June 12th, 2019


Book 47

Mort (Death, #1; Discworld, #4)Mort by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think my problem with Discworld is how funny I'm told it is. Maybe my sense of humor is different. I wouldn't think so but I just don't find this stuff funny. Entertaining yes but I'm not really amused at all by it. That's where I was with this. I was entertained but didn't laugh once. Maybe I'm broken.

Mort is an easy character to love. He's a gangly teenager all elbows and knees and apparently with no aptitude for the family business. His uncle suggests to his father to apprentice him out as a way to be rid of him and at least give him a chance. So Dad takes him to get some new clothes (with like three legs or something, I guess that was the funny part?) and puts him in the crowd of wanna-be apprentices in the yearly free for all for such things. At midnight no one has chosen Mort but he refuses to give up until the clock strikes the hour.

That's when Death rides up and Mort has a new master. Of course Dad can't quite see Death as no one can and thinks Mort will be an undertaker (close enough, right?) Mort meets Death's servant, Albert and his daughter, Ysabell (adopted) and at first he's a little horrified that his master is just a walking skeleton but he's a quick study and soon Death throws him in the deep end to work on his own.

Things go terribly wrong. Mort doesn't want the evil duke to kill the lovely princess as he thinks it's love at first sight and he accidentally kills the duke's assassin but it doesn't work that way. Reality thinks Princess Keli is dead and people begin to forget her, except wizards and witches who can see what's happening. Mort's afraid to tell Death of course and from there reality begins to change.

With the help of Ysabell and Cutwell the wizard, Mort tries to fix his mistake but also let Keli live. Death, on the other hand, takes a holiday.

I did like the characters a lot and it's an imaginative fun read. I just didn't find it particularly funny. Also there are a few things in this that most people wouldn't have batted an eye at in the 80s when this was written but would be considered a bit racist today but those are few and far between.

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