Mini-Review: “Mort” by Terry Pratchett

Mini-Review: “Mort” by Terry PratchettMort by Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #4, Death #1
Published: February 6th 2001 by HarperTorch
Genres: Humor, Fantasy
Pages: 243
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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I’d been meaning to read one of Sir Terry Pratchett’s books for years now, and had never gotten around to it.  Thankfully, my book club gave me the perfect opportunity.  (Also, when I drink tequila, sometimes I start book clubs.  That’s how my life works.)

Mort is a lighthearted fantasy novel about a kid (named Mort, obviously) who fails at life, so ends up becoming apprenticed to Death.  Meanwhile, Death is in the middle of his own midlife (middeath?) crisis, and so he gives Mort increasing responsibility.  On his first night ushering souls to the next life, Mort screws up because he sees a hot chick and decides he can’t let her die.  Of course, this causes a spacetime paradox, because the princess is supposed to be dead.  And as Mort tries to fix his mistake, he ends up increasingly screwing things up.

While the novel was enjoyable to read and the premise was amusing, I found that there were a lot of plot holes in the book, especially near the ending, and I found the overall story to be weak.  The pacing felt rushed, and it seemed as if it could have used an extra pass from the editor to fine-tune the plot and make the story more cohesive.

That said, I give tons of credit to whomever was responsible for the typesetting in this book.  It’s brilliant.  Death speaks in all caps, but it’s done in such a way that it doesn’t feel like he’s shouting at me.  BUT THIS TOTALLY MAKES IT SEEM LIKE I’M SHOUTING, RATHER THAN AN OTHERWORLDLY BEING.  So mad props for getting that right.

I’m glad that I read Mort, and that I finally got a chance to jump into Discworld.  I’m not sure that I’ll be returning there, because there are a lot of other books and authors that I appreciate more.

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2 comments

  1. I don’t really remember much about Mort, sadly. Not beyond the fact that it isn’t anywhere near being a favourite. :/ If memory serves, Pratchett’s starting to find his stride in the series around the publication of Mort, but it’s still in those stages of shifting from pure fantasy parody to the social satire he’s so beloved for. It took me forever to find a book of his I liked. I’m nothing if not stubborn!