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Group Read > Group Read: Mort

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 58 comments The first warning is that Pratchett sometimes does not care about continuity at all. This should be read without remembering Death from The Color of Magic too keenly.


message 2: by Kaya (new)

Kaya Fletcher I like Mort much better than The Color of Magic, I think if I wasn't so new to the series I would be able to follow that one more. Mort is easy to follow and I really enjoy Death.


message 3: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 58 comments Alfred also serves much the same purpose for Pratchett as the companions do for Doctor Who writers: gives them someone for the main character to deal with and react to.

Of course, later on, (view spoiler)


message 4: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Brian wrote: "...Death has evolved quite a bit since his first appearance. This Death is more like he is in later books. "

True, though in later books he wasn't so keen to take long vacations, just the occasional game of Ford and such, if I recall correctly.



message 5: by Mordechai (last edited Feb 12, 2015 08:31AM) (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Kevin wrote: "Reading the book at this time, I have to say that Albert is a great addition to Death."

Yes, and it's a shame he kind of fades out and is seldom mentioned much again, accept now and then briefly.


message 6: by Mordechai (last edited Feb 12, 2015 08:55AM) (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Mary, I'd completely forgotten about the Death of Fleas. What book is that in? Is that Reaper Man?


message 7: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Is there a place on Goodreads where we mark or that it shows up that we are participating in a monthly book read?


message 8: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 58 comments Mordechai wrote: "Mary, I'd completely forgotten about the Death of Fleas. What book is that in? Is that Reaper Man?"

At the very end of it. Never to appear again.


message 9: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Mary wrote: "Mordechai wrote: "Mary, I'd completely forgotten about the Death of Fleas. What book is that in? Is that Reaper Man?"

At the very end of it. Never to appear again."


Thanks! (I remembered that it was at the end, just not which book.)


message 10: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments It's not exactly the same thing, but if you go here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/15223... you can see what each member of the group is currently reading.


message 11: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments So when and where can we actually start discussing the book? I finished it on Saturday.


message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 58 comments Here. Start talking


message 13: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments I love this book, but a couple of things nag me. On page 160 of the paperback the following exchange takes place:

"...Have you any idea how boring it is to live here?"

"Probably not," said Mort, adding with geuine longing, "I've heard aabout boredom but I've never had a chance to try it."

Aside from it not being the first time that Pratchett has used that line or lines similar to it, that line is not really in keeping with Mort's eperiences and personality. That's a Rincewind line, very much so, and quite often expressed. It's usualy amusing when Pratchett puts those words in Rincewind's mouth (and a nice twist when Laviosier says it in Eric). But I just don't see it in Mort. Just a minor thing n an otherwise great book.


message 14: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Can someone please exlain to me what Rincewind means when tells (on page 199 of the paperback) to the librarian after Alberto Malich shows up at UU, "I don't even remember walking under a mirror."

What's this about walking under a mirror? Is that supposed to be bad luck, or something?


message 15: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Another anomaly: Mort tells Ysabell to get Albert's boook. She starts to argue against it. Mort says, SHALL I ASK YOU AGAIN?

Ysabell flees, white-faced.

But two pages later she tells him that she is not at all frightened when he speaks to her like that. This seems like a slight oversight. It could be argued, perhaps, that she is frightened at first, it being the first time Mort has spoken to her like that. Then she gets used too it and pputs her spine up, so to speak. Any thoughts?


message 16: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments I love Pratchett's description of Ankh-Morpork:

There were temples, their doors wide open, filling the streets with the sounds of gongs, cymbals, and, in the case of some of the more conservative fundamentalist religions, the brief screams of the victims. There were shops whose strange wares spilled out on to the pavement. There seemed to be rather a lot of friendly young ladies who couldn't afford any clothes. There were flares, jugglers, and assorted sellers of instant transcendence.

Inimitabe Pratchett!


message 17: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Why is no one addressing my posts about Mort?


message 18: by Celise (new)

Celise (celise_) | 30 comments Hey Mordechai. I just finished the book last night. I too wondered what he meant about the mirror. That confused me. Oh but when Ysabell says she is not frightened there is a small note afterwards that implies she was lying and that is indeed frightened by him! I don't have the book on me anymore so I cannot tell you the specific words, but I do recall that.

I know we're meant to disregard The Colour of Magic when reading this, but I do distinctly remember Rincewind repeatedly saying that wizards cannot say the number "eight" out loud. However, in Mort and Equal Rites, the word is used freely. Does anyone have an explanation for this?


message 19: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 58 comments Ah, that explanation is easy.

Pratchett wasn't consistent.

You find that a lot in Discworld, especially the early ones.


message 20: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Celise wrote: "Hey Mordechai. I just finished the book last night. I too wondered what he meant about the mirror. That confused me. Oh but when Ysabell says she is not frightened there is a small note afterwards that implies she was lying and that she is indeed frightened by him!"

Thanks. I'm not sure what you mean by "note," and I don't recall a footnote there about that, but what you're saying makes sense.


message 21: by Mordechai (last edited Feb 18, 2015 08:43PM) (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Celise wrote: "Rincewind repeatedly saying that wizards cannot say the number "eight" out loud. However, in Mort and Equal Rites, the word is used freely."

Funny, I didn't notice that. It went right past me! I also no longer have the book (I returned it to the library yesterday), but can you dredge up more or less in what scenes he said the word "eight," at least in Mort?

I'm a little taken aback that I didn't notice it. I guess because it's been a long time since I last read The Colour of Magic, and I don't think this restriction has been mentioned very much, if at all, since then.


message 22: by Mordechai (last edited Feb 18, 2015 08:50PM) (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Mary wrote: "Pratchett wasn't consistent.
You find that a lot in Discworld, especially the early ones."


I must agree with you, Mary. Consistency is not really a thing to Terry Pratchett, apparently. It shows up in several issues. For one, a minor one, I seem to recall that in most other books Sto Lat is more that twenty kilometers (or was it miles?) from Ankh-Morpork. But in Mort someone tells him that it's only twenty miles away.

Take the concept of the gods of Discworld. In the earlier books, Pratchett makes it clear that the gods not only exist, but they play with the lives of humans, AND sometimes people even meet them. Rincewind and Twoflower see Lady Luck in, I think, The Colour of Magic. Or maybe that's in The Light Fantastic. In another book, I forget which, Pratchett says that atheism is not practical in a world where the gods have the habit of coming around and breaking the windows of the houses of atheists. Or something like that.

Yet at the end of Feet of Clay the golem tells all the priests that he will believe in any god that they can show him, but not until they show him one. In other words, since no one can show the golem any gods, they therefore don't exist. This is inconsistent with his portrayal of the gods throughout the Discworld novels. It worked for him in that book to make that statement, so he ignored his usual Discworld position about the gods.

It's one of those things you have to ignore if you want to blissfully enjoy the book, but should definitely notice if you have fun nitpicking continuity errors and such, as I do. Either way, it's fun. ;) And I hope we'll continue noticing and discussing these things.


message 23: by Celise (new)

Celise (celise_) | 30 comments Mordechai wrote: "Celise wrote: "Rincewind repeatedly saying that wizards cannot say the number "eight" out loud. However, in Mort and Equal Rites, the word is used freely."

Funny, I didn't notice that. It went ri..."


Yes, in Mort the wizards say 8 when Albert goes to the University and asks them to find him eight of the best wizards. In Equal Rites, she is born the eighth son of the eighth son as the wizards point out.


message 24: by Celise (new)

Celise (celise_) | 30 comments Kevin wrote: "Man, you guys are great at detail."

This is what happens when you read four in a row. The little discrepancies are more apparent.


message 25: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 58 comments It's even more noticeable when you've read them all and have the memory of the future ones hanging about while you read.


message 26: by Celise (new)

Celise (celise_) | 30 comments Oh so you're re-reading these? I bet that is odd.


message 27: by Celise (new)

Celise (celise_) | 30 comments I think that's a good point, just enjoy what you get. None of this takes away from my enjoyment, I've just found myself rereading passages a few times, trying to understand how something could be happening based on previously established rules of the Discworld universe. I think from now on I'll just go with the flow.


message 28: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Celise wrote: "In Equal Rites, she is born the eighth son of the eighth son as the wizards point out..."

Actually, if I recall correctly, she's the seventh "son" of a seventh son, not eighth.

But you're right about the eight wizards for the Rite of Ashkente.


message 29: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Kevin wrote: "Man, you guys are great at detail."

Yeah, and it's fun, too!


message 30: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Brian wrote: "King also noticed the inconsistencies and actually went back and revised The Gunslinger, which I thought was a mistake. I think you just have to take it for what it is and enjoy what you get. "

I do agree, for the most part. However, sometimes it works out for the best. For example, in Larry Niven's Ringworld, he has someone traveling around the world in an easterly direction, trying to make his birthday last as long as possible. He later corrected the error to a westerly direction, the correct direction. In subsequent works he mentioned this and remarked that anyone who has a copy of the first print has something valuable.

Norman Mailer stopped publication of a book of his, I forget which, in which the very first paragraph had what I think is called a misplaced modifier. The pronoun was accidentally applied to the wrong subject, I think. I actually noticed that when I read that paragraph in the book store, and was fascinated when I read that they had recalled thousands of books to make that correction. I can only assume that first editions must be worth more as well, in this case.

And I am told that even the great master Tolkien rewrote The Hobbit several times to bring it in line with the LOtR trilogy. (I have not had this verified.) But I found a few inconsistencies that he apparently missed.


message 31: by Celise (last edited Feb 19, 2015 03:10PM) (new)

Celise (celise_) | 30 comments Mordechai wrote: "Celise wrote: "In Equal Rites, she is born the eighth son of the eighth son as the wizards point out..."

Actually, if I recall correctly, she's the seventh "son" of a seventh son, not eighth.

B..."


Sorry, it is actually eight. The eighth son of an eighth son is a wizard. Seven is from other fantasy books, but not these ones in particular, so I understand the confusion.


message 32: by Mordechai (last edited Feb 26, 2015 12:10PM) (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Celise wrote: "Sorry, it is actually eight..."

You know, I could have sworn I replied to this already, but the post is not here for some reason. Celise, you are absolutely correct. I was wrong. As you say, I must have been confusing it with other fantasy books. I will submit to a public flogging. ;)


message 33: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments No more discussion about Mort? I was enjoying it.


message 34: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Brian wrote: "Flogging may be too harsh, will just put you in the stocks for awhile. "

Ah, you're no fun anymore!

(Monty Python reference.)


message 35: by Mordechai (last edited Feb 26, 2015 12:12PM) (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Brian wrote: "We can keep discussing Mort and all the other reads as well. I always like seeing what other people have to say. keep the discussion going! "

It would certainly be ironic to see the death of a discussion about Mort.


message 36: by Celise (new)

Celise (celise_) | 30 comments Mordechai wrote: "Brian wrote: "We can keep discussing Mort and all the other reads as well. I always like seeing what other people have to say. keep the discussion going! "

It would certainly be ironic to see the..."


That it would. So I read Discworld 1-5 in numbered order in about a week and this, while I didn't think it was my absolute favourite at the time, is the one that stands out most clearly in my mind.

I know there are further books about Death, but is Mort part of them?


message 37: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 58 comments Celise wrote: "I know there are further books about Death, but is Mort part of them?"

(view spoiler)


message 38: by Celise (new)

Celise (celise_) | 30 comments Mary wrote: "Celise wrote: "I know there are further books about Death, but is Mort part of them?"

[spoilers removed]"


(view spoiler)


message 39: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Mary wrote: "(view spoiler)

Which book discusses how Mort died? Or is it just a brief mention? I'm striving to recall this tidbit.


message 40: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Celise wrote: "So I read Discworld 1-5 in numbered order in about a week and this, while I didn't think it was my absolute favourite at the time, is the one that stands out most clearly in my mind."

I think Night Watch is my favorite, though it's really hard to choose. But Mort is up there in my top five or so.

I think I read them all (that is, all I could get hold of) in the order they were published, because I always haunted my favorite bookstore looking for books by my favorite authors, and the owners knew that I was addicted to Terry Pratchett, long may he write. So I tended to get the books as they came out.

Now, however, since joining Goodreads, I have discovered that there are books by Pratchett that I had never heard of! Some written before I found The Colour of Magic, and some written after that bookstore closed. The neighborhood I currently live in has no such homey bookstore, if any such exist anymore anywhere. (sigh)


message 41: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 58 comments Soul Music, Mordechai.

(view spoiler)


message 42: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Mary wrote: "Soul Music, Mordechai."

I'm completely blanking on the moment, and I have no idea what that spoiler means either. Maybe it's time I reread the book.

I must admit that when I read that book it was by far not my favorite, because 1) I know nothing about the history of rock and roll, and 2) it seemed to me to be a rewrite of Moving Pictures.

Still, a Pratchett book is gold no matter what. if the group rereads it, I will too.


message 43: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments I have never liked any of the movies based on TP's novels. I can't quite put my finger on why. It might just be because I'm such a lover of the written word. And you can't do, in the movie media, the clever wordsmithing that TP does in print. So much of the charm is lost for me.


message 44: by Kaya (new)

Kaya Fletcher I'm a little behind in the reads (end of quarter was quite heavy for me). I'm at the part where Albert has called together all the wizards and I didn't understand Rincewind taking about walking under a mirror either, but I don't think I saw an explanation? Does anyone know what that means?


message 45: by Mordechai (new)

Mordechai Housman | 75 comments Kaya wrote: "...and I didn't understand Rincewind taking about walking under a mirror either..."

Shrug. No idea.


message 46: by C (new)

C | 1 comments Mordechai wrote: "Can someone please exlain to me what Rincewind means when tells (on page 199 of the paperback) to the librarian after Alberto Malich shows up at UU, "I don't even remember walking under a mirror." ..."

From https://www.lspace.org/books/apf/mort...

- [p. 224] "I don't even remember walking under a mirror."

Superstition says that both walking under a ladder and breaking a mirror give bad luck. Therefore, by the sort of skewed logic Terry continually gives to his characters, walking under a mirror must be really bad news.


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