Reaper Man (Discworld Series #11)

( 94 )

Overview

Already a #1 bestselling author in England, Pratchett now gives his U.S. fans another taste of his tremendous talent in this fast-paced novel about the dark and mysterious man we call Death. When Death begins to question the P's and Q's of his job, he is officially retired, which leads to the kind of chaos that always ensues when a public service is withdrawn.
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Reaper Man (Discworld Series #11)

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Overview

Already a #1 bestselling author in England, Pratchett now gives his U.S. fans another taste of his tremendous talent in this fast-paced novel about the dark and mysterious man we call Death. When Death begins to question the P's and Q's of his job, he is officially retired, which leads to the kind of chaos that always ensues when a public service is withdrawn.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061020629
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Series: Discworld Series , #11
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 543,488
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.76 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is one of the world's most popular authors. His acclaimed novels are bestsellers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. In January 2009, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Pratchett a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry lives in England.

Biography

Welcome to a magical world populated by the usual fantasy fare: elves and ogres, wizards and witches, dwarves and trolls. But wait—is that witch wielding a frying pan rather than a broomstick? Has that wizard just clumsily tumbled off the edge of the world? And what is with the dwarf they call Carrot, who just so happens to stand six-foot six-inches tall? Why, this is not the usual fantasy fare at all—this is Terry Pratchett's delightfully twisted Discworld!

Beloved British writer Pratchett first jump-started his career while working as a journalist for Bucks Free Press during the '60s. As luck would have it, one of his assignments was an interview with Peter Bander van Duren, a representative of a small press called Colin Smythe Limited. Pratchett took advantage of his meeting with Bander van Duren to pitch a weird story about a battle set in the pile of a frayed carpet. Bander van Duren bit, and in 1971 Pratchett's very first novel, The Carpet People, was published, setting the tone for a career characterized by wacky flights of fancy and sly humor.

Pratchett's take on fantasy fiction is quite unlike that of anyone else working in the genre. The kinds of sword-and-dragon tales popularized by fellow Brits like J.R.R. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis have traditionally been characterized by their extreme self-seriousness. However, Pratchett has retooled Middle Earth and Narnia with gleeful goofiness, using his Discworld as a means to poke fun at fantasy. As Pratchett explained to Locus Magazine, "Discworld started as an antidote to bad fantasy, because there was a big explosion of fantasy in the late '70s, an awful lot of it was highly derivative, and people weren't bringing new things to it."

In 1983, Pratchett unveiled Discworld with The Color of Magic. Since then, he has added installments to the absurdly hilarious saga at the average rate of one book per year. Influenced by moderately current affairs, he has often used the series to subtly satirize aspects of the real world; the results have inspired critics to rapturous praise. ("The most breathtaking display of comic invention since PG Wodehouse," raved The Times of London.) He occasionally ventures outside the series with standalone novels like the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, a sci fi adventure sequence for young readers, or Good Omens, his bestselling collaboration with graphic novelist Neil Gaiman.

Sadly, in 2008 fans received the devastating news that Pratchett had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. He has described his own reaction as "fairly philosophical" and says he plans to continue writing so long as he is able.

Good To Know

Pratchett's bestselling young adult novel Only You Can Save Mankind was adapted for the British stage as a critically acclaimed musical in 2004.

Discworld is not just the subject of a bestselling series of novels. It has also inspired a series of computer games in which players play the role of the hapless wizard Rincewind.

A few fun outtakes from our interview with Pratchett:

"I became a journalist at 17. A few hours later I saw my first dead body, which was somewhat…colourful. That's when I learned you can go on throwing up after you run out of things to throw up."

"The only superstition I have is that I must start a new book on the same day that I finish the last one, even if it's just a few notes in a file. I dread not having work in progress.

"I grow as many of our vegetables as I can, because my granddad was a professional gardener and it's in the blood. Grew really good chilies this year.

"I'm not really good at fun-to-know, human interest stuff. We're not ‘celebrities', whose life itself is a performance. Good or bad or ugly, we are our words. They're what people meet.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Terence David John Pratchett
    2. Hometown:
      Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 28, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
    1. Education:
      Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 94 )
Rating Distribution

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(71)

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(19)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 95 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    love the way Pratchett gives you the a view of reality with a to

    love the way Pratchett gives you the a view of reality with a touch of humor... well lots of humor...well laugh out loud humor

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  • Posted July 27, 2013

    Absolutely hysterical. A must read for fans of comedic fantasy.

    Absolutely hysterical. A must read for fans of comedic fantasy.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Read it!

    A very funny edition to discworld "Death" seris I read it in 1 day~
    the undead and living are are uniquely portraied..Thank You Terry Pratchett
    you are better than a bubble bath~

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Formatting problems

    Great book. Great series. My only complaints are about the formatting of the ebook. There's a weird issue with Death's dialoge where none of the letters seem to change in font size except the first letters of each word. There also some places where a line break will separate the first letter from the rest of the word. Footnotes are handled poorly. They're all clumped together on a few pages with no indication of which is connected to the passage you were just reading. This strange considering that in other Discworld ebooks they actually do give each footnote a separate page.

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    This was a great read! When I read Mort, I was disappointed that there wasn't more of an emphasis on Death, so I was very pleased that this novel focused more on him. At times, I was a little lost by certain events taking place because it wasn't explained until towards the end of the book, which I found a bit frustrating. Other than that, it was excellent! All of the characters were great and quirky in their own individual ways. I thought the ending was perfect!

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another Winner

    I don't think you can go wrong when buying Terry Pratchett. All of his works are amazing, funny yet thought-provoking, irreverent yet timeless. I have to admit though, that this book was even more enjoyable than usual for me as it focused upon the character Death, a favorite of mine as Hogfather was my first Pratchett. Read and enjoy!

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  • Posted October 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Death tries his hand at anything but death.

    Death stops taking lives in Discworld, and tries other jobs such as working on a farm. Being handy with a scythe it seems a natural choice. His lack of experience in life, and only experience being death make for many awkward encounters with the others. Since no one dies, a self help group is started. "Fresh Start Club" How does one restore a natural order to life when death is retired? This funny book is a fast read, and involves many characters that are in all the discworld series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2005

    ARI

    I think Death is really funny. The funniest thing He ever said was'I remember everything, just like it was ... tomorrow'. Terry Pratchett is the most interesting person alive. Rincewind is hilarious because he's such a cowardly wimp.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2005

    funny

    this is my favorite discworld novel. Death is the best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2005

    Funny! I'd almost laugh to death

    This is the first book I read from the author, I'd loved it, this is a book that takes a serious matter, makes it funny but also makes you think, I'm ready to read more from Mr Pratchett.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2005

    Interesting & Hilarious!

    I love this book and I've read it over and over and over. Death is my favorite Discworld character, and was great in this book. I love the statements he makes about life, and how Death doesn't understand humans until he finally 'lives.' the plague of the snowglobes is great too, the wizards and quite a bit to the humor. I'd reccomend this book to anybody!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2004

    Hilarious

    Terry Pratchett has written some awesome books, but this may just be his finest. Instructions: Purchase book. Open book. Read words. Laugh hysterically.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2003

    Very well written. A job well done!

    This was the first Terry Pratchett book that I have read, and ever since I have been wanting to read more and more of his books. I love the character, Death, that Terry Pratchett has created. I really like Death's personallity

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2002

    Death, Agriculture, and Other Natural Events

    I truly enjoyed this book. If you are new to Discworld, you should realize a few things. First, you can read them pretty much in any order. Terry Pratchett does a fairly decent job at making each novel a jumping on point. He doesn't assume that you know everything that has happened before. Of course if you have read things in the order of publication, that helps, but it isn't necessary. Second, there are series within the series. These would be the Rincewind books, the Granny Weatherwax books, the Death books, and the Night Watch books. There are also a small number of books which don't quite fit into any of these categories. Finally, each of these books usually takes a look at particular themes from a humorous and fantasy filled standpoint. For example, Moving Pictures is about Hollywood, movies, the movie biz, etc. Wyrd Sister concerns (among many other things) Macbeth. This is the second of the Death books. The major theme seems to concern agrarian versus urban life. Yes, I know this doesn't sound like the makings of a humorous fantasy. Trust me! Once you see Death in a John Henry-like showdown with a combination harvester ... well, I don't dare say more for fear of giving too much away. Death is a wonderfully sympathetic character. He's my favorite of all the characters in Discworld. (Good thing he makes at least an appearance in all of the books)! For those who have read later books before this one ... This book explains the existence of Death of Rats! For everyone else, have you ever wondered why sometimes you see shopping carts in the middle of nowhere ...? You'll never look at those carts (or snow globes) the same way again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2002

    UNBELIEVABLE!!

    I was so surprised by the turnout of this book. When I heard about it, I thought, 'Oh great. Another book about the Grim Reaper.' But this book was great! I loved the comedy especially. It is a rare find that a book can be so good and so funny! This is the first os Pratchett's books that I have read, but I'm definitely going to read more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2001

    Superlative

    This was and is my favorite Death novel. I loved Guards! Guards!, and have enjoyed the entire series since Light Fantastic was released in the United States. Death is so human and sympathetic. One can identify with him/it?! This is also the first real Wizard book with Ridcully in a large role. As usual the unique take Terry has on society and its foibles and icons, the gentle poking of fun and decided tongue in cheek, not to mention PUNishment make for a decidedly good time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2000

    Fantastic Fantasy

    This is the first Pratchett I have read, but I must say this is a great read. There is a brand new twist on Death, making him mortal, afterall death may eventually have to die and a new death will rise in his place! Brilliant. In a word, imaginative. His description of the life of the flies really puts thing in perspective. I loved every minute of this book, and will definately be looking for more by the Pratchett.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2000

    A fun and adventurous must read for any fantasy, science fiction fan!!!

    Terry Pratchett is an awsome author that anybody who enjoys reading would love. A good friend itroduced me to the wonders of Pratchett, and I have becomean addict!! His books are never boring at any moment and you will not want to put it down, even when your finished!! His books are such that you HAVE to read them again and again!!! They are that good!! Death has never been so personified as being an emotinal being with thoughts and feelings!! Experience the caos has he retires and a new death threatens to obstruct the respectful name and reputation of the old death!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2000

    Romp with the Reaper Man

    As ever, Pratchitt is the master of great escape reading! Fun, fast read with Death in the driver's seat. If you are not familiar with Pratchitt's work, a great introduction is the book 'Mort.' Piers Anthony is another author full of similar fun in the Xanth series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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