Wednesday, 9 May 2001

Terry Pratchett: Reaper Man (1991)

Edition: Corgi, 1992
Review number: 817

This is one of my favourite Terry Pratchett novels. Like Mort, it has Death as its central character. When it is decided that Death has become too much a personality, he is allotted one of the timers filled with sand to mark his own end. His response to this is to disappear, and he ends up contentedly in a small village, working on a farm. Meanwhile, nothing is dying, and strange things begin to happen across the Discworld.

The plot may be hackneyed, but Reaper Man is extremely funny. The jokes are in the details, like the dyslexic cockerel, and in Death trying to fit in to rural society, which is an amusing concept in itself. The character is deservedly one of the most popular Discworld inhabitants, and the way he is portrayed may well prove to be Pratchett's most lasting legacy.

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