Friday, December 18, 2015
The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
As I listened to this wonderful story, a continuation of Tiffany Aching's story, I found myself laughing one moment and then crying the next. Laughter for Pratchett's funny and imaginative characters who say and think the funniest things, or who at least have humorous names. Followed by tears because it would hit me how the world would no longer get a new book from this master author. Actually one day I found myself listening and weeping as I was driving to work. I was thinking very sad and dark thoughts when it suddenly hit me how I still haven't read over 35+ of his Discworld novels. Reading them should keep me busy for years. This new thought brought me back to laughter.
Tim Wilkins, in the book's Afterward, said Terry liked to start his stories somewhere and would write the bits he could see clearly until finally he organized all the bits into a whole, like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. I like the way he described Pratchett as "telling himself a story as he wrote." Often he would start a new story even though he wasn't finished with his current book. In this way The Shepherd's Crown came to life while he was finishing the novel, Raising Steam. If he had had more time Wilkins is sure Pratchett would have written more and done more with The Shepherd's Crown. "There are things we all wish we knew more about. But what we have is a remarkable book. Terry's final book, and anything you wish to know about in here, you are welcome to imagine yourself." Aren't the best stories those which require us to use our imaginations? I think so.
This one, The Shepherd's Crown, set my imagination humming.
And while I am handing out praise, I need to give a shout-out to Stephen Briggs. He did an absolutely brilliant job reading for the audiobook version. What a treat listening to a whole book read aloud by him.
Rating 5 of 5 stars.
HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio, Sept. 15, 2015.