Book Review: Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

March 16, 2018 Guilty Pleasures, Terry Pratchett 6


The Auditors are auditing DEATH!

Technically speaking, this is only book two for Death. He shows up quite often in various books, and actually I think I finally put together why this happened at all.

First of all, the Auditors are just what they sound like, except instead of auditing your taxes, they audit life. They have never liked how DEATH has a personality. He’s grown throughout the years and they think this personality is interfering with his duty as the ferrier to the afterlife.

In Moving Pictures, at the end there is a death. I don’t want to spoil it, but I will say, DEATH interferes with that death. The balance of the universe is supposed to be predicated on the fact that even interfering with one life can turn the universe upside down. The fact that DEATH does this creates even more reason for the Auditors to hate him.

So, they do what they do best, make his life messy.

This entire book, which seems like it’s on the shorter side for Terry Pratchett, but maybe that’s because I just freaking love this story, shows all the sides of DEATH as a personality. As a person! He lives out his time on the Discworld with what little time he has left.

But the real problem comes when there is no more death, while the Auditors find a suitable replacement. This is where the real hilarity comes in. There are so many characters in this from Ankh Morpork! The wizards from Unseen University, Mrs. Cake, and a small town where DEATH decides to live out his final days.

The growth of the characters in this particular story, is amazing and I think this is right around where I really started to love everything about the Discworld. The characters are fabulous, but more so, they are detailed. There are many of them, which is why it is so great that this series is long, but also divided by those specific characters.

It is mainly about DEATH and how he deals with mortality, but it is also about living life. In Terry Pratchett’s satirical way, he turns everything on its head, yet again, and makes me look at the world I’m on, and the life I’m living, differently. And more importantly, he just makes me laugh!

About Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 39 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). In 2008, Harper Children's published Terry's standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation. Terry's latest book, Snuff, was published in October 2011.

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 45 million copies (give or take a few) and have been translated into 33 languages.

In Dec. of 2007, Pratchett admitted to being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. On 18 Feb, 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010.


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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

6 Responses to “Book Review: Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett”

    • Christina

      That is so great. I can see why you fell in love, being a major fan myself. What a great book to start a journey with Pratchett!

    • Christina

      I’m still a little worried that I’m getting your hopes up, but honestly, DEATH is such a character! He also randomly shows up in other books that have nothing to do with him, which is even better. In the first few books he’s not as developed but it is also like he’s feeling his way along. I love when he shows up because he almost always has one liners or is freaked out about having to play Monopoly (although Terry Pratchett doesn’t call it Monopoly).

  1. chucklesthescot

    I so much wanted to love the Discworld series but I just never took to them for some reason. The books are well written and everything but just weren’t my thing.

    • Christina

      I did not think they would be my thing either and here I am nearly 15 years later, still reading them, still loving them. They are different though!

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