Last night the laughter died.
Terry Pratchett, my literary hero, died yesterday. He was one of this country’s greatest writers. Hell, he was the funniest writer of this country, no, the world. No other author matched his imagination or wit, none could even approach his sheer genius.
It is safe to say that I am utterly bereft. When I heard the news last night, I cried. Now it is morning and I am still crying.
It wasn’t a secret that Sir Terry has Alzheimers. It was such a curse to someone whose writing ability was unadulterated brilliance. I remember reading the first book released after his diagnosis but I could not enjoy it because the long shadow of his illness was cast upon it.
I remember my first Pratchett very clearly. I was eleven at the time, and having read all the books I was ‘meant to have read’ such as Beowulf, Oscar Wilde and Marcel Proust (I was a very precocious boy), I wanted something fresh to read, something to engage my mind, something new. This “something” new was The Light Fantastic, a book about a cowardly wizard called Rincewind and a tourist called Twoflower. It was such a good book, a great book, the best book ever. I was captivated from the first page to the last. I was hooked. Pratchett was my drug.
It was thanks to Pratchett, that I gravitated to the works of Douglas Adams, Jasper Fforde, Robert Rankin and Tom Holt. They were all good in their own ways but none were even as good as Terry. He was one of the few authors who bought in hardcover.
When Douglas Adams died, I wasn’t that bothered. I was sad, of course, but his passing didn’t affect me. Now that Terry Pratchett has died, I find myself crying and mourning as if I had lost a loved one, someone close to my heart.
I have been dreading his death since his diagnosis and now it has happened.
I am not sure if I am sad at his passing or at the fact that I will no longer be able to read his words without thinking of his death.
I miss him so much already. He was my hero and my best friend.