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Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2) Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
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Reaper Man Quotes Showing 1-30 of 121
“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away...”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“Studies have shown that an ant can carry one hundred times its own weight, but there is no known limit to the lifting power of the average tiny eighty-year-old Spanish peasant grandmother.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“YOU FEAR TO DIE?
"It's not that I don't want... I mean, I've always...it's just that life is a habit that's hard to break...”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“What can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the Reaper Man?”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“It was amazing how many friends you could make by being bad at things, provided you were bad enough to be funny.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“If per capita was a problem, decapita could be arranged”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“ALL THINGS THAT ARE, ARE OURS. BUT WE MUST CARE. FOR IF WE DO NOT CARE, WE DO NOT EXIST. IF WE DO NOT EXIST, THEN THERE IS NOTHING BUT BLIND OBLIVION. AND EVEN OBLIVION MUST END SOMEDAY. LORD, WILL YOU GRANT ME JUST A LITTLE TIME? FOR THE PROPER BALANCE OF THINGS. TO RETURN WHAT WAS GIVEN. FOR THE SAKE OF PRISONERS AND THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS.

Death took a step backwards.

It was impossible to read expression in Azrael's features.

Death glanced sideways at the servants.

LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“...no-one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away... The span of someone's life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“Picture a tall, dark figure, surrounded by cornfields...
NO, YOU CAN'T RIDE A CAT. WHO EVER HEARD OF THE DEATH OF RATS RIDING A CAT? THE DEATH OF RATS WOULD RIDE SOME KIND OF DOG.
Picture more fields, a great horizon-spanning network of fields, rolling in gentle waves...
DON'T ASK ME I DON'T KNOW. SOME KIND OF TERRIER, MAYBE.
...fields of corn, alive, whispering in the breeze...
RIGHT, AND THE DEATH OF FLEAS CAN RIDE IT TOO. THAT WAY YOU KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE.
...awaiting the clockwork of the seasons.
METAPHORICALLY.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“It was the living who ignored the strange and wonderful, because life was too full of the boring and mundane.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“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 you might as well ignore the whole business and, as it were, eat off your knees.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“Most species do their own evolving, making it up as they go along, which is the way Nature intended. And this is all very natural and organic and in tune with mysterious cycles of the cosmos, which believes that there's nothing like millions of years of really frustrating trial and error to give a species moral fiber and, in some cases, backbone.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“Belief is one of the most powerful organic forces in the multiverse. It may not be able to move mountains, exactly. But it can create someone who can.

People get exactly the wrong idea about belief. They think it works back to front. They think the sequence is, first object, then belief. In fact, it works the other way.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“The landscape was snow and green ice on broken mountains. These weren't old mountains, worn down by time and weather and full of gentle ski slopes, but young, sulky, adolescent mountains. They held secret ravines and merciless crevices. One yodel out of place would attract, not the jolly echo of a lonely goatherd, but fifty tons of express-delivery snow.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“Inside every lump of coal there's a diamond waiting to get out.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“That's not fair, you know. If we knew when we were going to die, people would lead better lives."

IF PEOPLE KNEW WHEN THEY WERE GOING TO DIE, I THINK THEY PROBABLY WOULDN'T LIVE AT ALL.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“Was that what it was really like to be alive? The feeling of darkness dragging you forward?
How could they live with it? And yet they did, and even seemed to find enjoyment in it, when surely the only sensible course would be to despair. Amazing. To feel you were a tiny living thing, sandwiched between two cliffs of darkness. How could they stand to be alive?”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“He said that there was death and taxes, and taxes was worse, because at least death didn’t happen to you every year.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“Bill Door was impressed. Miss Flitworth could actually give the word "revenue", which had two vowels and one diphthong, all the peremptoriness of the word "scum.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“The reaper does not listen to the harvest.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“After a while the Senior Wrangler said, "Do you know, I read the other day that every atom in your body is changed every seven years? New ones keep getting attached and old ones keep on dropping off. It goes on all the time. Marvelous, really."

The Senior Wrangler could do to a conversation what it takes quite thick treacle to do to the pedals of a precision watch.

"Yes? What happens to the old ones?" said Ridcully, interested despite himself.

"Dunno. They just float around in the air, I suppose, until they get attached to someone else."

The Archchancellor looked affronted.

"What, even wizards?"

"Oh, yes. Everyone. It's part of the miracle of existence."

"Is it? Sounds like bad hygiene to me," said the Archchancellor. "I suppose there's no way of stopping it?"

"I shouldn't think so," said the Senior Wrangler, doubtfully. "I don't think you're supposed to stop miracles of existence."

"But that means everythin' is made up of everythin' else," said Ridcully.

"Yes. Isn't it amazing?”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“I REMEMBER WHEN ALL THIS WILL BE AGAIN.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“I'VE NEVER BEEN VERY SURE ABOUT WHAT IS RIGHT, said Bill Door. I AM NOT SURE THERE IS SUCH A THING AS RIGHT. OR WRONG. JUST PLACES TO STAND.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“Sergeant Colon of the Ankh-Morpork City Guard was on duty. He was guarding the Brass Bridge, the main link between Ankh and Morpork. From theft.

When it came to crime prevention, Sergeant Colon found it safest to think big.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“Belief sloshes around in the firmament like lumps of clay spiralling into a potter's wheel. That's how gods get created, for example. They clearly must be created by their own believers, because a brief resume of the lives of most gods suggests that their origins certainly couldn't be divine. They tend to do exactly the things people would do if only they could, especially when it comes to nymphs, golden showers, and the smiting of your enemies.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“There is a plain under a dim sky. It is covered with gentle rolling curves that might remind you of something else if you saw it from a long way away, and if you did see it from a long way away you'd be very glad that you were, in fact, a long way away.

Three gray figures floated just above it. Exactly what they were can't be described in normal language. Some people might call them cherubs, although there was nothing rosy-cheeked about them. They might be rumored among those who see to it that gravity operates and that time stays separate from space. Call them auditors. Auditors of reality.

They were in conversation without speaking. They didn't need to speak. They just changed reality so that they had spoken.

One said, It has never happened before. Can it be done?

One said, It will have to be done. There is a personality. Personalities come to an end. Only forces endure.

It said this with satisfaction.

One said, Besides... there have been irregularities. Where you get personality, you get irregularities. Well-known fact.

One said, He has worked inefficiently?

One said, No. We can't get him there.

One said, That is the point. The word is him. Becoming a personality is inefficient. We don't want it to spread. Supposing gravity developed a personality? Supposing it decided to like people?

One said, Got a crush on them, that sort of thing?

One said, in a voice that would have been even chillier if it was not already at absolute zero, No.

One said, Sorry. Just my little joke.

One said, Besides, sometimes he wonders about his job. Such speculation is dangerous.

One said, No argument there.

One said, Then we are agreed?

One, who seemed to have been thinking about something, said, Just one moment. Did you not just use the singular pronoun "my?" Not developing a personality, are you?

One said, guiltily, Who? Us?

One said, Where there is personality, there is discord.

One said, Yes. Yes. Very true.

One said, All right. But watch it in future.

One said, Then we are agreed?

They looked up at the face of Azrael, outlined against the sky. In fact, it was the sky.

Azrael nodded, slowly.

One said, Very well. Where is this place?

One said, It is the Discworld. It rides through space on the back of a giant turtle.

One said, Oh, one of that sort. I hate them.

One said, You're doing it again. You said "I."

One said, No! No! I didn't! I never said "I!"... oh, bugger...

It burst into flame and burned in the same way that a small cloud of vapor burns, quickly and with no residual mess. Almost immediately, another one appeared. It was identical in appearance to its vanished sibling.

One said, Let that be a lesson. To become a personality is to end. And now... let us go.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“I AM ALWAYS ALONE. BUT JUST NOW I WANT TO BE ALONE BY MYSELF.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
“He helped the Librarian up. There was a red glow in the ape's eyes. It had tried to steal his books. This was probably the best proof any wizard could require that the trolleys were brainless.”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

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