Terry Pratchett Is the Greatest Writer of All Time

Updated on December 14, 2018
Terry Pratchett with some birds on his head.
Terry Pratchett with some birds on his head.

Terry Pratchett is irrefutably the best writer of all time. He created one of the most vast, intricate, and complete universes in the fantasy/fiction genre. His understanding of the human condition and of how different kinds of people think, feel, and deal with every day life allowed him to create amazing and deep characters. Most of all, his wisdom pertaining to religion, politics, relationships, and morality paired with his hilarious sense of humor makes his books some of the most fulfilling to read. Also, he was a complete and utter badass.

The most notable reason for my assertion that Terry Pratchett is the greatest writer of all time is the depth and intricacies of the universe that he has created. Most of his books and stories take place in a universe called Discworld, where the earth is shaped like a disc and sits upon the backs of four elephants, who stand upon the shell of a mighty turtle named A’tuin, as he or she makes his or her way through the endlessness of space. Discworld is one of the most brilliantly thought out fantasy universes of all time, and my personal favorite. Not only does it encompass all of the things a reader could ever want in fantasy, (dwarves, witches, dragons, wizards, and anthropomorphic personifications) it also has all of the things that we see every day in our reality, allowing the reader to feel connected to his world.

Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom.

— Terry Pratchett
A'tuin, carrying Discworld
A'tuin, carrying Discworld

One very important part of a good narrative is having good characters. There is no shortage of different, interesting, wacky, or completely off-the-wall characters roaming about in Discworld. The main protagonists that Terry Pratchett chooses are however some of the best. Pratchett writes his protagonists and main characters with beautiful thought put into them. They are all very different, but share many characteristics. Between Commander Vimes of the City Watch, Granny Weatherwax, the formidable witch, and Death of … people dying fame, they all have major internal struggles that they deal with, their own questionable coping mechanisms, and their own often mind blowing philosophical ideas. The thing about these characters is that they grow and change as you follow their stories, and they seem real. I swear I know a few people in my personal life who could probably be the Earth version of Vimes.

Most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally evil, but by people being fundamentally people.

— Terry Pratchett

Aside from his ability to draw you into his world and keep you there, reading until your eyes bleed, it’s rather the way he uses language that makes me truly consider him to be the best writer of all time. Terry Pratchett is well known for his humor and his wit. While that can definitely attract certain readers to his books, it doesn’t do him justice to just say that he’s witty. Not only do his books keep the reader stuck between quietly giggling to themselves and cackling loudly, drawing the attention of onlookers, it also makes them think. His satirical take on the human (or dwarven) condition, religion, and politics can be inspiring, depressing, or downright eye opening. Between the laughter and weirdness, he throws in amazing, brilliant points of view that always make me stare at the wall and reflect upon my own behavior, and upon the world around me.

Here’s some advice boy. Don’t put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they’re called revolutions.

— Terry Pratchett

If tales of his literary prowess aren’t enough to draw you in and convince you to pick up a Discworld novel the next time you’re out and about, it may get you there to know that Terry Pratchett is a certified badass, as well. I should have been referring to him as Sir Terry Pratchett all of this time, because he was knighted in 2009. In 2010, he was granted his own coat of arms. Upon being knighted, Sir Terry decided that he needed his own sword as well. What is a knight without his mighty sword? So he forged his own sword out of meteorite. Seriously. Then, when he died at age 66, he live-tweeted his own death. Posted a play-by-play right up until the end. Like I said, this man was not only brilliant, but a total badass.

Sir Terry Pratchett and his awesome sword, featuring a cat.
Sir Terry Pratchett and his awesome sword, featuring a cat.

Here, I confirm Sir Terry Pratchett to be the greatest writer of all time, and insist that anyone reading this go out immediately and snatch up one of his many amazing Discworld novels. If you want to read an amazing story written by a seriously awesome knight who forged his own sword, which will make you laugh until you cry while simultaneously making you consider writing a letter to congress, it’ll be perfect for you.

Personally, I’m considering starting a movement to elect his ghost as the next president of the US. Think that could work? Message me if you can talk to ghosts. Let’s ask him about his platform.

It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.

— Terry Pratchett

Have I convinced you that Terry Pratchett is the best?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Yamuna Hrodvitnir


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      • profile image

        Jesse Stanfield 

        14 months ago

        love it

      • manatita44 profile image


        14 months ago from london

        You're funny as Pratchett in this one and yes, I can talk to ghosts (smile).

        You write well and perhaps you can offer more of this gift. Yes, Pratchett was a great writer and so was Samuel Clements (Mark Twain) or Bradbury. Writing can be so diverse! The Bronte sisters were cool and Dickens also; but so was Agatha Christie or Walt Whitman, each a specialist in his/her own right.

        Since the spiritual ones touch on even the fibre of life itself, I'll have to give them the Kudos here: Sri Krishna; The Christ; Rumi, Whitman, Dickinson ... you, perhaps. Now go out and write that book. Much Love.

      • Yamuna Hrodvitnir profile imageAUTHOR

        Yamuna Hrodvitnir 

        16 months ago from USA, West Coast

        I'm not sure who actually steamrolled it all, but I believe that his daughter was in charge of most of the details. There was talk of his daughter continuing some of his work, but I believe that it was agreed that the universe he created ended with him.

        Part of me is sad to be missing out on whatever he had written but hadn't finished, but mostly I'm glad that he chose that method to end it.

      • Luke Holm profile image


        16 months ago

        Ha, what! That's crazy. How did they compile that work and who did they hire to steamroll a bunch of unfinished books? That's so funny, but it was probably a big honor for someone.

      • Yamuna Hrodvitnir profile imageAUTHOR

        Yamuna Hrodvitnir 

        16 months ago from USA, West Coast

        I can't believe that I forgot to mention this, but another amusing fact is that his dying wish was for all of his unfinished novels to be demolished by a steamroller. This wish was fulfilled.

      • Yamuna Hrodvitnir profile imageAUTHOR

        Yamuna Hrodvitnir 

        16 months ago from USA, West Coast

        That's awesome to hear, Luke! Thank you for reading! I'm pretty new to writing blogs, so I wasn't sure how my usual writing voice would work out on this platform.

        But Terry Pratchett is definitely my favorite author. I have so many of his books that it's almost ridiculous.

      • Luke Holm profile image


        16 months ago

        Nice overview of Pratchett's life and work! I've heard great things about Discworld. You've inspired me to put the first book on my Christmas list. Thank you for the informative article and unique approach to biography.


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