Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett was the book I read this week. It is impossible to get away from Pratchett recommendations, they seem to find their way onto every list. Not that this is a bad thing of course, I would have never picked up a copy of Mort if it weren’t for the endless number people telling me to read it.
Reaper Man is not one that I have seen on the shortlist when someone asks for the definitive books to read. Mort, Small Gods, Pyramids, Good Omens, these seem to be the tentpole novels that are given.
I would whole heartedly add Reaper man to the list.
This novel, like many others of Pratchett’s are difficult to summarize without giving too much away. Largely this is the tale of two cities, with one city being a rather small town. It has two casts, one begin Death, my favourite character in the Discworld and perhaps all of fantasy. The second cast is pulled from Ankh-Morpork, the greatest of all known cities. Wizards mixed with a deceased rights activist group make for strange bedfellows but play off each other brilliantly.
These two sets of characters must deal with the consequences of a world where death no longer occurs. Though at times it feels as though two very different tales are being told, the novel does bring them together nicely.
Like any Pratchett novel, Reaper Man is chock full of hilarious jokes, ridiculous hijinks, and interesting characters. Mixed in with these, are a deeper commentary on life, death and the effects and ravages of time. I found the ending to be quite emotional, as well as deeply satisfying.
Overall, Reaper Man was a novel that made me laugh out loud in one moment and ponder my very existence in another. If you are a fan of Pratchett’s work then I would of course heartily recommend reading this novel. If you’ve never picked up any of his work, then I do not think you could go wrong here. Reaper Man is a strong, interesting novel that I believe stands up well against Sir Terry’s best work.