For Our Consideration: Terry Pratchett was fantasy fiction’s Kurt Vonnegut, not its Douglas Adams

When I was 12, I stumbled onto The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, and I realized that book that were funny could also be good. (If it’s a faux pas to start an essay meant as a tribute to Terry Pratchett by talking about the books his work was so often compared to, I can only hope he’d forgive me with his legendary good humor and grace.) Until I picked up Douglas Adams’ book, I had always assumed that books for adults were serious business, far removed from the absurdity and silliness of kids’ lit. I was happy to be proven wrong.

I blew through the series in the course of a single summer, laughing my way through the absurdity, puzzling my way through the sex jokes, and completely failing to understand the gag inherent in the name Ford Prefect. Despite the drop in quality as the …

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