Terry Pratchett biography and books reviewed

The English fantasy author, Terry D. J. (David John) Pratchett was born on the 28th April 1948 in the town of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. His was educated at High Wycombe Technical High School.

He wrote is first story when he was thirteen years old (1961) and with the money that he made from selling this he was able to buy his first typewriter. In 1971, Pratchett had his first novel published; it was called The Carpet People.

The official Terry Pratchett web site (UK)
The official Terry Pratchett web site (US)

Terry Pratchett is best known for the fantasy novels that make up the Discworld series. This series now comprises of more than forty books and is a humorous and at times satirical work set on a disc-shaped world that is carried on the backs of four giant elephants. The first book of the Discworld series was entitled The Colour Of Magic and is reviewed here. The Colour Of Magic was published in 1983 but he continued to work until 1987 when he was able to become a full-time author.

Terry Pratchett was awarded the OBE (The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire, Officer) in 1998 for his services to literature. Terry Pratchett has also received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath and Bristol. He has sold over 40 million books worldwide and these have been translated into thirty-three different languages. He is second only to J. K. Rowling in terms of book sales in the United Kingdom.

It is believed that 1% of all the books sold in England are penned by Pratchett. His books have been translated into 36 different languages and have sold over 60 million copies.

Sir Terry Pratchett was made a knight in the New Year Honours list (2008). He received the honour for services to literature.

... for The Discworld series

Satirical, historical, fantastical and irresistible. Daily Mail

The best humorous English author since P.G. Wodehouse. Sunday Telegraph

Terry Pratchett reviews

A Blink of the Screen by Terry Pratchett

A Blink of the Screen charts the course of Pratchett's long writing career: from his schooldays through to his first writing job on the Bucks Free Press,; to the origins of his debut novel, The Carpet People; and on again to the dizzy mastery of the phenomenally successful Discworld series. Here are characters both familiar and yet to be discovered; abandoned worlds and others still expanding; adventure, chickens, death, disco and, actually, some quite disturbing ideas about Christmas,all of it shot through with his inimitable brand of humour.

"Final Reward is easily my favourite non-Discworld story from this anthology, but my favourite Discworld story is most definitely ‘The Sea and Little Fishes’. Previously published in the ‘Legend’ anthology back in the late 90s, this story takes us to the Witch Trials of Lancre and what happens when Granny Weatherwax is insulted. It’s a real gem of a story and leaves you wanting nothing more for your life than to go back and read ‘Carpe Jugulem’. For any fan of good writing or short stories, this book is a real gem, and a must-have for any fan of Terry Pratchett."

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The Ankh-Morpork Archives: Volume One by Terry Pratchett

Perfect as a gift for that Pratchett fan in your life, or as an addition to your own never-ending Pratchett collection, The Ankh-Morpork Archives: A Discworld Anthology – Volume 1 might be a little unnecessary, it is nevertheless beautiful and a wonderful return to one of the most endearing cities in literature. 

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The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett

1916: the Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where have the mud, blood and blasted landscape of No Man's Land gone? 2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive - some said mad, others dangerous - scientist when she finds a curious gadget - a box containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a...potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way Mankind views his world for ever. And that's an understatement if ever there was one...

"The Long Earth is very much not a Discworld novel. It has none of the inherent silliness and humour and restricts Pratchett’s ability to satirise everything in sight. That being said, the collaboration has resulted in a magnificent story that had me hooked form the first few pages. What more can you ask for?" Joshua S Hill, Fantasy Book Review

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The Long War by Terry Pratchett

I was disappointed. The concept of stepping into an alternative reality is handled better by the likes of S. M. Stirling. He devotes a trilogy to just one "step" and you can see why. The creation of four million worlds needs four million pages, in truth. Pratchett and Baxter have created something too big to handle - and this is coming from two of the very best authors out there. I've read nearly everything these two authors have ever produced. They have all the kudos they deserve for they are very, very good at what they do. But... it's possible for even the very best to produce a poor book... and this might just well be a nadir for them. I hope the next is better. In summary... The Long Earth was great; The Long War... disappointing.

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The Long Utopia by Terry Pratchett

2045-2059. After the cataclysmic upheavals of Step Day and the Yellowstone eruption humanity is spreading further into the Long Earth, and society, on a battered Datum Earth and beyond, continues to evolve. Now an elderly and cantankerous AI, Lobsang lives in disguise with Agnes in an exotic, far-distant world. He’s convinced they’re leading a normal life in New Springfield – they even adopt a child – but it seems they have been guided there for a reason. As rumours of strange sightings and hauntings proliferate, it becomes clear that something is very awry with this particular world. Millions of steps away, Joshua is on a personal journey of discovery: learning about the father he never knew and a secret family history. But then he receives a summons from New Springfield. Lobsang now understands the enormity of what’s taking place beneath the surface of his earth – a threat to all the worlds of the Long Earth. To counter this threat will require the combined efforts of humankind, machine and the super-intelligent Next. And some must make the ultimate sacrifice.

"Without giving away the action, plot or events of this novel, I found myself skipping faster and faster through it, seeking some of the joy that was in the first novel, or in Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ or in Baxter’s ‘Destiny’s Children’ – and came away… not disappointed exactly, but with a furrowed brow. I have the last book in front of me and will turn the first page with an alternating heavy heart, given it is likely some of Pratchett’s final words, expectation of a whimpering end to the series, but also hope for something that is a fitting literary tribute to one of the greatest fantasy authors to date."

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Nation by Terry Pratchett

On the day the world ends... Mau is on his way home from the Boys' Island. Soon he will be a man. And then the wave comes - a huge wave, dragging black night behind it and bringing a schooner which sails over and through the island rainforest. The village has gone. The Nation as it was has gone. Now there's just Mau, who wears barely anything, a trouserman girl who wears far too much, and an awful lot of big misunderstandings...

"In what can really only be called a tour de force by an author who is arguably the greatest living English novelist, Terry Pratchett has pulled out all the stops for his latest book, Nation. Pratchett is best known for his Discworld series of books, which stretch across a monstrous 36 books (of which the majority does well to score below 7 out of 10). However this time around, Pratchett has stepped off the Disc and into a parallel universe to our own, with honorable mentions to Einstein and Isaac Newton." Fantasy Book Review

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Good Omens by Terry Pratchett

Good Omens is one of the funniest works of fiction ever. Pratchett and Gaiman have managed to create a story that weaves together large doses of satire, cynicism, slapstick and wacky unconventional humour into a cohesive yet surprisingly accurate observation of human life all over the world. The characters, one of the biggest strengths in this book, bring a lot of charm and humour to the book. This collaboration between two fine fantasy authors is nothing short of brilliant.

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The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide by Terry Pratchett

This Guide is simply a must-have for any Discworld fan. You don’t even need to be a fan of the previously published reference-style editions (such as the Companion’s and Almanak’s) as you’ll spend hours scouring the map for hidden gems, reading up on Dibbler and his competition, and understanding the mechanics behind the city’s Guilds.

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The World of Poo by Terry Pratchett

Whether you have an adventuresome young boy (or girl) or a love of anything Pratchett then you will most definitely relish this book.

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Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Come one come all to greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all. In London there are geezers on ever street corner and every urchin and tosher is an angel with a dirty face. Home to Her Majesty, Fleet Street, the Square Mile and Dodger – known to all, Dodger is crafty, nimble and some what flexible object of lost and found. Its not really stealing if it could have fallen out of a pocket any way, It’s a service really. So, you saw nothing, you heard nothing and Dodger wasn’t even there. Dodger rises from the gutter as the hero of London; rescuing damsels in distress and defeating the villains with a smile and a quick wit, but lets not forgot wit gets you only so far so brass knuckles and a crowbar do help.

"If you love Terry Pratchett novels you will love this, if you haven't read any off Terry's works before and want to start, you can't go wrong here." Fantasy Book Review

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The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

If any book begs for a sequel, it is this one, and I do sometimes find myself wondering if perhaps there is another leg of the Trousers of Time where Pratchett wrote 39 Carpet People novels instead of Discworld ones. Perhaps in that world Pratchett would be an even more notable author than he already is, certainly in that world, I would count myself as a major Pratchett fan, rather than a more casual admirer.

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The Colour Of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Carnegie Medal Winner: 2002 (The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents)

In his Discworld Series, Terry Pratchett, one of Britain’s best and funniest authors created a true delight of modern fiction. Satirical, clever and hilarious the forty-one books that make up the series are a pure and fantastic joy.

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Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

Lords and Ladies is one of fantasy author Mark A. Cropper's favourite books. Mark kindly took the time to tell why he rates the book so highly - Terry Pratchett’s books have always been a bit of an enigma to me. On one hand they’re light, funny and almost poke fun at the Fantasy Genre. On the other; they often, if not always, contain a darkness which can be almost startling. My overall feeling about them is that he tends towards the former. It doesn’t stop me loving them but I often feel a bit cheated. Then there is “The Lords and Ladies”.

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Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett

In the third instalment of Terry Pratchett’s City Watch storyline, and the nineteenth novel overall in his Discworld universe, Pratchett introduces yet more ethnic groups into the City Watch and provides us with the most unlikely of replacements for Ankh-Morpork’s Patrician.

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The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

A red star has appeared in the sky and the Discworld is heading right towards it. There is only one person who can save the world; but unfortunately this is the rather inept and cowardly wizard called Rincewind who was last seen falling of the edge of the world.

"The Light Fantastic is a funny and at times delightful book. The story of Rincewind and Twoflower is brought to a strangely moving conclusion and Pratchett's work gets better and better."

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Jingo by Terry Pratchett

I’ve made it clear that the earlier Discworld books by Terry Pratchett aren’t as good as the latter. But when does “early” become “latter”? It happens with book number twenty, Hogfather, and continues into the twenty first novel, and the fourth City Watch story, Jingo.

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The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett

When I am asked to pick my favourite Terry Pratchett book, The Fifth Elephant is always on my mind as a contender. Granted, it’s a contender insomuch as the Rock would be versus Ali, but it’s still in there! There are books that follow that outshine this book, but only in the way that one star outshines a slightly smaller star.

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Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Joshua: Night Watch is simply one of the best books I have ever read. Pratchett’s already mammoth skill, combined with a once in a lifetime tale, and a healthy dose of great characterization in the form of his lead character makes this book a must get for any fan of books.

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Mort by Terry Pratchett

Mort is a notch above The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, the writing consistently excellent and the humour perfectly placed - just the thought of Death going through a mid-life crisis is enough to make you smile. One of the reasons that Pratchett has managed to turn the reaper of souls into such a loved character is that he shows Death’s caring side. Early in the book Death exudes barely suppressed fury at the needless death of a bagful of kittens.

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Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Equal Rites is a story that I think will resonate with everybody, whether or not you are a fan of Discworld, whether or not you are a fan of the fantasy genre. The story of a young girl asking why women can't be wizards explores some themes that I think transcend genres, and while Pratchett didn't take full advantage of this opportunity to create a masterpiece, he did deliver a strong message to the rest of the world that fantasy is a relevant genre that can be used explore topical issues in ways that other genres cannot.

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The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

When a new series begins, often you will expect book two to be better than book one, and so on. It makes sense. The writer will get better as they go on. Sadly, life is not always so neat, and there will be writers, like Terry Pratchett, who go out of their way to break the mould. This is what happened when Pratchett wrote The Wee Free Men, the first in a quartet of books but simultaneously the 30th book in his lovingly created Discworld.

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Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

Pratchett is without doubt the current master of satire across all genres. The subtlety of his humour and his inoffensive parody is coruscating in its effectiveness, poking enjoyable fun at the establishment. By breaking all the usual rules our gallant ladies defy and rampage through the war with devastating effectiveness to show that in a war, there are no rules. Written with Pratchett's usual wit and razor-sharp satire, this would come somewhere high up my list of Discworld recommended novels

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A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

One of the great character templates in literature is the often dim-witted, often humorous sidekick who is allowed a moment of center stage wisdom. If done poorly, it can be nothing short of horrible. But when it is done well, there is seldom anything that can beat it. And in a series of more than 30 books that are all pigeon-holed into the fantasy/comedy genre, Terry Pratchett has made attempting this template into an art form.

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Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Moist von Lipwig is a con artist... ... and a fraud and a man faced with a life choice: be hanged, or put Ankh-Morpork's ailing postal service back on its feet. It's a tough decision. But he's got to see that the mail gets through, come rain, hail, sleet, dogs, the Post Office Workers' Friendly and Benevolent Society, the evil chairman of the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company, and a midnight killer. Getting a date with Adora Bell Dearheart would be nice, too...

"For a long time, Terry Pratchett focused very intently on several groups of characters. He would often return to Sam Vimes, the Witches, Death or Rincewind. However over the past several years he has invested time in planting new characters into his Discworld, and one of the greatest inclusions – without a doubt – has been Moist von Lipwig."

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Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

One of the things that I have found as I have read fantasy book after fantasy book, is that life is different in those books. Of course it is, ya daftie, I hear you cry, but bear with me. I obviously know that life is different, that’s why I read them: when you are a freelance writer, you look for any chance possible to jump out of the real world. But you have to remember that if a bit of the book is different, then it is all different from your reality.

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Making Money by Terry Pratchett

Following on from his successful introduction of the character Moist von Lipwig, Terry Pratchett decided that he would bring the ex-con artist back in an attempt to restore the Ankh-Morpork Mint. In short, Pratchett once again gets an entire book to have his way with the utilities and the running of a city.

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Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

It has taken me a little while to work up the courage to write this review. Terry Pratchett has always managed to write a book a year for the last little while, and as a result has provided me with a sure-fire birthday present for my father; no questions asked. This year was no different, and when I got my copy of Unseen Academicals in the mail I was stoked.

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I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

One of my favourite authors is Terry Pratchett. There’s no secret to that if you’ve spent even a little bit of time browsing FBR; he notches ten-out-of-ten books regularly, in my opinion, and has one of the keenest minds and greatest storytelling abilities I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Not surprisingly then, Sir Pratchett has done it once again with his latest Discworld novel, ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’, the fourth in his Tiffany Aching series, following the trials and tribulations of a girl becoming a witch in a land that doesn’t want a witch.

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Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Finished reading Terry Pratchett’s new book, Snuff. Utterly brilliant. We need a new rating system dedicated to him. I had Snuff finished in just over a day from when it arrived. I took it slowly, because you don’t want to rush good things like Terry Pratchett. While there is an almost infinite amount of re-readability to Pratchett’s works, the first time is always special, and you want to savour it.

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Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

There was an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. And there it should have ended. However (for reasons we'd better not go into), he had seven sons. And then he had an eighth son...a wizard squared...a source of magic...a Sourcerer. "Sourcery" sees the return of Rincewind and the luggage as the Discworld faces its greatest - and funniest - challenge yet.

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Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is simply one of the greatest writers to have ever lived. His prose, humour, insight, and imagination are individually rare in current literature, and absolutely unparalleled when combined. But all things fade, and the horrific disease which is Alzheimer’s is robbing us of one of the brightest stars, slowly, but inexorably.

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The Shepherds Crown by Terry Pratchett

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength. This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad. As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land. There will be a reckoning...

"This book is dear to others and myself as it is the last true Discworld novel penned by Terry. It represents a final hurrah to him and the world he lovingly cultivated. Yes, there are flaws, as openly noted in the afterword, but in the end that doesn't take away from its core and the joy that will be taken from it."

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Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

It’s no secret that Terry Pratchett is probably one of my favourite authors. Ever since dad made me read Mort I’ve read pretty much every book he’s written in the Discworld, and a few others. I quickly found though, as I read on, that one of my favourite character veins was the Night Watch series of books, starting with Guards! Guards!

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