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Reaper Man (1991)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld: Death (2), Discworld (11)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,537151578 (4.12)286
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).… (more)
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» See also 286 mentions

English (144)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (150)
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
If Death were given life to live and stepped down from his role, everyone would stop dying. This book is what happens next.

Reaper Man isn't my favorite Discworld novel, but I love it all the same. Windle Poons is possibly the best wizard ever after the Librarian. And the cast of characters from the Fresh Start club tickles my funny bone every time.

There's more than one underlying message to be found here (not the least of which are thoughts on the nature of malls) but nothing stops this from being a fun exploration of a buildup of life force in the meantime. ( )
  elorin | Feb 22, 2024 |
I can see why this has become a cult classic, and I'm pleased to have finally had a chance to read it (I got it off the shelf, and I think the rest of my household sequentially stole it to read before I got my hands back on it). The book is full of clever writing, and clever literary and biblical allusions, and manages to be both a good romp and an interesting social commentary (and funny). I didn't find it gripping, and in fact took nearly two weeks to finish it, because it was easily walked away from. ( )
  fred_mouse | Dec 27, 2023 |
Even though I couldn't really get into the discworld at first, I read the previous 10 books anyway. Until Moving Pictures I wasn't convinced I would ever really become a fan. Of the first few books Mort was probably my favorite, combined with my enthusiasm for Moving Pictures, this book was pretty sure to entertain me. I can only assume that at this point in the series Pratchett got into the groove because I really liked this one. It was well written, funny and almost sort of maybe even a little profound. ( )
  bramboomen | Oct 18, 2023 |
A bit disjointed. Pratchett is at its best when the universe is perfectly mad, not when it's chaotic and contradictory. ( )
  robfwalter | Jul 31, 2023 |
Loved DEATH's storyline throughout the novel, and the ending was lovely and poignant.

Windle Poons' subplot started off strong, but the life-cycle of the city and the final fight against the mall fell a little flat for me ( )
  FarrelNZ | Jul 26, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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First words
The Morris Dance is common to all inhabited worlds in the multiverse.
Quotations
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?
"I've never been very sure about what is right," said Bill Door. "I am not sure there is such a thing as right. Or wrong. Just places to stand." (230)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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).

No library descriptions found.

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)

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