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Reaper Man
Terry Pratchett
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Reaper Man (Discworld #11)

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  57,780 Ratings  ·  1,555 Reviews
In the eleventh Discworld novel, 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Which leads to the kind of chaos you always get when an important public service is withdrawn.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.
Published (first published 1991)
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Elisabel Tim's answer is pretty much right. But I *have* read other things in Discworld (not about Death, though), and this book (which I finished today)…moreTim's answer is pretty much right. But I *have* read other things in Discworld (not about Death, though), and this book (which I finished today) seemed really surreal by Discworld standards, and I don't know whether I would or wouldn't have been confused had I not looked at websites that ended up telling me every single plot point beforehand. . . .

But yeah, the main point is - no worries, and also if you don't like one Discworld book there's almost certainly another one, at a later or earlier point in his writing (Pratchett wrote Discworld from when he was in his early thirties and not really a mature writer, to when he was physically unable to write and had to draft and edit by dictation) that you *will* like.(less)
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Community Reviews

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May 16, 2007 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
If I could steal credit for a book and claim it as my own, Reaper Man would most likely be it. This is the point, I think, where the Discworld novels stopped being entertaining light reading, and really became literature. It's a very subtle shift from the little parodies of science fiction and fantasy conventions of things like The Light Fantastic to the rich satire of a book like Jingo. Behind the story of Death being fired for having developed a personality, there's a clever little parable abo ...more
Aug 25, 2014 Jennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Probably my favorite of all of the Discworld novels (and that's a hard choice, given my total love of the series). Of all of Pratchett's many quirky characters, I think I love Death the best, though I couldn't begin to tell you why. In this installment, Death gets fired and has to get a day job. In typical Discworld fashion, not everything goes according to plan.

Don't pay attention to the critics' quotes on the front of the book. Anyone who compares Pratchett to Tolkien or Douglas Adams hasn't a
Oct 17, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fantasy, pratchett
So. What are your thoughts on death?

Or rather, Death?

It's a weird thing, death. I mean, you're here one minute and then you're... not. And while we all know intellectually that we're going to die, there's something in us that refuses to believe that the essential Person that we are could possibly cease to exist. We have personalities, unique aggregations of memory and experience and inborn preferences that all display themselves as a Person, as far as we know unique in all the world. Each human
Jan 11, 2010 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor
"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you." - Psalm 39, verse 7


Now is the season of being snowed in and unable to take hikes or paddle down streams. Now is the season of drinking tea on a couch and trying to keep the mind from hibernating, while at the same time, not necessarily forcing it to wake up. Hense, Terry Pratchett. As part of my usual winter reading and rereading
Probably a 3.5 stars, but I'm feeling generous today.

I enjoyed the humor and the silliness churned out by Terry Pratchett in this Discworld novel. I also liked the philosophical wonderings of Death that resulted in a kinder, gentler Grim Reaper.
Anthony Eaton
Apr 11, 2009 Anthony Eaton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How can you not like Death?


I'm sorry, did someone say something?


Oh, okay then. Anyway, as I was...erk...
Jun 29, 2010 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves fantasy with some wisdom thrown in.
Recommended to Nancy by: Laura
Shelves: fantasy
Terry Pratchett is funny. Terry Pratchett is a philosopher. Terry Pratchett is a delight and the trouble with Terry Pratchett is you should read his books more than once.
Terry Pratchett is maddening. I'm not at all sure I got everything he was saying. There are double meanings everywhere and to read this book is to want to start over and read it again.

If anyone asks about what Pratchett's book is about, just hand it over. He is very hard to explain. If you want to add quotes, it is nearly imp
Jul 10, 2014 Tfitoby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this whilst running and all the wonderful insightful thoughts I'd had about it over the past few weeks escape me as I sit exhausted yet happy. Reaper Man is the second novel that focuses on Death. This time he has been shorn of his anthropomorphic designation and sentenced to a short life on the Disc as punishment for becoming too individual. Those pesky Auditors make their Discworld debut (as do a whole raft of wonderfully fun creations including many new species in Reg Shoe's Fre ...more
Jul 24, 2011 Hosker rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lee Broderick
Re-read of another edition 3/5/13: A lot of people seem to think that this is a book about what happens when Death takes a holiday. To a certain extent it is. The premise is simple: if you believe in a psychopomp then what would happen if they were no longer there? That though, is just the opening gambit - the framework within which to explore something more fundamental - time.

At the heart of this book is a tale of two people (or personalities, as Terry Pratchett would no doubt refer to them). O
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Jul 10, 2015 Roviragrao rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relecturas
(Relectura Mundodisco #11)

Una de las novelas más brillantes de Terry Pratchett, un perfecto ejemplo de su filosofía de vida: serio no es lo contrario de divertido.

Hay muchas citas memorables que salen de esta novela, voy a terminar con una que por motivos evidentes me ha llegado al alma en esta relectura: "Nadie ha muerto del todo hasta que mueren las ondulaciones que ha provocado en este mundo: hasta que se para el reloj al que dio cuerda, hasta que fermenta el vino que preparó, hasta que se r
Jan 09, 2013 Melki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition's just that life is a habit that's hard to break...

With Death off gallivanting around, Discworld residents discover that eternal life ain't all it's cracked up to be. Others just want those dead people to GO AWAY ALREADY!

Perhaps a support group is in order?

This entry in the series has EVERYTHING - action, adventure, thrills, chills, and romance, in addition to the usual amount of rampant silliness one has come to expect from Pratchett, who manages to prove once and for all that WORDS CAN H
Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
He's done it again.

My favourite of all of the Discworld novels.

Death is a fascinating character, and seeing his strain of humanity just makes him all the more so.

Reaper Man is HILARIOUS. Death is so awkward, so unsure of himself in the realm of the living. And when your time is running out, you want to experience everything life has to offer. And when you've never lived, maybe the basics ARE the most important parts of life.
David Sarkies
May 22, 2016 David Sarkies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Stewart
Shelves: comedy
Invasion of the Shopping Centres
6 July 2013

I guess the person that said that the problem with Terry Pratchett is that you have to read him more than once probably applied it to this book in the same way that it had been applied to the other books that I have read and discovered that the second time around I have enjoyed them much more than the first time. Okay, I am probably not going to pick up Moving Pictures again, though this one is definitely one that I should come back to again some time
Наталия Янева
Oct 24, 2014 Наталия Янева rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Какво се получава, когато Смърт изведнъж се сдобие с време (той няма Време – или пък има всичкото време в, нека го кажа пратчетски, мултивселената – винаги е въпрос на гледна точка)? Ами налага се да умре. А какво става, когато Смърт принудително си вземе отпуск от... задълженията си? Животът живва, така да се каже – повече от обикновеното, де. Умрелите също не се държат съвсем обичайно. Най-меко казано. Всъщност напълно отказват да бъдат умрели (не че проявяват инат, просто не могат да си умрат ...more
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

Reaper Man is a book that I find really hard to define. It would be so easy to simply describe it as a hilarious – or even absurdist – romp about the chaos that ensues after Death is (forcibly) retired without an immediate replacement to take over his duties. There are wizards running around, there are snow globes that pop out of nowhere then hatch into EVIL shopping trolleys (!!), a bunch of previously-undead people (including a vampire and a boogeyma
Mar 31, 2014 Stacia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2014
Love all of Pratchett's work, but this one is in the top three (of his) for me. Have to rank it right up there with my other favorites of his (The Wee Free Men; Hogfather).
Sep 13, 2016 Kaethe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fiction, beloved, death
1 Jan 2002
6 Jul 2014
13 May 2016

Is there anyone who doesn't love Death? He's one of the greatest characters ever. *** Some days a book on the shelf just happens to catch your eye as you walk past, and you think, "Yes! That is exactly what I want to read today!" So you do. And Death takes a (working) holiday, and life is bursting out all over, and the plot is silly, and the characters are so engaging, and you've read it before, so you know what to expect. And it doesn't matter that I didn't read
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
'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
Oct 14, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, comedy
Chris' first Pratchett? Yes. (Awwwwwwwww ... how sweet)

At the urging of quite a few friends both on and off of GR's, I finally got around to reading my very first Terry Pratchett Discworld novel. I am happy to report that it was a great experience.

All the rumors are true: Pratchett is witty, quick and has excellent timing. I found myself laughing about some of the scenes in this novel well after I had read them, sometimes in public, and sometimes drawing a few curious stares from passers by*.

Stephanie Swint
Oct 26, 2014 Stephanie Swint rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Reaper Man’ is the first book I have read by Terry Pratchett. Yes, I know I am very late to the party and I am reading it out-of-order. I am even reading Death’s story out-of-order. I was looking for a Halloween book, and this was recommended by a Pratchett fan, and I have it on her good authority that I will not burst into flames by reading it as a stand alone. This book is brimming with the undead, zombies, werewolves, vampires, bogeyman, and of course Death himself. This has all required vil ...more
Mar 12, 2015 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away—until the clock wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life is only the core of their actual existence.”

— Terry Pratchett (1948-2015).

Thank you, Mr. Pratchett. God speed.
Marion Freeman
Mar 12, 2015 Marion Freeman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: masterpiece
Upon hearing the tragic news today, I have realized I have not added this book or written a review of it, and I feel truly bad about that.

If someone were to ask me which of Terry Pratchett's book is my favorite, I wouldn't hesitate. All of his books are works of art, but among them, this one stands out like a true masterpiece to me. I think this is the first book he wrote that has actually made me cry both in laughter and in sadness. It is the only one of his books that I have re-read so many ti
La Mala ✌
Apr 20, 2015 La Mala ✌ marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Mi hermano me dice que, como fue mi cumpleaños, tiene pensado regalarme libros.
-¡Si!- digo yo, saltando en una pata.
-Haceme una lista de que autores te gustan.
Le hago una lista de casi 20 autores, le marco las prioridades, le anoto los títulos que ya tengo de cada uno y, además, le hago una lista extra de autores , en caso de que, por alguna razón, no hubiera ninguno de los que le marqué en un principio, esos otros funcionarían como opciones "aceptables".

(Era una lista de tres hojas)

Hoy, dos día
Aug 20, 2016 José rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritos, discworld
Reseña en español: Click acá

This is book #2 of the Death series one of my favourites characters of Discworld. On this one Azrael, Death's boss, becomes aware that Discworld's Death is developing a personality so he decides to make him mortal because he wasn't doing his job right. Now under the identity of Bill Door, Death finds a job as a farmer and he start enjoying the pleasures of being alive.
Meanwhile, in the city of Ankh-Morpork, weird things start to happen since there's a large amount of
Dec 28, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, fantasy
I got so excited when I came across this in the library as Death is my favourite Discworld character and this one is another that is very much about him and his role in the world. Here the Auditors have decided that Death's time has come so he heads out into the world to make the most of his remaining time, something he has not experienced before, where he finds that life is far more complicated than he thought. In the meantime the recently deceased of Ankh-Morpork find that eternal life is not ...more
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.

Oct 07, 2016 Wickedshizuku rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans, High Fantasy fans, Comedy fans, Douglas Adams fans
Recommended to Wickedshizuku by: previous books
So I'm starting new healthy exercises; after my surgeries 3 years ago. Pratchett has inspired me to get back into shape with his wit and humor. Using the Google Fit and 30 day Challenge apps. The work out regime is Full Body, Abs, Butt, Arms workout, and 2 mile walks.
Day 1: My body is screaming...
pain gif photo: That HURTS Thathurts.gif
Day 2: Exercise says to me...
hurt gif photo: mortoscrubs_zps1e715344.gif
Day 3: I say to exercise...
hurt gif photo: tiodio1_zpsf60daaba.gif
Day 4: It's a rest day. Color me surprised, and my husband is now going to join in.
happy gif photo: gif Evangelon dance3.gif
Day 5: and I've came across the librarian of the Magic Univ
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Goodreads Librari...: Page Count 9780062237354 2 15 Mar 29, 2016 08:50PM  
Can Reaper Man be my first Discworld novel? 21 190 Dec 24, 2014 10:47PM  
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,
More about Terry Pratchett...

Other Books in the Series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches #1)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1)

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“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” 2429 likes
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