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Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

Soul Music (original 1994; edition 1995)

by Terry Pratchett

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7,20469494 (3.89)161
Title:Soul Music
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Corgi (1995), Edition: paperback / softback, Paperback
Collections:Fiction, Discworld, Read but unowned

Work details

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett (1994)

  1. 10
    Dangerous Space by Kelley Eskridge (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For another story about music as a living thing, see the title short story in this collection. (The short story is also freely available for download on the author's website.)

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English (65)  Polish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
Well, there's the usual high standard of English, the complete readability, but this book is a bit of a mess. It's basically Moving Pictures but with music shovelled in in place of movies. The ending is forced, has a deus ex machina & turns out to be all a dream. I've been re-reading Pratchett chronologically & he seems to be going through a less sparkly period at this point. At the ingredients are there & if this is your 1st Discworld novel you'll probably be hooked, but if, like me, you know just how good good can be with this author then you might be disappointed. ( )
  Lukerik | Nov 22, 2015 |
The Disc is experiencing some supernatural change as Death becomes existential and music gets itself some soul. “Soul Music”, the 16th installment of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, focuses once on Death along with his family and a professional colleague as they deal with him letting off his duties again, only for the power of music to interfere in Death’s duty as well.

The death of Death’s adopted daughter and his former apprentice leaves “him” feeling existential and looking for answers in total contradiction with his duty, however unlike before there is someone to fill in for him—his granddaughter, Susan Sto Helit. However getting Susan to take up the position is up to Death of Rats, who attempts to help the novice Grim Reaper learn the family trade. However, Susan comes up against something “supernatural” that prevents her from fulfilling her duty to an aspiring musician in The Mended Drum in Ankh-Morpork. Imp the Bard, aka Buddy, wants to be the greatest musician in the world and attracts that attention of the Music embodied in a guitar that Buddy purchases after his harp is destroyed. Buddy along with Glod the dwarf who blows his horn and Cliff the Troll who drums his rocks create a new sound, Music with Rocks In. It is Buddy’s prevented Death that forces Susan and then dear old Grandfather to deal with the Music in the end.

“Soul Music” is a mixture of good and bad making it one of Pratchett’s weakest works so far. The positive parts all deal with Death, Susan, Death of Rats, Archchancellor Ridcully, and the always funny Librarian. However, almost in a direct counterweight is the bad which deals with almost everything connected to parodying of early rock and roll music and the popular cultural surrounding it. The parody and jokes almost seemed copy and pasted from “Moving Pictures” only being changed from films to music in presentation. Given my low rating of “Moving Pictures” it effectively forced my rating of this book as well.

Overall, I think “Soul Music” is a good fun book to read but not up to the earlier Death books of the Discworld series which is a shame considering the great new character of Death’s granddaughter Susan Sto Helit. I recommend readers looking to try a Discworld book not to read this book first, check out some of the better books before trying this one. ( )
  mattries37315 | Sep 7, 2015 |
Soul Music is the sixteenth entry into the Discworld series. While Soul Music does stand largely alone, I would recommend starting elsewhere in the series – perhaps with Reaper Man or Guards! Guards!.

Soul Music is closer to two different story lines woven together than one single plot. Things do come together at the end, but the different stories still feel very separate. One follows Susan, the granddaughter of the personification Death. Death’s disappeared, and Susan has to take up his duties as she learns about her heritage. The other story line is about a group of musicians who find a mysterious guitar that leads to rock and roll being introduced to the Discworld.

Of the two stories, I liked Susan’s better. Unfortunately, I feel like she got increasingly shuffled to the back towards the end of the book. Susan’s a terrific character, possibly the best in the book (only Death could give her a run for her money). She values logic and order and is quite vexed by all this “granddaughter of Death” silliness.

“In theory it was, around now, Literature. Susan hated Literature. She’d much prefer to read a good book.”

The rock and roll story line was crammed full of jokes about music. I caught some of them – the guitar maker’s apprentice being named Gibson – but I know there are many more that completely passed me over. If you’re the sort of person who’s really into music, this is the book for you. Just remember that Soul Music was published in the early 90’s, so don’t go expecting any jokes about current musicians.

In the end, only the additions of Susan and Death make Soul Music a better installment to the Discworld than the similar Moving Pictures. However, I certainly recommend Soul Music. It is a good book, it just has the difficulty of being compared to far superior Discworld novels.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | May 3, 2015 |
I'm not sure exactly why I keep reading this series. As I've said in other 'reviews' it's partly because I want to catch up to the first one I read, Going Postal, so I can reread that one in its place. And it's partly because most books have good bits, and some books are pretty good. I think, so far, Equal Rites is probably my favorite.

( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Finally we meet Susan, the granddaughter of Death. This is filled with references and puns to Rock 'n Roll, I'm sure there were more than I was able to spot. It may be the punniest book I've read yet. As with all Pratchett novels, you have an idea where the author is headed, but you haven't a clue which path he is going to take to get there. I worried a bit that the plot of this book was too similar to Moving Pictures, but in the end it didn't matter to me, I love movies and music and I love seeing them through Pratchett's kaleidoscope vision. The characters in this book spoke to me, resonated, one might say. I have two teenage boys who are determined to be the most famous musicians of all on their awesome bass and guitar. ( )
  MrsLee | Jan 20, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindforss, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planer, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabanosh, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is a story about memory.
'Mumblemumblemumble,' said the Dean defiantly, a rebel without a pause.
The hippo of recollection stirred in the muddy waters of the mind.

This audio book has been produced under the auspices of the Ulverscroft Foundation, a registered UK charity which helps visually impaired people.

For more information, or if you wish to make a donation or a legacy, please contact: Ulverscroft Foundation, The Green, Bradgate Road, Anstey, Leicestershire LE7 7FU Tel: 0116 236 1595 email: foundation@ulverscroft.co.uk Website: www.foundation.ulverscroft.com
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Book description

Yes. There’s a Death in the family.

It’s hard to grow up normally when Grandfather rides a white horse and wields a scythe – especially when you have to take over the family business, and everyone mistakes you for the Tooth Fairy.

And especially when you have to face the new and addictive music that has entered Discworld.

It’s lawless. It changes people.

It’s called Music With Rocks In.

It’s got a beat and you can dance to it, but…

It’s alive.

And it won’t fade away.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061054895, Mass Market Paperback)

Soul Music is the 16th book in the bestselling Discworld series, with close ties to the fourth book, Mort. Susan Sto Helit is rather bored at her boarding school in the city of Ankh-Morpork, which is just as well, since it seems that her family business--she is the granddaughter of Death--suddenly needs a new caretaker. --Blaise Selby

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:33 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

By the author of The Light Fantastic. This 13th novel set in Discworld tells the story of Death's granddaughter, who inherited the job and grew to enjoy it. And of Imp the Bard, who strove to make his fortune in a rock band, and who was so unlucky that all his dreams came true.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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