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Mort Mass Market Paperback – February 6, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 358 customer reviews
Book 4 of 40 in the Discworld Series

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Mass Market Paperback, February 6, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Consistently, inventively mad...wild and wonderful!" -- -- Issac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

"Discworld takes the classic fantasy universe through its logical, and comic evolution." -- -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Unadulterated fun...Witty, frequently hilarious." -- -- San Francisco Chronicle

From the Publisher

"A sequence of unalloyed delight"
-The Guardian

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 243 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (February 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061020680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061020681
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (358 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,063,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mort is an awkward young man who bungles everything he attempts. When his father decides to send him off to be an apprentice, he gets only one offer - from the Grim Reaper himself. It seems like a good job to Mort: free room and board and a secure position in a business that will never run out of clientele. He doesn't even need to die to take the job. Soon Mort is doing some of the reaping himself and he even seems to be gaining maturity, self-confidence, and the ability to walk through walls. He falls in love. But can he manage to help Death harvest souls without making a complete mess of things?

This is the fourth in the wildly funny and inventive Discworld series and the first in the Death story line. Although Death made an appearance in the first three books, this time we are provided with a much closer look at Death's domain through details on his daily routine, his likes and dislikes, his household, and his horse. We meet his daughter and his faithful servant. There are hilarious scenes where Death tries out a few mortal pleasures to learn what they are all about. Only Pratchett could depict Death fly-fishing, getting drunk, or participating in a line dance. Above all else, we find out that Death's not such a bad fellow when we get to know him.

Pratchett continues to flesh out the geography, culture, and magic of Discworld. He addresses the self-healing nature of history and the relationship between fate and death. He presents a coronation, a bevy of bumbling wizards, a deadly beverage called scumble, a library of self-writing books of life, and a dangerous section of Ankh-Morpork known as the Shades. There is also a generous helping of wit, puns, and wicked satire. This is a great read!

Eileen Rieback
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When we mere male mortals reach a certain age we sometimes, aware that we are closer to our future death than our past birth, start to act up. We trade the 1981 Honda Civic in for a Corvette convertible, quit our old job to write a great novel, and have even been known to trade in our wives or significant others for a younger, newer model. It's known on Earth as a mid-life crisis. But on Discworld, and in the hands of the master Terry Pratchett, a banal mid-life crisis is turned into another one of his hilarious and thought filled romps. Through Pratchett's hilariously skewed prism this crisis is not being experienced by a mortal but rather by the harbinger of death, the aptly named DEATH. What we have is a mid-death crisis. Death may, like an ever-rolling stream, bear all its sons away but DEATH seems more than a bit tired of doing all the bearing away.

Terry Pratchett's Mort tells a rather simple tale. DEATH is looking for an apprentice. Young Mortimer, one of life's simple trusting souls is a young man with little career prospects. He is ungainly and spends a bit too much time thinking random thoughts. Mort's dad and relatives find him to be a well-intentioned but generally useless young man. Dad has been told that becoming an apprentice will get Mort off his hands and teach him a trade. So off to town they go for `apprentice day' in the market square. As luck would have it, DEATH arrives and takes Mort on as his apprentice.

Mort develops in the expected Pratchett manner. The relationship between Mort and DEATH, and the chores Mort performs to learn his trade, seem very similar to that in the movie Karate Kid. Shoveling poop is not immediately relevant to learning how to become the messenger of death yet Mort takes to his tasks well.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This fourth book in the Discworld series is the first to achieve truly classic status, in my opinion. Its predecessors were great reads, but Mort is a real riot. The skeleton of the plot has a few cracked bones and seems to be missing whatever connects the setup bone with the conclusion bone, but the humor is more than a saving grace for the awkward ending. Poor Mort is a gangly, clumsy lad seemingly made out of all knees; his father is fond of him but decides to apprentice him to someone else. That someone else turns out to be Death himself (although the father sees him as an undertaker). Mort is whisked off to Death's abode to be trained as Death's apprentice. On his first solo mission, he rips a big hole in the fabric of time by saving a princess from assassination. Death is off trying to experience living, so Mort attempts to make things right with the help of Death's adopted daughter Ysabell (who has been sixteen for thirty five years already), the young wizard Cutwell, the princess, and--with great reluctance--Death's manservant Albert.
This is a riotously funny novel. I can truly say that Death has never been funnier. Being the reaper of souls for untold years does wear a guy down, and Death goes out into the real world to try and discover what life is all about. We find him dancing in a kind of conga line at a party for the Patrician, asking the guy in front of him why dancing around and kicking things over is fun; we see him getting boozed up at a bar and telling his troubles to the bartender, we find him seeking employment and dealing with a normal human customer, and we ultimately find him happily serving as the cook at Harga's House of Ribs.
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