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Soul Music (Discworld) by Terry Pratchett

Soul Music (Discworld) (original 1994; edition 2003)

by Terry Pratchett (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,52291621 (3.9)200
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.… (more)
Title:Soul Music (Discworld)
Authors:Terry Pratchett (Author)
Info:HarperTorch (2003), 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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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» See also 200 mentions

English (84)  Swedish (2)  Polish (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (91)
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Sixteen year old Susan fills in for her grandfather, Death, after he disappears. Meanwhile Anhk-Morpork discovers “music with rocks in it”

I knew about the Discworld series for years and years before I read any of the books. I have a clear memory from when I was about thirteen and a school friend mentioned a line from the book she was reading: Susan kept trying to get an education, but school kept getting in the way.

As I’ve been working my way through the Discworld books, I’ve wondered when I was going to get to Susan and that line -- and wondered if I was even remembering it at all accurately. But here I am.

She got on with her education. In her opinion, school kept trying to interfere with it.

I enjoyed watching Susan learn about Death, Pratchett’s parody of rock music was a lot of fun, and the combination of those two storylines means this book isn’t a rehash of Moving Pictures-but-this-time-with-rock-music. However, I didn’t find the final act -- and its resolution -- quite as satisfying as Moving Pictures’. And given the situation Pratchett had written his characters into, with stakes that are a matter of life-and-death, I’m not sure if a better ending was possible.

This was music that had not only escaped, but had robbed a bank on the way out. It was music with its sleeves rolled up and its top button undone, raising its hat and grinning and stealing the silver. ( )
1 vote Herenya | Jan 5, 2020 |
Another awesome book in the discworld series. Pratchett does such a good job on social commentary and makes you laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. And for those who pay more attention, he usually has some good deep thoughts mixed in as well. I love these books, they make me think and laugh!

Death is having an existential crisis, and wanting to be able to forget, for someone who has a perfect memory, of the future as well as the past, can be a little daunting. When he goes missing his granddaughter is decided by fate to be a close enough replacement, whether she wants it or not. ( )
  readafew | Nov 19, 2019 |
My Dad bought me the Spanish translation of this for Boxing Day, so it's sort of a re-read but not really, I guess? This used to be my favourite Discworld book for quite a long time, so I remembered a lot of the original jokes, which helped with working out the Spanish puns. It's mostly a pretty good translation, I think, but there were a couple of places where the name changes were inconsistent (e.g. Glod Glodsson is usually renamed to Odro Hijodeodro, but not always) and the whole Imp y Celyn -> Buddy Holly thing was not very well handled. On the other hand, there were some really good parts too, like "Estamos en una misión de dos." for "We're on a mission from Glod." and "Eso que está tocando es una arpa, Nobby." "Lo que es, es una gaita." for "That's a harp he's playing, Nobby." "Lyre."

A joke I didn't understand: In the English version, there's a poster which says something like "Bee There Or Bee A Rectangular Thynge". In Spanish it says "Ven Si No Eres Un Vehículo Ricamente Adornado" (Come If You're Not A Richly Decorated Vehicle) but ... I guess I don't know whichever word it's referring to. Probably it's the same underlying joke, though. ( )
  tronella | Jun 22, 2019 |
This has always been one of my favourite Discworld books and, at this point in the reread, I think it’s categorically the favourite. Pratchett uses other books to riff on the arts – filmmaking (Moving Pictures) and opera (Maskerade), for example – but this homage to rock music affectionately skewers its pretensions, while maintaining a sense of the deep, raw, primal magic beneath it. Our hero is Imp y Celyn, a young bard from the rainy kingdom of Llamedos who dedicates his life to music in the midst of an argument with his intransigent father. Making vows like this is dangerous on the Discworld, because there’s always the danger something is watching and waiting for just such an opportunity to arise. And, when Imp (whose name roughly translates as ‘Small Bud of the Holly’) arrives in Ankh-Morpork, he finds himself fetching up in a strange old music shop, where he meets his destiny in the form of a very special guitar...

For the full review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2019/03/08/soul-music-terry-pratchett/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Mar 13, 2019 |
Enjoyable, funny and thought-provoking as ever. As ever I loved the torrent of allusions; some glaring, some very subtle. Sioni bod da (Welsh for Johnny be good) - loved that!

I rate Pratchett highly as a writer - he's up there with PG Wodehouse in my estimation. I don't buy into the God-like treatment he gets in some circles though.
( )
  enitharmon | Jan 14, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Daniele, ValentinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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.
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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.
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