I’ve been aware of Terry Pratchett for quite a long time. I’m a big fan of Neil Gaiman, both his novels, and his now classic “Sandman” comic book series. He wrote Good Omens in collaboration with Pratchett, and it has been my go-to book to read whenever I’m feeling down. I love that book. Also, I’ve heard many people praise Terry Pratchett in the past, but until very recently, I kind of avoided him, since I’ve found that I mostly dislike fantasy (with the exception of a few occasional Urban Fantasy novels).
Anyway, I’m glad to say that I recently dove into Pratchett’s Discworld series, and so far I’m enjoying it quite a bit. Most recently, I finished reading Reaper Man, book #11 in that series. The premise is that Death has been asked to step down from his position, and that he will be replaced. So Death decides to see what it’s like to live. He rents a room with a farm widow, and helps her out with her ‘reaping’ and other chores. In the mean time, with no ‘Death’ to take care of all of the people dying, things start to go a bit askew on the Discworld.
Death is a character who’s appeared in most of the previous Discworld novels. One previous novel also featured him (Mort), but mostly he simply shows up and is always quite funny, sometimes darkly so. In this novel, we start to gain an understanding of his desires and dreams and so on. We see him as a person, instead of as his office. And I really enjoyed him in this novel.
I also really loved the character of Windle Poons, an old Wizard who dies, but because there is no Death at the moment to escort him to his next destination, he becomes a sort-of zombie. Poons also appeared in a previous novel, but in this one, he really stands out.
I really enjoyed this novel. But I recommend that you start at the beginning — the Discworld series as a whole is quite fun and if you haven’t discovered it yet, you don’t know what you are missing.