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Reaper Man: 03/07/21

Reaper Man

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett is the eleventh Discworld book and the second one featuring Death. Out beyond the veil of the universe the Auditors have decided Death has taken on too much personality. Death should be an efficient force of nature and nothing more.

Death, realizing his number is almost up, decides to leave home and live what little life he has left. He heads for the country side and takes on the life of a farm hand.

As this is an early Discworld book it lacks the formatting of the later ones. Namely, it has no chapters. Instead it's a series of connected scenes and gags.

While the main story is that of Death working under an assumed name at a farm, there's also a secondary plot involving a wizard at Unseen University who should have died but can't because of Death's absence. In any story where Death is gone, there's always on of these subplots. He, though, is the only un-dead character I've seen who actively tries to kill himself repeatedly to finish the job.

On a side note, there are other scenes involving death — really more gag scenarios than full scenes — that I clearly remember even though I've never read Reaper Man. I think, but I'm not one hundred percent certain, that these scenes were used as filler in the Soul Music, seven episode series from 1997. I don't recall them being in the original book.

Four stars

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