A Slip Of The Keyboard

Did I finish reading Good Omens and immediately crave more Terry Pratchett?  Why yes, yes I did.   A Slip Of The Keyboard is a collection of articles, essays, and speeches by Terry Pratchett, with a forward by Neil Gaiman, no less.  I didn’t realize how much I wanted this until I started reading it.  There are certain authors we get attached to but only know through their fictional characters and stories.  It was nice to hear from Terry Pratchett himself and enjoy his thoughts as much as I enjoy the ones he writes for his characters.

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I read this during a fairly busy week and it was so nice to have a book that I could read for just a few minutes and not be caught in the middle of a story.  These are all speeches and articles for various events and publications so none of them were too terribly long and some were as short as a page and a half.  Like any collection of articles, essays, and speeches all by the same person, it did have a tendency to get repetitive.  Which is why I’m grateful it was a busy time for me while reading it.  If I had slogged through in one go of it I would have gotten frustrated with some of the repetition.  Since I was reading it in small bits and bobs, the repetition actually helped me remember more of the points Pratchett was making.

It was absolutely wonderful to discover that Pratchett is just as intelligent and witty in moments of non-fiction as he is in his fiction.  His sense of humor pervades even when writing about quite serious and personal topics, including his struggle with Alzheimer’s, and, because of his diagnosis, his frustrations with the health care system.  The humor that shone through didn’t cheapen our even lighten the serious and thoughtful points he was making, if anything it deepened them.  As a reader I had a few laughing through tears moments that I’ve come to relate to truly talented storytellers.

I’ll admit that some of the more tearful moments on my part stemmed from the knowledge that Terry Pratchett died in 2015. When I started to feel down about that I flipped to the “Books By Terry Pratchett” section at the very beginning, before the title page, to remind myself exactly how prolific he was.  He is missed, but he was kind enough to leave entire worlds for me to explore.

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