At the end of last year I started to work my way through, from the beginning, books from the epic Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, which between us my father and I own. With the sad passing of Sir Terry in March I thought it would be fitting in April to pick up Mort; the fourth published Discworld novel.
In Mort we return to Pratchett’s magic, weird and fantastical Discworld, to a farm just below the Ramtop Mountains. Where a boy is madly running through a field trying, ineffectually, to scare away birds. Mort tries hard but he is, well, pretty useless. So think his uncle and father too as they plan to apprentice him off. Surely someone could train him or be fool enough to try. In steps Death with an unusual job offer and when Mort is reassured that being dead or skeletal is not compulsory he accepts. New clothes, three hot square meals a day, and perhaps the oddest, on-the-job training are to be Mort’s new life.
I have always loved Pratchett’s dark humoured and cat loving character Death, who pops up regularly in other Discworld novels. This is the first time I’ve read a novel where he has been a main part though. Death is having something of a mid-life crisis and so wanting some time off decides to train up Mort to take some of the load. As I said though Mort is pretty useless. When allowed out on his own for the first time his teenage crush fuelled, rash decision is to end, funnily for us, but disastrously for the time line continuum, Death, and the small kingdom of Sto Lat. Mort is the main protagonist and while I think he is an interesting vehicle for change and chaos. I sadly didn’t grow particularly fond of him. Unlike Death who love even more now!
Terry Pratchett is a well loved author of mine and I was very sad to hear of his passing. To me the best way to do him tribute is to read and share all his wonderful books. Mort is the sixth Discworld novel I have read although I haven’t read them in any particular order before. I don’t believe this is a series you necessarily have to read in order. The stories often follow various different characters. While I already knew Death. Mort, Death’s adopted daughter, and the inhabitants of Sto Lat were all new characters for me. Mort is a relatively short, funny, fantastical, and simple adventure to follow. My grandmother always said Mort was her favourite Discworld novel. She always remembered fondly Death falling over and uttering ‘Oh, bugger’. So I am really pleased to have finally read it. I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be amazed and amused by Pratchett’s wonderful imagination.
Mort is a darkly funny Discworld adventure. I highly recommend to those who enjoy fantasy and comedy. I am looking forward to reading more adventures in Pratchett’s Discworld. Good read.
Have you read this? Or other Discworld adventures?