Michael's Reviews > Mort

Mort by Terry Pratchett
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M 50x66
's review
Aug 28, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: recs, owned

Mort, a decent book by Pratchett that has more of the humour he is known for, but a story that tries to be more epic than it is and that just isn't as good as some other stuff. I, for one, think it is a little over-hyped.

Mort is the story about a lad named Mort, who finds himself at the job fair looking for a job. When nobody shows to provide him with a job, Death shows up, offering him an apprenticeship. Finding out that he need not be dead to sign up, he finds himself as Death's new apprentice. Mort finds himself venturing with Death but having trouble with the job, as he sees no justice in what they're doing. And of course, winds up in a mess that could very well destroy reality.


The story tries to be very epic, it really does. It has this idea that by trying to destroy the very fabric of reality, that it becomes quite the tale, however, I find the story itself being forgettable. The story dawdles too much on Mort, coming to grips with being Death's apprentice and what Death decides to do now that he has an apprentice.

Death himself is quite the character, and I enjoyed him. He seemed to find himself growing in the novel and becoming a new person (as character development should be). Mort on the other hand, doesn't seem to change much except when he is being Death. He seems quite shallow of a character, and relies on saying "Mort" when he knows not what to say. Albert is also quite dull, but he has one good scene at the end of the book. Ysabelle is meh, she's fairly dull I think but she's no Albert in that department.


The humour in this book relies on more of a "this is funny because Death is frying eggs and petting cats" as opposed to the situational humour that I am fond of from books like The Colour of Magic and Guards! Guards!. I also found that Pratchett got himself carried away in some places. I could find it funny in other books where he would go on about how they're not allowed to use metaphors unless they're true and have three pages explaining that, but when you have footnotes in footnotes, and more than once or twice (about a half dozen or so), then it becomes much.


All-in-all though, Mort is another good book from Pratchett. It is not my personal favourite, and from the three other books I've read, it's probably my least favourite. But still, Pratchett has a way with words that cannot be adequately described in words other than his. And it is also the case that there is no such author quite like him. And so it is that I leave you with a quote about the situational humour in this book. Crack up from this quote and this book is for you:

- I USHERED SOULS INTO THE NEXT WORLD. I WAS THE GRAVE OF ALL HOPE. I
WAS THE ULTIMATE REALITY. I WAS THE ASSASSIN AGAINST WHOM NO LOCK
WOULD HOLD.
- "Yes, point taken, but do you have any particular skills?"

-- Death consults a job broker (Terry Pratchett, Mort)
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