Reaper Man

Terry Pratchett
Reaper Man Cover

Reaper Man


Even the best thing can get old after a time. I absolutely love the Zombie Genre, but after reading it almost solidly for the last couple years, I felt I had reached my saturation point. I decided to break off and read some of the other novels piling up on my "to read" list. (Which at last count was hovering somewhere around 400 novels, hey lack of ambition was never one of my faults!)That is where Terry Pratchett's Reaper Man comes in. This is the 11th novel in the "Discworld "Series and is considered the 2nd in Mr. Pratchett's "Death" series, stories of the Discworld where Death is the main character.

In this installment, Death has been "put out to pasture." He is being retired because his "bosses" the "Auditors" have decided he has gotten too much personality, and is not the right "man" for the job anymore. Death is now forced to live in human realm, while a new "Death" is found. In the meantime, no one is collecting the souls that die. Because of this, there is an overabundance of "life" floating around the Discworld and it is settling in the most inconvenient places.

One such soul who has dies is Windle Poon. He is a wizard and was looking forward to death and reincarnation, but when he dies and Death is not there to collect his soul he decides to hop back into his body and become technically "Undead." That's right. The first novel I chose to read after deciding to give the zombies a break has a zombie as its main character. Of course Windle Poon is not your average zombie. He is not a shambling, unthinking thing, but is engaging and charming.

As usual, the best parts of Reaper Man are the scenes of dry wit that Terry Pratchett is famous for. Death, by being forced to live among the humans is exposed as even more appealing. Watching him try and navigate the pitfalls of being human is definitely the highlight of the book.

Unfortunately, we see nothing of Mort or Deaths daughter, who were major parts of the last novel. Having already read Hogfather I know that there is a granddaughter in the future, but no word yet, maybe in the next novel.