Monday, August 3, 2020


Image credit: Kobo
Taking a step backwards from the dramatic, ethical, and eerily mysterious, this week I have decided to take the plunge and have another crack at Terry Pratchett. My previous reading experiences with his novels have been… interesting, but I have to confess that it’s only now that I’ve seen cinematic adaptations of his books that I think I can actually read the books and –not only enjoy- but really appreciate them. This week, I started with Mort.

Mort tells the story of an exceptionally unimpressive youngster named Mortimer (Mort for short) and how he somehow gets a jobs working as Death’s apprentice. Suddenly finding himself working with the complex phenomena of life, death, time, history, future, and the multiverse, Mort has a slight hiccup when he’s sent to do the Duty on his own for the first and he becomes enamoured with a princess destined to die and prevents death from occurring. In doing so he creates a great gash in reality and prevents future history from taking its destined course. As time and reality rapidly mend themselves around him, Mort realises that maybe he’s not cut out for the job.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. There’s a certain way to read Terry Pratchett novels and now that I know how to, I feel that I am getting a lot more of the humour and wonder out of them. Pratchett’s intriguing way of having multiple narratives run parallel with each other –before violently converging- is something that you don’t read every day and while it can be challenging for a spell, it ends up being hugely rewarding. I also really admire his non-linear style, his lack of chapters, and the nonchalant way in which he explains the inner workings of the Discworld (where his novels are set).

Image credit: The Long Earth Wiki Fandom
Most refreshingly, Mort is definitely character driven, rather than narrative driven and that brings an extra level of enjoyment to the reading experience, as there’s no real way to predict what’s going to happen next. Absolutely nothing is a cliché in these books, even the clichés!
The characters themselves (including the omniscient narrator) are all these wonderfully vibrant and funny creations, completely original and delightful. As a standalone novel, I would highly recommend Mort to those who are trying to get into Terry Pratchett, it’s a delightful read.

Author: Terry Pratchett, 1987

Published: Originally published in Great Britain by Victor Gollancz Ltd in association with Colin Smyth Ltd in 1987. Corgi edition published in 1988.

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