Monday, October 25, 2010
By Terry Pratchett
Mort is an awkward young man who doesn't seem to fit into the small rural community where he lives. His dad has tried to teach him farming but it didn't seem a good choice for Mort. So his dad takes him to an apprentice fair in a nearby town. At the fair, employers come looking for lads to hire as apprentices. Mort and his dad wait at the fair all day and evening but no one wants to hire Mort. Finally, at midnight, when Mort is the last boy left, someone finally shows up who wants to hire Mort -- Death.
Death has been performing his duties for forever and he is frankly getting a little tired of it. So he has gotten the bright idea of taking on an apprentice, training him in all he needs to know, and letting the apprentice take over his duties so Death can have some time off.
Problem is, Mort is human, and although he learns all the tricks of the trade, his heart gets in the way. Death is off trying to have fun and Mort screws up big time when he prevents an assassin from killing a beautiful young princess. Now the march of history is totally bollixed up and when Death finds out, Mort will be up that proverbial creek.
This was a pretty interesting book as Mort grows into the roll of Death and Death turns his hand to being a short order cook in an inn in Ankh-Morpork. The best parts though, were learning the back story about Albert, Death's decrepit servant and then Albert's brief return to the land of the living. While not as funny as some of Pratchett's stories, this was still a pretty good read.