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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett 
10th-Dec-2006 11:49 pm
Mindless entertainment. Yep, that's the ticket...

Pratchett, Terry. Reaper Man. 1991. New York: HarperTorch, 2002.
          Summary: Discworld series #11. Death is told that he will die and tries his hand at farming. Meanwhile, the resulting buildup of life energy is causing chaos in Ankh-Morpork, where wizard Windle Poons discovers that he has become a zombie and must thwart a parasitic entity that lures humans out of the city and into an organic hive that bears a remarkable resemblance to a shopping mall. In the end, of course, all is restored to normal and Death is back in business.
          Comments: Okay, the "Who am I going to call?" ghost-busting riff was pretty funny, as was the star-crossed romance between Mrs. Cake's werewolf daughter Ludmilla and the reverse-werewolf Lupine. On the other hand, the snow globe to shopping cart to super mall life stages of the parasite was a bit...overboard, if I do say so myself. 'Course, this was written in the early 90's, when the mallrat was virtually a cultural icon. So perhaps Pratchett can be excused for that.
          Pratchett pretty much has a trademark on the chapter-less, ADHD narrative structure, yet I couldn't help but notice that this novel seemed to bounce about a bit less than usual; most of the action centered around Bill Door a.k.a. Death or Windle Poons. Naturally, focus is a plus in my book, so yours truly didn't develop as severe a case of attention deficit while reading this novel either. Plus, it DOES explain the origin of the Death of Rats, which, since finishing Hogfather, always had me wondering. Still, nothing about it really captured my imagination (Why's he making Death such a emotional weenie?), and I wouldn't exactly call it Pratchett's finest hour.
          Notes: mass market paperback, 11th printing
          Rating: 5/10 - Fans of the Discworld will want to read them all, of course, but you won't be missing much if you give this one a pass.
11th-Dec-2006 06:56 am (UTC)

Man, this was the first Discworld novel I ever read. I adored the Bill Door material, found the mall parasite subplot overly complicated and not especially funny (a little of the Unseen University staff goes a long way for me), and wasn't inspired to try any of the other Discworld books. Later, I read some of the other books in the series and became a raving addict. So, yeah, not a good starter volume.
1st-Jan-2007 06:16 am (UTC)
Review archived.
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