What’s your favourite Terry Pratchett book?
I never ever wanted to read a Terry Pratchett book. I was a teenager and full of unoriginal angst, rereading Jane Eyre and Martin Amis so I didn’t have time for a shallow fantasy novels with oddly illustrated covers. But one holiday I read all the books I had brought with me and was left with a choice of nothing or a Pratchett novel. As I am sure you have guessed, I never looked back.
Interestingly, that first book was Small Gods, one of the few books that can really stand alone, while also being part of the Discworld journey, which is still one of my favourites because it was my first. And Discworld was a journey- I can chart the massive changes in my life to the eagerly awaited new novels (I could never wait for the paperback). I shook my head at Rincewind, and fell in love with Captain Carrot along with everyone else, and was horrified when I discovered I had been pronouncing Commander Vimes name wrong (in my head) for years*. I even have a (quite ironic) soft spot for Detritus. I think my absolute favourite book has to be Going Postal, owing to it’s sheer brilliance in social observation (while also being very funny), despite the fact that whilst reading it my youngest child was rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties and spent three days as an in-patient on oxygen.
I have lots of books in my house, and more in my loft as I keep filling the available shelves with new ones. Terry’s books have pride of place, however, and I cannot envisage a time when they wouldn’t be there. A friend asked me why I didn’t just give away books I had read. What she didn’t understand is that some books, not all, are like old friends. When you see that book on the shelf you don’t just see a gaudy cover or imposing title, you remember the fun you had reading it, you remember how it felt to be in Jingo, or Mort, or there at the end of Granny Weatherwax
So on what would have been Terry’s 70th birthday, I just want to say, THANK YOU.
*I had to get a footnote in. It’s Vimes to rhyme with times, not Vimes to rhyme with screams, apparently. Who knew.