Time to state the obvious: I really like Terry Pratchett’s work. Like, a lot. Perhaps a bit more than is generally considered socially acceptable. Shocking, I know.
I got a couple of his Discworld books for Christmas (The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic) and loved them both, but Monstrous Regiment came highly recommended to me by Pearl, and I decided I really ought to read it.
I love this book.
Like, seriously, I think this is my favorite ever Terry Pratchett book and maybe my favorite book of all time (except that that would dismiss Harry Potter. And The Odyssey. And The Crucible. And Lloyd Alexander and Cornelia Funke and a bunch of authors and books that ought not be dismissed.). It was perfect. The story was perfect, the characters were perfect, the message was perfect. The entirety of this book was exquisite in every way.
Let’s start here: I have a pen pal in England. We started writing each other when we were probably 10 or 11. Somewhere thereabouts. We’ve never met, because I’ve never been outside the country and she’s been to lots of places but never where I am. We have a habit of sending each other fun books to read for birthdays and Christmas. It’s just what we do.
This year, for Christmas she gave me a book called Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I took AP English Literature this year, so I didn’t have a lot of time for books that I chose to read. I just started reading Good Omens a couple weeks ago, and I just finished it today (usually, I’m a much faster reader, but life happens).
Yesterday, the world lost Terry Pratchett. He was 66 years old and had written at least 50 books for children, teenagers, and adults.
I didn’t know him, of course. He was somewhere in Britain, I think, and here I am, decisively not in Britain.
But I knew him through his books.
They are funny and deep at once, speculating on life and death through the mouth of the Wee Free Men and of Miss Tick and Miss Treason and of Tiffany Aching; speaking about our world by building his own. They feel personal, even in their generalizations.