Surprise, surprise. It’s Ariel, and I’m writing about Terry Pratchett. AGAIN.
Well, dear readers, Sir Terry passed away today. I thought that I would honor him and his literary legacy by sharing my personal experiences with his work.
Terry Pratchett has been my favorite author for over five years now. One day, my college roommate suggested that I read Hogfather, and I instantly became obsessed with his work. The Discworld became the new Hogwarts—the place that my adult self could go to for fun and adventure.
Now, when I say I was obsessed, I mean I was obsessed. I spent an entire summer reading nothing but Discworld books borrowed from the library. I took a picture of a crossword puzzle that had an answer related to Thud! I bought a copy of every Pratchett book I found at the book store. When I recently went through my collection at home, I found that I had multiple copies of some of them. You know how James Patterson has a small monopoly on the adult fiction shelves at the library? That’s what the Pratchett section of my bookshelf looks like at home.
Pratchett’s fantasy is so fun and funny, I couldn’t keep it to myself. (And like a good librarian, I didn’t!) I recommended Going Postal to my dad. I told my husband about Thief of Time. For Christmas, I gave my nieces The Wee Free Men and Pratchett’s other YA titles. When I started the Teen Book Club, I chose Nation for one month’s discussion. I pretty much jumped on any opportunity to share Pratchett’s work that presented itself.
All told, Pratchett published more than 70 books during his lifetime. At the peak of his career, he was putting out three books per year. In Britain, he was one of the most-read authors, second only to J.K. Rowling.
His death was announced via his Twitter account this afternoon. Suitably, the initial tweet was written in all capital letters—the signature manner in which Pratchett denoted the character Death’s speech in the Discworld novels. While the message was by no means cheerful, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this. I imagine other fans had a similar reaction. It was just so perfect.
As you can imagine, hearing of his passing has had an enormous effect on me. I’m not sure if my brain has completely accepted the fact just yet. The world has lost a truly talented author, and I know that mine is not the only life his work has touched.