Dragons at Crumbling Castle: and other Stories – Terry Pratchett

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Random House Australia

Doubleday imprint

ISBN 9780857534378

$25.95

Once upon a time, in the 1960s, there was a young cub reporter who worked for the Bucks Free Press covering such scintillating happenings as village fairs and other local events. Despite the rigours of such journalism, Sir Terry Pratchett began writing short stories for  young readers which were also published in the newspaper.

This rather unostentatious beginning was to lead to the magical, fantastical world of Pratchett as we know it.

Sir Terry has trawled back over these stories from his youth and selected some for this volume – mostly exactly as they were written originally, with only a little tweaking here and there.

Of particular interest I think are Tales of the Carpet People and Another Tale of the Carpet People which of course later developed into Terry’s first novel.

Dragons and wizards, a lake monster, an adventurous tortoise called Hercules and pointy hats and magic spells a-plenty come together in a humorous romp through the young Pratchett’s imagination.

Whether you are a diehard fan or more selective of the many offerings penned by this master storyteller or even if – surely not! – you have never read a Terry Pratchett book, this is a terrific anthology  which would sit well on shelves from primary to lower secondary or home. [Beautiful hardcover concealed by attractive dustjacket!]

“..that naive young lad on the motorbike and the grown-up me with my black hat and beard are the same person – and all we both ever wanted to do was write for people old enough to understand.

And to imagine…”

Terry Pratchett

Wiltshire 2014

Clicking on his image will take you to a 2008 article where Sir Terry discusses his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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