Sara's Reviews > Soul Music

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
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Aug 28, 11

bookshelves: fantasy, discworld
Read in August, 2011

My copy of Soul Music has been read and re-read so many times that it is fluffy edged, lacking corners and badly faded. I think this pretty much sums up how much I enjoy reading this Discworld novel. Admittedly, the first time I read it when I was little I didn't get many of the jokes as I'd barely heard of rock and roll. Even now I think a few fly over my head. Here, though, is the main reason that Soul Music isn't one of my favourite Pratchett books - it relies slightly too heavily on puns, parodies and pastiche (saw alliteration, couldn't resist, guilty as charged). The plot is simple enough, to allow space for enough jokes: while Death takes a career break, handing over to his granddaughter Susan, The Band With Rocks In introduces rock and roll to the Discworld. A couple of perennial favourite characters get involved, including the Librarian, Death of Rats and C.M.O.T. Dibbler.

This is the first book to introduce Susan, one of my favourite Discworld characters. It's fun to see her reacting to the general weirdness of the Discworld in the way that anyone from a sensible world like Earth would to such things as Death of Rats and floating horses. And Death of Rats of course makes the whole book better - how can "SQUEAK" manage to be such an expressive phrase? It's a good outing for the wizards as well and their general susceptibility to weirdness allows Pratchett to cram in a few tasteless jokes (OK, so I giggled lots at them).

My only real problem with Soul Music is that it doesn't quite all hang together as well as some of Pratchett's later Discworld novels. Things seem a bit haphazard and good plot is neglected in favour of getting in all the possible rock and roll references. That said, it always makes me laugh and it does manage to send up some of the most notable and funny aspects of the music industry. And it introduces the idea of a shop that appears only when you need it, then disappears again, which I have found invaluable for everyday use, like so many of Pratchett's well observed details.
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