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Archive for the ‘Mort’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: hiatus

[READ: November 2021] Soul Music

This book is about Music With Rocks In!  (With a timeless CD on the cover).  But it’s also about Death having (another) existential crisis.

The book opens with the explanation of why Death had a granddaughter.  For reasons all his own, Death rescued a baby girl, Ysabell, and took her home.  He allowed her to age for sixteen years and then she stopped aging.

He also hired an apprentice named Mort who best Death (which Death allowed, truth be told) in a fight.

So Mort and Ysabell fell in love and were sent back to the real world where they had a daughter, Susan.  Susan technically wasn’t related to Death, but Death was her grandfather so…..

Susan went to boarding school, where she had an uncanny ability to be unseen–even by her teachers.  She was also very smart  (Neither of these things made her teachers very happy).  Susan could also see things that others couldn’t.  And she found this upsetting.  Like when a rat that seemed to be more skeleton than anything else looked at her and said SQUEAK?  As the book opens we learn that her parents have just died in an accident. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: hiatus

[READ: October 2021] Reaper Man

This book opens unlike any other, with an amorphous group of beings called The Auditors of Reality.  (Well, it opens with a bit about Morris Dancing, which is pretty funny).  The Auditors have no individual personalities (in fact, when One says I (“I hate them”) it is immediately dispatched so a more neutral Auditor can take its place.

The Auditors want to make sure that everything is following the Rules. And what isn’t following the Rules?  Well, Death isn’t following the rules.  Death is developing a personality.  And that cannot happen.  So they fire him.  Yes indeed.

He goes off on his own trying to figure things out.  He winds up getting a job as a farm hand (his reaping skills are unparalleled).  The woman he works for is quite suspicious of him (and everyone in town is quite suspicious of her). Death is caught off guard and when she asks his name he comes up with unsuspicious name of Bill Door.

The woman is Miss Fitworth.  She is an elderly woman (rumored to have a large chest with a lot of money in it).  She had a fiancé who went on a business trip and never came back.  Rumor is that he left her, but she doesn’t believe it.

This is all well and good, but without Death, dead humans don’t know what to do–no one is there to guide them to the afterlife.  So they kind of just keep piling up.  Poltergeists run amok.  And then there is aged Wizard Windle Poons.  He was really looking forward to reincarnation.  But after he died, his spirit just returned to his body.  Of course, since he is dead, he doesn’t have any concern with old age–his sight and strength are better than they have been in years.  But everyone is more than a little freaked out by him. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: hiatus

[READ: Summer 2021] Mort

Mort is the fourth of four books that I bought as Discworld mini books.  Pratchett himself says that this was the first book that he was pleased with.  He says of his other books that the plot had existed to support the jokes, but that in Mort, the plot was integral.

I remembered the story of this one quite well, although the details were a little fuzzy.  Is it possible I only read this one?

The story starts out with Mort, a teenager who is all elbows and knees–gangly, awkward, embarrassed and just generally the kid of person who gets more work done for you if he is not helping.

Needing Mort to go away and find employment elsewhere, his father takes him to the local job fair.

No one wants Mort.

At midnight Death arrives.  Death has appeared in all of the books so far and has always been a bit of comic relief, but here he is a full on main character, and Pratchett does a great job filling him with pathos.  He also fully introduces the idea that everyone can see Death when he appears but that the human mind is excellent at not acknowledging what shouldn’t be there.  So as Death walks about, people tend to see right through him. (more…)

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