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12 March 2015

Terry Pratchett: Ten best quotes

“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?” Following Terry Pratchett's death, here are some of his best quotations as chosen by the New Statesman team. 

By Stephen Bush

1. “The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.



2. “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”


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3. “And what would humans be without love?”
“RARE, said Death.”



4. “God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.” 

Good Omens (co-written with Neil Gaiman)


4. “I’d rather be a rising ape than a falling angel.”

In conversation at the Guardian


5. “A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.”

Guards! Guards!


6. The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.”

Monstrous Regiment


7. “The point I’m making,” said Yo-Less, “is that you’ve got to help your friends, right?” He turned to Johnny. ”Now, personally, I think you’re very nearly totally disturbed and suffering from psychosomatica and hearing voices and seeing delusions,” he said “and probably ought to be locked up in one of those white jackets with the stylish long sleeves. But that doesn’t matter, ’cause we’re friends.

Johnny and the Dead


8. “If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.” 

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents 


9. “Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”

Going Postal


And one more for our commenters:

10. “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”

Reaper Man


Have we missed something good? Add your favourite quotations in the comments below.

Now read Laurie Penny’s 2012 interview, where Terry Pratchett talked sex, death and nature.