Title: Dragons at Crumbling Castle
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page Count/Review Word Count: 340
This book was pretty good, a collection of short stories from the inimitable Terry Pratchett that cover a variety of different topics, from the Carpet People to humorous takes on life in quaint little English villages. It’s pretty typical of his sense of humour, but it’s also interesting because it’s much more “middle grade” than most of his other stuff. That makes this a pretty good gift for a youngster or even a great bedtime book if you have kids and want to read to them.
I also liked that there were plenty of illustrations and even some interesting layouts that helped to bring the text to life. I can imagine that it might not be for everyone, but I thought that it worked well and made it more aesthetically pleasing as a whole. It’s very different to reading a Discworld novel, but that’s okay – after all, I’ve read most of them by now already. Pratchett is my most-read author, and I picked this book up specifically because it’s one of the few Pratchett books that I hadn’t read.
The great thing here is that it would make for a pretty good introduction to Pratchett for younger readers while still being great fun for older readers who are already familiar with his work. Then there’s the fact that it started out by talking about Buckinghamshire, where I live: “Focus on a planet revolving in space. Focus in on a small country in the northern hemisphere – Great Britain. Closer, closer…and on the western edge of London you can see the county of Buckinghamshire. Small villages and winding country roads.”
Buckinghamshire has changed a lot since then, but it was nice to see Pratchett’s view of it. He grew up just a couple of miles away from my house, over in Beaconsfield. That made me feel closer to him, even though he never knew me.