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Seriously funny. The endlessly quotable Terry Pratchett arrived in an enormous cardboard parcel!

When I opened it I expected a weighty tome. However, the tiniest little green coloured hardcover book popped out to surprise me, just as discovering prolific writer Terry Pratchett decades ago surprised me. He was a man full of surprises, with more than 85 million books sold worldwide in 37 languages, and he was the UK’s best-selling author of the 1990s. I discovered his Discworld fantasy series by chance on my then flatmate’s bookshelf and I was hooked, reading every one of them as they  became available. They were vivid, imaginative and very humorous.

Terry PratchettSadly Terry Pratchett died last year of Alzheimers Disease but was knighted in 2009 for his services to British literature. I will leave it up to the discerning reader to discover the talent of Terry Pratchett for themselves, but as a tantalising taster, this tiny book Seriously Funny: The endlessly quotable Terry Pratchett would be a good place to start. Always clever with his witty sayings, some of Terry Pratchett’s best quotes adorn the pages of this beautiful little compilation.

Divided into categories of Human nature, Romance, Learning and Wisdom, Success, Life and Death, Animals, Religion, Politics, and last but not least, Words and Writing. There are 130 pages of gorgeous, pithy, astute quotes about life and living.

Most of these are delightful quotes from his many books. For example, from Hogfather, “Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time” and this gem from Small Gods “Pets are always a great help in times of stress. And in times of starvation too”. And this from The Fifth Elephant “He’d noticed that sex bore some resemblance to cookery: it fascinated people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were really hungry they created vast banquets in their imagination – but at the end of the day they’d settle quite happily for egg and chips. If it was well done and maybe had a slice of tomato”. If I could I would insert a smiley emoticon right here.

I suppose Seriously funny. The endlessly quotable Terry Pratchett could be classed as a coffee table book. As a compilation, it is the perfect size to carry around in your pocket or to leave on your bedside table. It is the sort of book that the reader will want to pick up often just to enjoy a clever quote, or to cheer themselves up when they need a laugh.

The depth of wisdom and the scope of wicked humour is a great reminder of the incredible creative talent of the author himself. His imagination seemed to be so vast, his parodies of real life so astute and funny, it is a sad loss that he has now passed away. I will finish my review with a quote from one of his characters ‘death’  (he did not give death a capital letter) who “since he is a skeleton, he has no vocal cords to speak with, and therefore the words enter the head with no involvement from the ears.” (as quoted in Wikipedia)

“The whole of life is just like watching a click’ he thought. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it all out yourself from the clues”. (‘Moving pictures’ p 64.)

Seriously Funny. The endlessly quotable Terry Pratchett and other titles mentioned are available from Dymocks, in hardcover or ebook formats.

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Karen Jones

Born in New Zealand, Karen now happily lives in the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She retired early due to ill health and now focuses on her love of walking, writing, reading and spending time with her grandchildren. With a degree in writing, Karen became a blogger and book reviewer for Starts at 60, which has enabled her passions to become enjoyable pastimes. Her recipe for bliss is a well made flat white, a friendly cat and a sea view.

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