Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Christmas is on a Tuesday this year, and Tuesday is book group day, so I’m having to double up on book groups this week.  The third grade book group will be meeting from 4:00 to 4:30, then the teen book group takes over from 4:30 to 5:30.  A lot like teaching school, and also a lot like the year I tutored a student at the high school first block of the day, then hurried over to the elementary school for my “real” job, and started right in with a third and fourth grader who I taught each morning.  It’s actually kind of fun to have two such different age groups right next to each other: breaks up the day, and keeps you on your toes mentally.

Clementine, which I butchered in my last post, is the third grade book, and Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett is the teen book.  As of this writing (I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon – one of the secrets of blogging is writing posts ahead), I’ve only gotten one third of the way into Wintersmith, so all opinions appearing here are subject to change upon completion of reading.  The initial chapter of Wintersmith was a real struggle for me; I was turned off by the language, the obtuseness, and the Feegle Glossary that appears on page three.  “Grumble, grumble, grumble,” I thought to myself, “clearly I’m going to hate this one, and it’s a lot harder to skim than Clementine.  Grumble, grumble, grumble.”  I’ve changed my tune, though, after reading more without allowing myself to think of my available reading time.  Pratchett uses a lot of subtle humor, and once I got into the rhythm of his words I could actually hear the Feegles and the witches speaking.  Yes, it’s a dense book, but it’s also masterfully written fantasy in the manner of The Owl Service or The Hobbit or any other great piece of fantasy. 

Looking at the two-page “Also by Terry Pratchett” list, I’m rather astounded that I’ve never read anything by him before.  We’ve purchased several of his books recently for the library, both for the young adult room and for the children’s room, yet I’ve never looked past the book reviews to the actual books.  One definite down side of my job is that I simply don’t have enough time to do all my required duties AND read the new books.  Any reading of books that I do has to be completed at home, and being a slow reader and generally busy person, that limits me to one, maybe two books a week, which works out to be the book group book for each week.  And maybe a New Yorker article, too, if I’m lucky.  Though having too much to read is a better fate than too little to read.

The teens who are in the book group have just as many demands on their free time, if not even more demands, than I, so I do hope that they’ll all have time to read at least part of Wintersmith.  I’ll post their reactions to the book after we meet on Tuesday.

One thought on “Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett”

  1. After spending several years being sure that I would hate his books, I finally sat down and read one of his (adult) books to see what all the fuss was about. Now I’ve decided I like Terry Pratchet. Sure, they’re fluffy bestsellers, but they’re also thoughtful fluffy bestsellers with enjoyable characters and good plots.

Comments are closed.