Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2019
This is widely considered one of the best Discworld books--and how could it not be? It's the first one to feature Death as one of the main characters. He's appeared in the books before this one, of course, but now we're able to get a sense of his true personality: authoritative, terrifying, and yet inexplicably gentle. In this book he hires an everyman (or everyboy) named Mort, an apprentice who takes over as grim reaper for a little while. As one should expect, it doesn't go too well.
I found this one to be the easiest to get into compared to the ones before, all of which largely had to do with wizardry and the goings-on at the Unseen University. I like wizards and they do obligatorily occupy a number of scenes in this book, but their antics are a bit samey throughout the seriies. In this, the reader mostly follows the eponymous character, Mort, who's knowledge of the world is just about equal to our own--even if this is the reader's first Discworld novel.
My only problem with the book is that, in a properly Pratchetty fashion, it picks up a whole load of subplots as it goes on...maybe too many. I recall being considerably confused with how the story resolves itself. And as with few of his other books, like The Light Fantastic, the overabundance of humor gets to be a bit cloying: the joke formula gets a bit repetitive, thus sacrificing much of the charm. All in all, however, I'd recommend this one as the best introductory book in the series.
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