back to article Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's

Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, as he announced yesterday with a post to the web. The best-selling author of the Discworld fantasy books is 59 years-old. "I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to …

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Paris Hilton

Rarg

"Common decency would say that this comment page should be left to those who wish him well" - this is The Register, for heaven's sake. It's not decent, and it's not for commoners.

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Pirate

Use it...

or lose it.

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Unhappy

So sorry to hear about this

Unfortunately I know more than I'd like to about early onset Alzheimer's because my mother has had it for several years. It's a dreadful dreadful disease which has a devastating effect on both the unfortunate sufferer and their loved ones.

I like Morticia's suggestion of people donating the price of a paperback to Alzheimer's research. It would be a nice tangible thing to do and maybe just maybe it might help the likes of Terry.

My thoughts are with Terry at this time. I hope he can have a good quality of life for a long time yet.

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Theres a long way to go yet,

good luck Terry.

To the critics, read "Night Watch". Nuff said.

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Dan
Unhappy

Such a shame.

So sorry to hear about this, awesome guy, infact i'd go as far as a legendary guy. first books i ever read and to this day still the only ones that keep me interested. such a bummer :(

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This is an -ing shame!

Deeply troubling indeed, my best wishes to you, Mr. Pratchett, in his struggle, your books have brought me many a laugh and serve to bring back wonder to those modern miracles which have become mundane to us in our daily lives.

While this should not be marked a black day, it is indeed one of a very dark shade of gray. :(

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Heart

very sad but hopeful

This is like hearing that a member of my family has Alzheimer's... which has actually happened to me before. But that's not the point. This is terrible news. When I read it the other day, I was studying at a café, but then when I read this, I couldn't do anything more. I just ... couldn't. I think you know what I mean. I went home and talked with my wife, who has a good idea of what this meant to me.

sad thing is it was my ex-wife who nursed me back to health after my head injury (made famous some 6.5 years ago on slashdot!), and it was she who introduced me to TP. (and my favorite band in the world, The Church. but that's a little less important right now.)

I know personally how the people of the Internet can rally to support someone. His note is hopeful. Let's give PTerry our best!

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Unhappy

Damn

Damn damn damn damn damn damn damn.

Too young. Yes, I know it ain't over yet, but it shouldn't be over for another 30 years at least.

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Go

Sad news. But...

But, slightly more than impressed with the way that he was able to face the public and tell everyone about this.

Knowing his wonderful sense of humour, I wouldn't be surprised if in 2 or 3 weeks, he calls another press conference and announces exactly the same thing.

Jolyon

(ps. I gave up reading the discworld books when he started writing them faster than I could read them)

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ElReg unit

Can I suggest a Pratchett as an ElReg unit of Embuggerence, seems fitting...

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1 Pratchett or 2?

Just a couple of things:

1: A Pratchett is not a suitable term for measuring embuggerance. Maybe as a negative function? and

2... Errrmmm

What was I going to say?

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Anonymous Coward

....Title....

Bad news indeed that a national "treasure" has become so ill, even if i can't stand his books (bloody awful imo) Alzheimers is still a damn nasty thing to have

Best wishes to his friends / family and of course him :) Just stop writing your naff books Mr P.

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Heart

Best Wishes

Just to say, I hope Terry is reading these. Most of the comments would make him laugh out loud, especially the death-like 'SO I'M A LITTLE EARLY AM I?'. That was classic.

Keep going Terry, keep writing. The world would be a darker place without you and the books.

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"Just stop writing your naff books Mr P."

Not entirely sure what's going on here. Does the existence of Discworld books reduce the quality of other books? Because for someone who doesn't like them, this would be the only reason why they should wish Terry to stop writing them.

I mean, have you read Barbera Cartland? Mills & Boon? These books are an atrocity. However, their existence does not impact hugely on my life, and the only impact they DO have is that my mum reads them and likes them. Which is hardly a reason to wish them never written.

So why ask this? Really. Why?

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@Michael

Millions of people die each day. Each one sad. What makes it sad for ME is what effect it has on me. I'm nowhere near as sad at your granddad's death (if dead he is, otherwise, great granddad) as mine because I know my granddad.

When a friend loses her father, I'm sad because my friend is sad and that makes me unhappy.

All are how the death affects me.

A last thought for you: why do you say "you'll be sadly missed" when, since the person dead or dying will be dead and therefore not care overmuch about how missed they are. Why do we bury our dead rather than compost them or feed them to pigs (either of which is, from a strictly utilitarian point of view much better than wasting prime farming ground planting them)? How we treat our dead is about how WE feel about our own ending.

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@Jonathan & Ashley

But what does not liking his books have to do with his ill health? Does saying it make him get better?

If the story was about how he'd started bonking Paris Hilton, then you've got leeway to insult his books. It's one way to take him down a peg.

Taking down a peg someone with a death sentence like this is, at the very least, over-egging the pudding.

How would you like it if at your mum's funeral I popped in, drunk as a lord and looked in the casket and exclaimed "Bloody hell, she's ugly! Wonder how she managed to get someone to bonk her enough to pinch out all these sprogs?". Even if she *was* fugly, would you feel that this would be fair criticism or being an arsehole.

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Stop

@Mark (twice).

1. I never said I didn't like his books. If you can show otherwise, I'll pay £1000 to a charity of your choice.

2. I never "took him down a peg". If you can show otherwise, I'll pay another £1000 to a charity of your choice. Whoever it was up above had it right when he said most of the comments here are selfishly couched in terms of "oh my... what am I going to read NOW?!".

3. Terry Pratchett is not your mother. If you can show otherwise, I'll pay £1000,000 to a charity of your choice, and dig out both my kidneys with a rusty spoon and post the video on YouTube. Plus I'll re-enact those 2GirlsOneCup things with my dog.

4. My mother is dead. We've already had her funeral, so you're a bit late.

5. Your posts are subjective and emotional. Mine are rather more objective. Nothing "makes" it sad for you, and nothing "makes" you unhappy. You're a big boy. Take a bit of responsibility for yourself and your feelings, there's a good chap. You sound like a girl. Or a leftie.

6. How would his choice of sexual partner give us "more leeway" to insult his books than the manner of his dying? More to the point, I think I missed the bit where you were voted Grand Poobah and we had to get your permission and seek "leeway" to express our opinions.

7. Who said I've ever uttered the words ""you'll be sadly missed"? You know absolutely nothing about how I feel or think about my death or anyone else's. You're projecting your own feelings onto others and inventing all sorts of complex-equivalences. Are you sure you're not a girl or a leftie?

Pratchett having Alzheimer's is a shit and really isn't fair. Then, it's not "fair" my son has cerebral palsy. It's not "fair" I'm, 42 years old and 5'5'' instead of 22, 6''2' and helpless sex-slave to a rich, 16-year-old bisexual pneumatic-blonde nymphomaniac Danish supermodel.

It's not "fair" it's not Fair it's not FAIR!

But that's the way the universe works. We can play only the hand we're dealt, Mark. And, Pratchett getting Alzheimer's is objectively no better and no worse than anyone else getting it. Subjectively, for whoever gets it, it's no party.

And let's face it: they're the ones who really count in all this. I'm fairly confident the people actually going through it as sufferers and carers really get the shitty end of the stick. I only ever met one person who was looking forward to dying, and she was a nun. With exquisite irony, she recovered from her near-fatal illness and is still alive and really pissed off about it.

So in the midst of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth on here and the self-pitying, just stop and think who this really affects: Pratchett himself and his family. They're the embuggered one here, and kudos to him for taking it as well as he seems to have.

I'm not sure I would have such fortitude.

-- Jon

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@jonathan

So what about points 1 to 7? Coming on here and talking shit about TP's books is't right here (take a look at ashley's post, read what HE says and you defended him on).

I've hit a nerve with you by trash talking about you (I wasn't, but your delusion made you think so, and so you reacted). Now what if TP or his friends read the comments? Not nice for them. Hence all the posts from people goin "naff off. No trashing Terry here".

But as long as it's not you or your family, you want to *defend* them?

Since there's no need to show fir points 1-4, why not donate 4 grand to altzheimers research?

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irony

fate deal you a dual of comedie genies and being born in the age of writing then busts you with alzimers.

well we will see if all his books are cut n paste now huh?

"err terry.. this new book, the colour of magic.."

why is thier no icon for irony?

TP for a Reg Unit of embuggerence!!!

Yeah that four car pile up was 0.047 TPs of embuggerence.

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Heart

Aw, Crapulence!

The hands-down best Destroyer of English (and Gluminosity) in decades. P. Anthony could not hold my interest, but book-after-book-after-book - and let's not forget Good Omens - Terry kept creating. Yes, he IS a British national treasure, and in fact a national treasure of English writing and English literature. Keep on writing, Terry!

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Units of Embuggerance

The correct unit for embuggerance should be Wildes.

I think that a Pratchett is a measure of multiplicity of dichotomies. And the icon used for it should be a source bottle.

As in a dwarf buying a meat pie from Mr Dibbler and smelling a rat, for example. That could be worth 3 source bottles.

1 for the contents of the pies

2 for the pune on a pie from CMOT Dibbler and

3 for the source bottle.

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Go

What to say?

What do you say to someone you have never met but has made your life a happier and brighter place?

Terry, wherever your mind goes a lot of us will end up there too. So that's something to look forward to! It's not over yet but if you hear a fat lady singing in the distance, please write faster...

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Coat

I take comfort in the fact...

... that CMOT Dibbler is probably going around the crowd that's formed on this thread to sell sausages in a bun

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Stop

@Mark

Errr... what? Can you write that again in English?

I have never said anything about Pratchett's books. Not once. Nor have I said anything about not liking "it" if it was me or my family (and I'm not even sure what the "it" is here. If "it" is Alzheimer's, then you're damned right I wouldn't like it, but I also wouldn't give two hoots what people said about it, either). So I'm not quite sure what nerve you think you've hit, Mark, but whatever keeps you happy, mate. Personally, I get the feeling you make this shit up.

See, if you actually *read* what I did write, you'll realise what I'm doing is a. being objective and b. tangentially defending free speech (OK, it's not strictly "free" because the good people at the Reg own the site and ultimately they have the final say what goes up here, and that's entirely right and proper).

As for Terry and his friends reading this and not liking it: so what? That's unfortunate, but neither I nor anyone else can help that since we're all responsible for our own feelings. More to the point, freedom of speech is about defending the right of people to say the unpleasant and unsavoury things, not the nice ones. I've not once bashed Terry here. Nowhere. Not him, not his books. Not a thing. Nor have I made light of his situation.

Yet, even those who have: it's not mutually exclusive to wish to express one's sorrow and regret at Pratchett's situation yet also to say you think his books are illiterate bilge. If you thought his books were crap last Saturday it's not the case his statement revealing his Alzheimer's suddenly changes your opinion as if by magic.

If you're really suggesting you can't post anything here unless you're both saying how awful it is and how brilliant his books are you're potentially depriving Terry of some considerable emotional support for his plight (because of all the people who might want to say "Gee, Terry, I didn't like your books much, although I feel for you and your family and I wish you the very best in the difficult times ahead").

Anyone who'd want to stop people posting those sentiments -- and I'm not saying you do, necessarily -- must actually be Satan made flesh. Watch when they step out of the shower: they'll be steaming AND leaving hoof-prints.

Probably.

-- Jon

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@Jonathan

I agree with some of what your saying but I would like to put forth my own views;

You need to stop thinking logically about this, and start thinking humanely and emotionally;

Terry pratchett has been diagnosed with a nasty disease which will affect his remaining years and his family enormously. Therefore it is common courtesy that, if you want to critise his work, it would be more careing to find another post, perhaps reviewing one of his books or discussing a recent award. We should fill THIS page with encouraging and supportive comments. And I know you arnt ridiculing his work or posting unfriendly comments (and i belive mark may have mistaken you for the poster of this comment; um

By AnthonyPosted Thursday 13th December 2007 15:00 GMT He complained about hand-eye dexterity. I realise that this will pose a huge problem for him as he sets about essentially rephrasing his last 155 million books. Surely by now he has all the set situations and phrases memorised and at the very least set to different keys on his keyboard.

F1 - ah yes, set the scene in AnkhMorkpork

F2 - reveal something about the first character

<wait for user input on characters name>

F3 - copy paste entire middle bit of book-n

<wait for user input on book number else use random number>

I feel very sorry for anyone who has Alzheimers, horrible disease.)

And im not saying that you HAVE actually posted a negative comment,

im just disagreeing with your opinion that this thread should be a place for people to leave whatever comments they like. I think this thread should be a place for fans to give their thanks and good wishes.

Thanks for hearing my opinion,

Danni.

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Alert

@Danni

Thank you, Danni. My own thoughts are it would be rather more useful to leave nice comments than nasty ones, although I don't recall anyone saying anything nasty about Terry or his disease.

In any case, with the proviso this is the Reg's private property, I'm most definitely in Voltaire's camp: "Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."

About "[I] need to stop thinking logically about this, and start thinking humanely and emotionally".

Um. No. I'll pass on that, thank you. First, thinking "humanely" is not mutually exclusive with thinking logically. In fact, there are times when I reckon thinking logically is more likely to lead to a humane result: for example in deciding to end the life of a much-loved pet which is suffering. In my experience, "emotionally thinking" people tend to keep it alive (and suffering) longer because of their own selfish emotional attachment.

Secondly, I'd take the Objectivist line on this and say "emotional thinking" isn't really "thinking" at all. It's "feeling"; and while "feeling" is certainly pleasant at times and reminds us we're human, allowing it to control your actions is by definition irrational.

Logical thinking has brought us science and modern technology and all that goes with it. Mathematics, hygiene, computers, aeroplanes, modern medicine, the very monitor you're reading this on.

On the other hand, emotional thinking tends to lead to book burnings, people-burnings, murder, rape, crusades against homosexuals, ethnic minorities, and historians who wish to utter words some people don't want to hear, lynchings, all manner of strange religions, and, the to my mind peculiar, woman who "KNOWS" she is the reincarnation of Queen Nefertiti and is having endless plastic surgery to "prove" it.

Thanks for your concern, although I really do not have any desire or need for "emotional thinking" in my life. Feelings are great and I do have them, you know; I just don't base important decisions on them.

-- Jon

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Stop

It's not about you

What a sorry bunch of whiners some of you are!

Should Mr P ever have the time or inclination - on some rainy Tuesday - to read any of these comments I would merely like to state:

Every one of your books has been eagerly awaited, thoroughly enjoyed and placed lovingly on the shelf to be read again. I hope to read as many more as you can give us.

However, I hope you are busy writing instead of reading some self absorbed geek's defence of his totally irrelevant opinions.

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Buggrit Buggrit

i just hate this, Terry is the funniest and best writer on the block, i have read every single discworld book at least a dozen times, though i must admit that every one i bought was a gift for my son i just happened to read em before i wrapped em, its not my fault i just couldnt wait to read em an was gutted as each one ended, so what on earth am i going to buy my son for his birthday and xmas when you stop writting?? sometimes fate can be a bitch,your books brightened all our lives and for that i am eternally gratefull,

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up your own arses

I just looked to see if my comment had been accepted, but to tell the truth after reading through some of the comments i rather wish i hadn't bothered, seems to me that some of you just like the sound of your own voices, your heads are so far up your own arses you cant see whats in front of you, yes people who hear awfull news like this do say "what about me", its the way we are made, and i bet if terry does ever bother to read these comments he will not in the least worry about our selfish feelings.but all that aside, that does not mean that we do not feel for terry and more importantly for his family, but some of us pratchett fans feel like terry is a part of our family in a way, for instance, i discovered terry many years ago and then introduced him to my son, who recently introduced him to his own son with wheres my cow, and it is an embuggarence to learn that he wont be around for my grandson to grow up with, his books have made our family smile, cry, and yes, laugh out loud, on many occasions, and thank god those allready written and yet to come will carry on doing so for eons to come, and meanwhile, i like many others will be praying to the gods that be for that million to one chance

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