My absolute favourite author is Terry Pratchett. For nearly ten years now I have enjoyed his books, each one delights me in it’s own special way. I must have read each of them a dozen times, yet they never bore me. If you have yet to experience his magical brain I implore you to go out and consume them all as quickly as possible. All of the Discworld books are a mixture of fantasy, satire and morality all served up with a humongous dollop of humour and they are superb.
His latest offering dropped through my letterbox on Saturday afternoon, and I finished reading it late last night. Usually I can read any new book of his in a day. Unfortunately life had different plans for me, and I was forced to work, fiddle about with some computers and do some of that boring stuff called sleep. But no matter, because I finally finished it last night
Blind Io it was worth it
The title is “Snuff”, and it concentrated on one of my favourite characters; Sam Vimes. I won’t go into too much detail, as I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone, but the plot focuses upon a holiday the great commander is forced to have. He is sent packing to the countryside with his wife and child, young Sam, who is now six and completely enthralled by bodily functions. As Vimes often remarks, where there is a policeman there is crime, and sure enough he quickly becomes aware of something rotten lurking amongst the greenery. We are given an insight into Wilkins, Vimes’ gentlemen’s gentleman, who is not only a remarkable companion he is also very well versed in the art of killing. I was really pleased to learn more about him, as he has always been a fascinating peripheral character and up until now we have just caught glimpses of his other talents. We also get to know more about goblins, and their mysterious filthy habits. And of course we once again are graced by the presence of Vetinari, the Machiavellian genius who is the tyrant of Ank-Morpork. I once read that Terry Pratchett has received numerous letters detailing some women’s passion and deep rooted love of Vetinari, which just goes to show the pure persuasiveness and realistic style of his writing. Buy it here
I myself am a little in love with Sam Vimes. Yes, he is a fictional character who is married and in his fifties, but who ever said that the path of love is a smooth one?
And now I want to have a bit of a rant. You see, Sir Terry was diagnosed with a rare form of alzhiemers in 2007 . you may have seen the two television shows he participated in to show his journey of getting the diagnosis and the ways in which he deals with it. He came across as a very lovely and genuine man who is extremely brave. Yet with all that to deal with he is still writing. And here comes the bit that angers me…… In a lot of reviews of his most recent books his illness is mentioned. WHY? He is a fantastic writer, he always has been. Yet some people feel the need to define him by something that he just happens to have. That is an insult to him, he is so much more than that. Yes, you may not like some of his books, you may not like any of them. There are some people who only like his earlier works. Fair enough. But there is no need at all to bring anything other than his talent in to any discussion of his books. Yes I know that is what I am doing here, but I am not judging any of his work on the basis of before vs after his illness. I only judge his work based on his work, nothing more and nothing less. And that is the way it should be.
If I ever get to meet him I can die a happy idiot