Monday, September 11, 2017

Pratchett and Baxter

I tend to use our local Salvation Army store as a kind of guidepost to books;  strange as that sounds,  usually (but not always) you will find the gorier detective novels by Patricia Cornwell,  The DaVinci Code, rip and read gothic/romanc/mystery novels, Stephanie Meyer, Stephen King.  What is rare, is to find Robert Parker,  poetry,  Tolkien,  most science fiction, Sue Grafton, or Terry Pratchett.
A few months ago in a real honest to pete bookstore I ran afoul of a new set of Pratchett books I had never seen before, 'co-authored with" Stephen Baxter.  I bought one, to see what was up.  It turns out these have been in the book stores for several years.  I got through it, waiting for Pratchett's style and humor to appear.  At the end, I got a glimmer of his style as the long awaited finish, finished.

To say I was disappointed is putting it gently. I read a few of the reviews (and contributed my own comments to it) at Amazon, one young woman actually said she loved it, it was one of Pratchett's funniest books, she laughed all the way through.   I'd guess she never read it.

And today on one of the SA bookshelves, in what can only be called pristine condition, "The Long Utopia" what I am assuming is the final book in the series.   Raises one eyebrow...


  1. You sound very restrained, considering the disappointment of finding a fave writer so badly handled. I just threw down a supposed Emma Lathen written as if. The writer evidently thought the witty real ones were supposed to be treatises on the banking industry, and wrote truly terrible stuff, like an annual report! And don't get me started on the fake Poirot mystery which commits a similar crime. Otoh, the writer, all these names escape me, who continued with Dorothy Sayers did a fine job. Jill Paton Walsh, credit where due.

    Anyway, whoever tries a hand at this sort of thing needs to know it's an area of hot passions for the devotees of the genuine article.

    1. Yankee restraint. I picked up one of the Pratchett Baxter books a year ago, and I've had time to get over it. Sorta.

      Im also very sad that Pratchett seems to be the agreeable nodding head, rather than the guy who collaborates. His name is being taken in vain.

      I have always been a fan of Nero Wolfe, and the new guy, Robert Goldsborough, has the tone, the patter, the atmosphere down cold. By now, it's become necessary to age them slightly but not too much.
      The hard part is I've aged too and they're starting to wear on me.

      Always liked Dorothy Sayers, never could get into Emma Lathen, no idea why.

      But I do understand the passion in all of this. Anyone who takes on old familiar territory like this probably realizes what thin thin ice they tread.