I wrote a post some time ago called Humor In Writing, in which I covered the three main areas where author can use humor: characters and dialogue, plot, and prose. One of the more interesting (and amusing) things about Terry Pratchett's writing is the fact he combines all three. But there's also the element of parody in his books--I'll admit I don't recognize all the references to other material, but even at a glance it's obvious he's poking fun at the traditional Fantasy that takes itself seriously.
Most books have at least one lighter side to them, whether it's in the form of the joker relative or friend, circumstances and plot twists, or the writer's third person snark. Terry Pratchett, on the other hand, incorporates the eccentric (or just plain barmy) characters, outrageous events that manage to seem inevitable, along with a host of descriptions and comments outside of plot and characters.
Parody isn't seen quite so often. Probably because it's easy to offend people if you parody something, and probably because to do so just the right touch has to be used; otherwise it's too repetitive and unoriginal. It's easy to ridicule something else--but harder to make the attempt not come off as trite.
What do you think of humor and parody? Do you like it when an author uses it in all of the story elements, or do you prefer more seriousness? Do you enjoy parody, or are they not worth the time? Who or what's your favorite humor author or book?
Other Terry Pratchett month posts:
-----The Golden Eagle