06/07/2005

Reaper Man (by Terry Pratchett)


I don't very often re-read books by Terry Pratchett - but remembering 'Reaper Man' as one of my favourites a few years ago, and wanting something light and mildly humorous, I picked it up again recently. Pratchett's books don't usually have chapters, but they have sections ending with stars or gaps, so it's easy enough to read a few pages here and there between other things.

The plot is perhaps a little confusing to anyone who isn't familiar with the Discworld, but it could still probably be read as a stand-alone book. The book opens with Windle Poons, and elderly wizard, about to die. However Death has gone missing - and Death is the entity that cuts the soul away from the body on the Disc. So Windle Poons returns to his body. Similar things are happening around the city, and chaos ensues.

Meanwhile Death has been given notice from his job because he is considered too emotional, so he goes to work for an elderly lady on a farm as her odd-job man.

The plots intertwine with deeper messages about life and its purpose interspersed with light ironic humour, classic Pratchett one-liners, and a mixture of characters old and new.

Overall I enjoyed it, although perhaps not as much as I did last time. 'Reaper Man' is well worth a read, but I'm no longer sure this is one of my favourites.

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