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Group Reads > Monthly Dose-O-Discworld - Mort

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message 1: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3515 comments Mod
Which would be worse? Being Death's apprentice, or Donald Trump's apprentice?

Hopefully I'll never have to find out.

Anyway, it's time to meet Mort.

message 2: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments Sadly, I'm still waiting for a copy of Equal Rites...I'm thinking I could read them out of order right?

message 3: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments You'll be happy to hear Mort was in the library, I'll be joining the discussion this month...did I just hear a groan?

Apparently, Equal Rites has went 'missing'...

Alright, can I talk about myself just a little more, so on the way to the library, under a sprinkle of rain...

message 4: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3515 comments Mod
I was actually going to ask if anyone needed a month to catch up, but so far I see no reason they can't be read out of order.
According to this site, we're not reading them in the right order anyway:

message 5: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 309 comments yeah, technically, you could read all the death novels, and then all the witch ones, and all the watch ones. But I think going in numerical order allows you to follow his development of the world in a truer way.

message 6: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 2420 comments Mod
Oops, forgot a new month started. I'll get right on it. . .

message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael Clemens (mpclemens) You can pretty much read any of them at any time: even if you're not following along exactly with the Discworld chronology, there's plenty to enjoy. I read Going Postal last summer after a long hiatus from Discworld, and didn't miss much at all, except for some recurring characters that had incidental roles.

Anyhow, I have some reading commitments this month, so I went ahead and read Mort at the end of last month. I'm not sure I liked it as much: Death certainly becomes the "real" Death as Pratchett depicts him later -- slightly puzzled by humanity, and not-exactly wistful about it. I know some folks were saying this was the strongest of the series so far, but I liked Equal Rites a bit better: Granny is a good deal more fun to read.

message 8: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 510 comments Now here's a book I really love. For me, this is where Sir Terry hits the ground running, and his trademark style starts to blossom.

A great book, we're all going to enjoy this month.

message 9: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments I just got to the part where Mort ends up in some family's hovel and they are eating dinner. I love how the Husband talks to him with just awful insults, 'oh, you holy excrement of the bowels, how can I serve you.?'

While reading this book I'm reminded of The Book Thief. That book was narrated by Death as well. Death was given a bit of a personality, always worried about being late for an appointment, or being early and having to twiddle his thumbs for awhile. I find it so funny to think of Death, showing up early for an appointment and thinking, "I have a few minutes, maybe I'll grab a cappuccino."
Or, Death having some sort of mid-life this really what I want to do with my 'life'? I've always enjoyed photography, maybe I'll take a course or something?

Oh, and it appears you can read this one without reading Equal Rites, I don't feel lost at the book, not life in general.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) I had sore ribs from laughing.

message 11: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments The door knocker is giving me sore ribs...although if I were a knocker I'd probably like that!

message 12: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 510 comments You rude thing, you...

message 13: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments The door knocker kind of reminds me of a photocopier...pushing all the right buttons (if you'll recall?)

message 14: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 510 comments Just been to listen to the great man talk at hay Lit. Festival. Absorbing. He's clearly still fizzing with ideas, and working hard.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) Kat wrote: "One of the things I particularly enjoyed about this book was how Pratchett poked fun at the job hunting process. For example, when Death goes to a job placement agency...


Great great joke!

message 16: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 2420 comments Mod
Got my copy, just gotta get started. Had to finish my digression into "Pride and Prejudice". We were watching the video and I needed more detail, so. . .

I could add Jane Austin to my list of favorite humorous authors. Funny, when I read her at 19, I didn't get the humor hardly at all. 30 years later. . .

message 17: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 510 comments Anyone else think that pratchett is starting to hit his stride properly now?

How do you rate this against his earlier work?

message 18: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments Will - I thought the actual story was very interesting. Death looking for a life outside of work was fun. The whole story around the change in reality, that 'interface' thing, was another interesting aspect.
I didn't find this book as funny as the previous ones. However, the underlying story made it a four star read.

message 19: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments On a much less humorous note - - Terry Pratchett is still speaking up for right to die campaign.

I recall hearing an interview with Terry about his views on assisted suicide awhile ago...but, since I didn't really read his work I did not put the dots together until right now.

Seems he has a bit of an interest in death?

message 21: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments **SPOILER***
So, how about Rincewind showing up? Did he make an appearance in Equal Rites?

message 22: by Hazel (last edited Jun 15, 2012 02:21PM) (new)

Hazel | 309 comments April the Cheshire Meow wrote: "I think Pratchett has dementia."

He has alzheimers. He's making arrangements for euthanasia to be carried out before he reaches the point that he can't look after himself anymore. He's said the next book is the last book for the last 4 books, so I think he's gonna keep going as long as he keeps getting ideas.

He can't write his own books anymore, he has to dictate, but he still seems prolific, even if not as prolific as previously.

Theres a documentary that he made about alzeimers and euthanasia here:

message 23: by Carol (new)

Carol (mansonville) I'm a new Pratchett fan, thanks to this group, and one friend who introduced me to Guards Guards. Mort seems to me the best one yet, though I really liked granny in the last one. I really like what he's doing with the character Death (just started the book on CD). "Sometimes, I get really upset.... " says Death. Sad but funny moment.

message 24: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 2420 comments Mod
Very sorry to hear about Mr. Pratchett's health problems. I have greatly enjoyed what I've read so far, and expect to enjoy Mort some more if I can ever get it back from Second Son.

message 25: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments I just got a video from my library, it's a cartoon adaption of Soul Music (Discworld, #16) by Terry Pratchett , which is one of the Mort/Death series I guess? There is a picture of death on the front holding a guitar ♪♪

So, back to Mort...what was up with the half hearted love story? It did not seem to go anywhere. Death setting up his daughter with an apprentice sounds like it could be humorous, but I felt it didn't really flesh out to much. Perhaps it will gain some life in future books?

message 26: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3515 comments Mod
I'm pretty sure it's not just young girls who have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the opposite sex. I've been married for over 20 years. You'd think my husband would be able to read my mind by now - BUT NO!!!!

message 27: by Melki (last edited Jun 20, 2012 09:01AM) (new)

Melki | 3515 comments Mod
True...but if he could read my mind, he'd do everything just right. Then I wouldn't have all these nasty thoughts about hammers falling on his head that I wouldn't want him to see if he could read my mind...

I just hurt my brain.

message 28: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 309 comments Melki wrote: "I'm pretty sure it's not just young girls who have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the opposite sex. I've been married for over 20 years. You'd think my husband would be able to read my..."

me and my other half have been together for a little over 4 years, maybe 5, and we have been finishing each others sentences pretty much from the beginning. His friends have even said how scarily alike we are.

message 29: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments This sounds like The Disc -

It's floating away on that big turtle's back.

You know what small thing I found very interesting - that Death's eye colour would be a baby! It's one of those descriptions that stuck with me throughout the book.

message 30: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3515 comments Mod
Perhaps you were expecting red - like the fires of hell!

I enjoyed the book and was very pleased by the ending. Some scenes were almost, dare I say it...touching and inspiring the way certain characters accepted death. Normally I would say fight that sucker with everything you've got, but occasionally you just have to throw up your hands and say, "Eh...I've had a good ride; time for something new."

message 31: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments Good point Melki, how would you behave if Death came to take you away...I would whine and throw sarcastic comments, possibly pee myself.

I was expecting red eyes, or little flames, or voids of darkness...but, baby blue. No.

message 32: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 309 comments I always considered the blue to be the colour of a burning blue star, not baby blue. The blue is explained, but I can't recall if its been done already, I suspect it hasn't been, but because I've read all the Death books I can't remember exactly where every snippet is from, and I don't want to include spoilers.

On what would happen if Death turned up, I think I'd be surprised that he actually existed, and probably be full of questions, which he'd no doubt be cryptic in answering. My other halfs 97 year old grandma would probably kick him in the balls... I'm not convinced she hasn't already, and he's just given up on trying to take her :P

message 33: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3515 comments Mod
I'm not ready yet, so he should expect a fight, followed by whining, bargaining, and pleading.

I think Death's eyes are "ice" blue, perhaps the color of these Swarovski crystals...

message 34: by Hazel (last edited Jun 23, 2012 03:31AM) (new)

Hazel | 309 comments

As drawn by Paul Kidby, from The Last Hero (which is a beautifully illustrated book, one of my favourite pratchett books.

message 35: by Melki (new)

Melki | 3515 comments Mod
Here's another portrait of dissatisfied Death - and look! - he's even named "Morty":

message 36: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 2420 comments Mod
That's pretty funny, Melki. I think Pratchett's Death could relate.

Finally finished last night, by dint of reading after the kid is in bed so I have no competition. Maybe the hour was why it took me a while to figure out what the heck was going on with the ending. When I did, I developed something of an opinion on the love interest, to whit: Mort had better luck and better sense than many, and managed to discover (or have pounded into him? Ysabell is pretty forceful) that the pal and companion of adventures is a better choice than the lovely princess who has no reality.

Of course, he's still screwing up the future, isn't he? I think he was supposed to marry the princess and unite the two principalities (or whatever they are) after all. Oops.

message 37: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments Perhaps Polygamy would work in Mort's case? A friend and pal with Death's daughter and a trophy wife with the Princess.

message 38: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 510 comments Having finished, it's hard to comment further without spoilers now.

Has everyone finished reading?

message 39: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 309 comments finished, and read sourcery, and am half way through Wyrd sisters... I got into a bit of a pratchett swing...


message 40: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 510 comments I liked the ending for Mort. I thought it fitted well.

But then I'm a fan, and the man can do no wrong for me...

message 41: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 309 comments I love the ending, and because I've read his other books it makes me wonder about the conversation Death had to have with the Auditors in order to pull it off.

message 42: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 510 comments One thing I've learnt is that Sir terry is a warm, decent bloke. And (as a result?) he loves a happy ending.

message 43: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 2420 comments Mod
Where DO we go next? More of Death? I may have trouble next month--we're on the road all month. Hope I can find an electronic copy of whatever it will be.

message 44: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 309 comments The next book is Sourcery, which is a Rincewind book.

message 45: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 510 comments With a happy ending. (If that isn't a spoiler...)

message 46: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Smith | 686 comments Did you like when they were reading the book and it told exactly what whats-his-name was thinking? Hilarious and brilliant on a totally different level.

message 47: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 2420 comments Mod
Will wrote: "With a happy ending. (If that isn't a spoiler...)"

Based on what we've seen so far, don't think so!

message 48: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Carlson (rodneycarlson) | 617 comments I wanted to start with “The Color of Magic”, but alas my library did not carry this particular tomb. This was surely a red mark on the establishment. I ended up with “Going Postal”, Monstrous Regiment, and Mort. Through random determination My first Pratchett experience will be Mort. Pratchett has been compared to Adams, and although I find Mort an enjoyable read, I have not found him rip-roaringly funny as Dent’s escapades. I am 56.25% +/- through the book and I'm afraid my pants are still intact. The humor has passed right through me as Mort does with walls (I chortled two or three times). I’m not sure why things that others find hilarious sometimes escape me. My wife and I believe it’s a conspiracy, possibly having to do with alien origins and not having some of the proper internal organs.

message 49: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 2420 comments Mod
Well, maybe not rippingly funny, but I like Pratchett's ironic commentary on society.

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