It’s been a long time since I’ve been on here. Far too long. Much has been happening and more has been going on. But not a lot has bee said. Much of this, I should have written down a long time ago, but sadly haven’t had the time to get down. Excuses, excuses, excuses…
Not once did I expect to come back and be writing something like this.
But then again, I never expected to hear the news of Terry Pratchett’s death.
Despite his constant talks on the subject of death, his openness on living with Alzheimer’s and his well known support of assisted dying I still can’t process what has happened.
I mean come on – his most loved character was DEATH for christ’s sake.
Either way, news like this comes as a shock whether you like it or not. A bloody massive one at that.
Unlike most, my passion for Pratchett didn’t come from reading his beloved Discworld series, but rather his collaboration with Neil Gaiman in Good Omens. Although I don’t remember the age exactly (11/12? what is certain is that I was a young, less hairy chap back then), I do still remember receiving it as a hand-me-down from my Dad. At first I didn’t realise what treasure had been passed to me, but then I started reading.
In reality, what came from that novel was an appreciation not only for literature, but the realisation that literature can be absolutely hilarious. Never before had I found myself laughing till my sides hurt over words in a book. It’s something I’m sure that many would like to thank Pratchett for.
The characters, the situations, the plot – it’s all just too good to be true. I still hope to be as cool as Crowley one day. Hell, I brought Wayfarers the other day and I’ve been wearing them (some would say like an absolute nob), come rain or shine. That’s one step closer I suppose.
I feel that what followed after reading that novel, in some small way is the moronic hairy man with an appreciation for books that you see before you. I probably wouldn’t have invested those three years in Leicester if it wasn’t for that book and the many more that followed it.
Weirdly enough, I recommended that a friend read Good Omens only a few weeks ago. I remember shouting that it was the very best book I’d ever read and he’d be a fool not to read it in quite a threatening manner. I make the same threats to you now. Go pick up your kindle and download a copy. Better still buy the thing in print. I know I will be: It’s an absolute gem.
Asides from that, I must confess I’ve read Pratchett sparingly. I’ve seen some of the television adaptions and read the odd bit here and there. But even so, this much was clear; his ability to produce emotion in his readers was something very few have and will have the tendency to do.
I audibly wept big wet splodgy tears whilst reading The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.
I was about 17 at the time.
Now I sit here, listening to his Desert Island Discs interview on BBC Radio 4 finding it hard to believe that such a strong character has headed over to the other side.
I must say that whoever runs his Twitter (I have a feeling it’s Rob Wilkins) has managed to give Pratchett the finest send-off possible and something, I’m certain, he’d approve of:
The last message is the one that I owe the title of this little dilly to. As soon as I read that last post it was back to being 17 again, but sadly there wasn’t another page in the novel to turn to.
This time Death really has taken him from us. Utter Bastard.
Well, I hope to God wherever he is, ‘Bat out of Hell’ is playing on the radio.