Book Review: Death and What Comes Next by Terry Pratchett

March 9, 2018 Book Reviews 4

Book Review: Death and What Comes Next by Terry PratchettDeath and What Comes Next by Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #10.5
on Published 2002
Pages: 5
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Death and What Comes Next is a Discworld short story by Terry Pratchett. It tells the story of a discussion between Death and a philosopher, in which the philosopher attempts to use the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics to argue death is not a certainty.

In the four decades since his first book appeared in print, Terry Pratchett has become one of the world's best-selling and best-loved authors. Here for the first time are his short stories and other short form fiction collected into one volume. A Blink of the Screen charts the course of Pratchett's long writing career: from his schooldays through to his first writing job on the Bucks Free Press,; to the origins of his debut novel, The Carpet People; and on again to the dizzy mastery of the phenomenally successful Discworld series.

Here are characters both familiar and yet to be discovered; abandoned worlds and others still expanding; adventure, chickens, death, disco and, actually, some quite disturbing ideas about Christmas,all of it shot through with his inimitable brand of humour.

With an introduction by Booker Prize-winning author A.S. Byatt, illustrations by the late Josh Kirby and drawings by the author himself, this is a book to treasure.


Here is one that I have never read! Since I am reading this in order and this is a very short five pages, I figured I would throw a review together really quick.

It starts with Terry Pratchett saying:

This was written for the online game TimeHunt, in which each story incorporated a hidden phrase.

It’s relevant to the story, it’s still in there, you need the mind of a fan to find it, and I bend the rules a little – or, rather, there are exceptions to the rule.

I rather liked the idea of Heaven being a logical certainty…

Straight out of the gate, he alludes to Schrödinger as the philosopher is philosophizing with Death. It shows Pratchett’s wit right away. What’s special about this is that it is not technically a part of his Discworld series, as a normal set, as he mentioned above. And yet, it has DEATH in it, which is probably obvious by the title. DEATH (in all caps because he’s amazing and that is how he talks, in big bold sounds), is a character all his own and has grown as the world of the Discworld has grown. It’s so fun to see him randomly show up in a book that has nothing to do with him, but then everything has to do with him, so he’s everywhere!

The philosopher feels like DEATH has met his match. Of course, everyone tries to cheat death, or in the Discworld, play a game of chess or Cripple Mr. Onion, to out wit DEATH and hopefully avoid his inevitable demise.

But DEATH has dealt with these kinds of people often. He always sighs and then figures out a way to outwit them. This particular exchange in up on the internet, and even if you have not delved into Discworld, it’s a five minute, fun read!

I purchased this in his collected shorter fiction, A Blink of the Screen! So excited to finally get another look at new and old characters.




About Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 39 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). In 2008, Harper Children's published Terry's standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation. Terry's latest book, Snuff, was published in October 2011.

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 45 million copies (give or take a few) and have been translated into 33 languages.

In Dec. of 2007, Pratchett admitted to being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. On 18 Feb, 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010.






One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

4 Responses to “Book Review: Death and What Comes Next by Terry Pratchett”

    • Christina

      YES! He really was. We lost him way too early, but that’s also why I’m trying to read all of his stuff. It’s both a pleasure and a horror since I know there will not be anything new.

    • Christina

      My pleasure! I’m just so excited to read more of his brilliant work! This in particular was so much fun. But as you’re already a fan, I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge