Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent novels are consistent number one bestseller in England, where they have catapulted him into the highest echelons of parody next to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen. In this Discworld installment, Death comes to Mort with an... read more
As a teenager, Mort had a personality and temperament that made him rather unsuited to the family farming business. Mort's father, named Lezek, felt that Mort thought too much, which prevented him from achieving anything practical. Thus, Lezek took him to a local hiring fair, hoping that Mort... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
As a teenager, Mort had a personality and temperament that made him rather unsuited to the family farming business. Mort's father, named Lezek, felt that Mort thought too much, which prevented him from achieving anything practical. Thus, Lezek took him to a local hiring fair, hoping that Mort would land an apprenticeship with some tradesman; not only would this provide a job for his son, but it would also make his son's propensity towards thinking someone else's problem.
At the job fair, Mort at first has no luck attracting the interest of an employer. Then, just before the stroke of midnight, a man concealed in a black cloak arrives on a white horse. He says he is looking for a young man to assist him in his work and selects Mort for the job. The man turns out to be Death, and Mort is given an apprenticeship in ushering souls into the next world (though his father thinks he's been apprenticed to an undertaker).
When it is a princess' time to die (according to a preconceived reality), Mort, instead of ushering her soul, saves her from death, dramatically altering a part of the Discworld's reality. However, the princess, for whom Mort has a developing infatuation, does not have long to live, and he must try to save her, once again, from a seemingly unstoppable death. Both the princess and Mort end up consulting the local wizard, Igneous Cutwell, for various methods of assistance with the crisis.
As Mort begins to do most of Death's "Duty", he loses some of his former character traits, and essentially starts to become more like Death himself. Death, in turn, yearns to relish what being human is truly like and travels to Ankh-Morpork to indulge in new experiences and attempt to feel real human emotion. Conclusively, Mort must duel Death for Mort's freedom. Though Death wins the duel, he spares Mort's life and sends him back to the Disc.
The princess is saved from a second death when the alternate reality Mort created is reduced to a pearl-like state. This pearl is given to Mort for safe-keeping. At the end of the novel, Mort marries Ysabell, Death's adopted daughter.
“Logic would have said all that, if only Logic hadn't taken the night off too.”
“He'd been wrong, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and it was a flamethrower.”
“Best to get it off his chest. Own up like a man. Take his medicine. Cards on the Table. Beating about the bush, none of. Mercy, throw himself on.”
“He looked back like a nocturnal rabbit trying to out stare the headlights of a sixteen-wheeled artic whose driver is a twelve-hour caffeine freak outrunning the tachometer of hell.”
“"You're dead," he said. Keli waited. She couldn't think of any suitable reply "I'm, not" lacked a certain style, while "Is it serious?" seemed somehow too frivolous.”
“- YOU SHOULD HAVE WORKED OUT BY NOW THAT EVERYONE GETS WHAT THEY THINK IS COMING TO THEM. IT'S SO MUCH NEATER THAT WAY. 'I know, sir. But that means bad people who think they're going to get some sort of paradise actually do get there. And good people who fear they're going to some kind of horrible place really suffer. It doesn't seem like justice.'”
“Poets have tried to describe Ankh-Morpork. They have failed. Perhaps it's the sheer zestful vitality of the place, or maybe it's just that a city with a million inhabitants and no sewers is rather robust for poets, who prefer daffodils and no wonder.”
“He seemed to act as though the house really belonged to him and its owner was just a passing guest, something to be tolerated like peeling paintwork or spiders in the lavatory.”
“Mort sniffed. There was a certain something about the air in the city. You got the feeling that it was air that had seen life. You couldn't help noting with every breath that thousands of other people were very close to you and nearly all of them had armpits.”
“Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.”
“There seemed to be rather a lot of friendly young ladies who couldn't afford many clothes.”Narrator
“It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever,” he said. “Have you thought of going into teaching?”Highlighted by 41 Kindle customers
Scientists have calculated that the chance of anything so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.Highlighted by 24 Kindle customers
“Do you know what happens to lads who ask too many questions?” Mort thought for a moment. “No,” he said eventually, “what?” There was silence. Then Albert straightened up and said, “Damned if I know. Probably they get answers, and serve ’em right.”Highlighted by 23 Kindle customers
He’d been wrong, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and it was a flamethrower.Highlighted by 20 Kindle customers
“Well,----me,” he said. “A----ing wizard. I hate----ing wizards!” “You shouldn’t----them, then,” muttered one of his henchmen, effortlessly pronouncing a row of dashes.Highlighted by 20 Kindle customers
THAT’S MORTALS FOR YOU, Death continued. THEY’VE ONLY GOT A FEW YEARS IN THIS WORLD AND THEY SPEND THEM ALL IN MAKING THINGS COMPLICATED FOR THEMSELVES. FASCINATING. HAVE A GHERKIN.Highlighted by 18 Kindle customers
The Creator had a lot of remarkably good ideas when he put the world together, but making it understandable hadn’t been one of them.Highlighted by 17 Kindle customers
“How do you get all those coins?” asked Mort. IN PAIRS.Highlighted by 17 Kindle customers
It doesn’t prove anything very much except that the awesome splendor of the universe is much easier to deal with if you think of it as a series of small chunks.Highlighted by 17 Kindle customers
Poets have tried to describe Ankh-Morpork. They have failed. Perhaps it’s the sheer zestful vitality of the place, or maybe it’s just that a city with a million inhabitants and no sewers is rather robust for poets, who prefer daffodils and no wonder. So let’s just say that Ankh-Morpork is as full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colorful as a bruise and as full of activity, industry, bustle and sheer exuberant busyness as a dead dog on a termite mound.Highlighted by 8 Kindle customers
Followed by Reaper Man.
We’re hiding the errata, movie connections, books that influenced this book, books influenced by this book, books that cite this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.