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Very, very sad news
Exceptional writer, very clever and worked towards really important issues throughout his illness. World's lost a lovely man.
My mother in law has the same condition (PCA). A really horrible condition.
One of my absolute favourites who firmly instilled a love of reading in me as a child. Absolutely no way I would've gone on to study literature and love books as much as I still do without him. An absolute master of satire and wit. RIP and thanks for everything.
I've got a little something in my eye right now to be honest.
Discworld meant a lot to me in my youth. I haven't kept up with it over the years but the guards books and the death books and the wizards books all have a special place in my heart.
what a guy. phenomenal writer.
The documentary he did on assisted dying was one of the most incredible pieces of TV i've ever watched.
I loved Discworld (I discovered them through the computer games, oddly) and loved the Johnny Maxwell series even writing about Only You Can Save Mankind as my specialist study for my higher.
Well underrated. Pretty bleak really, with the whole war subplot thing
Discworld was my world - and everyone else's too, it seemed. Our school had to ban prizewinners from picking his books at the awards ceremonies, so popular had they become.
I loved the world he created and how funny it was. As I got older and appreciated the different layers more, I grew to love how sharp they were. He was cynical but in a way that was never dirtied by defeatism or sneering; he managed the difficult feat of balancing idealistic, pragmatic and angry optimism.
when we had world book day at school we got to pick one out of five books to read in a group and all the divs picked the discworld book (y)
rip. very clever man an' all that.
But the older I get the more the genius of books like Moving Pictures, The Truth, a lot of the later books actually, began to properly sink in. Will have to revisit them.
that's terribly sad. read him to death as a tweenager. just a totally phenomenal talent.
One thing I'll always be puzzled by is that was was apparently utterly horrible to a lot of the people he worked with. this from a colleague who used to work as a publicity assistant for him, was the nicest person on earth and would never say shit about *anyone* normally. Just weird given how much warmth and humanity is shot through his work. People contain multitudes, I guess.
just providing a bit of balance
less than half an hour after his death is announced really.
Let's not argue though chaps.
Dahl springs to mind. I think to expect demand more of someone that the gift they gave to hundreds of thousands of kids (and indeed adults) getting into reading isn't necessary. We are not all PR people, and give back in other ways. I know you weren't being a dick, but it bears repeating.
than the gift
Fidel's point didn't really need making right now, but since he has, here it is in a much more eloquent piece by one of his colleagues and friends. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/24/terry-pratchett-angry-not-jolly-neil-gaiman
Worth getting cracking with them as I approach 30 or will they not hold up so well do y'all reckon?
I'll let you know?
they held up for me. So many great characters. But then it's impossible to say how much the affection I already had for them played a part in that.
so want to go back to that, but yeah, bit sketched it might not massively have stood the test of time.
it was SO LONG ago, but for some reason the line "I got a club. Got a nail in it." has stuck with me and still cracks me up.
Yeah, the Death books were my way in as well. I've got a knackered old copy of Reaper Man at home that I'm going to have a read of. I was in junior school when I read it - I remember entering a poetry competition with a poem that ripped the plot off wholesale with shopping trolleys being switched for toilets.
After Night Watch, Jingo might be the best book he ever wrote.
I prefered Guards Guards to Jingo. Feet of Clay was the least ace Watch book IMHO.
FoC i have time for, although I'll admit it's very difficult to remember anything except for the latin puns
Men at Arms
The Fifth Elephant
Feet of Clay
Terry coughing onto a piece of paper
It's probably my fave TP book.
The scene where the angry dwarves attack Vimes' house is brilliant.
And yeah I mean make no mistake, I rate everything above guards guards as "insanely brilliant". It's a hard list to compile from those six. I think Thud felt more like logical conclusion of several other books as far back as GG to me, which was satisfying but felt like an end rather than a focal book in the series.
which is why I hate snuff. It was just... gah. It sucked.
Reminded me of the later Die Hard films where John McClane had just become indestructible. By Snuff Vimes was always one step ahead and just came across as insufferably smug and untouchable.
Guy needed an editor then more than ever.
Willikins kicking arse
Vimes running up the stairs to his son's room in panic
The dragon under the bed
and definitely the dwarf who goes after Sybil with a flamethrower
Any in the City Watch series (Guards Guards, Men at Arms, Nightwatch, Thud etc) are brilliant, as are the Death books (Reaper Man, Mort, The Hogfather).
It's not a push to say he's the finest comic writer since PG Wodehouse. But as well as funny, they're usually also brilliant satire (especially the later books like The Truth, Going Postal), and oddly profound.
His work still appeals, even if you're pushing 30
Without question the better ones are the ones which aren't about established characters, or are at the start of their arcs. He would palpably come to care about the cast too much which made most of later Vimes books, for instance, really complacent and self-congratulatory.
I kind of felt he'd lost it about a decade ago, but he went through a purple patch of producing books that even at the same age as you I could see were really quality - Thief of Time, Monstrous Regiment and Going Postal. I got the diagnosis soon after that which made them really poignant for me. I don't think he was the same author afterwards. So those are the ones I'd recommend.
the most recent Discworld books were never as strong as they were, whether it was the illness or not that was responsible. But some of the earlier ones are untouchable.
anything involving Moist is dogshit, sorry, and Vimes only got ropey at Snuff IMO. And L&L and Masquerade and indeed Nightwatch are a solid argument for your first para being wrong.
Although the self-congratulatory thing was true of the Patrician, admittedly.
When he visits the newspaper offices... apologies for the huge chunk of text, but this is all so good:
He stood up. Everyone turned around to see why.
'Please don't bother,' said Lord Vetinari from the doorway. 'This is meant to be an informal visit. Taking on new staff, I see?'
The Patrician walked across the floor, followed by Drumknott.
'Er, yes,' said William. 'Are you all right, sir?'
'Oh, yes. Busy, of course. Such a lot of reading to catch up on. But I thought I should take a moment to come and see this "free press" Commander Vimes has told me about at considerable length.' He tapped one of the iron pillars of the press with his cane. 'However, it appears to be firmly bolted down.'
'Er, no, sir. I mean "free" in the sense of what is printed, sir,' said William.
'But surely you charge money?'
'Oh, I see. You meant you should be free to print what you like?'
There was no escape. 'Well…broadly, yes, sir.'
'Because that's in the, what was the other interesting term? Ah, yes…the public interest?' Lord Vetinari picked up a piece of type and inspected it carefully.
'I think so, sir.'
'These stories about man-eating goldfish and people's husbands disappearing in big silver dishes?'
'No, sir. That's what the public is interested in. We do the other stuff, sir.'
'Amusingly shaped vegetables?'
'Well, a bit of that, sir. Sacharissa calls them human interest stories.'
'About vegetables and animals?'
'Yes, sir. But at least they're real vegetables and animals.'
'So…we have what the people are interested in, and human interest stories, which is what humans are interested in, and the public interest, which no one is interested in.'
'Except the public, sir,' said William, trying to keep up.
'Which isn't the same as people and humans?'
'I think it's more complicated than that, sir.'
'Obviously. Do you mean that the public is a different thing from the people you just see walking around the place? The public thinks big, sensible, measured thought while people run around doing silly things?'
'I think so. I may have to work on that idea too, I admit.'
'Hmm. Interesting. I have certainly noticed that groups of clever and intelligent people are capable of really stupid ideas,' said Lord Vetinari. He gave William a look, which said 'I can read you mind, even the small print', and then gazed around the press room again. 'Well I can see you have an eventful future ahead of you, and I wouldn't wish to make it any more difficult than it is clearly going to be. I notice you have work going on…?'
'We're putting up a semaphore post,' said Sacharissa proudly. 'We'll be able to get a clacks straight from the big trunk tower. And we're opening offices in Sto Lat and Pseudopolis!'
Lord Vetinari raised his eyebrows. 'My word,' he said. 'Many new deformed vegetables will become available. I shall look forward with interest to seeing them.'
William decided not to rise to this one.
'It amazes me how the news you have so neatly fits the space available,' Lord Vetinari went on, staring down at the page Boddony was working on. 'No little gaps anywhere. And everyday something happens that is important enough to be at the top of the first page, too. How strange- Oh, "receive" takes an e after the c…'
Boddony looked up. Lord Vetinari's cane swung around with a hiss and hovered in the middle of a densely packed column. The dwarf looked closer and nodded, and took out a small tool.
It's upside down to him, and back to front, thought William. And the word's in the middle of the text. And he spotted it.
'Things that are back to front are often easier to comprehend if they are upside down as well,' said Lord Vetinari, tapping his chin with the silver knob of his cane in an absent-minded way. 'In life as in politics.'
Had so many of those audiotapes as a kid, played most of them until they broke.
the other two, admittedly, are awful. Haven't read Masquerade.
i'll give you that Postal was better than the dire latter two but I just think it was just a case of things getting too clever for their own good.
Making Money is basically a really lame retread of it.
diagnosed with Alzheimers
Is eight years of Alzheimers long enough for it to have caused his death or was it not related?
Alzheimers is fucking horrible. There was a piece on the news yesterday about some poor bastard getting it at 37 with a six week old baby having just arrived. Awful.
but the obituary on his website suggests that it's the cause.
I'd have thought eight years is easily long enough.
I'd be interested to know how he actually passed though. Apparently your brain 'forgets' how to do basic tasks which can end up killing you. Choking is common for example, when sufferers can't swallow anymore. It's fucking horrible.
Absolutely gutted. Love his books, The Watch ones are my favourites, but special mention to Rincewind, Death and the Witches. I'm actually re-reading The Fifth Elephant (my favourite) now.
That Alzheimer's documentary he did years ago was one of the most powerful, moving pieces of television I've seen.
If you haven't read his collected non-Discworld fiction, A Blink of a Screen, check it out: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blink-Screen-Collected-Short-Fiction/dp/0552163333/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1426192062&sr=8-4&keywords=terry+pratchett+a+slip+of+the+keyboard
I think it's fair to say that his irreverence and simultaneous seriousness (see 'Small Gods') have informed how I think about a lot of things, and my sense of humour.
I haven't read much of his work in quite a while; though I did read the (what is now) the final Discworld novel not long ago. In retrospect -- though it lacked some of that mood, and the bite and wonder of his best work -- it seems a fitting end: it's more or less a celebration of the good things that humanity is capable of, and it ends with the world that he created so many decades ago taking the first steps into a new, and more optimistic, future.
RIP. Say hi to Binky.
perhaps I should
whats best one to start with?
The ideal place to start would be The Colour of Magic so that you get the right introduction to Discworld, but it's not a very good book (compared to his later stuff).
Sorcery was the first one I read, Mort might also be a good start.
obviously Pratchett didn't realise what Discworld would become and it doesn't work as well as the later books would.
I think the City Watch books are the best place to start.
Moving Pictures, which is also quite standalone plot & character-wise.
The Watch books are also great.
The first I ever read was Reaper Man. My mum bought it for my older brother to take on holiday with us (teenage boy / didn't read much / then read nothing but Pratchett books for the next five years) and the entire family ended up reading it, culminating in it being dropped in the Dordogne river while on a canoeing trip and never being quite the same again.
I remember my mum, who really loves Christmas, was looking for a Christmassy book to read one year and somehow ended up with a copy of Hogfather... not quite sure what she thought of it.
I really want to read Reaper Man now, and see if it's quite as deep as I thought it was a teenager.
and weirdly enough got taken on a family holiday for everyone to read and has never been the same since my mum left it by the pool and it got heavily splashed on.
I still have it in all it's slightly warped glory. I'm going to give it another read over the weekend.