GNU Terry Pratchett: A name well spoken
MY FIRST foray onto the Discworld was through Carpe Jugulum. I was about 15, thinking "Who is this Terry Pratchett? Why do I feel as if I've been reading these stories my entire life? Where can I find more?"
Luckily, there was quite a bit more to find. In his 66 years, Pratchett had more than 70 books published, 40 of which made up the Discworld series, from The Colour of Magic in 1983 to Raising Steam in 2013. Pratchett completed his final Discworld last year. I know many fans who will weep reading it. I'll be one of them.
The Discworld series, for those who came in late, started as a parody of classic fantasy tropes and eventually became a genre within itself. Within it you had the Rincewind books, the Witches books, the City Watch and others.
My favourites were always the Death books. Pratchett's anthropomorphic personification of Death is one of the most human and loveable characters I have read. He loves and feels with more soul than most heroes of literature. He rages with a quiet power rarely seen outside Pratchett's writing.
Pratchett's books are funny and poke fun at cliches, but always have important lessons.
Mort taught us that life (and Death) are rarely fair, but compassion is never wasted. Wyrd Sisters taught us that all words have power, and the right story can change history. Thud reminded us that the most dangerous thing in this world can be a parent when their child cries. And of course, the most important lesson of all came from Thief of Time. "Rule one: Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man".
I like to think that Pratchett, like his Cohen the Barbarian, less than politely ignored Death and left to explore the universe. Although, if ever a man could greet Death as an old friend, it would be Sir Terry.
Pratchett fans remember that "a man is not dead while his name is still spoken".
His name will not be forgotten for many years.
In the words of Ankh-Morpork's clacks operators, "GNU Terry Pratchett".
Tallulah writes lightning fast reviews at 5secondreviews.tumblr.com.