Scurra's Reviews > Mort

Mort by Terry Pratchett
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's review
Jul 22, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: discworld
Read in January, 1987

It took two goes, but this is the one where Pratchett nailed it. He found a way to balance a character-driven plot with the social commentary that subsequently became his trademark, without sacrificing the jokes (from sophisticated satire through to groanworthy puns) that had made the Colour of Magic and the Light Fantastic such good fun.

Sure, it isn't quite as clever as some of the later ones, nor is it quite as sharp. But for proper emotional character investment, it is splendid. The tragedy of Princess Keli is marvellously depicted, and the woes of Mort as he slowly realises what he has done are hilarious and sad at the same time.

But of course the real genius was taking the slightly cynical Death that we glimpse in his fruitless pursuit of Rincewind and transforming him into this engaging anthropomorphic personification - an idea that he later brought to perfection in Small Gods.

For a decade or so, this was the Discworld book I used to use to introduce people to Pratchett. Now, of course, I barely meet anyone who hasn't read him. Which is great.

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