As I said in my Eulogy to Sir. Terry Pratchett I am a huge fan of his. To me his best books are the Discworld books with their various characters that are so different, realistic and charming. Not to mention funny in a way normal humans can be funny.
However, I have run into a slight problem in recent years with his books. You see, his last few books have been mediocre at best and the humor is not there. Don’t get the wrong idea, Sir. Terry was a great writer with a ton of imagination and humor. The problem is that imagination seems to have been suppressed in his final year.
It all started with Wintersmith. Tiffany Aching is one the best YA characters to date because she does not fit into any mold. Wintersmith came along and she slowly started going into that mold. The sequel, I Shall Wear Midnight was less inspired than Wintersmith. In fact I don’t remember anything that happened in those books.
Actually, I don’t remember anything that happened in those books, Nation, Dodger, Snuff, The Long Earth and recently Raising Steam. The sad part is I’m currently reading Raising Steam. If you asked me what happened in The Color of Magic I’d tell you. Reaper Man? yup, because that book rocked. Hell, even Pyramids which is one of the weaker Discworld books.
Hell, I can tell you exactly what happened in the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy and the Bromeliad Trilogy.
There may be a few reasons for this. One can be Pratchett fans expected a lot from him seeing how great his older books are. Exactly how hard did you laugh when Rincewind returned to Ankh-Morpork and started running around like a psycho? Hell, he even swallowed a bunch of Dibbler’s sausages and lived. I remember reading that scene in my college library and everyone looked at me weird because I was laughing so hard.
I hate to even bring it up, but another reason could have been his Alzheimer’s. I know Alzheimer’s is nothing to take lightly, but it does interfere with a lot of things. It’s amazing he did manage to write books with that disease. Unfortunately, it may have been a factor in the low quality of his last books. He may have had a lot on his mind and writing may have turned into a chore for him.
Don’t get mad at me, that could have been a possibility and I do respect the man for fighting through Alzheimer’s and pleasing his fans. I understand having Alzheimer’s is a struggle people have to deal with every day. I’m just theorizing that that may have played a part in it.
Now the sad part is that there will no longer be any more Discworld books. There is one more Discworld book called The Shepherd’s Crown, although how far it was before he died is a mystery. Of course, his daughter Rhianna has said she would continue to write Discworld books is a great thing. The problem lies in the fact that she may not be able to bring forth the essence of what Discworld is, though that does remain to be seen.
Sir. Terry Pratchett may have been a great novelist, but his last few books were not up to snuff. Whatever the reason for that shall remain a mystery. For now, I will try to re-read these books and maybe find something of value in them like I did with his older books. I will give my opinions on Rhianna Pratchett’s crack at the Discworld when they come out.