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Reaper Man

(Discworld #11)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  93,107 ratings  ·  3,302 reviews
'Death has to happen. That's what bein' alive is all about. You're alive, and then you're dead. It can't just stop happening.'

But it can. And it has. So what happens after death is now less of a philosophical question than a question of actual reality. On the Disc, as here, they need Death. If Death doesn't come for you, then what are you supposed to do in the meantime? Yo
Paperback, 287 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Corgi Books (first published May 1991)
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Tim No problem at all. I started my journey into Discworld with The Light Fantastic (book 2), even if it's a direct sequel to The Colour of Magic (book 1)…moreNo problem at all. I started my journey into Discworld with The Light Fantastic (book 2), even if it's a direct sequel to The Colour of Magic (book 1) (you do have to read these books together). After that I read Hogfather, which came out much later.

The other Discworld novels are written so that you can read them without worries and thus go back and forth, even if some characters come back here and there.

So.. yes, you can read Reaper Man without prior knowledge. ;-)

This overview, the last novel not added yet, can also help you find your way in the reading process: https://kokkieh.files.wordpress.com/2...(less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews
Check out my new youtube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books seconds after I finish the book.

A wonderful addition to the Discworld universe with an extremely unique plotline

While this book is not at the level of "laugh out loud" funny that some other Discworld books are, the plotline of this book is so wonderful that it more than makes up for it. This book is divided into two main plots, both of which are equally fascinating.

The character of "Death" gets retire
Mario the lone bookwolf (is on a longer vacation)
The second DEATH is as hilarious as the first one, this time positioning the friendly reaper in a perfect setting for having philosophical and deep thoughts about human nature and life in general.

The auditors are a mixture of bureaucracy, monotony, surveillance, and total order, each reader might find a subjective real life example for higher, creativity and life hating entities mostly interested in controlling everything, not even trusting each other, and hating generally anything different, ne
Anthony Eaton
Apr 11, 2009 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...
Aug 27, 2007 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
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Today would have been Sir Terry's 70th birthday.
As some here know, I've put off reading the series because I still tear up when thinking of this great man and the terrible loss his death meant. Especially his books featuring Death as the main character are hard to read because their messages are hitting so close to home. Nevertheless, I agreed to read one book per month and this month, of all possible months, it was this novel's turn.
Sometimes life just loves punching you in the gut.
And yes, I h
Ahmad Sharabiani
Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2), Terry Pratchett

The Auditors of Reality are beings who watch the Discworld to ensure everything obeys The Rules. As Death starts developing a personality the Auditors feel that he does not perform his Duty in the right way.

They send him to live like everyone else. Assuming the name "Bill Door", he works as a farm hand for the elderly Miss Flitworth.

She is a spinster whose fiancé, Rufus, died on a last smuggling expedition many years ago. There are rumours
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1976 Blue Oyster Cult sang Don’t Fear the Reaper. In 1991, Sir Terry Pratchett first published his 11th Discworld novel Reaper Man. The comparison is mine, apparently Pratchett titled the book as a reference to Alex Cox’s 1984 fantasy film starring Emilio Estevez.

So, what happens when our Discworld friend Death is given a timer and … time to spend it? We get this fun book that helps us to revisit Discworld and some of our favorite Pratchett characters like Death, the Unseen Academy staff, Cut
Wow, where’s the 6 star button

Ok , where should I start with this ? Some of TP's Discworld novels are great stories, full of humour with amazingly real and detailed characters that get into scrapes, have adventures, inherit kingdoms, fight wars in far off places (near the Rim ? ) And these books to me are 4 or 5 star reads depending on the humour content and the characters.
And then, well yes, and then there are TP's books that are a parody of human life, allegorical masterpieces that mirror the
Jul 18, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Discworld's book has significant features of the others: parody, irony, interesting plot and funny characters. But somehow I didn't find it as hilarious and exciting as the other books. ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2018-shelf, humor
Re-read with buddies!

I suppose it helps that I'm already a lifelong fan of Pratchett, but even objectively, this is a delightful novel about Death's retirement. Sure, he was tricked, but he really needed some time off. Or some time, period.

The magicians were delightful, as usual, and the undead, even more so. This is the zombie apocalypse, Discworld-style, when no one's allowed to die.

It was rather pastoral. :)

I wouldn't say this is my favorite of the Discworld series, but it *does* mark the i
“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away...”

"I want more Death" is what I spent most of this book thinking. 60% of this was about Windle Poons and other wizards and I just wasn't into the silly randomness of the problems they were dealing with. The "life force" issues felt too much like the alchemy issues in Moving Pictures, and I just couldn't get into that one.

I wanted to experience more of Death's life on the farm, and his whole side of things. I liked T
Mar 12, 2015 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.
Feb 21, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"This isn't some sort of joke, is it?" he added hopefully.
"Well, of course not, no offense meant. But listen, you can't die, because you're Death, you'd have to happen to yourself, it'd be like that snake that eats its own tail--"
"But what will happen to me?" Albert said. Terror glittered on his words like flakes of metal on the edge of a knife.

I had high hopes for Reaper Man, as I'v
May 11, 2007 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
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
Wizards don't believe in gods in the same way that most people don't find it necessary to believe in, say, tables. They know they're there, they know they're there for a purpose, they'd probably agree that they have a place in a well-organised universe, but they wouldn't see the point of believing, of going around saying "O great table, without whom we are as naught." Anyway, either the gods are there whether you believe in them or not, or exist only as a function of the belief, so either way yo
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Death has retired. Which might be a problem.

Death is by far my favourite character in the Discworld, and it feels especially poignant to read his stories now following the death of Terry Pratchett. There's just a small amount of melancholy that resonates from the pages. That said, I really enjoyed this and it made me laugh a fair few times. The wit and humour just can't be replicated by anyone else, and this just feels so British and wonderful.

The scenes with Bill Door are, obviously, my favouri
L.L. MacRae
Jan 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m returning to my first foray into Sir Terry Pratchett with the Death books! I meant to read them all over December, but some shipping delays put that on hold after I finished Mort (which I thoroughly enjoyed!)

Oh my goodness the ending to this book is sensational. I cried. I cried A LOT. I actually finished reading it about 10 minutes ago, and my eyes are still leaking.

Other than the incredible final 50 pages or so (which perhaps are some of my favourite pages I've ever ever read), Reaper Man
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: most-loved
Another excellent Discworld book. Death is a brilliant character and I love any appearance he makes, and the books where he is the main focus are incredibly enjoyable. He's a character that works well both in small doses and also as a main character.

It doesn't affect my rating, but I love the cover -- it's great before you've started the book, and even better once all the details start falling into place as you read. 💀
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...it'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
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, humor, fantasy
Death plays as the Boot in Monopoly, and once again shows his humanity. Pratchett showed the world that death isn't an ending it's a release especially for the very old, 130 year old wizard Wendel Poons. He shares other wisdom as well, "Inside every living person is a dead person waiting to get out", "Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind!!!!!"

When death comes and asks if you have any last words, "Yes, I don't want to go."

Death to all tyrants.

Great fun read, now onto Soul Music
David Sarkies
May 09, 2013 rated it liked it
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
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group. I have no idea how many times I've read this book, as it's one of my favorites in the series and a comfort read for me. I think I last read this about five years ago, and my first was soon after it was first published.

The Auditors of reality have decided that Death should not have a personality and have decided to retire the incumbent. This results in an unemployed 7' tall skeleton with a magnificent white horse and a brand new lif
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
Yo! This was my first foray into the Discworld and into Terry Pratchett's writing, and it was a treat. A little weird, and very charming. I didn't know I needed Bill Door and the Death of Rats in my life until I read this book. I didn't know why I disliked malls until I read this book. I didn't know I should have been distrusting snow globes until I read this book. I did know that all the best butlers are named Albert, and that's confirmed in this book.

The focus of Reaper Man appears to be death
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
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 fo
Mar 22, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 stars
Death was enjoyable to read about, the wizards, not so much.
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-list-2019
This book made me smile. One of Pratchett’s best, and that saying a lot. 🙂
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
Oddly, I think that I never read this one until now. Is it possible that I might have skipped a Discworld book in my youth? I suppose so because no part of it rung any memory bells. Imagine, getting to read a Discworld book for the first time ever! Too bad it wasn't a better one...

Don't get me wrong, there was plenty to like about this book. Death is always a hoot. (The personification, that is, not the event). The arc between Bill Door and Miss Flitworth was the best sequence, at times philosop
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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

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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