"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett

Today I finished listening to the audiobook The Shepherd's Crown. It is and will be Terry Pratchett's last novel. You see, this funny, wonderful, imaginative author died in March of this year from Alzheimer's Disease. Even though he was very sick and was losing himself to this tragic disease Pratchett still wrote this marvelous little novel to finish the Tiffany Aching series, a subset of the greater Discworld series. Actually, after the time of his diagnosis with Alzheimer's in 2007, Pratchett published five novels, some to critical acclaim like Dodger which won a Printz Honor in 2012. It is really amazing to think about. How did he do it?

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.

1 comment:

  1. I have other friends who are big fans; maybe I should start to read his books, although there seem to be a LOT of them. :)


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