Friday, 10 July 2015

Review Re-Post: Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

 When Terry Pratchett passed away earlier this year I was so sad. He was a big part of my teen years and I dip into his books every so often now too. He always made me laugh. When news of DEATH coming to get him reached me, I reached for Reaper Man. But rather than post a review of it I thought I would go back and give you my review from my old blog. So posted previously on Notes from the North on October 30th 2009:

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

Category: Fantasy, Satire

Synopsis: Death is given time and goes off to use it. Chaos ensues because without death life cannot move on and in classic Discworld manner life hangs around.

My Thoughts: I think I read my first Discworld novel about ten years ago and it was instant love, and the character I fell the most in love with was Death. Death has always been a bit different from how death should be, sure he has a hood, carries a scythe and is a bit of a skelington (95) but he also has a contemplative side and he does have family.

When the auditors decide that Death has become a personality contrary to regulations they give him time. And in typical Death manner he goes off to use it. He becomes farm hand Bill Door. Deaths absence as, well...Death, leads to problems for the other Discworld inhabitants, amongst them the Wizards at the Unseen University (or UU one of the few reasons I considered going to Uppsala University was the acronym UU). The Wizards are, erm...special people. Very set in their ways as befits proper Wizards and when one of their own fails to move on they set about solving the problem. However, when Wizards solve problems this tends to create other problems.

Pratchett has a way of seeing society in a way that you yourself could not but when he writes it down you go "oh yeah, of course". One of these incidences comes at the beginning of the book when the Wizards are throwing Windle Poons a death party. It reminded me strongly of the leaving parties that pop up occasionally at work, where everyone pretends to like the person and hope them well but secretly just want to get on with their own lives. The forced jollyness is always palpable.

As with any Pratchett book it is hard to explain what happens without giving away the whole story but I will say that I haven't laughed this much over a book in absolutely ages. And that the description of Mrs Cake (a medium, verging on small)

The Chief Priest moved a little closer.
'I think I could be strong enough to master and defeat just a little snare,' he said. 'I haven't felt like this since Mrs Cake was one of my flock.'
'Mrs Cake? What's a Mrs Cake?'
'You have...ghastly Things from the Dungeon Dimensions and thins, yes? Terrible hazards of your ungodly profession?' said the Chief Priest.
'We have someone called Mrs Cake.'
Ridcully gave him an enquiring look.
'Don't ask,' said the priest, shuddering. 'Just be grateful you'll never have to find out.' (pg79)

strongly reminds me of this

I think that the Chief Priest would take Death please.

Copyright ©2015 Zee from A Tea Stained Page. This post was originally posted by Zee from A Tea Stained Page. It should not be reproduced without express written permission

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