Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Published October 29th 2012
Tales Of The Tosher Dodger
Sir Terence (Terry) David John Pratchett is the author of more than sixty books for children of all ages.
As well as the well-known Discworld series of a flat circular world resting on the back of four (formerly five) elephants standing on a giant space turtle called the great A'Tuin (sex unknown) floating through space, he has also written a number of books for actual children.
Starting at the age of seventeen, Terry (or Pterry, as he is affectionately known to his many thousands of fans) Pratchett has produced roughly two books a year since his first was published in 1971 (The Carpet People).
His genre, and indeed his playground, is fantasy and science fiction. He skirts through classic plays, opera, rock music, mythology, religion, journalism, video games, and astronomy.
Although compared to many writers, he is a true original, playing with language, joking on serious matters, treating people and themes with respect and encouraging thought, free-thinking and reason.
His 'young adult' books may also be read with pleasure and benefit by adults. This is particularly true of his latest book - Dodger, set in the real world equivalent of Ankh-Morpork, Victorian London.
As is true of all of Pterry's books there are many, many, little in-jokes and references to other books, films and popular culture. This book presents the classic character of The Artful Dodger of Dickens' Oliver Twist as he possibly may have been when seen by a popular journalist and writer of the time - Mr Charlie.
Other real-life people featured in the book include Benjamin Disraeli, Sir Robert Peel and a 'certain gracious lady'.
Tragically, Sir Terry's intellectual life is drawing to a premature close as a result of early-onset Alzheimer's disease, but do not let that deter you from enjoying this thoroughly entertaining and glossily professional read, enjoyable at so many levels.
Sir Terry signing books for an adoring fan on his last Australian tour.