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The Greatest Author on This Planet; Sir Terry Pratchett (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015)

This may come WAY so late, writing about somebody who passed away much early this year. But I just kickstarted my blog (again) and at least I may run away with that excuse, eh?

Once in 1997 I was bored and decided to buy a book with my own money (yes, yes, i admit I have STOLEN a great deal of books from people and EVEN libraries.... but that was way when I had few cash to spare, and good books were (and still) expensive). So I visited Kinokuniya of SOGO, the nearest bookstore to the light railway transit station I board to go home.

I love fantasy. And was very familiar with most of the good authors and titles. But the fantasy section in the bookstore was dismally inadequate. Only a measly row remained, with titles I had never heard of. As I did not wish to go empty handed, I picked up a few books to look.

And yes, I am someone who JUDGED a book by its cover.

(And I rarely open a book for a quick read before buying).

In the midst of those few books was a purple blue one.

Heck, the cover is bloody ugly, I thought, no wonder nobody wants it. I turned it to read the blurb;

"FAERIE TRASH.   Ever wonder what those magic circles of stones in the English countryside are for? They're to keep the elves out.
Elves are nasty (besides being brutish and short). They're vicious. They love cruelty. Plus to make things worse, they have got IT. Glamour. Style. Humans find elves absolutely irresistible. They actually think elves are cute!
So when an infestation of faerie Trash invades the Kingdom of Lancre, upsetting the Royal Wedding Plans, the ordinary people of Lancre are helpless. It's up to the witches, led by Granny Weatherax, to deal with the vicious little bastards.
Which is all right with Granny. She thinks elves are cute, too. And that makes them even more fun to kill."

I never smile while reading a book. And this blurb created an instant miracle!
I love fairy tales. And here is an author who tries to be funny in fantasy. 
I broke my own rule to judge a book by the cover, bought it and left for the station.

In the train, I opened and started to read. And it happened again, me smiling! The book was so cleverly funny that I continued reading it and finish all 281 pages that very evening.

I was smitten. Never an author had that power over me. I returned the next day after class and bought every single book by the same author (I only got two). I walked to further bookstores to acquire more titles. Traveled across states and one time, used my penpal in America to get me a couple of elusive titles (Amazon.com and online shopping were still unknown back then).

I even got some of his collaborations with other authors.

Yes, he is THAT good. Try him.

So when Sir Terry Pratchett died of Alzheimer's last March, you can say there was a small yet significant hole in my soul. This was a man, who I never met, but through his writings conveyed fantastic little miracles. He created memorable and powerful characters to emulate and hate. Elegance of words even in crude jokes. Observation of the human psyche, and the truth about human nature.

He was the greatest author who ever lived, because he made me smile (and think).

There will never be a new Discworld novel... and I have to wait for the final book to reach this shores still..... But farewell and goodbye Good Sir, your stories will live on within millions of readers who (may accidentally) stumbled upon your works....

p.s. - I found out that in later publishing, the covers of Pratchett's books had improved somewhat :)

2 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hi Ramzu! I agree, Sir Terry was the BEST. To answer your question about the "Vlad the Impala" image, I think it's a real photo although I got it from the internet so you can never be 100% sure, of course. But in the US/Canada, vanity licence plates are not extremely expensive (although they do cost more than regular licence plates.)

Ramzu Zahini said...

Madam Debra :)
Nice to know another fan of Discworld. Custom / vanity plates may cost tens of thousands here. So they are very few here. Thanks for visiting my blog :)

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