Monday, March 6, 2017

#MarchMagics : Mort

Mort was the fourth Discworld book written, the second published in 1987, and the first to have Death as a main character. The long and short of this one is that gawky, brainy but spacey teen Mortimer (Mort) isn't wanted around his family vineyard because of his tendency to ruin things so his dad and uncle decide he should find an apprenticeship. That job ends up being with the one and only Death. Why Death has decided to take an apprentice when he has the job for, well, life is unknown but the fact that he has a marriageable, adopted human daughter might be part of it.

This is actually one of the stranger Discworld books that I've read. Death takes an apprentice, the apprentice makes a major mistake, Death doesn't seem to notice and instead begins trying to more fully understand human emotion and purpose. He also goes fishing. In the meantime, as apprentice Mort tries to repair his mistake, he begins losing his humanity. And the ending is so fast and unexplained that it even perplexes the characters. I like some of the ideas explored in this book and the characters themselves but, overall, it's a tough one to love, even on this second reading. (I do love this amazing Gollancz cover, though!)

Question of the Day: Death has a soft spot for Discworld's kittens and cats. If you were not fully of this (our) world, what would be the thing that would attract/intrigue/charm you the most?

My answer? I think it would also be the animals. The variety, the color, the adaptations. It was nice to see Death get so angry when he found a sack of drowned kittens. When I wasn't doing whatever I needed to be doing in my regular existence, I would probably be down here watching puffin parties or elephant families or whale migrations.

Also exploring humanity,


  1. I like the kitten moment too. I had completely forgotten the plot of Mort!

  2. I actually really REALLY enjoyed this one! I'm surprised you should say it's hard to love because I did... then again, I read the majority of it so late at night that it's possible my brain was more susceptible to understanding such strangeness...? XD

    It's only my second-ever Discworld book (my first was Guards! Guards! which I read for last year's event). I found it quite fun! Strange yes but very enjoyable. I'm hoping to post a brief review of some kind. I got very attached to Mort and Death! I love them. :D And yes, kittens. XD

    As for what would intrigue me... I like to think that otters, movies, and books (why do people derive so much pleasure from staring at squiggles on surfaces made from former trees??) would attract me most. :D

    Anyways, I'm so glad that this readalong got me to read Mort! :) I'm looking forward to the next one too. ^_^

    1. I'm glad that you enjoyed this one so much! I think maybe because I just finished rereading my favorite Discworld series (Tiffany Aching), this wasn't as good in comparison. But I'm sure I'll warm back up to this series as we go along.