Reaper Man (Discworld #11)

By Terry Pratchett

Rating: 5 stars

Death has been fired (although allowed to keep the horse). This leads to some, er, inconvenience. Windle Poons is a wizard who was supposed to die, but finds himself at a loss so ends up back in his body, not quite dead, but not quite alive. You might say, un-dead. He tries to figure out what’s going on, while somewhere in the Ramtop mountains, Death learns about living.

I love this book. It’s an old favourite although I haven’t read it for several years now. Coming back to it, it’s still fresh and enjoyable as the first time I read it. It’s still laugh out loud funny, but also introspective, as Death (as Bill Door [and the scene where he realises that he needs a name and tries to find out is hilarious]) learns about the people that before he had only regarded as ‘the harvest’. And his speech to Azrael still tugs at my heartstrings. The speech ending with the quote ‘LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?’ puts a lump in my throat every time.

While Bill Door’s story is touching, that of Windle and the wizards over in Ankh-Morpork is downright hilarious. The wizards always provide great fun, and Windle and his merry band of undead is a great group that I wish we’d seen more of (although Reg Shoe pops up in more than one book later one).

And, of course, this is the book that introduces us to the Grim Squeaker: the Death of Rats, the most adorable creature to ever wield a scythe.

Warm-hearted, hilarious and thought provoking. This is Pratchett at his finest.

Book details

ISBN: 9780552134644
Publisher: Corgi Books
Year of publication: 1991

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