Death's Domain Paperback – May 1 1999
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About the Author
Biography for Terry Pratchett Terry Pratchett is one of the most popular authors writing today. He lives behind a keyboard in Wiltshire and says he 'doesn't want to get a life, because it feels as though he's trying to lead three already'. He was appointed OBE in 1998. He is the author of the phenomenally successful Discworld series and his trilogy for young readers, The Bromeliad, is scheduled to be adapted into a spectacular animated movie. His first Discworld novel for children, THE AMAZING MAURICE AND HIS EDUCATED RODENTS, was awarded the 2001 Carnegie Medal. Biography for Paul Kidby Paul Kidby has illustrated Discworld and its inhabitants in The Pratchett Portfolio, The Discworld Diaries and A Tourist Guide to Lancre. He lives behind an easel in Somerset.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The writing is excellent, as always, but there are only 23 (quick count) pages of it. The rest of the product (except for the title pages etc.) consists of a large map following the same standard as the three other maps. The problem with it is that it doesn't enhance the reading of the novels in any way at all. The first two maps, Ankh-Morpork and, to a lesser degree, Discworld, added to the fun by letting the reader follow the protagonists' journeys while reading the novels. This map from the domain of one of Discworld's most amusing and easiest recognizable characters does no such thing. It is nice-looking but nothing more. It doesn't really tell me anything more about Discworld than that its author has no intention to starve.
What I really would wish is a collection of the text-bits from the maps together with Terry's excellent short stories in one book. That way we could avoid all the empty filling.
Ok, here's the full quote: Death: "THERE ARE BETTER THINGS IN THE WORLD THAN ALCOHOL, ALBERT"
Albert: "Oh, yes, sir. But alcohol sort of compensates for not getting them."
In the tradition of previous Discworld Mapps this volume contains a large map and a booklet. I honestly found the booklet and the border illustrations the best.
I really like Kidby's illustrations of Death and his associates so that is quite enjoyable. Not only are we treated to Death, Susan, and Albert but we see Death of Rats peeking over an edge and his raven in the midst of black roses. And don't forget Binky!
The booklet was also quite illuminating, especially the discussions between Albert and Death concerning the golf course and the maze. The character of Death as portrayed by Pratchett has long fascinated me (it is nice to see him in every book) and it is fun to see more of him than before.
However, we don't actually see the inside of the house (since it is larger on the inside than the outside). Also, somewhat disappointingly some of the details were too small to properly make out. I would have really enjoyed seeing the tree swing that Death made for Susan, but it is far too small to see anything clearly.
Finally I would encourage casual fans to not pick up this volume unless they're really fascinated by Death. Yes it is interesting (and vital to the diehard fan), but it doesn't add too much to the books and doesn't make much sense just on its own.
Nevertheless, compared to the other Mapps (The Streets of Ankh-Morpork, The Discworld Mapp and A Tourist Guide to Lancre) it's not quite up to par.
True, the Mapp itself is gorgeous and there are some nifty pencil drawings inside the book (some of which can however also be found in The Art of Discworld). And there is some really funny dialogue between Albert and his master about playing golf...
But mostly, this Mapp is rather boring. Unlike the others, it just doesn't add much to the Discworld series.
The books describe the INSIDE of Death's house in much detail but the Mapp focuses on the outside of it only - which looks like an areal picture of any old manor and grounds. OK, with less green and more purple/black, but other than that...
We now know the exact location of Death's bee hives and where the stables are - but so what? Who really cares? We also learn where Death built Susan's swing but we can't actually see what it looks like, it's just a dot in the trees. The wheat field is just a patch of yellow in the distance. And then there are lots of frankly boring additions that AFAIK have never been mentioned in the books (The Pointy Tree Avenue? The Wood of Silence? The Gazebo? Give me a break...)
In short, there is just not much CONTENT. What is shown isn't bad, I just think that a plan and images of the INSIDE should really have been included as well.
Yet as it is, the steep price should make many Discworld fans wonder: do I really need this? My recommendation for casual fans is to spend the money on a Discworld novel instead...