Terry Pratchett died recently. I wanted to write something but also wanted to let my thoughts settle first. I recently listened to a podcast (https://www.theincomparable.com/theincomparable/239/index.php) that reviewed his works and that helped crystallize my thinking.
I was introduced to Pratchett by a friend who gave me a copy of “Equal Rites” back around 1987 or so. It was hilarious and I wanted to read more.
I can’t think of a way to express what a great humorist he was other than to toss out a bunch of snippets and quotes from his works.
Note: This list is not meant to be comprehensive. Any correspondence like “how can you make this list without including x, y, and z?” will be ignored or ridiculed.
Some of the Notable Characters
Death: Your standard anthropomorphization with the skeleton in a hooded cowl. He’s usually portrayed as a somewhat befuddled school master who TALKS LIKE THIS. He somehow has a human granddaughter, Sue, who occasionally pinch hits for the family business.
You Bastard: One of the greatest mathematicians on Discworld. Also a camel. Apparently, your name is what people call you and people called this camel “You Bastard”. His best friend was another camel named “Evil-Minded Son of a Bitch”.
Gaspode the Wonder Dog: Your average, everyday mutt that had sentience and speech thrust upon him by stray magic. Has a Cockney accent.
The Librarian: Your average, everyday librarian who was turned from a human to an orangutan by stray magic. For reasons of his own, he has refused any attempts to restore his original form.
Note: Do not call him a monkey.
Everyone else: To hell with it. Just go over to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld_characters
Some of the Notable Quotes
Death: THERE IS NO JUSTICE, THERE’S ONLY ME
One dialog involved the ghost of a recently departed pharaoh and one of his ancestors. They had both recently been freed from being trapped in their funeral sites:
“I hate pyramids”
“You do not” said Ashk-ur-men-tep
“Excuse me, but I do” said the king, politely
“But you do not. What you feel nowe is myld dislyke. When you have lain in one for a thousand yeares,” said the ancient one, “then you will begin to know the meaning of hate.”
Moving Pictures (1990):
Gaspode the Wonder Dog: “Woof bloody woof”
Gaspode the Wonder Dog: “Woof. In tones of low menace.”
Small Gods (1992):
“There’s lions here?”
“Well . . . slightly.”
“Only one lion.”