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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and almost complete collection of his short fiction
Finished reading this today and thoroughly enjoyed it. It appears to contain almost every one of Terry Pratchett's short stories, except for 'Night Dweller' and 'History in the Faking' (And excluding the Bucks Free Press serialised shorts written as 'Uncle Jim', although it does contain two of those). Contains 10 pre-1980 short stories, 11 non-discworld stories and 12...
Published 22 months ago by DKSE

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure!
I enjoyed quite a lot of the stories and it is fascinating to see how his story telling developed over the years. But not wholly as enjoyable as I had hoped.

Worth a shot if you like Pratchett but not unless you like the non disc world as well as the discworld saga's
Published 21 months ago by Mrs. Deborah L. Ankrett


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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and almost complete collection of his short fiction, 12 Oct 2012
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Finished reading this today and thoroughly enjoyed it. It appears to contain almost every one of Terry Pratchett's short stories, except for 'Night Dweller' and 'History in the Faking' (And excluding the Bucks Free Press serialised shorts written as 'Uncle Jim', although it does contain two of those). Contains 10 pre-1980 short stories, 11 non-discworld stories and 12 discworld pieces, including the excellent 'The Sea and Little Fishes'. Each story has a short introduction by the author. Contains 15 illustrations as well - in the kindle version these are near the end between the last story and the Appendix but I'm not sure if that is also the case for the hardback book. The stories range in publication date from 1963 (The Hades Business, written when he was 13) to 2010 and and give an excellent insight into his development as a storyteller over time. I'd recommend this book to any Pratchett fan, or non-fan.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The shorter Pratchetts, 28 Oct 2012
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Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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Here in one volume is a collection of many of the shorter works published by Sir Terry Pratchett down the years.

About two thirds of the stories in the book are not anything to do with Discworld. But the final third of the book is nothing but stories in Discworld and related to it.

The book runs for three hundred and eighteen pages. There's an introduction from noted writer A.S. Byatt. And Terry Pratchett himself gives a short introduction to each story, explaining how they came to be.

The earliest story in the book, 'The Hades Business' was something he wrote when he was thirteen. It's a little rough at first but it does get quite good after that once you get used to the writing.

The rest of the first section contains storys that are mostly quite short, no more than a couple of pages to five or six, although there are a couple that go a bit longer. There's also a story that formed the basis for his recent collaboration The Long Earth.

As a whole, this section isn't bad at all. Some of the stories are short one joke ideas, some are poems, and a couple are serious science fiction. It's up to the reader, if you're only used to his Discworld writings, if you'll take to all this or not. It does though show a fascinating picture of how he has developed as a writer over the years.

The Discworld portion of the book contains one short story with Cohen the Barbarian, a short story involving the Nightwatch, then a very long one involving Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. This is a superb story and well worth reading.

All the ones after that are shorter pieces that supply supplementary material to novels like 'Thud' and 'Unseen Academicals' and one is a speech made at a festival in Wincanton. To say why would be to spoil it.

These are all rather rare pieces though and for the completist this is thus an invaluable volume.

There's an appendix with a scene cut from the Granny Weatherwax story. And there are three sections of illustrations, nearly all by the late great Josh Kirby, of book covers and other pieces from down the years. There is an index to these at the back.

Some of the items in the book have been published elsewhere but this is the first you will have probably seen of others. So it's an excellent and comprehensive collection and, so long as you're prepared to give the non-Discworld material a chance, well worth getting.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As Varied as the Discworld itself, 21 Oct 2012
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Amazon Customer "Boo62" (Ilkeston Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I was disappointed with this years previous release 'Dodger'. The introduction of famous real world characters and a fairytale Dickensian London lacked the usual bite.
So this being so quickly released after that title left me sceptical to say the least. I needn't have worried.

With the exception of A.S Byatt's rather gushing intro this lays out a great smorgasboard of delights, starting with young Mr Pratchett esq. aged 13 taking an early, and not wholly unsuccessful, tilt at the writing business. On to a collection of non-discworld short stories of varying quality. Then finally what we all want, those Discworld short stories. A great collection that underline the beauty of a world impossibly potty peopled by a collection of equally potty characters that through decades of skilful writing have become beloved & cared for.

As well as this very readable collection there is a short personal introduction to each story by the lad himself & two sections of full colour plate illustrations by the superb Josh Kirby. My word how easy it is to forget just how superbly he managed to bring the ideas to life in intricate technicolour detail. An artist sorely missed.

This is not the cash in it appears to be & offers the fan far more than just a perfunctionary 'insight into the artist'. So many of these stories stand up happily in their own right & are well worth the reading. The ideas never less than interesting at worst & hilarious at best.

This offers a collection of short stories to keep the fans happy. Chronologically ordered & although not complete excellent reading & value for money.
Well worth owning & highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure!, 23 Nov 2012
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Mrs. Deborah L. Ankrett (Nottm UK) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed quite a lot of the stories and it is fascinating to see how his story telling developed over the years. But not wholly as enjoyable as I had hoped.

Worth a shot if you like Pratchett but not unless you like the non disc world as well as the discworld saga's
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 8 Nov 2012
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It's almost like a quiz, spotting the ideas for future best-selling books, some of them from when Terry was just 13! Whoever researched and pulled together this collection deserves a medal - it's fascinating. And the appended notes from the Master himself are a revelation - you can hear his own re-reading sparking fresh ideas - his thought that more lie somwhere in his office, on long-lost audio disks, is almost unbearable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A curate's egg, 8 Nov 2012
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Dr. David Woods (uk) - See all my reviews
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If, like me, you are a fan of Terry Pratchett, you will be fascinated by the development of his style over the time covered by these pieces. Some of the titles will be well-known to you, and some are deservedly obscure bits of stuff that began as ideas that nearly developed, but failed. I suppose it would be a shame to waste them, and they give some insight into the creative process, but reading them is a bit like watching your hero come second.

I am in the habit of re-reading the mainstream output, several times in many cases, but as far as this book is concerned; I am glad I have read it, but will only re-visit one or two items.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars short storis, 13 Nov 2013
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bought this for my mother who is a big fan of Terry Pratchett. Sadly Mum has developed Alzheimers. After reading all her life she was unable, because of problems with her short term memory, to read. I bought this book because I hoped short stories would mean Mum would manage to enjoy it. Glad to say it worked. I may not have made the leap if I had not wondered if Terry Pratchett found short stories more managble with his Alzheimers. If ever you read this T.P. thanks for restoring mums ability to enjoy a good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Law of Expanding Returns, 11 Feb 2013
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I felt an overwhelming sense of crushing disappointment as I started working through the first few stories and articles in this book. I love Pratchett, and had high hopes. However, the pedestrian comic tales I found, with nothing to distinguish them from any decent (but not great) humourist, let me down in a way Pratchett never had before. They weren't stories that really deserved to be collected together - this was obviously a vanity project, riding off his name rather than the worth of the content.

Then, about a 100 pages in, I reached 'The High Meggas', a tale of infinite parallel earths that would later develop further into the novel The Long Earth. It's brilliant. Smart, incisive, funny, exciting, and best of all - it matters. The characters matter. Their struggles matter. It grips. From out of nowhere, the book suddenly stands alongside the best of Pratchett, and it doesn't look back.

With the book arranged to chart Pratchett's career from early, formative stuff that isn't quite 'there yet', to what we recognise instantly as the humanist humourist who gave us the Discworld, a law of expanding returns kicks in. If you're a fan of his novels, you have to wait for that writer to turn up in this book, but when he does he's on top form. I don't recommend that anybody wanting to know why Pratchett is brilliant starts here (they might lose patience, and never find out), but everyone who already knows will enjoy this (eventually).
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertainment at its best, 15 Oct 2012
A fascinating insight into the development of Terry Pratchett's skill. I've long held the view that the man is a literary genius, and this book shows the brilliance and craftsmanship of his work. Beyond that, it's extremely entertaining, being funny, clever and thought-provoking. Treat yourself, and banish the damp-dark-autumn-days blues!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really entertaining collection, 6 Nov 2012
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In the dedication of the book to his agent, Colin Smythe, Terry remarks that Colin "spent a lot of time sieving through a lot of dusty old newspapers to find my tracks. Amazingly he really likes doing this kind of thing ..." Having read through the results of his research I think anyone who has enjoyed anything by Terry would have given their right arm to have been asked to do that job. From the story written as a 13 year old (with the rather obvious ending) to the speech by Lord Havelock Ventinari on the occasion of the twinning of Wincanton and Ankh Morpork, to "The Sea and Little Fishes," the reading of it has been one of life's great pleasures.
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