Monday, February 23, 2009

Book Review..Mort.

Mort .Terry Pratchett.Corgi Books.1987.315 pages.

As with William Gibson,I was aware of Terry Pratchett and his Discworld novels but never heard or read any of them.
Once again thanks to the BBC Comedy 7 channel I was able to listen to a few of the abridged Discworld novels last month.There was a short Terry Pratchett season during which Mort,Wyrd Sisters,Guards!Guards! and Small Gods were read.
I found Mort a very entertaining listen and bought the book after the readings finished.As I expected the book has more detail,twists and turns than time allowed for on the radio.
The story centers on Mort,a young farm lad,who becomes Death's apprentice.There are lots of bad jokes,adventures and fun with the English language.As an example you only have to look at the boys name to see he's eminently suited to such work.Matters such as death and reincarnation were lightly touched on leaving me to ponder about them later.
I also enjoyed the Wyrd Sisters,Guards!Guards! and Small Gods readings.The "Guards" readings were usually prefaced with the announcement that listeners should be aware of the "fruity" language in the episode to follow.Not really fruity more bawdy and hardly offensive given what one hears on the streets or reads.
I found the Small Gods story a little deeper than the Wryd Sisters,(a nod to Shakespeares witches)with its story underpinned by an examination of religious issues such as the need for gods,faith and religion.
While all the DiscWorld books can be read as stand-alone,independent books there is a sequence in which the books can be read.Thus Mort is the start of one series,Guards!Guards! another and the Wryd Sisters and Small Gods likewise parts of other series which sometimes overlap or run parallel with the other books.
The easiest way to work out how you want to approach the books is to google and search for one of the numerous pages and guides such as the following link below..

So if you like fantasy writing that doesnt at times seem that far from reality with a mix of intelligent,thoughtful irony then Id recommend the Discworld series.

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