Mort by Terry Pratchett, Review by Corinne Donnelly
Death is often a touchy subject. In Terry Pratchett’s Mort, Death is alive and kicking…sort of. Well, more like a hilarious anthropomorphic personification. When main character Mort, short for Mortimer, begins his search for an apprenticeship, Death tucks him under his wing, or should I say cloak? A motley group of outcasts bring the first book in Discworld’s DEATH series to life.
Magic and normality collide in a fantastical setting where a young boy learns the art of soul-taking, and Death takes a much desired vacation. Throw in a murder, a strong-willed princess in peril, Death’s adopted daughter, and a mysterious butler, and you get a fascinating state of affairs.
Mort represents the typical young person. He does not yet have confidence in himself, and he feels lost in the world. His search for meaning and passion mimics the plight of everyone entering the often confusing world of employment. Death, on the other hand, has the opposite problem. He has spent so many years doing the job required of him that he has lost sight of himself. Mort’s assistance provides him with the time to explore other avenues of interest, most notably, human emotion.
Pratchett’s astounding sense of imagination never fails to disappoint. While massive, the world he created does not require the reader to enjoy his novels in any particular order. If you have not read any of the forty-one Discworld books, a treasure trove of gorgeous writing, multi-faceted characters, and engaging situations await you. Mort may be the best place to start. What are you waiting for?