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Soul Music

(Discworld #16)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  59,690 ratings  ·  1,517 reviews
When her dear old Granddad -the Grim Reaper himself- goes missing, Susan takes over the family business. The progeny of Death's adopted daughter and his apprentice, she shows real talent for the trade. That is until a little string in her heart goes "twang."

With a head full of dreams and a pocketful of lint, Imp the Bard lands in Ankh-Morpork, yearning to become a rock sta
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Paperback, 373 pages
Published May 2000 by HarperTorch (first published May 19th 1994)
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4.04  · 
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 ·  59,690 ratings  ·  1,517 reviews


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Lyn
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sex, drugs and rock and roll in the Discworld.

Except there’s really not any sex to speak of, and … to be honest really not any drugs either.

But 1 out of three ain’t bad, er, well, I guess that’s 33 percent, so really not that good but …

But in Sir Terry Pratchett’s able writing, it is good, as the Discworld experiences rock and roll –

or actually, Music with Rocks In as performed by The Band with Rocks In.

Imp Y Celyn (which literally means "bud of holly,") calls himself Buddy, and his band mates G
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Trish
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Music is immortal. Some say it has always been there and always will. Some can apparently hear its beat. Like the pulse of the universe itself. I think Terry Pratchett had that same kind of appreciation for this particular art.

In this 16th installment of the phenomenon that is the Discworld series, Death has a family-related crisis so he goes away for a while. Unlike the last time, there is someone to take over though and the Death of Rats and Binky are getting her. Yes, HER. Susan, Death's gran
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Bradley
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-shelf, fantasy
A very nice re-read 9/13/18:

I love music. I love humor. I love seeing wizards rock the house. Oh, and everyone else getting slipped an extra-dimensional mickey in their drinks, too. :)

If we're really talking about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, I know we have the rock and roll down. There are even a few trolls to do it RIGHT. The drugs bit is Discworld itself, OF COURSE. And if you really think about it, our universe really is doing a little slip & slide with Discworld, too.

SEE? METAPHOR STR
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Emer (A Little Haze)
Discworld Playlist:

1) "There's a Great Deal of Shaking Happening"
2) "Give Me That Music With Rocks In"
3) "Pathway to Paradise"
4) "Born to Rune"




two and a half stars
Kalin
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Soul Music was, I guess, my first true love. Um, I mean with Terry Pratchett. Um, I mean ... you know what I mean. :D

So much so that when I had to pick the topic of my 4,000-word IB extended essay, there was no room for doubt. It had to be Susan. And Death. And the Music With Rocks In. And the life-saving, human-defining importance of rebellion. (Teen angst, ha! teen me would fume. What d'you grown-ups know?)

Meet 4,000-word essay here:

http://kal.zavinagi.org/?p=92

WARNING: Even though this is the
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Linda
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2018
Any Discworld that features Death is a winner in my book. I love the addition of the raven, and Susan's journey as Death's granddaughter was an interesting one. And of course all the musical references were pretty great.

Audiobook narrated by Nigel Planer. Thumbs up!
Ivan
I re-read this book slowly past few weeks.So slowly I even forgot to added it to GR.

Sadly my initial opinion still remains:This is the worst Discworld book I read (but not worst Pratchett's book that title goes to Long earth).That doesn't mean it's bad book but it's way bellow sir Terry's best works.Death is my second favorite Discworld character (first one being Sam Vimes) but like in Thief of time him Susan ended in totally uninteresting plot with overall very weak cast of characters.
Soul musi
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Brooke
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, fantasy
I am convinced that Sir Pratchett wrote this book for the sole reason of putting in a "grateful Death" joke.

It wasn't my favorite Discworld book, but the phrase "Music With Rocks In" is so charmingly Pratchett that I kind of wanted to hug it.
Lindsay
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fantasy
Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2018.

Death takes a break at about the same time as the Discworld latches on to yet another passing concept from elsewhere in the multiverse: Music with Rocks In. Ankh-Morpork gets hit hard by the arrival of some new musicians and soon the whole city can't get enough of the new music, particularly including some of the Unseen University faculty. Meanwhile, with Death missing, the role is picked up by his young granddaughter, Susa
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Melki
Jun 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Now do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
*

A fab foursome causes wizards to shake, rattle and roll, and manages to bring some hot times (not to mention broken furniture) to the Mended Drum. Suddenly, there's an earworm loose in Discworld, and now everyone's got their toes-a-tappin' and a song in their hearts.

Though I can't say exactly what was wrong, this one fell flat for me. It squeaks by with 3 stars ONLY because I liked the Death of Rats, Susan, the swing that Dea
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Ashley
“He had the feeling, once again, that he’d missed out on something somewhere. He’d never really realized it until the last couple of days. He didn’t know what it was. He just wanted to do things. He didn’t know what they were. But he wanted to do them soon.”

“There are millions of chords. There are millions of numbers. And everyone forgets the one that is a zero. But without the zero, numbers are just arithmetic. Without the empty chord, music is just noise.”

It was just happenstance that the firs
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Igor Ljubuncic
40 books on my Pratchett shelf, 40 books to review, if I write one now, there'll 39 books on my Pratchet shelf left to review.

But it should be interesting.

The way I remember it, through the first half of the DW series, Terry was busy exploring existentialism in different ways, with witches, death (and associates), a fast-running coward, the genius Night Watch (my favorite) ...



... before he finally nailed it. He eventually got well comfortable with his own writing, and the series picked up pace,
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YouKneeK
Every now and then, we get one of those “real world stuff bleeds into the Discworld” books. For example, Moving Pictures involved, as you might guess, a sudden discovery of and obsession about movies. With a Discworld flare, of course. Those books are the ones I seem to enjoy the least. Soul Music is the third book in the Death subseries, and it was one of those types of books. In this case, the sudden discovery and obsession is for rock and roll music although, in Discworld, it goes by the name ...more
Gavin
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not up there with the best of his stuff, but I should point out at this juncture that since Guards Guards he's been getting marked on a scale relative only to his other books. If I'd picked up this book last week written by some po-dunk nobody it'd be getting five stars and I'd be desperately googling them for websites, blogs and news of their next release.

Soul Music is a slightly unbalanced pair of narratives, one about the infringing of rock and roll into the Discworld and the other a rather s
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Malin
Susan Sto Helit goes to a boarding school, and for the lessons she's less interested in, she has a tendency to fade into the woodwork - literally. Susan has the ability to fade away, should she so wish it. Turns out, this is because her grandfather is none other than Death, and when he goes missing, Susan, as his closest relative, is required to take over his duties for a while. Being deeply pragmatic and rational, thanks to her first rate education, it takes Susan a while to be persuaded, even ...more
Toby
May 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
Remain In Print
Sir Terry Pratchett
1948 - 2015


Once upon a time I was given a book voucher from my school and with that book voucher I went straight out and made sure I could actually own a Discworld novel rather than having to go to the library. It just so happened to be that small window in time when I would have preferred a Disc novel about music with rocks in than one with moving pictures, and so for a while Soul Music was my favourite book about life on Disc.

I went on to criticise the anima
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Richard
Sep 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, comedy
6.5/10

Another solid entry into the Discworld series and the Death sub series (although Death has a relatively small amount of screen time) which this time tackles Rock 'n Roll coming to the Discworld. I love Rock 'n Roll and I enjoy humour so what's not to like?

The book started really well and got two differing strands of story line going, one with Rock 'n Roll and the other with Death going AWOL so his Granddaughter, Susan, has to take up the mantle and start to run the show. As the story progr
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Bilbo Baggins
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars!!!
This is probably going to be my favorite Discworld book ever!!! Loved it!
Julie Davis
Not the best but enjoyable enough, as are even the least of Terry Pratchett's books. This one is notable for introducing Death's granddaughter, Susan, who takes on a similar role to that we'll see her in later in the much superior Hogfather. It is highly reminiscent of Moving Pictures which the characters, in true self-awareness, comment upon themselves. However, Pratchett's points are always worth pondering and his adventures surrounding the life force that music can take on is, as I said, enjo ...more
Kaethe Douglas
19 Feb 2008
20 Jun 2014
25 Aug 2016

Death takes a sort of holiday, so the Death of Rats goes looking for Death's granddaughter to fill the gap. Susan is off in boarding school, being an unusually practical teenager with no memory of her grandfather, when she gets the message. Meanwhile a bard, a troll, and a dwarf meet up and form a band and a magical guitar introduces the idea of Music with Rocks in to the Discworld.

The magic that is unleashed has more to do with lampooning record company contract
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Esme
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge, mega huge, unbelievably devoted Discworld fanatic. However, this is probably my least favorite in the DEATH mini series. I'm not sure why it didn't work for me as much as others did, I think the over-all message that I always look for was sort of lacking. It was fun, it was funny, and of course since it's DEATH that bumped it up a notch because his dialogue as always was spot on. I just didn't care much for the musical sub plot in the book.
Ben Crozier
Falls into the category of Disc World novels where he is moving through obvious targets such as the music or film industry lacks the bite or philosophical insight you would hope or expect.
David Sarkies
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: You known who you are
Recommended to David by: Stewart Wymer
Shelves: comedy
Rock n Roll invades the Discworld
26 July 2014

Well, I can't believe that I have just finished my 16th Terry Pratchett Discworld novel, and that is over two years (no, not sixteen books in two years, 16 Discworld novels in two years) since I decided that I would give Pratchett the benefit of the doubt and actually read them again prior to writing up a commentary, and this isn't even the last of the Discworld novels on my 'to read' list (I think there are another six, which would bring it up to Th
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Cora Tea Party Princess
I love the Death books. They're my favourite within the Discworld, closely followed by the Witches.

Gotta love some Music With Rocks In It.
Mitticus
(Leí este libro a dos bandas, en inglés y en español al mismo tiempo, así que probablemente debería valer por dos)

Probably you'll enjoy more this book if you like music, or should I say if you have something to do with music or music business.

Is the story of a band of friends that joins the rocky way that leads for a new form of music, a sort of infection of strange proportions that affects to almost all in Discworld.



And it is the story of a grandfather and his granddaughter trying to understan
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Wiebke (1book1review)
Rereading this after a lot of years and in English made me notice how much I must have missed when I was younger. Also understood so many more references to songs and bands than before and the criticism on the music industry. This is probably the greatest reward of rereading the Discworld series, understanding and enjoying the books on a different level.
Alfred Haplo
Can DEATH carry a whole book by HIMself? At this stage of DiscWorld, DEATH’s name on the marquee is enough of a crowd draw despite diminishing appearances in barely an eighth of Soul Music from a third of Reaper Man and half of Mort in the DEATH sub-series *. Reading Soul Music is like watching a festival concert featuring mostly young acts before the main attraction wraps up the show. Well, the supporting characters are promising but no ONE closes a story with attitude like DEATH.

Long, long be
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Menteith
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To this day, this book remains the best commentary on rock and roll, and the rock and roll phenomenon, that I have ever read.

The book opens with Death deciding to retire... again. This time, there's no apprentice to fill the shoes, but the apprentice had a daughter... Death's daughter. So the task of being Death falls on a young girl in a boarding school for rich, noble children who knows nothing about the skeletons in the family closet. Death of Rats, along with Albert, attempt to educate her,
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Gabi
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some shadows are so long they arrive before the light.

It seems that I never re-read this novel. The last 20 years I constantly was reading Pratchett one way or the other, but some books my mind seemed to have shelved as not interesting enough to re-read. So reading "Soul Music" now was like the first time. And I was surprised how good it was. Whatever bothered me with this novel the first time around wasn't there anymore - well surely enough I'm not the same person anymore I was 20 years ago.

I f
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Chris
Death doesn't get fired and has an existential crisis.
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32,343 followers
Born Terence David John Pratchett, 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, i
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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 (Death, #1; Discworld, #4)
  • 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)
“In theory it was, around now, Literature. Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book.” 445 likes
“It was sad music. But it waved its sadness like a battle flag. It said the universe had done all it could, but you were still alive.” 172 likes
More quotes…