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Monday, February 05, 2007

Reaper Man

***** Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. Fantasy. Re-read.

What can I really say about this? I re-read it because my older son's been reading them, and when he finishes one, I stick it in my TBR pile to re-read, the TBR pile being so huge that I need an excuse to re-read anything.

DEATH's got too much of a personality, so TPTB fire him. While he's off finding a new job and a new identity as farm hand Bill Door, his job is being left undone on the Discworld, leading to all kinds of problems.

One of those problems is Wizard Windle Poons. Wizards know when their time is up, and DEATH comes personally to collect them. The wizards at the Unseen University have thrown a farewell party for old Windle, but the time comes and goes, and, well, Windle doesn't.

To say that hilarity ensues would be putting it mildly. It would also be missing a good part of the point. There is incredible hilarity; there's also a large dollop of existentialism and pathos--much about the meaning of life and death, and there's even the poignancy of a relationship between Bill Door and his employer, aged spinster Miss Flitwick.

Reaper Man is one of the earlier books in the Discworld series--the 2nd in the DEATH sub-series, and, I believe, the 11th overall, so it's somewhat less complex than the later books. It's still an amazing, deceptively simple story.


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I still haven't read any Discworld yet.. Though I need to..
We got introduced to Pratchett via audiobooks to listen to on driving vacations. Pratchett's kids books are wonderful and we went from there to his adult books. My 14 year old son is currently reading Pyramids and it is great to hear him laughing out loud in the bedroom every night, something he doesn't do over his endless homework.
The fellow who reads Pratchett for the audiobooks is wonderful too.
I think Death is a great character.
Sarala, my 16-year-old read Pyramids when he was 14, too. I hear you on the endless homework. It seems a lot worse than it was when I was a teenager.

Good idea on the audiobooks. I'll have to look for them.
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