Friday, 13 March 2015

The Internet is full of eulogies.

Terry Pratchett died yesterday, aged 66, and the internet is full of eulogies for him.

I'm sad that he passed away. He was a brilliant writer, and his early Discworld novels gave me many hours of both contemplation and fun, a wonderful mix of the utterly hilarious and the deeply philosophical. If you wanted to think about religion, or what makes humans tick, or about the impact that belief can have, there was a lot of things to spark thoughts. He made puns that I deeply appreciate, and wrote characters that were at once over-the-top and absolutely believable.

I did not read a lot of his later works from Discworld; I felt that they lacked the lightness of the earlier novels, bringing the formerly hidden deeper thoughts more to the front and sometimes even pulling out a hammer to drive things home. I very much enjoyed the YA books, though, and I know a few people who remained avid fans of Terry Pratchett right through his career.

This development of his books and my taste in different direction actually made me realise that authors change, and novels develop, and readers change too. Like any other relationship, things can develop to make you grow closer, or make you grow apart, and it's perfectly normal not to love somebody's books over years and years. Or love them all the time. Terry's books and writing taught me that, and I am thankful for that as much as for his books and the hours of reading pleasure they gave me.

Thank you for your books, Terry Pratchett. Your stories will live on for a long time, and I hope that knowing this made facing death easier for you.


Anonymous said...

And thank you for changing the view of Dementia.
In Britain Dementia was, "A normal part of ageing", not talked about, resulting in dormatory wards of lost souls. Times were moving on, but then when "Pratchett's got Dementia?!" happened suddenly there was a "demon to be named then vanquished" and a knight to lead and figurehead the vanquishing.
Today Sir Terry's words are quoted in the health textbooks and the media is full of his telling government and research what he thinks of the current situation.
He's not going to go quietly.

Cathy Raymond said...

Terry Pratchett was a great man. I was privileged to have met and talked with him--he was as warm, intelligent and funny as he was in his books. I will miss him greatly.