Mort by Terry Pratchett
This is a book which centres around one of my favourite Pratchett characters – DEATH. I’ve been a DEATH fan ever since I read Good Omens. In this book He decides He needs an apprentice and indentures the appropriately named Mort. And what can be said of Mort? 16, a gangly, awkward teenager. Though his family love him, they have given up all hope of him ever being truly useful. Let’s just leave it there shall we.
One of my favourite setting descriptions is early on in the novel: “…Ankh-Morpork is as full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colourful as a bruise and as full of activity, industry, bustle and sheet exuberant busyness as a dead dog on a termite mound.”
This gives you a flavour of what follows. Mort stumbles through his first solo assignments and causes the havoc we expect him to. And naturally, his actions are totally devoid of common sense, no doubt prompted by his hormones and that most irrational emotion of them all – love.
DEATH meanwhile is behaving in a very strange way – well, stranger than Death would be expected to behave. What could be prompting all this? Unfortunately none of this is really made clear. There are hints of possible reasons for DEATH’s behaviour. I found the end of the book unsatisfactory and a little confusing. Perhaps further books in the series will clear up the confusion. All in all, not one of my favourite Pratchetts. I’m interested to see what Sourcery, the next book in the Disc World series, has to offer.