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Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
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Reaper Man (original 1991; edition 2002)

by Terry Pratchett

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8,06588398 (4.12)188
Member:Novak
Title:Reaper Man
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:HarperTorch (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Terry Pratchett
Rating:***
Tags:Discworld

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Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett (1991)

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Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
4.5
'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.
( )
  Irena. | Jan 28, 2016 |
The plot is perhaps a little confusing to anyone who isn't familiar with the Discworld, but it could still probably be read as a stand-alone book. It's a little more thought-provoking than some others of the Discworld series, and used to be one of my favourites.

The sub-plots intertwine with deeper messages about life and its purpose interspersed with light ironic humour, There's classic Pratchett one-liners, and a mixture of characters old and new.

Overall I enjoyed it, although perhaps not as much as I used to. Well worth a read ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
On Discworld, Death has started pondering the existential. His superiors decide that it's a good time for him to retire, so they send him off with a nice gold watch. Unfortunately, they don't have a replacement hired yet, which poses a bit of a problem for those who die in the meantime.

This is one the best Discworld books I've read. I would place it second only to Small Gods. Pratchett has a way of slipping some very profound ideas in among all the silliness, and if you're not paying attention, it would be easy to miss them. These ideas fit very nicely into this particular novel. I do still have to complain that Pratchett doesn't always explain things as well as he should, but this wasn't as big a problem in this book as it has been in some of his others. If you're thinking about trying a Discworld book, this wouldn't be a bad one to start with. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
The Death side of the story was excellent, but I thought the mall-hive story was slightly lame.
  marfita | Jan 8, 2016 |
Having recently read Mort I was on the lookout for literature. When I found this was just a fun romp I threw myself onto it and enjoyed it on it's own terms. As the novel drew on though I realised that everything, even little things, drew into these themes of life and death and what we do to fill up the time between the start of each. It reminded me of that Larking poem - I can't quote it exactly - which goes something like: "Life is first boredom, then fear. Then age and then the only end of age." Not that it's depressing. It's still a fun romp and very funny at times because it's so true. The little skellington girl is particularly well drawn.

My respect for Pratchett's superior mind and literary ability has risen. ( )
  Lukerik | Nov 17, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kirby, RonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planer, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
The Morris Dance is common to all inhabited worlds in the multiverse.
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Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.
WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
DEATH IS MISSING - PRESUMED…ER…GONE.

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?
(espadrile)

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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