Reaper Man

Reaper Man

Paperback - 1992
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'Death has to happen. Tha'ts what bein' alive is all about. You're alive, and then you're dead. It can't just stop happening.'

But it can. And it has. So what happens after death is now less of a philosophical question than a question of actual reality. On the disc, as here, they need Death. 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...

Publisher: London, Eng. : Corgi Books, 1992.
ISBN: 9780552152952
Characteristics: 350 pages ;,20 cm.


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May 17, 2019

I loved this take on the "life" of Death; having accidentally been given a vacation, Death decides to try the quiet life of farming. His absence causes multiple problems, the biggest of which is a build-up of life. Which has to manifest somewhere, as something, eventually.

cysmc Apr 27, 2018

What a great read- classic Pratchett! I caught myself laughing out loud several times. Loved Bill Door's story, it was sweet and funny and much more memorable than Windle Poon's!

Dec 06, 2016

my first Discworld book, so glad I found Pratchett...great, funny serious read,
Looking forward to more Discworld

Jul 25, 2016

Only Pratchett could come up with a world in which the parasitic lifeform of a mall uses snow globes to hatch shopping carts. And then combine that story arc with one humanizing DEATH. You got to love a mins that created that way.

Feb 04, 2014

I'm rereading this and I had forgotten how sweet Bill Door is. It's cute, even if it's about Death being laid off. And a zombie Wizard, who is pretty funny.

forbesrachel Aug 31, 2013

The musings of the shortest lived species, longest, and the wizard Windle Poons, all of which reflect on their ideal pasts, is the perfect preamble to a shocking revelation, they can't die. Not in the truest sense anyway. Death, the most memorable Discworld character, is missing. The nature of the undead is scrutinized this time in Pratchett's usual humourous manner. Unlike most interpretations of zombies, these ones retain their intelligence, have to manually control all functions of their bodies, and in the case of Windle, actually seek their death. Instead of sticking to one aspect of the horror genre, different parts are included and commented on. The help group for monsters has a reluctant vampire (he explains all the disadvantages), a banshee with a speech impediment, and more along those lines. As Pratchett writes more books, more of his characters become established over the series. This continuity of the world, creates a better sense of history. Ridcully and Windle, as well as the other wizards were introduced in Moving Pictures, and now find themselves at the centre of the apocalypse caused by an abundance of life. The wizards are too happy to try and get rid of Windle, who mistakenly takes it that they are doing him a kindness, rather than getting rid of an annoyance. They try out every tried and true undead slaying technique, in their humourous way, to no avail. Their ineffectual attempts to right things continue throughout. They are the ones that are supposed to keep the natural order working, but in one of his most clever twists, the author makes the dead, and Death fix the matter of overflowing life. As for errant Death, in a great bit of irony, he is learning about death because he has been given time and is learning about life. Added to this are new characters like Mrs. Cake, a spiritual medium, whose spirit guide is one of the more interesting additions to the universe, One-Man-Bucket. Also there is Miss Flitworth, who becomes integral to Death's lessons. These characters are not part of one story, but two parallel ones that just happen to interact at points. The Death story leads to the start of everything that happens in the Windle Poons story, but for the most part are separate. They are meant to be taken as reflecting stories though, for both learn about life and death in their own ways. These are part of the general dichotomy the book makes: two stories, life and death, gaining time and losing time, the two meanings of reap, etc. Certain elements are set up well in advance, and seem to have no relevance to the story, except we know they must. The dance, the floating objects, and the snowglobes are all explained with the Discworld's usual illogical logic. One last note is about the title, which is more cleverly named than normal. It not only refers to death, but to the act of reaping hay.

Jul 22, 2013

What happens when Death starts to yearn for life? The pathos of the Grim Reaper trying to be human has hilarious consequences and results in zombies like you've never imagined them, breeding cities, and the Death of Rats. The Great Beyond becomes quite appealing, given the alternative.

I love Terry Pratchett's discworld books. They are funny, but you can take them seriously at the same time.


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Jul 25, 2016

"Bill Door was impressed. Miss Flitworth could actually give the word "revenue", which had two vowels and one diphthong, all the peremptoriness of the word "scum." "

Jul 25, 2016

"If per capita was a problem, decapita could be arranged."

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