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22 November 2012

'A Blink of the Screen' by Terry Pratchett

I did not know what to expect when I bought this book.  I had not read Pratchett short stories before.  Fortunately, I was surprised and entertained in new ways.  His personal comments before every story showed his vulnerability as an author.  It seems he is never satisfied, which is well and good. I like a writer who wants to improve himself but he is still sending stories out into the world with a very English "hope for the best but expect the worst" attitude.  No cockiness anywhere.

The start was perfect.  An unadulterated story by a 13 year old Terry.  His first story published.  My daughter perked her ears up at this and laughed right through it.  I smiled and thanked the universe that adults in his world encouraged him.  From then on the stories were new and familiar all at the same time.

"The Glastonbury Tales", a poem about picking up hitchhikers to Glastonbury was funny, and dare I write the word?... cute.  At least that is how his naive passengers seemed to me.  As for the bewildered, patient, atheist driver, well his generosity and patience speaks for itself. Granny Weatherwax is one of my favorite Discworld characters.  I haven't seen her in a while so it was a relief to read of her troubles at the top of the non-existent ranking of witches.  But, one of my favorite stories was "The Hollywood Chickens".  Fantastic imagination, who else can get into the mind of a chicken? Or wants to?  Once I figured out what the chickens were in fact, up to, I realized that you cannot go against your nature.

I recommend this book to those poor souls who have resisted Pratchett thus far but want to briefly see what all the fuss is about.  Anyone who likes Pratchett probably already has this book.

Terry Pratchett
ISBN: 9780385618984

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