RIP, Sir Terry Pratchett

The first book I ever read by Terry Pratchett was Small Gods. I had never laughed so hard reading any book and–with the exception of a couple of other books also by Terry Pratchett–I never have since. Although he is most famous for Good Omens (written with Neil Gaiman), it was his Discworld novels (including Small Gods) that captivated me. I think that I probably read more books by Terry Pratchett than any other author in high school and–since I’ve read most of the 40+ Discworld novels–I’ve probably read more Terry Pratchett than any other author period.

Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007, and he was unusually public about his battle with the disease. He used his last years to not only continue writing, but also to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s. He passed away today, and his death was announced on Twitter. In order to understand the tweets, however, you have to first understand that Death was a recurring character in the Discword novels, and even the star of one of my very favorite books: Reaper Man. In the novels, all of Death’s dialogue was written in capital letters. Keep that in mind when you read the first tweet.

954 - Terry Pratchett Last Tweets

You can read more details from coverage at the BBC.[ref] And, if you were concerned (as I was) about Pratchett’s support of assisted suicide near the end, you may be comforted to know that when he died surrounded by family today, it was not by his own hand.[/ref]

As for me? I think it is time–after nearly 20 years–to re-read some of my childhood favorites.

2 thoughts on “RIP, Sir Terry Pratchett”

  1. I wouldn’t think less of you for laughing harder at Pratchett then at Wodehouse, but on the other hand, yes, I would.

    Both are comic masters, though. Is there some kind of rule that funny English writers have to have intrinsically comical names?

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