13 December 2007

Pratchett’s embuggerance


Terry Pratchett, the author of the wonderful Discworld books, has announced that he is suffering from a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's. In a statement posted on the website of discworld illustrator, Paul Kidby, Pratchett calling the diagnosis "an embuggerance". However he is taking the news "fairly philosophically" and "possibly with mild optimism". He expects to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments.


Earlier this year Pratchett underwent medical investigations after he started having problems with hand-eye coordination and dexterity. An MRI scan showed some areas of dead tissue and the suggestion was that he had suffered a "mini-stroke" some time in the past few years, and that he was now living with its legacy.


Although I am no fan of the fantasy genre I wish I had not resisted reading Pratchett for so long. The Discworld is a delightful creation filled with a host of wonderful characters (I have a soft spot for Gaspode the talking dog – it must be tough having licky end, a disease normally confined to pregnant sheep!). His books are the perfect antidote to a dull winter day – that and a nice glass of Christmas cheer....

14 comments:

JRD168 said...

Yes, a sad story today. I like the luggage in his books, just makes me laugh for some reason!

Dragonstar said...

Thanks for this info. Not a good time for him.
Yes, I like the luggage, too - always fancied a handbag-sized version.
Gaspode is amongst the most intelligent of the Discworld characters. It's hardly his fault that he's stuck in the shape of a disreputable dog (though maybe "disreputable dog" is tautological!)

Renegade Eye said...

Very sad post.

I'm not sure Alzheimer's is technically a correct diagnosis. It seems like some unique form of dementia. All dementia is not Alzheimers.

jams o donnell said...

The luggage is a great creation jrd. I love the Watch and the wonderful characters of Ankh Morpork, and death and the good people of Lancre! He has created such a rich tapestry

I can imagine a handbag sized one would be the ultimate anti mugger device. Gaspode is a wonderful character bettered only by Greebo of course!

jams o donnell said...

It is a shame. His books are very entertaining. You are quite right that not all dementia is Alzheimers

Steve Bates said...

I am grieving over this. I watched my late mother lose her mental faculties beginning at a distressingly young 65 years old, declining rapidly and dying two years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. So I have some idea what Pratchett and his family are going through at this stage. They have my deepest sympathies.

And what a loss for all of us who are fortunate to have discovered his clever, good-natured books. I still have more than a dozen I haven't read, but the thought that he must stop writing them is sad indeed.

jams o donnell said...

That's terrible Steve, I can only imagine what it must be like to see the rapid decline of a loved one.

If nothing else he has already left quite a legacy. If we see Nation and maybe even Unseen Academicals it will be a bonus.

Sean Jeating said...

This diagnose such early sounds even more terrifying. On the other hand there is (hopefully) a better chance to "react", to decelerate the speed of decline.
For the same reason as told by Steve I had to learn what it means to witness your mother decline.
Yes, it's sad. Very sad.

Bryan said...

It is definitely a shame for him and his family, but as you pointed out, Jams, he has already compiled quite a lot of books with archetypal characters.

Even though it's "fantasy" you recognize people you know in the books.

I will celebrate his life and work, and be grateful for whatever he may produce.

jams o donnell said...

It is very sad Sean. There is no cure but hopefully the worst symptoms can be ameliorated

Absolutely Bryan. He has a legacy of fine works that I am sure will be read long after he is gone. For that we can be thankful

beakerkin said...

Jams

Cohen the barbarian is a great spoof of the familiar Robert Howard genre.

jams o donnell said...

Oh yes. I did not really enjoy the first two Pratchett books but Cohen and his Silver Horde in Interesting Times and the Last Hero are wonderful

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Yeah I saw this story the other day. My Sunbum has a few of his young adult fiction reads that she really enjoyed.

jams o donnell said...

I've not read his younger fiction but I can imagine ti's thoroughly enjoyable. I love his adutl fiction.. not that its particularly racy!