Featured Review: The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories (Terry Pratchett)

Featured Review: The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories (Terry Pratchett)

About The Book:

Do you believe in magic? Can you imagine a war between wizards? An exciting journey in an airship or down in a submarine? Would you like to meet the fastest truncheon in the Wild West?

The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner is the second fabulously funny short-story collection from the late acclaimed storyteller Terry Pratchett. A follow-up to Dragons at Crumbling Castle, this second batch of storytelling gems features stories written when Sir Terry was just seventeen years old and working as a junior reporter. In these pages, new Pratchett fans will find wonder, mayhem, sorcery, and delight—and loyal readers will recognize the seeds of ideas that went on to influence his most beloved tales later in life.

As Neil Gaiman says, “a Terry Pratchett book is a small miracle”—and The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner proves to be another miracle taking its place alongside Pratchett’s astounding and cherished body of work.

 

*Review Contributed By Angela Blount, Staff Reviewer*

 

 

Short Story Whimsy

A collection of 14 middle-grade appropriate short stories, seasoned with varying whimsical degrees of the fantastical. 

The book in its entirety is a rapid, easy read with larger font, generous spacing, and some flavorful creative license taken with bits of standout typescript. The breakup suits the playfulness of the script, and will likely fend off monotony in younger readers. There is also no readily apparent call for reading them in their presented order. Some stories are related, while others feel more randomly inserted. 
With the death of Terry Pratchett a year and a half ago, it’s understandable that fans would be on the lookout for any lost pieces of lit from the legendary author of the bestselling Discworld series. And that is more or less what this is: A grab bag of works, purportedly written when Paratchett was just seventeen years old. But while it’s entertaining at points and completely appropriate to a middle grade audience, established fans of the author may be a bit underwhelmed with this particular collection.

As tends to be the case with many short stories, these are more driven by plot than by characters. Descriptions are fairly sparse, characterization is thin, and reader investment in events is relegated to that of a passing observer. 

Personally, I would have enjoyed the experience far more if not for the higher skill expectations I had developed--as someone who has read several other examples of Pratchett’s work. It does at least help show something of Terry Pratchett's writing process and maturation, which is fascinating in and of itself. I began to think he may have layered in his humor and more poignant wit only much later into his editing process. (Or perhaps he became more effectively humorous with age and experience.) What we have here feels a bit more unfinished than fans might be hoping for—something not entirely recognizable as Pratchett.

On the whole, I can safely recommend this to Middle Grade readers—especially those unfamiliar with Terry Pratchett and without any expectation for his later fine-tuned and distinguished voice. Better still, seeing what a literary giant was capable of in his teens has the potential to serve as a source of inspiration for today’s young writers. 

 

 

*Find More Info On This Book HERE*

 

Waiting On Wednesday ~ January 4th, 2017
Top Ten Tuesday ~ Top Ten 2017 Books I'm Excited F...

Related Posts

 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

American Betiya
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A luminous story of a young artist grappling with first...
The Story Blanket
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Babba Zarrah lives in a tiny village in the snow-covered...
Now That Night is Near
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's bedtime, and across the land everyone is settling down...
Mommy Loves You
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
With heart-shaped lift-the-flaps and a surprise mirror at the end,...
Calm Bunny (Yoga Tots)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Charming illustrations and step-by-step instructions take little ones through a...
The Problem with Pierre
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
The differences between Bertram and his neighbor Alan were never...
Noisy Tractor (I Can Learn)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Children will love to press the soft, silicone buttons on...
Ravage the Dark (Scavenge the Stars, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Step into an opulent world filled with risk, romance, and...
Phoebe Unfired
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
CONNECTING IS TOUGH WHEN YOU CAN'T EVEN TOUCH ...
Thirty Talks Weird Love
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A 13-year-old girl growing up in Mexico is visited by...
Admission
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lie. Cheat. Bribe. How far would you go to get...
Running
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When fifteen-year-old Cuban American Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president,...
City of Spells (Into the Crooked Place, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
City of Spells, the follow-up to Alexandra Christo's gritty YA...
Christmas Parade
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
A delightful Christmas board book filled with hilarious characters and...
Best Friend in the Whole World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Roland lives a quiet life filled with books, music, and...
Bird Show
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author-illustrator Susan Stockdale welcomes you to the Bird Show,...

Latest Member Reviews

American Betiya
 
5.0
"AMERICAN BETIYA is a breathtaking contemporary read about identity, family, and racism. Rani is an Indian American with dreams of..."
The Story Blanket
 
5.0
"‘The Story Blanket’ by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz, illustrated by Elena Odriozola, is the story of Babba Zarrah,..."
My Best Friend Prince Charming
 
4.5
"‘My Best Friend Prince Charming’ by Cindy Ray Hale tells the story of Ryker and Shannon, two best friends who..."
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
" The Story: Willow is a figure skater who has been sidelined from her team by an injury...."
Now That Night is Near
 
4.0
"NOW THAT NIGHT IS NEAR is a lovely poem in a picture book about going to sleep. A cat travels..."
Mommy Loves You
 
4.5
"MOMMY LOVES YOU is a sweet board book of love between mother and child. The book features mother and baby..."
Calm Bunny (Yoga Tots)
 
4.0
"CALM BUNNY is a colorful board book that walks young children through some simple yoga poses to help promote focus..."
The Problem with Pierre
 
4.5
"THE PROBLEM WITH PIERRE is a sweet picture book about a picky cat, good friends, and problem-solving. Bertram and Alan..."
Noisy Tractor (I Can Learn)
 
4.3
"NOISY TRACTOR is a cute board book with an interactive element that presents some farm-themed basics. Each page features some..."
Ravage the Dark (Scavenge the Stars, #2)
 
4.3
"RAVAGE THE DARK is a satisfying conclusion to a YA fantasy duology. In this sequel, we begin with Cayo, Amaya,..."
Thirty Talks Weird Love
 
5.0
"One day, Thirteen-year-old Anamaria has an encounter from Thirty, a strange woman who insists she's from the future...."
Admission
 
5.0
"‘Admission’ by Julie Buxbaum is a modern and definitely current read on a topic that has been in the news...."