Sunday, October 28, 2018

Off the Bookshelf: DRAGONS AT CRUMBLING CASTLE, by Terry Pratchett

This is another collection of the late Sir Terry Pratchett's early writings.

What's really fun is seeing all the drawings that he seems to have done to illustrate his stories. These are little more than scribbles, pen or pencil scratchings, not great artwork by any means, but quite enjoyable, giving some added depth to the characters and setting, a clue to his feelings about the fantastical worlds he created when he was just starting out, and another side to the author's personality and talents.

Lots of fun, reading the sly digs at local customs and rivalries and just inspired silliness. I especially enjoyed reading the stories about the Carpet People -- which I discovered at the end of the book were the launching point for an entire book. One of these days, when I get my reading list down a few more feet, I intend to buy the Carpet People book, which launched Pratchett's writing career, complete with his original illustrations.

For writers in general, and for fantasy and humor writers in particular -- especially those who adore Discworld and mourn the loss of the creator -- this is sure to be a fascinating look back at the beginning of things. And encouragement for those of us who are still waiting for that big break to launch us high enough to be discovered.

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