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4.0 out of 5 stars Madcap Style
Slowly making my way through the Discworld series. This fourth novel doesn't disappoint, exploring in Pratchett's usual funny, madcap manner the apprenticeship of Mortimer to none other than Death Himself.

Told with wit and style, the characterization is excellent, the plot brisk, and although Pratchett deals with an old concept, he handles it with freshness...
Published on Jan. 14 2012 by Lorina Stephens

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Hope you REALLY like Death ...
While Pratchett is always funny, and a better plotter than I think many who have written him off as a "comedy" writer give him credit for, you'll need to really like the character of Death to fully enjoy "Mort."
While he appears, albeit briefly, in almost every Discworld novel, the character is, pardon the expression, rather thin. The gags in this book are fairly...
Published on May 20 2002 by Beau Yarbrough


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4.0 out of 5 stars Madcap Style, Jan. 14 2012
By 
Lorina Stephens (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mort (Paperback)
Slowly making my way through the Discworld series. This fourth novel doesn't disappoint, exploring in Pratchett's usual funny, madcap manner the apprenticeship of Mortimer to none other than Death Himself.

Told with wit and style, the characterization is excellent, the plot brisk, and although Pratchett deals with an old concept, he handles it with freshness and vivacity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When a man is tired of Ankh-Morpork, he is tired of ankle-deep slurry, Jan. 23 2007
This review is from: Mort (Paperback)
"Mort" is the fourth book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series. He has gone on to win the Carnegie Medal for "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" and was awarded the OBE in 1998.

Death - tall guy, somewhat underfed, big grin, carries a scythe - appears in more Discworld books than any other character. However, "Mort" is the first where his appearance in anything other than a very brief cameo - though, admittedly, he remains one of the book's support characters. The book's hero is Mort, the youngest son of a farming family living on the Ramtops. He doesn't quite have the look of a typical hero : although tall and overly-helpful, he's also red-haired, freckled and largely built from knees. His family specialises in distilling wine from reannual grapes - you plant the seed this year and harvest the grape last year. (With the wine, you tend to get the hangover the morning before and need to drink quite a lot to get over it). Mort's lack of talent in the agricultural field (boom boom !), however, is causing some concern for his father. Hoping someone will hire him as an apprentice, Lezek takes his son to the hiring fair at Sheepridge on Hogswatch Night. Although Mort is the last one hired, he is probably the most aptly named apprentice - given that his new boss is Death himself.

Despite Mort's initial discomfort with the position - he doesn't have to be dead himself and the bones look is entirely optional - he decides to accept the position. Death also makes it clear he doesn't do the killing himself - that's up to assassins and soldiers, for example - he just takes over when people die. (He has, however, been known to murder a curry). Life (if that's what you call it) with Death is very strange. His home is designed, unsurprisingly, in varying shades of dark and is much bigger on the inside than on the outside. He also has a daughter called Ysabell and a butler called Albert - both human and not just skeletons - and a horse called Binky. All are also very much alive. The problems start when Mort starts shadowing his new boss at work - specifically, when they are due to escort King Olerv of Sto-Lat into the afterlife. The King has just been assassinated by his ambitious cousin the Duke of Sto-Helit. Unfortunately, Princess Keli is next on the Duke's hitlist and Mort's youthful hormones aren't too happy about this. As soon as Mort starts interfering, other questions start coming to mind - like where does Death get a daughter and why does he need an apprentice ?

Despite his profession, Death is one of the funniest characters on the Discworld. Although it's the first book to give him a starring role, it may prove a slight advantage to have read one or two of the other books. (Rincewind is a particular hobby of Death's so "The Colour of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic may be worth looking into). Very highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is there a cherry on a stick in this drink?, Dec 31 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mort (Paperback)
This fourth book in the Discworld series is the first to achieve truly classic status, in my opinion. Its predecessors were great reads, but Mort is a real riot. The skeleton of the plot has a few cracked bones and seems to be missing whatever connects the setup bone with the conclusion bone, but the humor is more than a saving grace for the awkward ending. Poor Mort is a gangly, clumsy lad seemingly made out of all knees; his father is fond of him but decides to apprentice him to someone else. That someone else turns out to be Death himself (although the father sees him as an undertaker). Mort is whisked off to Death's abode to be trained as Death's apprentice. On his first solo mission, he rips a big hole in the fabric of time by saving a princess from assassination. Death is off trying to experience living, so Mort attempts to make things right with the help of Death's adopted daughter Ysabell (who has been sixteen for thirty five years already), the young wizard Cutwell, the princess, and--with great reluctance--Death's manservant Albert.
This is a riotously funny novel. I can truly say that Death has never been funnier. Being the reaper of souls for untold years does wear a guy down, and Death goes out into the real world to try and discover what life is all about. We find him dancing in a kind of conga line at a party for the Patrician, asking the guy in front of him why dancing around and kicking things over is fun; we see him getting boozed up at a bar and telling his troubles to the bartender, we find him seeking employment and dealing with a normal human customer, and we ultimately find him happily serving as the cook at Harga's House of Ribs. His questions and comments about human life are simple yet complex, and they basically mimic the same kinds of questions we all ask about the purpose of our time on earth. I personally found the funniest scene to be one in which Death takes Mort to a restaurant just after hiring him and tries to figure out why on earth there is a cherry on a stick in his drink--as he keeps returning to this mental conundrum, the scene just gets funnier and funnier.
To some degree, this novel is a bit simplistic compared to later Pratchett writings, but it is a quick, enjoyable read guaranteed to make you laugh out loud at least once. We get a glimpse of some new vistas of the Discworld, and more importantly we gain great understanding and familiarity with Death, his abode, and his way of non-life. The wizard Cutwell is a young, beardless wizard who keeps finding his devotion to wizardry (especially the whole bachelorhood requirement) tested by the beguiling femininity of the princess--his temptation-forced words and actions provide another great source of humor in the book. The cast of important characters if fairly slim in number, but we do meet up with our old friends Rincewind and the librarian momentarily and learn a little more about Unseen University. The ending definitely could have been better, and that is the main weakness of this particular novel. Other Discworld novels will capture your imagination much more forcibly than this one, but few will make you laugh as hard as this one does.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Death isn't all it's cracked up to be . . ., Jan. 12 2004
By 
This review is from: Mort (Hardcover)
There are, I believe, a couple dozen titles now in the Discworld series, but this one -- the fourth -- is still one of the best. Death, who SPEAKS IN ALL CAPITALS, and takes his job seriously, decides nevertheless that he's in need of a break. So he takes on an apprentice, a young farm lad named Mortimer -- Mort for short. On his first solo soul-collecting assignment, Mort discovers he can't allow the teenaged Princess Keli to be assassinated by her uncle the Duke, tries to prevent what is supposed to happen -- what *must* happen -- and, of course, messes thing up. Reality tends to heal itself in the long run, though, and there's no way the kid can stop history from getting back on its proper track. But he's certainly going to try. As one might expect in a Pratchett yarn, things get a bit out of hand after that, especially when Death goes AWOL for a time, trying out human experiences and vices, and when Mort begins taking on more and more of his boss's characteristics. After all, as Mort explains to Death's adopted daughter, Ysabell, DEATH IS WHOEVER DOES DEATH'S JOB. The final confrontation between Mort and Death is a marvelous set-piece. Can Mort win? Can Death lose? Is it even fair? THERE IS NO JUSTICE, as Death is fond of remarking. THERE'S ONLY ME.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the fourth novel is the best so far, June 11 2003
By 
Joe Sherry (Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mort (Mass Market Paperback)
Book 4 of the Discworld series.
After hearing so many great things about Discworld and having read the first three novels in the series, I was not quite as impressed as I had hoped to be with this series. When I starting reading Mort, this all changed. Having only read four Discworld books, Mort is by far the best of the first four books.
The focus of the Discworld series shifts to different characters in each book. This time the focus is on a young man named Mort (hence the title). Mort is an awkward young man with no interest in the family craft. His father decides to hire Mort out as an apprentice. So, Mort stands in the village square as all the other young men are chosen, but Mort is left standing. He waits until midnight (the end of the choosing) and just as the bell tolls midnight, a rider appears. Mort is chosen to be an apprentice. Death himself takes Mort as an apprentice. Death is a major recurring character throughout the series, and HE ALWAYS SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS.
Mort begins to learn the craft of the Reaper, but Mort manages to cause a major problem in reality when someone who is supposed to die does not die (Mort's fault, naturally). This is the most interesting of the first 4 Discworld novels, and since the series doesn't appear to follow any sort of important chronology (for the most part), Mort may be one of the better books to begin the series with. While I've been working my way through the series, I haven't had a lot of interest in each subsequent book....until now. Mort has me interested in reading more Discworld novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars superb, May 25 2002
By 
This review is from: Mort (Mass Market Paperback)
Well, it's kinda hard for me to choose my favorite in the Discworld series since every episode has got its great moments. Still, I'd choose this one. For me, it's the best work mr Pratchett has every delivered. Humoristic of course, and as always a brilliant plot. And interesting characters. They're all elements Pratchett got famous for and well, let me tell you he really deserved it. For those who think LOTR is a bit too heavy this is perfect, since it's much easier to read. And for those who love LOTR (like me), well...this is perfect too!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hope you REALLY like Death ..., May 20 2002
By 
Beau Yarbrough (Between Disneyland and Las Vegas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mort (Mass Market Paperback)
While Pratchett is always funny, and a better plotter than I think many who have written him off as a "comedy" writer give him credit for, you'll need to really like the character of Death to fully enjoy "Mort."
While he appears, albeit briefly, in almost every Discworld novel, the character is, pardon the expression, rather thin. The gags in this book are fairly self-evident, and repeated more than a few times. There isn't the sort of broad-ranging imagination Pratchett's friend Neil Gaiman brings to a similar character in his "Sandman" series, and so once, you've gotten past the basic setup, the story revolves around Death's young apprentice, the mystery of why Death would want an apprentice, and what happens when Things Start To Go Horribly Wrong.
Naturally, there's some nice magical chaos, romantic interest (isn't there always?) and a bit of last minute panic, as well as some broad comedy with the Four Horsemen of the Apocraplyse. Nothing phenomenal here, unless you're a big, big fan of Death. This novel also sets up "Reaper Man" and "Soul Music," although it isn't required reading for either.
As always, Pratchett entertains, but this is one of his lesser works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A gem, May 18 2002
This review is from: Mort (Mass Market Paperback)
There are so many "best" books in the Discworld series. Some are best because of their humour. Some are best because of their message. Some are best of their concept/idea (Reaper Man, The Truth). Some are best because of their sheer ridculousness. Some are best because of their cleverness (Feet of Clay) Some are best for their darkness (Thief of Time). This is probably one of the best for a mixture of several of these, the main two being its humour and idea.
It may not exactly be THE best (in my mind that one will always be The Truth) but it is probably in the top five. Death has always been my favourite character, and to see him have his own ook (and for the first time) is quite an event, and very enjoyable. His comments always contain such dry, unintended wit on his part, and the irony often brought to the fore with the use of his character can be hialrious. (I particularly liked the scene where he was telling somebody that "the affairs of men are not decided by chance". And as this man disagreed, he challenged him to throw a dice. "What if I win?" says the man. "THEN YOU'VE WON" says Death. "What if i loose?" "THEN YOU'LL WISH YOU'D WON". Comes death's reply.)
Mort is a great character, who i would have loved to see more of in future books. His developing relationship with Ysabell is at times touching.
There are so many wonderful elements of this book. The romance. Death loose trying to be human. The revelations concerning Alberts past. The explanations as to the mechanics of history. The way Pterry shows to us the Realm of Death. Among many other things.
This is a series of books that no reader (of whatever genre. i myself detest most schi-fi/fantasy, and much prefer crime/thriller. But this series has grown to become one of my favourites of all time) should ever pass by. There is such a rich casket of wonders presented to you in all 26 (so far) of his Discworld novels. And this is one of the real gems, along with The Truth, Soul Music, Reaper Man, Men At Arms, Carpe Jugulum, and Feet of Clay.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the disc world series !, April 7 2002
By 
This review is from: Mort (Mass Market Paperback)
If you are new to the disc world series this is the best book to start with, since it's so funny and imagenetive that you'll be hooked for ever. You don't need to read the previous books in order to enjoy this one wich offers you a closer look into the professional and personal life ( if you can really call it a life ) of the most funny and wonderfull character in the disc world - DEATH.
All of those who are alredy familiar with the disc world novels need no explaination how can the grim ripper be a funny thing, but to those of you who have yet to enter that world, you'll find out that Death is quite an honest chap, who enjoys the finer things in life like a drink now andthan, gardening and kittens. In order to enjoy this things more freely and with less interruption from his thriving bussiness of ushering souls into happy hunting lands, he hires an apreatnice, a boy called Mort.
Of course Mort makes a fine mess of it all, and as usuall in
pratchett's books it is a most enjoyable and funny catastrophe that threatends to put an end to the world, but the world doesn't end and everyone goes home happy.
Also there is a short guest appearence by Rincewind and the ape librerian we've all learned to love and cherish during the first 3 volumes of disc world novels. funny, funny stuff.
The common criticism concerning pratchett's writing is that he tends to recycle ideas that were at first fresh and wonderfull, but as they mature through his endless books, becomes tedious like a joke that was told too many times.
This book, however, is one of the first he wrote, and there for is guaranteed to make you wear a silly smile of pleasure while it lasts, and , as it was for me, you'll regret it ends so soon.
Soooo - Weather it's a first plunge to the disc world novels or a reading for the " Discoholics" you will absolutely love this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the disc world series !, April 7 2002
By 
This review is from: Mort (Mass Market Paperback)
If you are new to the disc world series this is the best book to start with, since it's so funny and imagenetive that you'll be hooked for ever. You don't need to read the previous books in order to enjoy this one wich offers you a closer look into the professional and personal life ( if you can really call it a life ) of the most funny and wonderfull character in the disc world - DEATH.
All of those who are alredy familiar with the disc world novels need no explaination how can the grim ripper be a funny thing, but to those of you who have yet to enter that world, you'll find out that Death is quite an honest chap, who enjoys the finer things in life like a drink now and than, gardening and kittens.
In order to enjoy this things more freely and with less interruption from his thriving bussiness of ushering souls into happy hunting lands, he hires an apprentice, a boy named Mort.

Of course Mort makes a fine mess of it all, and as usuall in
pratchett's books it is a most enjoyable and funny catastrophe that threatends to put an end to the world, but the world doesn't end and everyone goes home happy.
Also there is a short guest appearence by Rincewind and the ape librerian we've all learned to love and cherish during the first 3 volumes of disc world novels. funny, funny stuff.
The common criticism concerning pratchett's writing is that he tends to recycle ideas that were at first fresh and wonderfull, but as they mature through his endless books, becomes tedious like a joke that was told too many times.
This book, however, is one of the first he wrote, and there for is guaranteed to make you wear a silly smile of pleasure while it lasts, and , as it was for me, you'll regret it ends so soon.
Soooo - Whether it's a first plunge to the disc world novels or a reading for the " Discoholics" you will absolutely love this book.
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Mort Hc
Mort Hc by Terry Pratchett (Hardcover - Nov. 14 1996)
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