I was deeply grieved yesterday to hear of Sir Terry Pratchett’s death. His Discworld books have been a comfort and joy to me since I discovered them through a friend and her mum when I was fourteen. I started on The Light Fantastic and if I am honest it was a bit beyond me and I certainly didn’t catch any of the nuances, but something about them hooked me and I spent most of my pocket money, wages and birthday/Christmas wish lists on the Discworld series.
The books and their characters quickly because my friends. If I am tired, overwhelmed, depressed, wanting to laugh or just wanted companionship I turn to the Discworld books again and again. It would be no exaggeration to say that I have read a lot of them over twenty times at least. One of the joys of the books was that I would always ‘get’ something new because of things I had read, heard or seen since the time I last read the book. They are multi-layered and faceted books.
I moved a lot when I was in my twenties and early thirties and the books always came with me and eventually the paperbacks were starting to disintegrate through overuse. As soon as I got my Kindle I started buying them all up on there too. I recently discovered a great reader of the Discworld audio books (Stephen Briggs) and while I have been at my most exhausted I have been greatly enjoying having them read to me. Don’t get the Celia Imrie reading of Equal Rites -it is appalling and almost offensive in my opinion.
Granny Weatherwax has always been my favourite character, although Tiffany Aching certainly gives her a run for her money and I have been getting increasingly fond of Sam Vimes. I have been contemplating getting the Summoning Dark mine sign and Vime’s own the Guarding Dark tattooed on my wrists for a while now and I am resisting rushing out and getting them in response too this very sad news.
When I got the news I was near the end of the Going Postal audiobook which I had been listening to that day and wearing my Tiffany Aching nail ring from the Wintersmith. And of course yesterday I started re-reading Mort.
I am genuinely grieved by the lost of my Discworld friends’ futures, but like most fans I am glad that Sir Terry is not suffering from his ’embuggerance’ any further (Alzheimers) and I give thanks for so many hours of joy, laughter and companionship with the Discworld people and animals OOK.
There is a Just Giving page to donate money to the Rice Institute for the Care of Older People here, it has already raised over £25,000.