No, not Indiana Jones, but the much beloved Sir Terrence Pratchett.
Now, I've an admission to make: I've never actually read a Terry Pratchett book ... there, I've said it! I've read a trilogy he collaborated on with Stephen Baxter, written not long before he died. Experts on his writing say that only brief sparks of the man himself appear in these books, so its time for me to take a big step and find out what the TP-love is all about.
Part of the trouble - for me - once I'd gotten over the idea of reading a fantasy novel, was how to choose where to start. His catalogue is just soooo big. But enough of the prevarication, I've downloaded Monstrous Regiments onto my kindle and away I shall go. I'm not sure what I hope to find: a new author to adore with a great big catalogue to luxuriate in, or to find out its not my cup of tea so I'll not be adding a massive amount to the ever increasing to-be-read pile.
One thing I can speak of with confidence about Sir Terry is my complete and utter admiration of his openness follow his diagnosis; that openness and his support has - virtually singlehandedly - raised Alzheimers and the profile of its associated charities to a level only previously achieved by the "pinkification" of breast cancer.
But that all pales into insignificence when regarding how much he has done for the cause of Euthanasia, the right to die, dying with dignity - whatever your preferred phraseology. His eloquence and passion, with the added knowledge of his diagnosis, succeeded in opening an active and wide-ranging dialogue on this most divisive of subjects. Because he was such a beloved character, he could encourage discussion without being considered in any way Dr Death-ish.
My own personal view on the subject? Broadly, I support it, whilst understanding the need for safeguards. OK, that's a bit of a fence-sitter, but its clear that the subject needs to be seriously debated, with advice taken from the medical and legal professions, with particular consideration for the medical profession, as well as hearing the cases to be made by special interest groups and the public. Its too important a subject to continue to behave all ostrich-like.
So, even if I don't love his books (and I will report back to you on that soon), I doff my hat to you Sir Terry and offer my admiration to you for a life well-lived.
There's a link to Sir Terry's Dimbleby lecture below - do listen, if you've not already heard it.
And if you've a mind to, why not share your thoughts on the author, the man, his campaign?
The Old Shelter
Iain Kelly Writing
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A Back of the Envelope Calculation
No Love for Fatties
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Petrichor and Clouds