‘People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact it’s the other way round.’ – Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad
Sir Terry Pratchett is arguably one of the most recognisable authors in recent history. In my opinion he is one of the greatest authors to come out of Beaconsfield. He is internationally renowned for his books that became the Discworld series. A series that I couldn’t get enough of that spanned a total of 41 books. He also wrote other award winning stories such as the Carpet People, and with the help of Stephen Baxter turned the High Meggas into another successful series called The Long Earth. He also wrote with equally well renowned Neil Gaiman, ‘Good Omens’. But most fondly he is remembered for his imagination, his wisdom, and Discworld.
‘Of all the dead authors in the world, Terry Pratchett is the most alive.’ – John Lloyd
At the time of his death in 2015, award-winning and bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett was working on his finest story yet – his own. But sadly, it was never finished. The mantle of completing Terry’s memoir was passed to Rob Wilkins, his former assistant, friend and now head of the author’s literary estate. A huge responsibility but ultimately, in my opinion, the best man for the job, after Sir Terry himself of course.
The biography touches on more than just the writer with his late trademark hat. From Journalism, to being a Press Officer, to bee keeping, gardening, silversmithing, forging, early electronics, home and garden automation and absolutely anything to help fill in the gaps when he wasn’t writing. He was a man of natural procrastination techniques writing an average of 2 books a year, I think we can afford him that.
It’s hard not to get emotional about how it all ended, and how much of an embuggerance his diagnosis was for early onset Alzheimer’s. These are perhaps my own selfish feelings that we were robbed of a legacy that should have lasted a few more decades. I listened to this on Audiobook and it was clear that even with Rob Wilkins narrating it that the emotions are still very raw, but I can think of no better narrator for this powerful biography.
Terry was a spectacular human being, not least for his writing, but for his grumpiness, his rage, his human failings and the energy it gave him which resulted in stark reflections of the real world around us from injustice to the human condition. From reading his books and the media, we believe that he was a friendly, hat wearing, twinkly eyed Grandpa. The official biography shows that he was human, and perhaps by the end of it, we love him even more. A resounding tribute to the finest literary talent.
‘No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away, until the clock wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life is only the core of their actual existence.’ – Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
GNU Terry Pratchett
About the Book
At six years old, Terry was told by his headteacher that he would never amount to anything.
He spent the rest of his life proving that teacher wrong. At sixty-six, Terry had lived a life full of achievements: becoming one of the UK’s bestselling writers, winning the Carnegie Medal and being awarded a knighthood for services to literature.
Following his untimely death from Alzheimer’s disease, the mantle of completing Terry’s memoir was passed to Rob Wilkins, his former assistant, friend and now head of the author’s literary estate.
Drawing on his own extensive memories, along with those of Terry’s family, friends, fans and colleagues, Rob recounts Terry’s extraordinary story – from his early childhood to the literary phenomenon that his Discworld series became; and how he met and coped with the challenges that ‘The Embuggerance’ of Alzheimer’s brought with it.
About The Author
Terry and Rob worked together for over fifteen years and, in between fiddling around with electronics and old computers, telescopes and chickens, the Discworld was polished and characters created, bringing book after book to readers the world over. Terry’s sharp wit, wry observations of the human condition and a unique perspective of our own world earned him a legion of dedicated fans, and Rob walked every step of the journey with him.
“Terry made the writing process look effortless and he was able to do that by working very, very hard,” said Rob. “He made every sentence shine and he kept polishing and polishing until I pulled the manuscript away from him. I miss that. I miss Terry my friend, obviously, but being so close to the creative process and Terry the writer, well, that’s the thing I miss the most.” – from Discworld.com
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