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New York Times bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett makes Death a central character in Mort, his fourth sojourn to Discworld, the fantasy cosmos where even the angel of darkness needs some assistance.
When inept, but well-intentioned Mort gets only one offer for an apprenticeship—with Death—he can’t exactly turn it down. But Mort finds that being Death’s right-hand man isn’t as bad as it seems—until he falls back to his old, bumbling ways.
With more than 80 million books sold worldwide, Pratchett has solidified his place next to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams as one of the top satirists of all time. Mort offers readers an unlikely set of heroes and a comical, yet poignant look at life through the lens of its antithesis.
in. It did leave the problem of whether to knock. Somehow, it didn’t seem appropriate. Supposing no one answered, or told him to go away? So he lifted the thumb latch and pushed at the door. It swung inwards quite easily, without a creak. There was a low-ceilinged kitchen, its beams at trepanning height for Mort. The light from the solitary candle glinted off crockery on a long dresser and flagstones that had been scrubbed and polished into iridescence. The fire in the cave-like inglenook
his drink, and then took a sip. It tasted something like apples, something like autumn mornings, and quite a lot like the bottom of a logpile. Not wishing to appear disrespectful, however, he took a swig. The crowd watched him, counting under its breath. Mort felt something was being demanded of him. “Nice,” he said, “very refreshing.” He took another sip. “Bit of an acquired taste,” he added, “but well worth the effort, I’m sure.” There were one or two mutters of discontent from the back of
“Pity.” Ysabell stopped so sharply that Mort cannoned into the back of her. “This would be about the right area,” she said. “What now?” Mort peered at the faded names on the spines. “They don’t seem to be in any order!” he moaned. They looked up. They wandered down a couple of side alleys. They pulled a few books off the lowest shelves at random, raising pillows of dust. “This is silly,” said Mort at last. “There’s millions of lives here. The chances of finding his are worse than—” Ysabell
NOT KNOW, I HAVE NEVER TRIED. Death stared at his feet. He was beginning to feel deeply embarrassed. Keeble shuffled the paper on his desk, and sighed. I CAN WALK THROUGH WALLS, Death volunteered, aware that the conversation had reached an impasse. Keeble looked up brightly. “I’d like to see that,” he said. “That could be quite a qualification.” RIGHT. Death pushed his chair back and stalked confidently towards the nearest wall. OUCH. Keeble watched expectantly. “Go on, then,” he said.
boy looked at it for some time, and then skewered it on a chopstick. “Ah,” he said, “but is it not also written by none other than the great philosopher Ly Tin Wheedle that a scholar may be ranked above princes? I seem to remember you giving me the passage to read once, O Faithful and Assiduous Seeker of Knowledge.” The thing followed another brief arc through the air and flopped apologetically into the Vizier’s bowl. He scooped it up in a quick movement and poised it for a second service. His