Staring into the gap  

You’ll have heard. Sir Terry Pratchett is dead. He’s the man who said “The ideal death, I think, is what was the ideal Victorian death, you know, with your grandchildren around you, a bit of sobbing. And you say goodbye to your loved ones, making certain that one of them has been left behind to look after the shop.”

What has struck me is the wide variety of people who’ve been hit by his death. People who I had assumed were illiterate (or at least where I assumed the last book they read was composed mainly of pictures of puppies and kittens) have grown tearful on hearing the news.

Looking back at my life since he started writing, I can tell the stressful times because they were when I just sat and re-read his books, one after another.

When things got really, unbelievably bad (like the foot and mouth outbreak) I fell back on reading Asterix, and then progressed onto Pratchett. His was the ladder out, the line of white stones, the long and winding stair.

Everybody has their favourite character, their favourite quote, their favourite book.

For me, I liked his description of a character, “He was the sort of person who stood on mountaintops during thunderstorms in wet copper armour shouting ‘All the Gods are bastards.’”

I’ll miss the excitement of ‘the next Pratchett.’ There’s a gap, something has gone. There are few people who are irreplaceable. If we were to lose three party leaders overnight, in a week their successors would be in post and who knows, the world might even be a better place. But Sir Terry is one of the few who cannot be replaced.

But he can be remembered, and I honour his memory.


9 thoughts on “Staring into the gap  

  1. Natalie Kleinman March 12, 2015 at 6:00 pm Reply

    A moving tribute, Jim. He touched so many.

    • jwebster2 March 12, 2015 at 6:06 pm Reply

      I’ve been surprised by how many

  2. The Story Reading Ape March 12, 2015 at 7:23 pm Reply

    Well said Jim 😀

    • jwebster2 March 12, 2015 at 7:35 pm Reply

      Thanks Chris. I couldn’t let his passing go unmarked.

      • The Story Reading Ape March 12, 2015 at 7:41 pm

        It’s times like this I wish I could REALLY write Jim, so I could do him justice and express my gratitude to him for all his characters, stories (and even the explanations in the Science of Discworld series) that touched chords inside me…

      • jwebster2 March 12, 2015 at 8:15 pm

        I had such things to say, but “only snatches remained, faded as a handful of withered leaves.” Today we are all readers. The muse herself sits silent, staring into the gap and remembering.

  3. M T McGuire March 13, 2015 at 11:49 am Reply

    It’s very sad. The world is a duller, quiter place for his passing. But I’m glad he died before he got to the point where he felt he had to kill himself. Oh and I read Asterix books when I’m really down and Terry Pratchett’s books when I’m blue.



  4. Geoff Robbins March 12, 2020 at 10:26 am Reply

    Well composed tribute, Jim.

    • jwebster2 March 12, 2020 at 12:20 pm Reply

      He was one of the greats 😦

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