I’ve never really read much of Terry Pratchett’s stuff. Needless to say, like most of the population, I have a lot of friends who absolutely love him and own all his books, and for Xmas my in-laws bought me I Shall Wear Midnight, the story of a young witch named Tiffany who has to fight the powers of evil which she inadvertently resurrected when she got a bit frisky in the cold. Or something.
I’ll say this straight off: it certainly wasn’t bad. It’s obvious that the man can write. It just wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Pratchett’s books had been sold to me as a kind of utopian ideal of what writing should be: intelligent, hilarious, readable novels suitable for absolutely everyone and their pet cat.
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But to me, possibly because he’d been hyped up so much, it just… lacked something. I’m not even sure what. I started reading, and I found the style a bit clunky. Something in the way the book was written made me not very enthusiastic about carrying on reading. The story itself made me want to know what happened to the characters, which was, I suppose, a good thing, and there were moments of pure brilliance, but on the whole it just wasn’t as amazing as I’d been led to expect.
Yes, he’s funny at times, if you’re of the “Hahaha someone said something that might mean sex!” kind of humour, but at no point did I crack up on the train and get funny looks from my fellow commuters.
I think, if I’d been thirteen and reading Pratchett for the first time, I would have decided he was the best thing I’d ever discovered in the world ever, become addicted and still believe that now. What I’m saying is, perhaps I got there too late. Now I’m old and cynical (to be fair, still pretty young, but cynical all the same), I just can’t enjoy it the way I feel I might have if I were still at school and the idea of witches flying around on broomsticks fighting evil spirits with no eyes was still appealing.
Or perhaps I’m just a grumpy old crone who needs to re-grow a sense of humour.
He’s certainly intelligent. He can definitely write. His style just isn’t quite for me.