Thursday, 12 March 2015
This can't be right, this is for the Radio 4 Book Club
Terry Pratchett had a very devoted following but I was never into the Fantasy genre so had barely even heard his name until about eight years ago.
I was following the Radio 4 book club; one book a month with a radio interview with the author at the end of the month. I started because I felt I was too unadventurous in my choice of books; I invariably chose something classic like Dickens or Steinbeck, or biographies and autobiographies with a very occasional romance, and I really wanted to read something a bit different. I bought the books every month from my local Waterstones but when it came to the month we read Mort by Terry Pratchett I couldn't find a copy on the shelves. I asked the assistant for help and she went off and came back soon after putting on the counter an average-sized paperback and I could see from the picture on the cover that it was fantasy. "This can't be right," I said, somewhat imperiously, looking down my nose at the book and the assistant, "this is for the Radio 4 book club." "Well that's Mort by Terry Pratchett," replied the assistant, so I swallowed my pride and paid for the book which I quickly slipped into my bag before anyone else saw what I was buying.
During the 12 months that I followed the book club on Radio 4 I read 11 books, none of which I would have read otherwise. There was only one book that I gave up on - there are times when you just feel that life's too short. While all 11 books were an experience that I wouldn't want to have missed I actually only truly enjoyed two; and Mort was one of those. It was unputdownable, total escapism, and beautifully written. To this day I've only ever read that one Terry Pratchett book and I loved it.
RIP Terry Pratchett.