Tag Archives: Terry Pratchett

Thoughts on the death of Terry Pratchett

For those of you who visit this blog regularly it won’t come as a surprise that I feel a deep sense of loss at the passing of the great man that was Sir Terry Pratchett. I didn’t know him personally of course, but there are many out there feeling sorrow who likewise never were lucky enough to meet him, and were instead simply touched by his words, his stories, and his characters. I have been absent from this blog for a little while, and his passing has brought me back. I need to talk about Terry Pratchett.

Credit: The Telegraph

He was, and remains, my favourite author. I looked forward to every new Discworld book that was released, excited for the clever satire, the gentle puns, the sarcastic asides. Mr Pratchett created some of my favourite fictional characters, and it hurts that I will never read another one of his original tales.

Like many people, my favourite strain of Pratchett’s world were the stories that followed the Nightwatch of Ankh Morpork, especially when there were scenes that featured Commander Vines and Patrician Vetinari (extra points for when Carrot and his seeming inability to lie were involved). Terry Pratchett created worlds seemingly effortlessly, with political structures and ways of life portrayed in such a casual way. His casual dismissal of democracy, viewed in Ankh-Morpork as no way to run a civilised society, was in fact one of my favourite things about his fictional world.

Completely removed from Discworld, Good Omens, which Terry Pratchett wrote with Neil Gaiman, is in fact my favourite book (tied with the much darker Catch-22), again because of the excellent characters and easy wit. Crowley and Aziraphale are maybe two of my favourite literary creations of all time.

And of course no one can mention Terry Pratchett and not mention how he seemingly re-created Death (or should that be DEATH?) – he managed to make the spectre of doom awkward, likeable and even relatable, as when Death tries to work on his customer service skills or takes time off from his job of collecting the deceased.

His passing is greatly saddening for me. I will miss his work, his campaigning and what he brought to the genre of fantasy. Let the legacy of this great author live on.

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Good Omens: The Radio Version

For anyone who’s interested, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens has just been aired on BBC Radio Four, and is available to listen to worldwide. Yes, that’s right. Worldwide. That means little old me in France didn’t have to suffer the crushing disappointment of having my favourite book be turned into a radio series and not be able to listen to it because I was in France; no, instead geography did not stand in my way and I was able to listen to every episode. It was glorious.

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For anyone who has been following my blog since June, you may have realised I love Terry Pratchett, probably because I stated, more than once, that I love Terry Pratchett. I think he’s great, and, yes, Good Omens is my favourite novel (tied with the equally brilliant but quite different Catch-22). Therefore I was worried this radio series would be a disaster – surely it wouldn’t live up to the greatness of the book! Well, it didn’t, but it tried really hard and was very entertaining.

I was tied between think that Peter Serafinowicz and Mark Heap were perfect for Crowley and Aziraphale, and then at some points thinking they were not quite right. I know the book so well so maybe some of the line readings weren’t as I had pictured them in my head. However their chemistry as the frenemy demon and angel was insanely good.  Anathema and Newton were great, as were Shadwell and Madame Tracy. All their scenes I just loved.

Less convincing, for me at least were the Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse and the Them (Adam, Pepper, Wensleydale and Brian). In the novel they are such big characters I was underwhelmed, I think. But that’s the thing about adaptations, especially ones that haven’t been adapted for such a long time since they were released, that I have read over and over and over again until I know it off by heart, and whose characters I had such vivid images of, at least some aspects were always going to disappoint. It was the same with the Harry Potter series when they were turned into films – they would just never live up to the books (especially when the first few missed out bits that seemed insignificant but would prove to mean a lot more later on, but I digress).

As it was with the characters, so it was with the scenes. Some scenes were just spot on, like the opening scene with Crowley and Aziraphale at the gates of Eden, and when they fed the ducks (and again, this is what made these two characters work despite some different line readings – Serafinowicz and Heap had such chemistry). Once more, it was the Horsepersons’ scenes that underwhelmed, maybe because they varied from the book and I wanted everything to be the same, even though I knew it couldn’t be. The biggest disappointment for me though was the scene where Agnes was burnt – nothing about it worked for me, and I can’t quite place my finger on why. Again, it may simply be line readings, though I think the pacing was off too.

Despite my  rather wishy-washy attitude to the whole series, I enjoyed each episode and looked forward to the next one being released the next day. Honestly, it was never going to be able to live up to the book that I hold so dear, but I liked it anyway. If anyone wants to hear it, it will be on BBC iPlayer (available worldwide!) for the next 3 weeks.

Reading en Français

Yesterday was my birthday,  and I was given one of the best gifts I have ever received. You know those gifts where it’s obvious that the person both really knows you and has thought about the present they’re giving you – this was one of those.

It was my favourite book Good Omens – in French.

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I didn’t even know they had translated Good Omens!

I love French. I used to be able to speak it quite well but have become rusty, and in about a 5 weeks I’m going to live in France for six months, hoping to get it back up to scratch. In the meantime I’ve been using Duolingo like a fiend to try and remember all the vocab that I have lost.

Reading a book in French will help to prepare me I hope. Unfortunately, Good Omens may be too tricky a translation for me to start off with. Luckily though, my sister bought me the third Harry Potter book (my favourite one!) as well. Best get reading!

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Are these good translations? Do you even like reading translations or do you prefer original works in whatever language you enjoy reading? Let me know.

Day 14: Favourite book of your favourite author

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

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Have I talked too much about Terry Pratchett? No? Okay, best keep going then. Good Omens, co-written between Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, is one of my all time favourite books; it is just so good. I really appreciate the relationship (okay, let’s just say it, bromance) between Aziraphale and Crowley, an angel and demon who have become too used to pretending to be human, and now have to contend with the world they have become used to coming to an end. There is a whole host of other characters, including a 14th century witch, that add further humour, as well as some pretty honest but funny observations. For example, the running joke that humans can create more terror and cruelty than heaven or hell could ever imagine rings true, while still holding the ability to make you laugh. Highly recommended.

On a sidenote, if they ever get round to making the film of this, can Michael Fassbender please play either Aziraphale or Crowley? Please?!

If you’re missing your film-fix, check out Dreams From the Mind. It’s all about film and fashion, a combination of opinions and reviews. Also, for those who are interested, I’m on Instagram and Twitter.

Day 13: Favourite author

Terry Pratchett

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You may have noticed by now that I seem to worship Terry Pratchett. He is my favourite author easily. Even J.K. Rowling can’t touch him for me (yes, Harry Potter is a children’s book, but I’m part of the generation that loves it still regardless. And for those who will argue her writing isn’t perfect: no, it’s not, but the plotting is so good). Pratchett makes me laugh consistently and often, creates characters that I love in every single book he has written, and also just seems to be a good guy. For me, he is awesome.

If you’re missing your film-fix, check out Dreams From the Mind. It’s all about film and fashion, a combination of opinions and reviews.

Also, for those who are interested, I’m on Instagram and Twitter.

Day 4: Favourite book of your favourite series

Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett

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(Slight spoilers).

I have many books in the Discworld that I like (such as the Death stories and Small Gods), but as with many Discworld fans my favourite story lines are those of the Nightwatch, and Men at Arms is my favourite of those. Pratchett deals with the racial tensions between trolls and dwarfs well, the parallels to real life situations obvious and handled nicely. This, I believe, is why I enjoy this Discworld series so much: it deals with an area to which I can relate in a funny but serious way. The characters are also great. This book is the first time we meet Angua, the awesome werewolf, and returning are the sweet but sincere Carrot, Vimes, cantankerous though kind-hearted as ever, and in a side role (as always) Lord Vetinari, who I just find hilarious. It’s just a good satire with the right amount of whimsy.

If you’re missing your film-fix, check out Dreams From the Mind. It’s all about film and fashion, a combination of opinions and reviews.

Also, for those who are interested, I’m on Instagram and Twitter.

Day 3: Your favourite series

The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett

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It was a close call between Discworld and, yes, Harry Potter (I know it’s for children but I still adore it and always will). Terry Pratchett, my favourite author, pens this, one of my favourite series. I have an undying love for Terry Pratchett and all he writes, and I really do treasure the Discworld series. I find, be it films, television or books, I tend to enjoy comedy more than drama, and Terry Pratchett’s satirical series is just pure gold to me. The characters are great, and it’s just so funny!

If you’re missing your film-fix, check out Dreams From the Mind. It’s all about film and fashion, a combination of opinions and reviews.

Also, for those who are interested, I’m on Instagram and Twitter.