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  • A user's guide to life, authorship and death

    This is a collection of essays, lectures and addresses arranged more or less chronologically. Inevitably there is some repetition, and 1-2% are not really worth reading, but the other 98-99% are pure gold. Terry Pratchett has always been a very serious writer who has tackled important issues - but in his fiction these have been concealed by his wicked sense of humour and his vehicle of fantasy. There is little fantasy in these pages, but the humour is still there and these essays are a delight.

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  • Wonderful retrospective

    As a longtime Pratchett fan I was deeply saddened by his passing & had wistfully expected never to see any new works by him (whilst repeatedly re-reading his existing works of course!) This volume therefore came as a lovely surprise - a whole collection of his nonfiction writing, which was nearly all new to me! This collection is like a bio of the author, as it contains works from across the whole of his adult writing career, and each of those in turn contains a high percentage of autobiographical material. The introduction by Neil Gaiman is perfect and the pieces themselves had me laughing, thinking, shaking my head at the strangeness of humans, and eventually even crying a bit. The only thing missing & that I'd have loved to see was any writing by Sir Terry as a family man (husband & father)...but perhaps he simply didn't produce any such work, considering that aspect of his life to be private (as far as that's possible for someone so celebrated to achieve...?) Seeing so much of his non-fix writing in one place, it was very interesting to see how some of his key ideas first appeared & then grew, becoming keystones of his approach to life - also fascinating to glimpse hints of how his (varied & often strange) personal experiences were echoed within his fiction storytelling!

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