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on August 21, 2015
I love Terry Pratchett. RIP
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on September 27, 2014
Very funny critique of our crazy society
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on June 28, 2014
Check out the passage where Imp/Buddy first plays Music With Rocks In at the Drum. That just feels right.

I find this book an 'easy in' to the Discworld universe - by that I mean that I often lend this to friends who've never read Terry Pratchett before. And they almost always love it - the ones that don't are merely intrigued and can't wait to read another Discworld novel. (Then I give them Mort to give the backstory, or Men At Arms if they want more Ankh-Morpork 'culture').
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on December 19, 2013
One of the better Discworld novels I've read so far. Pratchett's clearly had a lot of fun writing this one. Lots of references to music culture, especially The Blues Brothers.
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We return to Death in this Discworld edition, by Terry Pratchett, which is a re-examination of the hell-spawned musical instrument, and a spoof on rock and roll.

Light-hearted, undemanding, there are some moments of chuckling, and generally entertaining escapism.
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on May 12, 2002
As my second Discworld book, I didn't like it as much as "Hogfather", but as a professional musician I found many more things amusing than some non-musicians may. There is some very subtle humor (or humour) for musicians in here.
It was nice to follow Death on one of his journies to find himself and it is always great to hear from the Grim Squeaker (Death of Rats) again.
Good book.
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on January 12, 2002
I always have a difficult time getting into the groove with Pratchett novels. Given the serious nature of most of the books I ever read, it takes me at least fifty pages to begin to come to terms with all the slapstick parody. Usually after that, though, I find myself in heaven, and "Soul Music," for the most part, upheld that illusion without a hitch.
I used to be into rock music a number of years ago, but I grew out of it as I began to take notice of just how pointless all the angst associated with the scene really was; the fact that all the bands sounded the same, I suppose, must have also played a part in my disenchantment. Whatever the case, this installment in the Discworld series struck a chord with me as it began to make note of all the conventions that go along hand in hand with the music; spike-studded leather clothing, you could say, goes along pretty well with the entire scene--but outside of that, you really can't justify its usage with any other point.
For a while, it's great to see Pratchett introduce element after element on the ground that "it just *fits*"--at least, until the end of the novel approaches, and you realize that what has been parodied is really nothing more than the superficial elements of it all.
But it's all fine and dandy, because when things begin to grow stale, our attention is turned towards Death's granddaughter's approach to her newly-inherited vocation, and the more intimate details of Death's home. I don't know if any details on the latter may have been dispersed in previous installments of the series (as I've only read a handful), but what's here is a hoot--it's a neat little way to make Death a more palatable, charismatic character.
The most problematic issue at hand, though, seems to be the conclusion of the novel--we're treated to dozens of terse passages that try to build up momentum for a situation so clichéd that it almost lacks any sort of impetus whatsoever, and at the end of it all you're left scratching your head at what seems to be a rushed, indolent excuse for an ending. And if you read over it, you'll realize that the passages relating to the Patrician are but a waste of time--nothing he does is important enough to progress the story, and since Pratchett forgets about him by the end (or middle) of the book, it seems like the reader is expected to have done so as well.
So I'll forget, and imbue the inner recesses of my mind with the opinion that "Soul Music" is a great frivolous read. There's really not enough reason here to regret having spent my money; in fact, for more passages with C.M.O.T. Dibbler alone, I'd probably be willing to fork over twice as large an amount.
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on December 28, 2001
In this Discworld installment, PTerry definitely did a great job on the characters, of which there is no shortage. One of my favorites is Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, who is a business enterpreneur. Also, Corporal Nobbs and Sergeant Colon of the city watch shared some pretty funny exchanges. Another of my favorites is the Librarian, an orangutan (don't ever call him a monkey), who runs the University library. This book was also the first time I encountered Mustrum Ridcully. Every character, from the Band With Rocks In roadie Asphalt to Qouth the raven, is done in a way that individualizes them greatly. Next, I'd like to talk about the plot. There are several subplots: Death tries various ways to forget his past, Susan takes on Death's role, Ridcully and the University wizards get crazed for Music With Rocks In, and Imp Y Celyn, a Llamedese bard, gets his life takenover by a magic guitar. PTerry weaves these plots together to form a gigantic plot, which heralds a long, exciting, 300-page book
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on December 12, 2001
Death is easily one of my favorite characters in the Discworld series, and this book is him at his prime. Death is continually evolving into a more complex and humane character, while still maintaining a core 'deathness' about him. His residence is described in here using that great Pratchett mixture of blatently obvious statements and metaphors only he could get away with.
This book is also about music out of it's place. Rock and roll passes through Discworld, and the results are great (great meaning comedically bad). Take a very detailed and complete fantasy world, add the rebellion of rock and roll, and it seems like it writes itself. But the great part about this, and all Terry Pratchett books, is that the joke only begins with the setup, the entire book just keeps getting funnier and funnier. (Compare this to The Onion, where the entire joke is in the headline, and the story is usually just fluff.)
Finally, like all Pratchett books, through all of the ridiculous situations and absurd logic, there is a decent amount of drama at the end.
If you already know and like Terry Pratchett, here's one of his best works on Death. If you don't know him yet, you could easily start with this book. This was the second Pratchett book I ever read, and I haven't stopped since.
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on November 28, 2001
I really liked Soul Music. Death holding open a place in children's minds and hearts for 'Santa' struck me as both very amusing and touching, since we all know that Terry's ultimate Anthropomorphic Personification has a soft spot for humanity. 'Uncle Heavy' was having way too much fun complaining about the Death's role reversals. Susan is wonderful, and funny in her serious, sometimes ironic view of life. The Watch follow their familiar paths, and CMOT Dibbler is more himself than I've seen since Moving Pictures. (snik, snik) Good to the last 'drop', and beyond.
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