The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide by Terry Pratchett
Review by Joshua S Hill
One of four Terry Pratchett related works published this year is (in full) ‘The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide Comprising the New Street Map, Trade Directory & Gazetteer, Along with a Glorious Artist’s Impression of This Great City in its Entirety’ written by Terry Pratchett and ‘Aided and Abetted by The Discworld Emporium’.
It is a marvel!
This rocked up on my doorstep, somewhat surprising me in the process. It comes with a cardboard slipcase and elastic blue string to hold it together, and inside fits the beautifully crafted guide-proper. Printed on yellowed paper to give it that ‘authentic feel’ the Guide is the must-have tool for anyone wishing to visit the great Discworld city of Ankh-Morpork.
Contained within are a number of useful insights for the would-be traveller. Starting out with a Greeting from an unidentified member of the Merchant’s Guild who commissioned the creation of this guide book, it moves quickly into a brief listing of essential information, laws, and advice for those looking to get around, stay, and eat in the city.
There is a great guide to the Guilds of the city and a brief description (read: warning) about Unseen University.
Maybe the highlight within these pages are the pages and pages of advertisements placed phonebook-style for every aspect of the city from Apothecaries through to Weapons Training, including everyone you would expect to see – such as Wee M. Arthur, C.M.O.T. Dibbler, and Gimlet – a listing of every eatery in the city, and an ‘Annotated Directory of the Streets, Alleys, Roads, Lanes and Yards of Ankh-Morpork’.
Oh, did I not mention the huge map that comes with this book?
Mine is currently de-creasing in the bathroom after an ironing (it comes folded) and measures in at approximately 100 centimetres by 90 centimetres and will be soon adoring a wall in my house as soon as possible (read: as soon as I can find a frame bloody big enough!). On one side is the map that matches the Annotated Directory and on the other side is a beautifully crafted artist’s impression of the city.
This Guide is simply a must-have for any Discworld fan. You don’t even need to be a fan of the previously published reference-style editions (such as the Companion’s and Almanak’s) as you’ll spend hours scouring the map for hidden gems, reading up on Dibbler and his competition, and understanding the mechanics behind the city’s Guilds.
Kris Russell from England
Tis a great, a wondrous and a beautiful thing... Some of the names sound familiar! This is a lovingly created masterpiece and that shows in every page and the map :) This will take a while to study and I doubt I will spot all the references and names, even then.
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