Soul Music

Soul Music Book CoverPratchett, Terry
Soul Music
New York: HarperPrism, 1995

This book was Sarah’s choice for Elijah’s library.  It was one of her favorite books.  It is slyly funny and full of puns.  The hero of the story is a girl, but I hope he doesn’t hold that against this quirky book.

It is takes place on the Discworld, a flat planet that floats through space on the backs of four elephants on the back of a giant space turtle. It is a book about DEATH and his granddaughter, Susan.  It is a satire about rock and roll. The fab four in this book consists of Imp y Celn (bud of the holly), Glod Glosson (a dwarf), Lias Bluestone (a troll) and the librarian from the Unseen University, who is currently and happily an orangutan.  Read this book to find out what happens when music with rocks in it sweeps the discworld.

I adore his books!  He is the master of the footnote.  In fact some of his best lines are buried there.  Look at this example of the description of Susan’s hair and its footnote (p.11).

School regulations required that it be in two plaits, but it had an uncanny tendency to unravel itself and spring back into its preferred shape, like Medusa’s snakes.*

*The question seldom addressed is where Medusa had snakes.  Underarm hair is an even more embarrassing problem when it keeps biting the top of the deodorant bottle.

I am not the only fan of his footnotes.  I found a website that shows the normalized number of footnotes and the total length of footnote (normalized) [http://www.lspace.org/books/analysis/statistics.html#footnotes].  You can find anything on the internet.

His books include memorable characters.  Here are some of my favorites: Granny Weatherwax, Commander Vimes, Corporal Nobby Nobbs, Lord Ventinari, and Foul Ole Ron and his Smell. They make for whimsical and fascinating reading.

Terry Pratchett

Let’s start with the bad news.  Sir Terry Pratchett died on March 12, 2015.  He had been suffering from early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.  He called his Alzheimer’s an “embuggerment”.  Foul Ole Ron would have approved. The world will miss Sir Terry Pratchett.  I wonder if his character DEATH, came to ease his passing.

The good new is that he left us a legacy of fantastical reading. I find his books witty and amusing.

He is passion was Astronomy, but he wasn’t good with math. According to one report, “His major source of education was the Beaconsfield Public Library (though school must have been of some little help)”¹.  Two authors he learned from were P.G. Wodehouse (think Bertie Wooster) and H.G. Wells (War of the Worlds).  He’s batting a thousand for me!  He loved the library, Wodehouse and Wells.  These two authors may have given him his foundation for sly, silly humor and alternate universes².

You can read about Terry’s brilliant career at one of these websites.

¹http://www.lspace.org/about-terry/biography.html

²http://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21647261-sir-terry-pratchett-creator-discworld-universe-died-march-12th-aged-66-gods-and

 

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