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A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-fiction [Hardcover]

Neil Gaiman , Terry Pratchett

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Price: 13.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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This title will be released on September 25, 2014.
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Book Description

25 Sep 2014

With a foreword by Neil Gaiman

Terry Pratchett has earned a place in the hearts of readers the world over with his bestselling Discworld series - but in recent years he has become equally well-known and respected as an outspoken campaigner for causes including Alzheimer's research and animal rights. A Slip of the Keyboard brings together for the first time the finest examples of Pratchett's non fiction writing, both serious and surreal: from musings on mushrooms to what it means to be a writer (and why banana daiquiris are so important); from memories of Granny Pratchett to speculation about Gandalf's love life, and passionate defences of the causes dear to him.

With all the humour and humanity that have made his novels so enduringly popular, this collection brings Pratchett out from behind the scenes of the Discworld to speak for himself - man and boy, bibliophile and computer geek, champion of hats, orang-utans and Dignity in Dying.


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A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-fiction + Dragons at Crumbling Castle: And Other Stories + Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook (Discworld)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (25 Sep 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857521225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857521224
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.2 x 3.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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More About the Author

Terry Pratchett is the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he is the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he is the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Photography © David Bird

Product Description

Review

Praise for Terry Pratchett"One of the world's most delightful writers." --Cory Doctorow, "Boing Boing" "Some writers simply possess the Gift. No matter what they bring out . . . it's sure to be compulsively readable. That's certainly the case with Terry Pratchett." --Michael Dirda, "The Washington Post Book World" "The great Terry Pratchett, whose wit is metaphysical, who creates an energetic and lively secondary world, who has a multifarious genius for strong parody . . . who deals with death with startling originality. He writes amazing sentences." --A. S. Byatt, "The New York Times "" ""Clever . . . insightful. . . . [Pratchett's] wry wit is as good as gold." --Lylah M. Alphonse, "The Boston Globe" "One of the most consistently funny writers around; a master of the stealth simile, the time-delay pun, and the deflationary three-part list." --Ben Aaronovitch, "The Guardian "(London)"What Pratchett does is not just great, but unparalleled. In five hundred years, it won't be the Nobel laureates who are being studied. It's going to be this guy." --Brandon Sanderson, Tor.com

Book Description

A collection of essays and other non fiction from Terry Pratchett, spanning the whole of his writing career from his early years to the present day.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Disc, Dat, and de other thing 22 Aug 2014
By S. Berner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It is all too easy to disregard the accomplishments of Terry Pratchett because he made it look oh, so easy.

But Terry Pratchett, over the course of some 50 books, did nothing less than create a Universe.

A hundred years from now, we will still (well, not "we", you and maybe even I, will be long gone) be celebrating Discworld.

And if he had never created Discworld, his other writings (personal favourite, "Good Omens" with Neil Gaiman) would still have ensured him a warm and happy niche in the world of fanciful fiction.

Now, with this new collection, the first of his non-fiction pieces, we can see that, even without Discworld... without his other stories, novels, etc. (If you haven't started his "Long..." trilogy, written with Stephen Baxter, do so!) he would STILL have been an essayist of Ellisonian proportions

If you're a fan of even modest leanings, you know that there is a time limit to what we can look forward to from this master, but while we still have time, let's revel in all we have.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Pratchett 27 Aug 2014
By K. Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
“A Slip of the Keyboard” is a collection of nonfiction by Terry Pratchett, the prolific and best-selling author of the “Discworld” novels. Included are essays, speeches, interviews, articles, and more – almost 60 pieces in total – written as early as 1963 (Pratchett was born in 1948) and as late as 2011 (the vast majority comes from the 90’s and 00’s). The book is divided into three primary parts. The first and longest section focuses on themes relative to being a professional writer. The second part deals with Pratchett’s early experiences and development. The third part consists of Pratchett’s commentary on social issues (e.g., posterior cortical atrophy and Alzheimer’s disease, socialized medicine, death with dignity and assistance, and even orangutans). There’s a fourth part as well, but it has only one article. Following the more serious tone of the third part, it’s a wry ending that’s perfectly Pratchett.

Those familiar with Pratchett’s writing will find exactly what they expect in this volume: wit, intelligence, humor, and warmth. As the items included come from varying times and sources, there’s considerable repetition. Anecdotes and examples are revisited throughout the book. This highlights one thing, Pratchett’s message has been consistent. He’s an ardent defender of “fantasy” as a genre and reading in general. He believes in the general goodness of humanity and is as shocked as anyone by his considerable success. An occasional political or religious comment may alienate a few (there’s a barb or two that might be informed more by humor than charity) but he generally writes so compassionately and with such respect that most will appreciate his viewpoint even if they disagree. Aspiring writers may particularly appreciate Pratchett’s wisdom and insight even if, sadly, no magical Holy Grail exists for achieving publishing success.

Neil Gaiman, Pratchett’s friend and one-time collaborator, penned a moving foreword that captures something of the indomitable spirit of the author. Perhaps I’m being overly sentimental, but it may justify the price of admission alone.

In addition to the aforementioned repetition, there’s also an inherent unevenness in the entries. Given the variety in structure and occasion for writing, that’s to be expected. Simply gloss over the less relevant entries and bask in the remaining treasure trove – for that’s what it is. If I were to rate each article or essay individually, the ratings would be all over the place, from 2’s (I couldn’t even really relate to a couple of his early journalism entries – maybe they were uniquely British) to 5’s. But taken as a whole, “A Slip of the Keyboard” easily merits five stars.

The wit, class, and humanity that permeate Pratchett’s fiction are equally in evidence here. I’m just one of many Kevins (see the twelfth chapter of the same name) who are extremely grateful for the inestimable gift of Pratchett’s writing.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett the Author Meets Pratchett the Person in the Nonfiction Collection 29 Aug 2014
By J. Wiles Parker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you're a fan of Pratchett's books, A Slip of the Keyboard is the type of book that you'll want for background purposes. The first two sections in particular provide eye opening insight into his childhood and younger writing years as well as his thoughts on writing and what makes fantasy interesting. If you're looking for writing advice, there's a surprising amount of that mixed in to if you're reading closely. While I love the book and the author, I did struggle a bit through the last section, not because it was badly written, but because of the content. After two generally lighter toned sections, hearing about his struggles with Alzheimer's and his championing of assisted death was a bit, well, hard. He explains his views eloquently and with a humanity that I often find those who are most faced with their own humanity can really best explore.

This is a solid volume of the nonfiction variety from a master of words and worlds. I was reminded of books I'd read and shelved and want to pick them up anew. I was enlightened, heartened, and encouraged that there is a person just waiting to explore the world in all of us. This book also made me want to pick up a pen and begin writing, even if it is some story once thought abandoned. Pratchett's humor and humanity are on display in an unfamiliar way, but what better way to get a peek into his life than through his nonfiction?
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Discworld lover in your family 21 Aug 2014
By E. B. MULLIGAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A decades long collection of essays, prose and speeches dating back as far as the 1970s. My 40 year old, Discworld series of fantasy novels reader and convergence con attendee, LOVED it. He finished reading it before I had a chance to look at the cover - lol. Being married to an author (not the 40 year old) I loved the writer's perspective and his fierce advocacy of the written word and fantasy.

I did not know that Pratchett has Alzheimer's disease. He writes about the illness here (the last third of the book covers his journey through the medical community for the last decade) and has been a huge advocate of finding a cure and until then finding a treatment.

After reading this book I came to really like Pratchett as a human and a humorist - I know that were I ever to be a table companion of his I would be very fortunate indeed. Little sniglet, he used to re-read Lord of the Rings every summer, and The Wind in the Willows was a life changer when he first read it as a young child.
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