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March 12, 2015

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I'm trying to think what I'd say to people who've never read Pratchett and are wondering where to start.

As you say, writing order has a lot to be said for it. In particular, that makes it much, much easier to follow the trusty "never, ever, ever read anything after Pyramids*" rule of thumb, which for reasons I cannot begin to comprehend every other reading order I've seen seems to ignore.

*I might make an exception for Small Gods, but even that is iffy.

I think his works got ever more dark and serious with "Hogfather" as a major step in that direction. In the last Discworld novels I think I spotted increasing minor consistency faults that I attributed to his Alzheimer's. Personally, I do not count Pyramids among my favorites (I think I read it only twice, once in German, once in English). I agree that the style of his writing changed significantly over time. Equal Rites has stylistically little in common with e.g. Going Postal, so I could be persuaded to believe they are from different authors, if I did not know better.
A huge loss indeed!

Praise we Pratchett who passed away
Mourn ye men his merit was high
A voice of wisdom vanished this day
Fountain of fun's flow now runs dry

Sad, one of my favorite authors. And so young, comparatively speaking. I've read many of his books, and still have a lot of catching up to do.

Alas, Ankh-Morpork has lost one of it's brightest stars. Earth, too.

Harmut, I'd agree that Pyramids was far from outstanding. It was followed by Guards! Guards!, though, and that marked a serious stylistic shift which only became more marked with time. Small Gods was a bit of a throwback, but other than that there was a change in tone and style that never was undone - far more pop culture references, and a great deal more self-indulgence. I kept reading up through Interesting Times, and even after that forced myself to read Jingo and The Last Continent, but the books seemed like nothing more than milquetoast, navel-gazing pop-culture pastiches.

I still think that my favorite of his stories was Strata. Men as the next thing to gods . . . and still using their fantastic abilities to play sophomoric tricks. Sounds like way too many people I know.

Well I'm going to plant a flag for the later ones. Going Postal (and its Sky TV adaptation) is one of the best, in my opinion, along with The Truth, dealing with the post office and the printing press respectively. But then I'm a sucker for anything with Vimes in it, and I enjoyed Snuff's Downton Abbey send-up (while emancipating a species!). There is a definite shift in tone around Pyramids, but then Pyramids is easily my least favourite, by quite a long way.

No love for Pyramids??

Pyramids was my first Pratchett and I was instantly hooked: it was utterly and completely unlike anything else, a mashup of screwball comedy, sort-of history, and political satire. Read every other Pratchett as fast as I could get my hands on them... well, nearly every other; I'm not fond of Rincewind,and can only tolerate him as a supporting player in non-Rincewind novels...

I'm heartbroken that there will be no others. At least, none by the Master. There were rumors for a while that his daughter might continue the Discworld novels, but I haven't heard anything more about that lately.

Oh, damn. I could swear I closed that tag.


italiexo!

LOTS AND LOTS of tributes out there. Here's one from XKCD: http://xkcd.com/1498/

The man touched many peoples lives for the better.

Pratchett's death touches me quite deeply. He was, in fact, one of the first authors whose novels I read in English during high school and I am truly ingreat debt to him. I learned modern English, as far as I speak it, from his books. Beffore that, I had read only Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and Rawlinson's translation of Herodotus and my English was simply unbearable.

Pratchett showed me the beauty and versatility of the current English language like no other. I believe he will be remembered as one of the greatest Englishmen of his time.

Lurker, I have read Pratchett's books out loud to my family many times, so I know what you mean. It is a pleasure to have his speech come through my body. It is also a pleasure to share his humor and perception among friends.

I'm grateful that he used his time to produce such a large body of good work for us.

Here's another tribute from one of my favorite cartoonists:

http://english.bouletcorp.com/

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