Pratchett, Terry: (11) Reaper Man

Next in the Discworld re-read, Reaper Man. I have the impression that a lot of people think very highly of this one, but it was never on the list of my favorites and I couldn’t remember why until this re-read: like Becca, I completely forgot that there’s a part of the book that isn’t Death-as-farmhand. And while the plot that starts with the snow globes appearing out of nowhere has some good bits, like this bit of dialogue late:

“Tell me,” Ludmilla whispered to Ridcully, “is this how wizards usually behave?”

“The Senior Wrangler is an amazingly fine example,” said Ridcully. “Got the same urgent grasp of reality as a cardboard cutout. Proud to have him on the team.”

it’s still a really weird fit with the rest of the book. (For the record, though, it is kind of another “invading pop culture” story, as I was asking about last time. And this may be the book that actually breaks the Bursar.) As discussed over in comments to Becca’s post, it mostly feels like trial runs for later Ankh-Morpork stories.

However, the Death bits are really lovely and put this in mid-to-upper Discworld for me. Even if the introduction of the Auditors (who I didn’t remember appearing this early) does include this unfortunate line: “They might be numbered among those who see to it that gravity operates and that time stays separate from space.” Whoops. (And hey, if you want to learn more about why you can’t do both of those at once, Chad’s book on relativity is coming out in a month!)

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