“‘Death has to happen. That’s what being’ alive is all about. You’re alive, and then you’re dead. It can’t stop happening.’
But it can. And it has. Death is missing – presumed … er … gone (and on a little farm far, far away, a tall dark stranger is turning out to be really good with a scythe). Which leads to the kid of chaos you always get when an important public service is withdrawn. If Death doesn’t come for you, then what are you supposed to do in the meantime? You can’t have the undead wandering about like lost souls. There’s no telling what might happen, particularly when they discover that life really is only for the living …”
I finally, finally, FINALLY finished Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett at around 4am this morning.
I made myself promise that I wasn’t allowed to sleep until I’d finished the book because if I hadn’t, it’s safe to say I never would have finished.
Where do I start?
Let’s start with the back of the book, that’s always a good place.
I love the synopsis for this “Death is missing – presumed … er … gone”. I love the concept! What happens when Death takes a holiday? All hell breaks loose, it sounds fun, amusing, intriguing and exciting.
However, I struggle through this book.
Over the years I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Terry Pratchett, and this is the first book I’ve read by him. I wonder if I should have started from the first Discworld book however, a friend of mine bought it for me and assured me that you can jump right in with no prior knowledge of the previous in the series.
Assuming the world-building takes place in those first books, by the 11th a fan is already familiar with it and so they can jump straight in.
I massively enjoyed the scenes with Death, I loved his character and his reasonings for doing what he did. Also, I loved watching him learn about humans and about life itself, how difficult it is to truly give up. I enjoyed his engagement with other characters throughout, especially Death of Rats and Death of Fleas.
What I didn’t enjoy as much was the other aspect of this book, which were the scenes with Windle Poons and the other university staff. I really enjoyed the characters themselves, for the most part. They’re quirky and strange and in some places made me laugh.
However, in my opinion their, story was slightly all over the place (much like this review, probably). I don’t think it was to do with the characters, they all seemed fleshed out with their own distinct personality. The plot on the other hand, I’m still attempting to wrap my head around.
I enjoyed the idea that an increase in souls, stuck in between planes, would increase energy and thus cause chaos. What I didn’t understand was the trolleys.
I never want to read the word trolley again.
One part I did enjoy with Windle Poons was his interaction with Mrs Cake. I found her character very amusing, and her ability to project what the other person says 10 seconds before they say it made me smile. That whole scene was great to read.
On the whole though, there was too much about this that I couldn’t get on board with and, honestly didn’t make a lot of sense.
Something else I didn’t like was that there were no chapters. I prefer reading chapter to chapter and having a definite stop to take in everything I’ve just read. No chapters really didn’t allow for that. If there was a chapter for each POV change, I think that would have helped a lot as well.
Let me know what you think of this book! I really wanted to enjoy it, the idea as a whole is very unique and something that I should have loved. Perhaps it’s me or perhaps I should start from the first Discworld book to really get a feel for the world and the writing.
For the HolidayAdventure-a-Thon I read 257 pages and finished my first book. I need to get a wriggle on!