I am very late.
I am sorry. I have no excuse, other than simply being an all-round despicable being.
So, after a quick perusal of my bookshelves – and deciding that owning three copies of each Austen novel doesn’t count – I must admit that the author by whom I own the most books is none other than Terry Pratchett.
This is partly because Pratchett has written so many books. I love Austen, but the entire sum of her work amounts to a very small finite number. Had she written 80 books, I would have them all and happily allow her to dominate my bookshelves.
Pratchett, on the other hand, can easily overrun a bookshelf. I did discuss this plenitude in last year’s meme, as my “Favorite Series“.
Pratchett is a skilled wordsmith; his work abounds delicious puns, linguistic oddities, and fun sounds.
Pratchett does not underestimate the intelligence of his reader; he plays with the genres and tropes, and bends, twists, and finds loop holes the laws of the worlds that we know, from physics to conventions.
Pratchett is a creative genius; the plots and narrative structures that spew forth from his strange mind are amazing.
I enjoy Pratchett. He amuses me. I adore his quirky characters.
And occasionally I enjoy the heart of his books. Going Postal? All about the virtue of hope! Thud!? An interesting dialogue on the personal responsibility of civic leaders.
But there are some issues with Pratchett. (The Other Egotists covered them pretty well here.) He tends towards preachy. With a decidedly, annoyingly liberal bent. Thud! also has strong overtones of “Lectures on Racism”.
Some people object to the extension of word to include spoof of basketball and rock music, rather than staying within the world of fantasy and fairy tales. But frankly, I find the willingness to include all aspects of the world charming,and Pratchett handles his subject with a light, humorous, and punny touch. And as much fun as the fantasy genre is, there is more to world than that.
And the way that Pratchett borders on Mennippean Satire thrills me to the very cockles of my cynical old heart.