This book was undefinable entertaining. The story was simple and the performance was decent. I wasn't awestruck. I feel that I enjoyed it more than it deserves; but, I was well entertained.
I'll start by saying that earlier Discworld novels are not as polished or as brilliant as the later works, but they are nevertheless essential for grasping the full storyline of the Discworld and its many extremely colorful inhabitants. Death is, in my mind, one of the most entertaining inhabitants, which makes a story about him taking on an apprentice tremendously appealing. The only slight downside (downside is a bit too strong of a word, actually) is that Death didn't really reach his zenith as a character until later in the series, so what you see here is a character not nearly as fantastic as in Hogfather, for instance. However, this story helps one to understand and appreciate Death better when encountered later and also helps to explain Susan more (she's not in this novel, but you learn some valuable backstory here). It's also good backstory if you were ever curious about Death's servant, Alfred. Also, it is still a really, really funny novel.
My personal feeling is that in the earlier novels, Pratchett tends to be more silly and whimsical, and was still developing as a storyteller. In the later novels -- I'd say after about 10 or so -- he truly became the master that we know his as now. So in this novel, you won't see as many of those artistic flourishes of unexpected depth/social commentary that you see in later Discworld stories, but you will see hints of them. If you like the sillier humor from stories like The Light Fantastic, you'll probably enjoy Mort more than you would some of the later works. If you just plain love Pratchett at any stage, than you'll be utterly delighted with Mort.
The main story concerns Death taking on an awkward young apprentice named Mort. Mort is eager to please, but can't quite make sense of his new master; additionally, Death's adopted daughter Isabelle doesn't seem to get on well with Mort (despite her father's not-so-subtle nudges). Death, as you will well know if you read other Discworld novels, has a habit of trying too hard to understand humanity, and in this particular story, he quite humorously wants to understand the concept of "fun" (he's dealing with a bit of burn-out from work). With Death off trying to have fun, Mort gets left in charge perhaps a little too soon . . . and from there everything dissolves into typical Discworld madness and hilarity.
I like Nigel Planer's narration, although I don't think he quite hits the right voice for Death, which is why I have to give four stars instead of five. I also feel like Planer never does as well with female voices as Briggs does. That said, I still laughed plenty as I listened, and I definitely am happy with this purchase on the whole.
I had a 7 hour interstate drive to make by myself last week and this was the perfect companion to make the time fly by! I wonder if anyone ever saw me laughing out loud as I was doing that a lot! Nigel Planer has a wonderful voice and makes each character so distinct it's as if there are multiple actors.
Never enough time to read all the stories and series I enjoy.
Death is probably my favorite of all of the Discworld series. Sam Vimes and the Nightwatch are a close second. The narration is done perfectly.
Probably not. I listened to 'Good Omens' and wanted something similarly creative and funny. I've already read/listened to everything by Neil Gaiman so I figured I'd give Pratchett a try after hearing recommendations for him my whole life (seriously, since I was 6 yrs old.) Turned out to be such a disappointment.
Without another author to contribute storyline, Pratchett's writing is humorous for its own sake but nothing really happens and the characters lack depth, like their only purpose is to be funny. Unfortunately, non-stop humor that isn't punctuated by anything else for contrast gets old fast. It's like if 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' was wall-to-wall Zaphod. I love Pratchett's dry humor but I don't think it stands alone well.
Sorry ardent Pratchett fans, regrettably I can't count myself among you.
'A Dirty Job' by Christopher Moore
Planer's English accent is really heavy and he talks fast so if I didn't listen with 100% attention I couldn't make out what he was saying. There also wasn't a lot of variation between his narration and the accents he gave to the characters, they all kind of sounded the same.
As witih most Pratchett / Discworld books, there are multiple prongs to the weapon. There is a great deal of humor jabbed at fictional beliefs and institutions, that make you think about and laugh at similar non-fictional beliefs and institutions.
Of course, other Pratchett stories.
I liked what Planer did as a reader. I could easily discern the characters from each other.
Yes. I would enjoy getting into the flow of the book. However, stopping and starting again did not reduce the enjoyment.
I am relatively new to the Discworld series, with just a few books under my belt. I'm getting a feeling that this could be my favorite story arc.
I thought I loved this series when I was reading the books, but when you put Nigel Planer into the mix...well...he makes it even better than it already was!
If you like British Comedy, you need to get familiar with the Discworld. It's "brilliant!"
Yes, this is a classic discworld story. boy becomes deaths apprentice and humor happens. I loved the radio version better becuase it gave Death a booming echoing voice, but the innate humor is really funny.
Piers Anthonys Riding a Pale House from his Incarnations from Immortality series. Another guy becomes death by killing death with a gun just as he was about to be collected at his suicide attempt. One of my favorite books from my teenage years.
Yes, Nigel is a pretty good reader for this series. I don't know how he would do on other but for the slightly British feel of Discworld he's good.
Death: From HIS perspective its Funny.
I loved "Mort."
Terry Pratchett is at least as inventive as JK Rowlings, more witty (IMHO!) than Douglas Adams, and created a marvelous universe of characters that Nigel Planer brings to charming and vivid life. And how indeed he does make them come alive -- including Death himself. I believed it.
I'm definitely glad I got the Audible version, as I probably wouldn't made it through the book. It's as if Pratchett had Nigel's voice in mind while he was writing his delicious menagerie of weirdos -- when decades hence the world of Mort would be performed by Nigel Planer.
Of course, Pratchett is not unfamiliar with the practical utility of time travel. It's likely put a bit of it to practical use for us lucky listeners!