Pratchett shows his delight in the absurd

REVIEWED BY MAREE FIELD
Last updated 14:11 03/09/2013

A Blink of the Screen
By Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, RRP $50)

A new book from Sir Terry Pratchett is always a treat for fans, and A Blink of the Screen is no exception.

Indeed, it's more of a treat than usual because it's Pratchett's collected short stories, including several from the legendary Discworld series.

It starts, auspiciously enough, with the very first story Pratchett wrote at the age of 13. It's an entertaining tale of a man who suddenly finds himself living with a demon and having bureaucratic dealings with Hell.

It's a very assured tale for a 13-year-old, and it definitely foreshadows Pratchett's signature sense of humour and wonderfully skewed world view.

It's a treat of a book to dip into, as Pratchett's humour is at the forefront, and he does chatty little forewords for each story.

The Discworld section of the book - which features regulars like Granny Weatherwax and Granny Ogg - has an extra treat, with illustrations by Josh Kirby, which bring the stories to vivid life.

What really shines through in the whole collection is Pratchett's joy in the absurd, and his celebration of it, companionably brought to colourful life by Kirby's illustrations.

One for fans, for sure, but also possibly a good introduction to the weird and wonderful world of Pratchett.

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