‘Mort’ by Terry Pratchett

MORTThe Discworld Novels are no-doubt familiar ground for sci-fi and fantasy fans everywhere. I am late to the party. Whilst I devoured the witches books as a teenager, seeking out any story that contained pointed hats in between Harry Potter releases, I don’t think I fully appreciated what Terry Pratchett was about until quite recently.

His dry, often sarcastic and ironic humour, is not my native ground and it’s taken me a while to develop a taste for his work, but now that I have, I love it. Bit by bit, I’m trying to make my way through all the Discworld books, but even as I expand my Pratchett-knowledge, I still love the character of Death best of all. So, of course, when I picked up Mort and read the blurb, I knew I was going to love it from the off.

Mort is about Death’s apprentice, a young man named Mort who, after being assured that being dead is not a prerequisite of the job, joins the man of the great scythe to assist him in making sure people die good and proper.

It’s a rip-roaring, time-bending, reality-defying yarn, full of Pratchett’s signature long sentences, made-up adjectives and matchless humour. Unlike many of the Discworld books, however, it rips along at a really fast pace. I barely noticed reading it. It may have been in contrast to The Colour of Magic, which was the last Discworld book I read, and which I found quite hard going for a Pratchett, but this book just melted in the brain like butter.

If you like a Discworld story and you haven’t read this yet, I thoroughly recommend it. If you haven’t read any Discworld yet, this is actually a good doorway in. If you haven’t read any Pratchett at all, what have you been doing with your life?!

Mort was first published by Gollancz in 1987 and Corgi Books in 1988. It is available in eBook, Paperback and Audio formats via various retailers listed on the author’s website