I have purchased more than half of the Discworld books by now, but I haven’t read any in a long while, because of a continued failure to find the actual next one. Then, last month, I finally did, which means books and books stretch before me before I need to have found the next missing link. Which is nice. I like it when little stresses disappear. I mean, it shouldn’t be a stressor at all, except that I wanted to read the books. So, then.
Also good is the book itself, Mort. For one thing, it is unquestionably funnier than its predecessors, relying a lot more heavily on situational humor rather than bits of random oddness. The random oddness is there, as it should be; it just isn’t the centerpiece. Also and perhaps due to the same root cause, the story is a bit deeper than at least the first two, if not necessarily Equal Rites. In Mort, our titular hero takes a most unusual apprenticeship and learns that even the least common of jobs can have their ups and downs.
Okay, that was trite even for cover-copy, much less a review. It’s like this. Death (the anthropomorphic personification, thin fellow, carries a scythe) opts to take on an apprentice, pass on the trade as it were. Mort learns the importance of the job that might one day be his, Death learns the importance of a vacation, and the reader learns, at excruciating repetition, the way that light and dark work on the Disc. But really, other than that (which I’m sensitive to after the last Anita Blake book), this was a fun, breezy book. The breeziest examination of causality and predestination I’ve ever read, in fact.