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Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

Reaper Man (original 1991; edition 2002)

by Terry Pratchett

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8,26789379 (4.13)199
Title:Reaper Man
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:HarperTorch (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction - Humour/Fantasy, Favorites

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Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett (1991)



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'Inside Every Living Person is a Dead Person Waiting to Get Out...' Death is one of my favourite Discworld characters and Reaper Man is the second book in the Death novels. I prefer reading in general Discworld reading order though. Still, whether you read these books like I do, or you choose to read them as separate novels about Rincewind, or Death, or witches and so on, you will have lots of fun.

Death gets fired. Or something like that anyway. Instead of mopping around feeling sorry for himself (according to the ones who got him fired he shouldn't have taken the he part), he starts living, making friends, being a hero, learning things he only observed before and understanding them, and so on.

Meanwhile in Ankh-Morpork, life force is growing, weird little globes are popping up all over the place and things act. Windle Poons, a hundred and thirty old wizard, dies but nobody comes to collect him. Death is not employed anymore. His colleagues try everything they can think of (including burying him in the crossroads), but nothing helps. Windle Poons is still there. He finds his way to a group of life-challenged individuals and there the adventure of his unlife starts.

The troubles in Ankh-Morpork and Death's new experiences are the two threads we follow in Reaper Man, both funny and entertaining. Pratchett's greatest strength lies in those one liners he smartly sneaks in in every single story.
I would have liked more Death though.
( )
  Aneris | Aug 12, 2016 |
Happy sigh. Death is hands down my favorite Discworld character, and I enjoyed this very much. It dragged slightly in the middle, with a little too much time spent with the wizards at the Unseen University and rampaging wire carts, but other than that this was all good. Windle Poons, Mrs. Cake, Miss Flitworth, the Death of Rats -- so many great characters. ( )
  meandmybooks | Aug 3, 2016 |
Reaper Man is the second book in the Death subseries of the Discworld universe. In this book, Death essentially gets fired for having developed too much of an individual personality. Until somebody is found to replace him, people aren’t dying properly. There are two main characters in the story, each with separate but related storylines. Death is one of them, and the other is a 130-year-old wizard named Windle Poons. Poons fails to die properly without Death on the job and thus becomes undead.

Windle Poons himself was a fun character, but his part of the story wasn’t all that interesting to me. I was more interested in what would happen with the Death character, and I’d been looking forward to reading more about him. However, Death really didn’t show up that much during the first half of the book and his story was on the skimpy side. I also thought the story seemed pretty disjointed, even for a Discworld book.

On the other hand, Pratchett was as witty as usual and there were some very funny parts. So I enjoyed the humor, but was less enamored of the story. ( )
  YouKneeK | Jul 21, 2016 |
I have a love/hate r'ship with the Discworld books.
I enjoy every encounter I have with Rincewind, the Luggage, and the Librarian.
Carrot is mildly interesting
Bits of concepts throughout the series are clever.
Pretty much the rest of the characters, and books, annoy and/or frustrate me. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
My partial re-read of Pratchett's Discworld series continues with the second book in the sub-series focusing on Death. In his previous novel, Death tried to retire from his job for a while, which didn't go all that well. In this one, he's not given a choice, but is instead forcibly ousted from his post and reduced to mere mortality.

There's actually two main storylines here. One features a group of wizards (including one who is currently undead, since Death wasn't around to collect him on schedule) dealing with some of the weird side effects of a world that, for the moment, lacks a life removal service. That's good, silly, fun, with a wonderfully bizarre climax, but, I confess, it's not the part of the story that stuck in my head from my years-ago first encounter with this book, and there were moments when I found myself just an eensy bit impatient to get back to the Death bits.

Those bits feature Death getting a job as a farm hand (well, he is very good with a scythe), trying to fit in among humans, and discovering for the first time what it's really, truly like to know you are finite. And that part of the story is just beautiful. Funny and sweet and terribly poignant, with the sense of some very profound human truths lurking under the light fantasy exterior. Admittedly, I might be a little biased, because I have immense fondness for Pratchett's Death as a character. But the ending has made me feel, well, just a little bit like a pile of emotional mush. And, yes, that is a good thing. ( )
  bragan | May 31, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (42 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pratchett, LynAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, RonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planer, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Morris Dance is common to all inhabited worlds in the multiverse.
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Book description

Which leads to the kind of chaos you always get when an important public service is withdrawn.

Meanwhile, on a little farm far, far away, a tall dark stranger is turning out to be really good with a scythe. There's a harvest to be gathered in…
Haiku summary
When Death retires,
Who will replace him? And will
He be any good?

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061020621, Mass Market Paperback)

They say there are only two things you can count on ...

But that was before DEATH started pondering the existential. Of course, the last thing anyone needs is a squeamish Grim Reaper and soon his Discworld bosses have sent him off with best wishes and a well-earned gold watch. Now DEATH is having the time of his life, finding greener pastures where he can put his scythe to a whole new use.

But like every cutback in an important public service, DEATH's demise soon leads to chaos and unrest -- literally, for those whose time was supposed to be up, like Windle Poons. The oldest geezer in the entire faculty of Unseen University -- home of magic, wizardry, and big dinners -- Windle was looking forward to a wonderful afterlife, not this boring been-there-done-that routine. To get the fresh start he deserves, Windle and the rest of Ankh-Morpork's undead and underemployed set off to find DEATH and save the world for the living (and everybody else, of course).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:08 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

When the Grim Reaper begins to ponder the existential, his Discworld bosses send him off with best wishes and a well-earned gold watch. Death is now having the time of his life, but like every cutback in public service, Death's demise soon leads to chaos and unrest. The 11th novel of Pratchett's Discworld series. (August).… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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