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A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction Hardcover – March 17, 2015
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“A book meant to be cherished.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Some writers simply possess the Gift. No matter what they bring out. . . . That’s certainly the case with Terry Pratchett.” —The Washington Post Book World
“In the history of comic fantasy, Pratchett has no equals for invention or for range.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Clever . . . insightful. . . . [Pratchett’s] wry wit is as good as gold.” —The Boston Globe
“Pratchett is one of the great comic writers and storytellers of our time.” —The Guardian
“One of the giants in the world of fantasy literature.” —New York Daily News
“You can’t call what Pratchett does satire—it’s far too good-natured for that—but he has a satirist’s instinct for the absurd and a cartoonist’s eye for the telling detail.” —The Daily Telegraph (London)
“A short story collection covering the entire career of one of our most prolific, and beloved, fantasy writers. . . . One of the main draws of [A Blink of the Screen] for serious fans, or aspiring writers, will be the chance to trace the evolution of Pratchett’s craft—but there’s plenty here for readers who have never heard of him to enjoy.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A little absurdism, a little wordplay, a lot of inventive fantasy, a lot of heart, and a deep-seated fascination with the way technologies change societies. . . . Pratchett can easily fill an entire bookcase by himself. . . . But he has kept the piquant sense of someone playing with language, with new worlds, and with the familiar old tropes that he enjoys upending.” —NPR
“What Pratchett does is not just great, but unparalleled. In five hundred years, it won’t be the Nobel laureates who are being studied. It’s going to be this guy.” —Brandon Sanderson, Tor.com
“One of the greatest comic novelists of all time, in his way the equal of Wodehouse and Waugh.” —GQ (UK)
“The master of humorous fantasy . . . [Pratchett] should be recognized as one of the more significant contemporary English-language satirists.” —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
TERRY PRATCHETT is the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Color of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he was the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages. He died in 2015.
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Top Customer Reviews
So what is my recommendation? If you own thirty or more Terry Pratchett books, get it. You won't regret it and you will find plenty to enjoy. If you own fewer than thirty Terry Pratchett novels, go buy one or more of the ones that you are missing. Terry Pratchett is one of the glittering gems in this generation's literary firmament, but it is not because of this competent but not extraordinary volume.
This is a collection of stories dating back to a story that first appeared in Terry's high-school magazine in 1963. As such you run the gamut from brilliant stories most people will love to stories that are more for serious fans who enjoy watching his writing evolve. There are both Discworld and non-Discworld books in this collection. Having read it I can say this is a true must for Pratchett fans. Again, not every story is gold, but some are teaming with the wit and brilliance that keep bring us back to Terry. I especially enjoyed a couple of Discworld stories from the 90's. That's when I first discovered Pratchett and the tone of the stories took me back to the fun of pouring over those first few books.
I also really enjoyed bits like "The High Meggas", a story written in the mid-eighties that was the genesis of the "Long Earth" series that he co-authored with Stephen Baxter. And in "Rincmangle, The Gnome of Even Moor" you'll find early elements of both "Truckers" and "Rincewind" from the Discworld series.
I would not pick this as my starting point for Pratchett (the classic starting point is "The Color Of Magic" though I prefer "Wyrd Sisters" or "Small Gods"). But anyone who has read a few Pratchett books will have a good time here, and for any serious fan, this is a must, full of new gems and stories that will take you back to that first glorious Pratchett book. Dive in.
If I had one criticism, it is that some writers don't always get their point all the way across in a more compact format, and Pratchett is often best when he gets to wander a bit more. But these stories have his wit and his inimitable phrasemaking, and it is interesting to sort of watch it ripen over time.
I would recommend this for people who enjoy Pratchett's style a lot, just for the fact that you have a collection of works that show him moving through space and time. It's okay for serious genre fans who just want to check it out, but it isn't really a fair way to appreciate his particular genius. My husband and son are both genre fans, and they liked it, but they were not as gushy over it as I was. Maybe I'll make them read it again.