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Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
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Soul Music (original 1994; edition 1995)

by Terry Pratchett

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6,92058523 (3.89)144
Member:IAmAndyPieters
Title:Soul Music
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Corgi (1995), Edition: paperback / softback, Paperback
Collections:Fiction, Discworld, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett (1994)

Recently added byrnbrumfield, DaddySchool, private library, nevahre, dafinker, Kat81
Ankh-Morpork (31) British (37) comedy (77) comic fantasy (36) death (239) Discworld (1,112) ebook (25) English (34) fantasy (1,454) fiction (665) funny (26) humor (661) magic (51) music (131) novel (67) own (27) paperback (46) parody (28) Pratchett (199) read (96) rock and roll (44) satire (141) science fiction (55) series (84) sf (34) sff (79) Susan (66) to-read (37) unread (27) wizards (32)
  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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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
This is a pretty good book, but I don't think it's Pratchett's best Discworld novel at all. Still, puns abound. In this one, Imp the Bard goes to Ankh-Morpork to see his fortune in music as a harp player. He meets some other musicians, a dwarf who plays a horn and a troll who bangs on rocks, and they form a band. However, Imp's harp is destroyed and they look for a replacement in a magical shop and come out with a magical guitar, unbeknownst to them. And the guitar takes on a life of its own. They get their first gig and the crowd goes wild as Imp -- now Buddy -- goes out of control on the guitar and the band puts on an amazing performance. Word gets out and they're soon joined by the Unseen University's Librarian on keyboards. The place is packed, wizards are in the front row, a riot ensues with women throwing their undergarments on stage and wizards (and others) dancing on tables. An unsavory type approaches them and convinces them to let him become their manager, because he already sees them as a cash cow and will pay them a pittance of what they actually earn. He then sends them on a tour around to various countries and people in the cities go wild.

Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, like in Mort (a book I enjoyed very much), Death wants to take a vacation. And it's up to his granddaughter, Mort's daughter, Susan to save the day as Death's replacement. But she does a lousy job. However, the scenes starring Death (my favorite Discworld character) are hilarious. He tries to join the foreign legion and they bury him in sand up to his neck, I guess to toughen him up, and when they check on him to see how much he's suffering, he asks if he can stay there one more day. And when he goes to the bar, he gets hammered, falls down flat on his back and is rolled by the customers. That said, I had a hard time tying these events in with the rock band. Susan has a "thing" for Buddy and as he is meant to die, tries to intervene, but something else does first. Buddy's still alive. And we come to find out it's the music that does that. The music wants him alive. And then it gets really confusing toward the end when Buddy and the band face a life and death situation and Susan and Death both get involved and something happens to music, but I'm not sure what. Oh well.

There are some very funny moments in the book. If you're up on your music trivia, you'll enjoy the inside jokes. Like Buddy's band, the Beatles played early on at The Cavern. One very popular song is "Pathway to Paradise!" And on it goes. One of the wizards -- the Dean -- goes all rock and roll rebel on the university, and punks out his hair and gets leather robes with "Born to Rune" stitched on them. It's all pretty funny. Still, while I enjoyed the book, I felt like the overlap with Death and Susan and with Buddy and the band wasn't handled as well as it could have been and I found the ending lacking. That's why I'm giving it four stars instead of Pratchett's usual five. Still, recommended. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jun 23, 2014 |
2.5 stars. I really enjoyed parts of this, and then I found other parts really tiresome. ( )
  sageness | Feb 7, 2014 |
This was not my favorite disc world book. I let it sit unlistened to for long spans of time, though, which might have been the problem... I had trouble keeping track of what was going on. There were a lot of funny references to modern music culture (well, not recent stuff, but within the last 40 years or so, and I'm old enough to have caught most of it.) Whenever I read Pratchett, I'm struck by how ridiculously clever he is, and how un-clever I really am. ( )
  srearley | Sep 21, 2013 |
We return to Death in this Discworld edition, by Terry Pratchett, which is a re-examination of the hell-spawned musical instrument, and a spoof on rock and roll.

Light-hearted, undemanding, there are some moments of chuckling, and generally entertaining escapism. ( )
  fiverivers | Aug 13, 2013 |
Sex, drugs and Music With Rocks In. Well...one out of three ain't bad. Actually, it's only thirty-three percent, but it could be worse.

Imp the Bard comes to Ankh-Morpork to find his fortune. After forming a band and buying a mysterious guitar from an unusual music shop, the group is discovered by a new type of music: Music With Rocks In. Elsewhere on the Disc Death is feeling down about his job and leaves to find forgetfulness. It is up to Susan, Death's granddaughter, to take over the family business. Just as she's starting to get the hang of things something in her soul goes "twang."

Soul Music is the Discworld take on rock & roll and the third book in the Death series. Many of the gags were spot on and Imp's story is great satire of the music industry. The two threads start out quite separate and come together well for the ending. I loved the transformation of the elderly magicians of Unseen University turning into rebellious teenagers after listening to the music. While not my favorite Discworld novel, it was an entertaining read. ( )
1 vote Narilka | Jul 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindforss, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabanosh, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is a story about memory.
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'Mumblemumblemumble,' said the Dean defiantly, a rebel without a pause.
The hippo of recollection stirred in the muddy waters of the mind.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
OTHER CHILDREN GET GIVEN XYLOPHONES. SUSAN JUST HAD TO ASK HER GRANDFATHER TO TAKE HIS VEST OFF.

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:42 -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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