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By Jonas on 06-16-04
Best so far
So while not a DIEHARD discworld fan, I do enjoy Pratchett's work and this was my fourth in the series but by far the best one so far! Each one is pretty free standing and while The Color of Magic is the first one written, no one says you HAVE to start with that one...Start with MORT and you'll for sure read more of them!!!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Stephanie L. Thompson on 12-20-14
Did You Ever Wonder How Death Got a Granddaughter?
I'll start by saying that earlier Discworld novels are not as polished or as brilliant as the later works, but they are nevertheless essential for grasping the full storyline of the Discworld and its many extremely colorful inhabitants. Death is, in my mind, one of the most entertaining inhabitants, which makes a story about him taking on an apprentice tremendously appealing. The only slight downside (downside is a bit too strong of a word, actually) is that Death didn't really reach his zenith as a character until later in the series, so what you see here is a character not nearly as fantastic as in Hogfather, for instance. However, this story helps one to understand and appreciate Death better when encountered later and also helps to explain Susan more (she's not in this novel, but you learn some valuable backstory here). It's also good backstory if you were ever curious about Death's servant, Alfred. Also, it is still a really, really funny novel.
My personal feeling is that in the earlier novels, Pratchett tends to be more silly and whimsical, and was still developing as a storyteller. In the later novels -- I'd say after about 10 or so -- he truly became the master that we know his as now. So in this novel, you won't see as many of those artistic flourishes of unexpected depth/social commentary that you see in later Discworld stories, but you will see hints of them. If you like the sillier humor from stories like The Light Fantastic, you'll probably enjoy Mort more than you would some of the later works. If you just plain love Pratchett at any stage, than you'll be utterly delighted with Mort.
The main story concerns Death taking on an awkward young apprentice named Mort. Mort is eager to please, but can't quite make sense of his new master; additionally, Death's adopted daughter Isabelle doesn't seem to get on well with Mort (despite her father's not-so-subtle nudges). Death, as you will well know if you read other Discworld novels, has a habit of trying too hard to understand humanity, and in this particular story, he quite humorously wants to understand the concept of "fun" (he's dealing with a bit of burn-out from work). With Death off trying to have fun, Mort gets left in charge perhaps a little too soon . . . and from there everything dissolves into typical Discworld madness and hilarity.
I like Nigel Planer's narration, although I don't think he quite hits the right voice for Death, which is why I have to give four stars instead of five. I also feel like Planer never does as well with female voices as Briggs does. That said, I still laughed plenty as I listened, and I definitely am happy with this purchase on the whole.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful