. In essence these radio plays are Terry Prachett's books brought to life with only the very subtlest of changes necessary to work in the medium of radio and nothing more. If you like reading Pratchett then you'll like listening to these radio plays.

54 of 58 people found this review helpful

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  • LJP7
  • 27-11-2018

A mixed bag of abridged stories of varying quality

I (probably naively) didn't realise that these are significantly abridged versions of the full stories - at 7 for the price of 1 though, that's fine. my favourite was the second-to-last story of time travel. Some of the voice actors throughout these tales are excellent; all were at least good. Unfortunately a couple of the stories are so shortened I struggled to follow what was happening - particularly in Wyrd Sisters. Beware those who listen to audiobooks whilst going to sleep; several moments are VERY LOUD! Also note that the final story isn't a Discworld novel, and sounds more like an episode of Doctor Who.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • mike
  • 13-11-2018

SAVE YOUR MONEY AND BUY THE UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOKS

i'm just about half way through this collection so far. I've read/listened to & thoroughly enjoyed all the Discworld books, but this collection of radio plays is AWFUL.

Sound quality is poorer than the audiobooks, I generally listen to audiobooks when driving & with this collection I have to have the volume up as high as possible without it distorting.

I like to think I'm of average intelligence, but if i hadn't already read the books I think i would have a job to follow the storylines because of the poor editing into a play format.

It's difficult to give a fair rating for the permance & performers because I'm struggling to enjoy the plays because of bad writing and production. Also as a minor annoyance, no one has bothered to title the chapters which makes navigating through the collection annoying.

I would not recommend this collection to any of my friends that like Sir Terry's works & can't believe that my first ever bad review of an Audible book is about Discworld.

SAVE YOUR CASH AND STICK TO THE BOOKS/AUDIOBOOKS

36 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Sanjeev Gupta
  • 02-11-2018

Wonderful adaptations

A brilliant set of adaptations of some of Sir Terry’s Discworld novels. Cast are all strong and the performances are admirable.

I do think that Death could have had a stronger voice to go with the capitalisation used in the books, but that is a personal preference.

Really pleased with the purchase.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Ransted
  • 11-12-2018

Great but needs editing for this format

The acting and production are great, as expected from the BBC. However having the credits and still in the episodic form is not suitable for this format. I loved the discworld stories and remembered the books. However the last one is not discworld and I know why I never purchased the book, acting in the last was good but not my type of subject at all.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris Harston
  • 29-03-2019

Fantastic value for fantastic content

As a big fan of all of Terry Pratchetts works this was an amazing find. I had had my doubts about audiobooks, but the BBC full cast dramatisations are absolutely brilliant. They take you much further than a standard audio read out of a book could. My only negative would be that they finished so soon due to me binging them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-12-2018

Mainly good

Loved all discworld stuff really good adaptations but think was opposite of save best till last as last two titles not as good as the others

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Zoe
  • 11-11-2018

Fantastically entertaining!

As a die hard pratchett fan I LOVE these! I didn't realise that I needed Mark Heap as Rincewind in my life until this very moment. I really like that there are some of the less popular books are included as well as the more popular guards and witches. It's a nice refresher to hear them anew. I definitely recommend listening to these.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kira Adams
  • 14-07-2019

A mixed bag, but very good overall

You really do get good value for your credit in this collection of radio dramas. However, I found that they were inconsistent in their quality.

I thought that Mort was excellent, perhaps because it was a rather simple story that translated well into a script. In particular, voice actor for Death was very good. Overall this was probably the best of the set.

Wyrd Sisters, in my opinion, did not translate into an audio drama very well. Even having read the book, I found the story rather confusing, and it was desperately in need of a narrator. The voice actors of the witches gave good performances though.

Guards! Guards! was pretty good, although it did cut out all the information about Carrot’s dwarf background which was kind of disappointing. I loved the sound effects for the swamp dragons. Carrot’s fake Welsh accent was pretty annoying, but Vimes’s actor was excellent.

Eric was an entertaining enough bit of nonsense. The story isn’t very good because it was originally written as a short picture book. However, casting Mark Heap as Rincewind was pure genius and I would give my right arm to hear him in the other Rincewind stories.

Small Gods I found incredibly boring. I read the book many years ago and felt the same way about it then. It’s a pointless story that doesn’t relate to any of the other Discworld novels, and it just isn’t entertaining. It didn’t hold my attention at all, and I was desperate to skip ahead.

Night Watch wasn’t bad, but it was an odd choice for adaptation, being the 5th Watch story. You’ll miss out a lot of context if you aren’t familiar with Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, and The Fifth Elephant. The story felt rather “bare bones” and nowhere near as good as the novel. Also Vimes’s voice actor wasn’t as good as the previous one.

It’s hard to judge Only You Can Save Mankind because it’s clearly aimed at children. It was ok I guess. Probably kind of out of date for today’s kids.

Overall, definitely worth listening to, but if you want the full stories, you will have to buy the individual novels. Fingers crossed that one day we will get full-cast unabridged Discworld audiobooks!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful