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The Big ReadMort

Terry Pratchett

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Corgi Books

Published : 1987

Copyright : Terry Pratchett 1987

ISBN-10 : PB 0-552-13106-7
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-552-13106-3

Publisher's Write-Up

Although the scythe isn't pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of, say, a peasants' revolt will know that in skilled hands it is fearsome.

Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job. After being assured that being dead was not compulsory, Mort accepted. However, he soon found that romantic longings did not mix easily with the responsibilities of being Death's apprentice...

'A sequence of unalloyed delight.'

The Guardian

''Cracking dialogue, compelling illogic and unchained whimsy...Pratchett has a subject and a style that is very much his own.'

Sunday Times

'Pratchett's humour takes logic past the point of absurdity and round again, but it is his unexpected insights into human morality that make the Discworld series stand out.'

Times Educational Supplement
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (280201) Rating (7/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 7/10
Mort is the boy who was not offered an apprenticeship. He is too well meaning, and a bit of a dreamer. On the stroke of midnight he is taken by Death to "learn the trade", and so begins a series of events which culminate in a split in reality.

Mort is a nice boy, who thinks that kings should be good, princesses beautiful, and he thinks that bad dukes should not get the throne which is not rightfully theirs. As he learns how to do the job of Death, with the scythe and the hour glasses, he learns how he must not consider how emotions get in the way, because, after all, emotions come of having glands and things like that.

For Death, who does not have all of these fleshy encumbrances, it's not a problem. So, on his first night on the job, when he goes to Princess Keli, he accidentally kills the assassin who is to kill her, and she remains alive instead of dead, and Mort causes a parallel reality to happen.

The Universe thinks that she is dead but she isn't, so time is split, with the ensuing chaos. Poor Mort gets in a real tizz over this, and tries to find ways to make things right again, but unfortunately he has a huge crush on her and so wants to find a way to keep her alive, not make her dead.

Meanwhile, Death has gone for a break, because he is not enjoying his work at the moment and feels that maybe a break is in order. He enjoys the company of cats and is turning out to be an excellent short order cook. Death's butler and his adopted daughter become caught up in the muddle and so does Binky, Death's horse (real-live horse because the skeletal ones kept dropping bits!)

I have to say that among my favourite bits of this book are at the end, where Death is very unhappy at what Mort has done to Reality, and they argue. An hour glass gets knocked off, and a shepherd in the Ramtops falls down a mountain side, and someone catches the glass, and his fall is arrested by a tree clinging to the side of the mountain. Poor bloke just gets left there, hanging.
Chrissi (28th February 2001)

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