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Press Reviews

What the Press says about Terry Pratchett

More clippings are also available from

The following press clips have been supplied by Colin Smythe. As Terry's agent, there is an understable bias towards positive reviews.

At the British Book Awards for 2000, held on 22 February 2001, Terry Pratchett received The Bookseller Services to Bookselling Award'. Here's what Nicholas Clee, The Bookseller's Editor, said:

'The winner of The Bookseller's award for a lifetime contribution to bookselling is an author. He is the kind of author who tends to get overlooked when awards committees meet. One reason for this neglect may be that he produces bestsellers year after year, and so gets taken for granted; another, that the genre in which he writes is unfashionable among the kinds of people who sit on awards committees. Yet for a good many years he has been one of the three most popular novelists in Britain, and no author has done more to help booksellers, chains and independents, to sell his books. Ladies and gentlemen, please pay tribute to Terry Pratchett.'

Terry Pratchett is probably the most popular fantasy author living today. He had his first story published in Science Fantasy at the age of fifteen; his first full-length book, written when he was seventeen, was published when he was twenty-three.

Three of his books were in the Guardian's top paperback best-seller lists in 1990, 1991, and 1993, and two in those of 1989, 1992, 1994 and 1995. In November 1991, Terry held the no.1 spot in both the hardcover and paperback fiction best-seller lists with Witches Abroad and Moving Pictures, as well as the top three places on the teenage fiction list (Truckers, Diggers and Wings). In January 1992 W.H.Smith stated that sales of Terry's books accounted for 10% of all SF and fantasy sales through their branches. In June 1992, he again held the no.1 spot in the hardcover and paperback fiction best-seller lists simultaneously (Small Gods and Reaper Man).

Transworld's and Gollancz's sales of their editions alone of Terry's books now exceed 20,000,000 copies, and The Colour of Magic has sold over a million copies in the English language. The hardcover edition of each new title sells well over 200,000 copies in the first year and each Discworld paperback now over a third of a million. In September 1990 Truckers was the first children's book ever to make the adult hardback fiction best-seller list. The paperback edition of his children's book The Carpet People (a rewritten version of his first book which was published in 1971) held the no.2 place in the adult list for two weeks running in May 1993, while Small Gods held the no.1 place two weeks running the following month. Johnny and the Dead won the 1993 Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for the Best Children's Book and, having been produced as a four-part serial by LWT for ITV (stars including George Baker, Brian Blessed, and Jane Lapotaire), it is now available on video, with the incidental music on CD. The latest Johnny Maxwell book, Johnny and the Bomb, won the Silver 1996 Smarties Award in its age group. Every Discworld novel now almost automatically appears on the no.1 spot on publication. Hogfather, published on 7 November 1996, went straight to no.1, while Maskerade held the same position in the paperback fiction list. Both held their positions into the following weeks. Most of the novels are available on cassette, both in complete 6-cassette editions (from ISIS) and in abridged 2-cassette versions from Corgi. Gollancz have issued four of the volumes as Compact Discworlds, which are small enough to find into anyone's pockets. The Pratchett Portfolio, with illustrations by Paul Kidby and text by Terry was published by Gollancz in September 1996.

Terry Pratchett was born on 28 April 1948. He started work in journalism in 1965 and saw his first corpse three hours later, work experience meaning something in those days. After doing just about every job it is possible to do in provincial journalism, except of course covering Saturday afternoon football, he joined the Central Electricity Generating Board and became press officer for four nuclear power stations. He would write a book about his experiences if he thought anyone would believe it.

All this came to an end in 1987 when it became obvious that the Discworld series was much more enjoyable than real work (and more profitable). He has written twenty novels in the series, and they have a regular place in the best-seller lists. He has also written seven children's books, including the Truckers trilogy (called The Bromeliad Trilogy in the USA), the first volume of which was produced as a thirteen-part TV serial by Cosgrove Hall, transmitted in early 1992. Occasionally he gets accused of literature.

He lives near Salisbury, with his wife Lyn and daughter Rhianna. He says writing is the most fun anyone can have by themselves.

He was shortlisted for the British Book Awards' 1991 Author of the Year award, with Jackie Collins and Peter Mayle (who won), as well as for the 1992 award, when Andrew Morton was the winner. He won the first BCA Science Fiction Award at the 1993 British Book Awards, as well as being shortlisted for their Children's Author of the Year award. According to an OUP Survey, his books account for 1% of all fiction sales and 10% of all SF and fantasy. In W.H.Smith, his books account for 18% of all SF/Fantasy sales, and Waterstones say he is their biggest selling living author.


[Colin Smythe] I'm delighted to say that Terry won the 2001 CILIP Carnegie Medal for The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.

The Award was announced at a ceremony at the British Library today. He was given the award by the Special Guest Tony Hart whose painting skills have delighted viewers of BBC TV for nigh on 50 years, who also gave the Kate Greenaway award for the best illustrated book to Chris Riddell as illustrator of Richard Platt's PIRATE DIARY. [CILIP stands for Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals]

The following is the PR release sent out by Doubleday:

Terry Pratchett wins coveted Carnegie Medal

The most prestigious award for children's literature, the Carnegie Medal, has this year been awarded to one of the country's most popular novelists.

Terry Pratchett's first novel for children for five years, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents was today announced as the 2001 winner. At a ceremony held at The British Library, Terry Pratchett was presented with his medal by representatives from CILIP, the body responsible for administrating the award.

"Our decision was unanimous," says Karen Usher, Chair of this year's judging panel. "This is an outstanding work of literary excellence: a brilliant twist on the tale of the Pied Piper that is funny and irreverent, but also dark and subversive. It is a rich multi-layered story with a pacy plot and excellent characterisation. Terry Pratchett uses his trademark wit and humour to question our society's attitudes and behaviour in a way that is totally accessible for children of 10 years and over."

In spite of having 48 books in print and worldwide sales in excess of 27 million, this is the first mainstream literary award that Terry Pratchett has won. "I'm totally delighted and genuinely shocked," says Terry. "I'd have bet £1000 against me! I'm especially pleased because Maurice isn't just fantasy but funny fantasy, too. It's nice to see humour taken seriously."

Maurice is the first children's book set in Pratchett's imaginative creation -Discworld. It is a story within a story; a rich satire of the well-known Pied Piper tale peopled by intelligent rats, an equally intelligent, streetwise tomcat, Maurice, and Keith 'a stupid looking kid' with a pipe. Maurice masterminds a moneymaking scam; they infest town after town and until Keith gets paid to pipe them away. All is well until they enter the beleaguered Bad Blintz where they encounter Malicia Grim, a girl who inhabits a world of fairy stories, and a dark and sinister evil - a totally new concept for the rats.

His previous books for children have enjoyed considerable best-selling success and have been shortlisted for many awards including the Carnegie Medal (1994, 1997), The Guardian Children's Fiction Award (1993, 1997), and the Children's Book Award (1997). He won the 1993 Writers Guild Award (Children's Books) for Johnny and the Dead and in 1996 was awarded the Smarties Prize Silver Award (9-11 age category) for Johnny and the Bomb in 1996.


At the British Book Awards for 2000, held on 22 February 2001, Terry Pratchett received 'The Bookseller Services to Bookselling Award'. Here's what Nicholas Clee, The Bookseller's Editor, said:

'The winner of The Bookseller's award for a lifetime contribution to bookselling is an author. He is the kind of author who tends to get overlooked when awards committees meet. One reason for this neglect may be that he produces bestsellers year after year, and so gets taken for granted; another, that the genre in which he writes is unfashionable among the kinds of people who sit on awards committees. Yet for a good many years he has been one of the three most popular novelists in Britain, and no author has done more to help booksellers, chains and independents, to sell his books. Ladies and gentlemen, please pay tribute to Terry Pratchett.'


How important is Terry Pratchett? Even more than you might think. Mr Pratchett, by himself, accounted for 6.5% of all hardback fiction sales through the general retail market (GRM) in 1998.

Mr Pratchett's hardbacks, according to Whitaker Book Track figures from Bookseller Publications' Book Sales Book Sales Yearbook, generated more than £2.7m worth of turnnover last year. In paperback, he was the third bestselling author, behind Catherine Cookson and Danielle Steel, with sales worth more than £3m.

One of the keys to Mr Pratchett's success is the strength of his backlist. Twenty-one of his paperback titles each sold more than 16,000 copies last year.

The Bookseller 14/5/99



Best SF/Fantasy Original Novel:

2. Maskerade

4. Feet of Clay

5. Hogfather

Best Non-Fiction SF/Fantasy-related Book: 8. The Discworld Companion

Best SF/Fantasy Author: 1. Terry Pratchett

SFX Hall of Fame For Contributions to SF Literature: 1. Terry Pratchett

Best SF/Fantasy-related Computer Software: 2. Discworld II

Best SF/Fantasy-related Artwork:

6. Hogfather cover

8. Paul Kidby - Pratchett Portfolio

9. Josh Kirby's Pratchett covers

Worst-dressed Person in SF: 7. Terry Pratchett


Reading a new Discworld novel is like trying to eat a doughnut without licking your lips, but the strength of Pratchett's writing is that the books can happily stand repeated readings. A second, more leisurely scrutiny reveals the subtler pleasures of his prose.

Peter Ingham in The Times 6 November 1999


... you read him for the style, the sheer frictionless glide of the language, the superb compiling, timing and finishing of each beautifully realised phrase. No one else can build a comic effect or orchestrate a multi-voice dialogue with the same consummate craftsmanship. What's more, these are no mere verbal special effects: Pratchett's humour is based on solid observation, the ability to view gobbets of the commonplace through the distorting microscope of fantastic comedy, to make the grotesque seem familiar and the familiar grotesque.

Tom Holt in SFX, December 1996


an author who is almost as valuable to booksellers as the delightful Delia [Smith].... A Services to Bookselling award is long overdue.

David Wilkerson of Heffers, Cambridge, The Bookseller 22.9.95 p.39.


Terry Pratchett is the only writer - dead or alive or anywhere in between - who makes me laugh out loud.

Kate Atkinson


To say that Terry Pratchett is popular is like saying the Arctic Circle is a bit nippy. Pratchett, author of the endless Discworld comic fantasies, stops the traffic when he appears at a bookshop for a signing session.

One little notice in the window, and out swarm legions of his fans, looking like a fashion parade of bobble-hats and anoraks. Pratchett appeals to nerds and net-surfers, chess champions and sad blokes who lurk in the corners of laboratories.

This zitty, speccy image tends to alienate more self-consciously literary types: So what? Pratchett's novels sell in lorry loads.

Literary acclaim is one thing he does not need. It is a big mistake, however, to write him off as a mere vendor of trip, just because so many of his admirers never read a book by anyone else. They may be dowdy to the point of mild autism, but they are, usually, also highly intelligent....

Above all Discworld is a benign place, where little boys in bobble-hats may graze in tranquil safety.

Kate Saunders in Sunday Express, 2.6.96


Unique in the publishing universe, his prodigious output sells across the adult/child divide as well as in just about every medium - from the written word to graphic novel and out into the burgeoning digital world.

Publishing News


Terry Pratchett is an annoying author. Once upon a time, everyone knew that dragons and wizards and mythical quests were as ineffably naff as a heavy-metal record collection and a taste for snakebite. But now, however, Pratchett's tales of magical mayhem in the cosmically improbable city of Ankh-Morpork and the surrounding Discworld sit comfortably on the shelves of dons and deacons.

The unforgivable literary sins of graphic novels and lavish maps have been blithely committed, the horrors of plastic models and a full blown progressive rock concept album visited on us, but even Islington dinner-party guests will admit to owning a Pratchett or ten. What he does is so seductive that nobody seems to mind.

The keys to his writing are an instinct for the ridiculous. A page picked at random from any of the books can as easily contain Christopher Marlowe as quantum physics, H.G. Wells or Madonna played at full volume.

Enthusiasm, not earnestness, sugars the pill. And two or three times a year another appears, and always a best-seller.

Yet pleasant prose and dotty characters are not normally enough to absolve an author of science-fantasy obsessions. So, in many subtle ways, Pratchett melds everything with a classic liberal belief in the ascendancy of common decency. In Small Gods, one of the more thoughtful novels, he deftly weaves themes of forgiveness, belief and spiritual regeneration....

Pratchett has other worlds less extensively mined, notably the Earth of the early 1990s. Ostensibly he writes about this for younger readers; the adult books have longer words and the juvenile fiction shorter sentences, but they are otherwise interchangeable....

While other writers gnaw at violence, sexuality and rootless despair, Pratchett's multi-dimensional frolics, spiced with esoterica, common-sense and sympathy will never be taken entirely seriously. But then joyous escapism has always annoyed the intellectuals.

Rupert Goodwin in The Times 5.3.94


Terry Pratchett has come closer than any writer now living to breaking through the snob barrier - that is to say, his books are well-written and bring joy to readers, yet still manage to get reviewed by people with university degrees.

The reason is not hard to find - it is the overpowering sense of moral scrutiny which runs through his work. Like a little furry creature scratchijng away at the wall of its cage or like a self-taught engineer taking a clock apart and then painstakingly reassembling it, Pratchett never gives up.

He is the most single-minded writer since Dickens: stubbornly, resolutely concerned with examining and illuminating the gears and cogs of the human condition.

On the other hand, most critically acclaimed contemporary literature, over-rated and under-read, has completely abandoned any kind of mission - not only the mission to entertain, which is clearly the honest writer's first duty, but also the mission to question and to moralise.

Popular writers of Pratchett's quality speak on behalf of the ordinary spear-carrier, both by virtue of their actual readership and by unashamed intention.

He is free of the Oxbridge sophisticate's fear of being serious and contempt for comedy. Free of the establishment novelist's paralysing terror of being mistaken for an ordinary person. Like all the best godless writers throughout history, he quietly insists on continuing to enquire, on pursuing his own road, unembarrassed by his own enthusiasm, uninterested in the cliques and claques of the kind of subsidised authors who get discussed at Guardian readers' dinner parties.

Because he concentrates on one series of novels and because he has written so many books over such a short period, the evidence in his favour piles up and becomes irresistible - until even people who were taught at college that enjoying reading is a sin - the modern heirs to those who believed sex was for procreation only - are forced to give in and admite that Pratchett's work is of importance.

To his millions of readers around the world, this is not news: he is, by any objective measurement, surely the most admired novelest currently working.

Mat Coward in Morning Star, 19.8.96


Mad magic, wild adventures, hilarious characters and situations, and enchanting prose. Most writers would have been reduced to repeating themselves by now; Pratchett finds a mother lode of ore every time he returns to the vein.

San Francisco Chronicle


From one of the best selling science fantasy authors of all time.

London Parents' Guide, 5.


If you haven't read Terry Pratchett, you really should. Don't dismiss him as writing just for teenagers for here is a man of great talent, wit and appeal for all.

Today, 3/11/94


Terry Pratchett has made his millions from the international sales of a phenomenally successful series of novels published under the collective title of Discworld.

His unusual and humorous science fiction writing, together with his gregarious and colourful character, have given him a massive following.

Since the publication of Mort, in 1988, every single book he has written - produced at an average of two to three a year - has hit the best-seller list, generally at the no.1 spot. There are enough serious hardcore fans to guarantee this. Many read and re-read his books, such is their fervour. Although most people have still not heard of Pratchett, he is becoming immensely wealthy.

In the UK alone he has sold well over four million books.... His royalty cut is very, very high.... We have estimated his wealth based on royalties earned, royalties due on existing print-runs, and the value of the copyrights, which is huge. Pratchett fever has yet to reach its peak.

Business Age, 1995 [Inaccurate, of course, but...]


For those of us who grew up transfixed by the odyssey across the centuries of H.G.Wells's time traveller, humour in science fiction was largely absent. Many later SF writers developed a nice line in social satire, but the complex humour that Terry Pratchett brought to the genre was a revelation. It was particularly surprising because Pratchett specialised in a (then) largely despised offshoot of the genre: the sub-Tolkien fantasy. Thanks, of course, to Pratchett and other less tongue-in-cheek practitioners, that brand of whimsy now has hard SF on the ropes.

His latest, Maskerade, shows again why he's our best comic novelist - the bizarre offspring of Charles Dickens's comic grotesques populate his Discworld.

Barry Forshaw in New Scientist 4.5.96


SF & Fantasy: a big category - 18% of all [W.H.Smith's] sales, with Terry Pratchett so much the king of it that every other author is diminished by comparison.

Derek Parker in "Pick of the Bunch", The Author, Summer 1995


Terry Pratchett is simply the best humorous writer of the 20th century. Wodehouse, Waugh, Sharpe etc. all have their merits - sometimes considerable - but Pratchett really is a cut above the rest.

Brendan Wignall in Oxford Times


When they come to pronounce the best British writers of our time, ivory-towered literati will no doubt pass over the name of Terry Pratchett because it would be heresy to suggest that this country's greatest living novelist could be a writer of fantasy adventure stories. They will be wrong.

Although they occasionally flirt with popular novelists.... the great arbiters of art generally believe that the last thing art can be is fun. But Pratchett is proof that you can write thoughtful novels without the reader needing a PhD in Renaissance symbolism.

His great skills are in drawing thumbnail sketches of characters that manage to enthral the reader, while at the same time piloting them through the white-water rapids of his plot. He is a brilliant story-teller with a sense of humour that is as celebratory as it is caustic. He is a moralist, a philosopher and a humanist whose infectious fun completely engulfs you. He leaves you thinking that not only has he accurately reflected our world but that the world would be a better place if it could somehow reflect his.

Night & Day


As always he is head and shoulders above even the best of the rest. He is screamingly funny. He is wise. He has style.

Daily & Sunday Telegraph Christmas Books, 1990


Quite probably the funniest living author, bar nobody.

Good Book Guide


One of the best-selling fantasy writers in the world, writes for readers of any age and all ages - it's publishers and bookshops who place his books on 'children's' and 'adult' shelves. Fans do nothing of the sort.

RTE Guide


Few authors speak with the same voice to children and grown-ups alike, but Terry Pratchett does. His first novel, The Carpet People, written originally for children, was recently back on the adult bestseller list. In fact, all his children's books have been on the adult best-seller lists, which must make him unique in publishing annals.

SHE Magazine


One of the things that modern readers find difficult about ancient (and perhaps especially Latin) literature is the complexity and obscurity of mythological and literary references. Clearly, ancient readers got a lot of pleasure from spotting an obscure allusion. Pratchett is the only modern author known to me with a comparable range and depth of allusion. At times he approaches the obscure perversity of even Propertius at his most dense. To squeeze all of the juice out of a Pratchett novel, the reader needs quite a wide knowledge of English literature, modern science, history, philosophy, mythology, popular music, computer technology, mathematics, and much more; and although not every reader will catch every reference, it is fun when you spot what he is up to....

There is something reassuring about finding that where the classical world features in this map of contemporary culture, it is not on the side of the hierarchy, stagnation, or tradition, but represents the daydreamers, the creators, the best side of the human race.

Richard Wallace [Head of Classics Dept, University of Keele], 'Some Unregarded Aspects of the Reception of Classics in the 20th Century', in CA News, 12.1996.


Pratchett must be the funniest British writer working today - in any genre.

Michael Cooban in Yorkshire Post


For those of you who have not yet surrendered to the Pratchett phenomenon, the feeling you are left with on reaching the end of a Discworld book is the reading equivalent of that glow you have at the coffee and cognac stage of a sumptuous four-course meal in an exquisite restaurant deep in rural France.

Neil Jones, in Interzone, September 1996


Pratchett is the funniest parodist working in the field today, period.

The New York Review of Science Fiction


I'm addicted to Terry Pratchett.

A.S.Byatt in Telegraph Magazine


Pratchett in my view is one of the great modern storytellers.

A. S. Byatt, On Histories and Stories, Chatto & Windus, 2000


His turn of phrase makes me laugh - what else could you ask for?

David Gower


If you don't know Pratchett and Discworld, you've a treat in store. He's the funniest writer I've come across.

Jerry Pournelle in Byte


Pratchett's satisfyingly lengthy [Discworld] series has made him one of the most widely read, best respected and nakedly envied writers of the century.

Evening Post (Nottingham)


The clown prince of fantasy fiction.

Daily Mail


What can I say? I believe this man to be a genius in the comic interpretation of our culture, a man to read, re-read and quote. Try him.

Wigan Evening Post 27.5.95


Clearly, serious reviewers have a problem with Pratchett. They like his work a lot, but they are as embarrassed by this as a hip, young rock critic would be caught listening to Mariah Carey. What embarrasses them is that Pratchett is hugely successful, that he's a very funny writer, and that he writes in the fantasy genre - perceived as the home of kack writers. Add to this Pratchett's past as a journalist and - worse still - a PR, and he becomes some kind of critical leper. So, for critics actually to stand up and be counted as Pratchett fans you'd have to assume his writing is very good indeed - and you'd be right....


Official chaos is one of Pratchett's favourite targets: his authorial voice is that of the 'sensible person'. If he's just a bit too pun-happy, a bit too damn funny for one to write phrases such as 'authorial voice' without wondering if you aren't giviing entirely the wrong impression about what kind of books these are, well. . . . the point is, if he's just a bit too popular to be that good, he's also just a bit too good to be that popular. For a man who is Waterstone's best selling living author, he has an extraordinary imagination.

Mark Edwards in The Sunday Times 19.3.95


The great UK comic success of the 1980s is Terry Pratchett, whose Discworld books climb to the top of the bestseller lists with satisfying regularity, and who writes work both joyful and delightful, allowing the little man his triumphs as well as his agonies.

J.Clute & P.Nicholls, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction


... selling thousands of copies - a complete amateur - doesn't even write in chapters - hasn't a clue.

Tom Paulin on BBC2's Late Review


Tolkien's name has become as much a household property as Hoover and Biro. The name of Pratchett is not far behind . . . . Pratchett is Gilbert and Sullivan to the Wagner of Tolkien's Ring . . . . The Discworld novels, to continue the metaphor, are works of marvellous composition and rattling good stories. You would whistle them in the street if you could . . . . The function of humour is to help us cope with the dark side of life; Terry Pratchett is worth a dozen psychotherapists.

David V.Barrett in New Statesman and Society


Terry Pratchett continues to defy the odds. An open-ended series that just keeps getting better? Humorous fantasy with resources beyond puns, buffoonery, and generations of cardboard characters? Unheard of - until Pratchett.

Faren Miller in Locus


Pratchett demonstrates just how great the distance is between one- or two-joke writers and the comic masters whose work will still be read well into the next century. So, no more talk about his 'getting better with each book'. He reached the top of his form some time ago, and should remain there for years, to everyone's benefit.

Locus, January 1990


I'm beginning to think that Terry Pratchett is the best humourist this country has seen since P.G.Wodehouse - less coarse than Tom Sharpe, less cynical than Douglas Adams, simply a pure joy. The fact that he's working in our field is just our immense good fortune.

David Pringle in White Dwarf


Terry Pratchett has been called the Douglas Adams of fantasy, and in the sense that both satirise aspects of SF, this is true, but Pratchett's books are fresher that Adams', they have more plot, and the jokes are funnier.

Jon Wallace in Vector


Terry Pratchett is quite as inventive as Adams while having altogether greater skills as a manipulator of character and situation. When Adams tries to humanise and deepen his characters, the result is mawkishly sentimental; Pratchett can humanise and deepen his characters while making them act in achingly funny ways.

Roz Kaveney in Books


What makes Terry Pratchett's fantasies so entertaining is that their humour depends on the characters first, and on the plot second, rather than the other way around. The story isn't there simply to lead from one slapstick pratfall to another pun. Its humour is genuine and unforced.

Charles de Lint in Ottawa Citizen


On W.H.Smith's scale of one to six, he is at level one, which puts him in the Jack Higgins bracket and qualifies his work for space at every branch in the country.

'Master of the Universe': an interview by Elisabeth Dunn in the Telegraph Magazine 13.1.90


One of the best, and one of the funniest English authors alive, is Terry Pratchett.... he is as funny in person as he is in print.

The Independent 7.4.91


Terry Pratchett's books are addictive and the number of those addicted is still rising.

Peter Donaldson, Red Lion Books, Colchester, in The Bookseller


At the core of Pratchett's amazing success is an uncanny ability to posit and describe a world that defies all accepted laws of physics, theology, common sense and sundry highway regulations.

His novels exceed accepted tariff weights for magic, seethe with innuendo, glory in irreverence and raise cheeky hyperbole to heights never before achieved by any modern writer (or at least not by one unfettered by a canvas jacket with mandatory locking cufflinks).

His fantastic stories ... are among the funniest (and let's not forget cheapest) form of entertainment any lover of the unorthodox and oblique will find on this or any other planet.

Mike Steele, in North Shore News, Abbotsford/ Sumas/ Matsqui News, Smithers Interior News, etc.


The juvenile scene, looking for a strong market leader to fill the vacuum left by the late Roald Dahl, may find him in Terry Pratchett.

Alex Hamilton 'The paperback bestsellers of 1992', The Bookseller 15.1.93


In the world of British and American letters there is an assumption that it is acceptable to write a half-baked literary novel and still be taken seriously. Write genre fiction, and unless you are an Elmore Leonard, a William Gibson or a Terry Pratchett - and even then - it is going to be an uphill struggle .... In music, as in film and drama, the Chinese walls between what is regarded as serious art and what has mass appeal have been broken down. Surely, it is time to do the same for literature. Give the Booker to Terry Pratchett.

Peter Beaumont in The Observer (10.10.93)


I have found it some of the most entertainingly humorous reading, that simply puts other matters out of mind until the book is finished.

David Chambers, in The Private Library


To say the guy is the world's funniest writer is inadequate. He plays with language the way a juggler tosses burning torches from hand to hand; there's a compelling and loony logic to his non-sequiturs. He's a brilliantly wicked caricaturist who can weave bits of mythology, literature, politics, and the best and worst of pop culture into a narrative without slowing the action. He's a writer's writer; only those of us who have struggled, sweating and cursing, with recalcitrant adjectives can appreciate the seeming ease with which he picks precisely the right word and puts it precisely in the right place. (If he claims he doesn't sweat and curse, I'll kill him. But I won't stop reading him.) He can make me cry and laugh out loud in a single page. When I get Pratchett attacks - at least once a month - the only cure is to go back and reread all his books. Yes, I have them all. There is a certain bookstore in London that has my credit card number and a standing order for the latest Pratchett, as soon as it comes off the press. In hardcover. Sent by air. I can't wait for the U.S. edition. I have these attacks...

Terry Pratchett ought to be locked in a padded cell, and forced to write a book a month.

Barbara Michaels


'Last night watched TV programme (put together by Terry Pratchett) on orang-utans in Borneo...It was the most impressive thing I've seen on the box this year; always excepting Miriam Rothschild's half-hour in March.'

Sir Alec Guinness (diary entry for 13 June 1995 in My Name Escapes Me,1996)


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