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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start your Discworld addiction.
The concept of Death needing an apprentice captures the imagination from the very start of this book.The fact He likes cats,enjoys curries and His horse is called Binky leaves you doubting all you have been brought up to believe. His choice of a gangely, knocked-kneed youth named Mort, presents us with our unlikely hero whose adventures unfold like a comedy of errors...
Published on 25 May 2000 by joy.fritter@btinternet.com

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever, but not the best Discworld novel
Death takes an apprentice and decides to take a break and enjoy himself for a while. Meanwhile, his apprentice, Mort (short for Mortimer but everyone calls him Boy) is busy screwing up the nature of reality by falling in love with one of his intended victims. History tries to reassert itself and everything gets complicated. Deaths granddaughter (Family not having much...
Published on 22 Feb 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Assistant to Death, 6 Nov 2005
By 
This review is from: Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
All Mort's father wants for him is an apprenticeship, but everybody passes up on this scrawny boy. Then after all of the other people have left one figure comes out to accept the boy, it is none other than Death.
Hereafter we follow Mort as he explores Death's Domain, meets Death's daughter, and learns the ropes of being Death. Meanwhile Death gets distracted by studying humanity and gradually Mort starts to become death, even SPEAKING IN THE VOICE. It isn't long, however, before things start to go terribly wrong, without Death at the reigns.
I actually read this volume after Reaper Man and Hogfather, so I was quite interested to learn more about Albert and see the roots (literarily speaking) of Death's Domain. I also enjoyed seeing Mort grow and then struggle as only a human would, with the job of being Death and asking many questions that Death never could have.
If you've enjoyed seeing Death at the edges of other Discworld novels then you should definately check out his first starring role. Also, being fairly early in the series it can be a good introduction to the Disc without any real spoilers or prerequisites.
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13 of 15 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, 31 Aug 2006
This review is from: Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels) (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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I could murder a curry", 24 Oct 2003
This review is from: Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
The Hobbit was formerly my favourite book. Within pages of Mort, however, I was reconsidering. This is the first novel from the Discworld series I've come across, and it's absolutely hilarious. Witty and clever throughout, Death is characterised wonderfully, as is his intriguing daughter Ysabelle and drippy cook Albert.
Most importantly, Pratchett's work is stonkingly visual. I've never felt so "in to" a book before, as entire worlds open up in your mind. Death's house, all the castles, Unseen University - somehow I don't think a movie or a cartoon could encapsulate the kind of colours Pratchett spins here.
Mort himself is likeable, particular when he's the stupid "all knees" character at the beginning. Of course he grows and gets smarter, bumping into wonderful characters like Princess Keli and bumbling wizard Cutwell (one of many on Discworld, apparently). Perhaps "Mort's" only drawback is the happy ending, but that's only if you're a grumpy soul like me.
A powerfully funny, beautifully imaginative masterwork. The sheer idea that there might be better Pratchett novels was more than enough to get me hoarding more of them. I have 5 now, and I'm working through them...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you haven't read this you haven't lived!!!!!!!!!!!!, 21 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
'Mort' is the best Disc World novel I have read yet and is filled with characters who are certain to have your sides aching. From Death himself to his spectre horse (aptly named Binky)through to Albert, the drippy nosed chef/butler/general servant, it is by far the best cast. There are more jokes and funny bits than there are pigeons in Trafalgar Square. After reading this book, you will never think of death in the same way again!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why is there a cherry on a stick in this drink?, 28 Nov 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels) (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh! Mort, 2 Dec 2003
This review is from: Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
I first met the author at a convention in 1995, just weeks after reading this book. A friend introduced me to this as her favourite and it was the first I ever read of Terry's. This fourth in series easily stands alone and is still one of my favourites.
Mort is your basic drip when you first meet him. His adventures are hilarious, rivalling those of Rincewind of earlier fame; whom I read about later. For me only the witches are funnier. I now have a full set of Discworld books and most of the others too, on the strength of this introduction.
Mort's family need to apprentice him, and there's only one taker....
Only slowly does he realise there really is something he isn't completely useless at, and he gets to meet some really interesting people along the way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will never fear Death again., 14 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
Death is my third favorite character following closly behind Esme Weatherwax and Nannie Ogg. The character of Death is so well written that one feels the simplicity and complexity of Death at the same time. As for Mort, I think Terry Pratchett must have met my son at 16! This is a read over and over again book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A step-up in quality, 22 July 2009
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Young Mort is unsuited to follow in his father's footsteps, so it put up to apprentice in another trade. Unexpectedly, Death himself decides to train up Mort as a neophyte Grim Reaper so he can have a few days off. After all, what could go wrong? Well, as it turns out...

Mort was the point that a lot of people started taking more notice of the Discworld series. Smaller in scale than the first three books, Mort features Death as a main character and some thoughts and meditations on the nature of death and what may (or may not) come after. This is Pratchett in a more thoughtful mood, but he doesn't neglect the comedy. There are quite a few funny moments and passages, and we meet some more soon-to-be-iconic Discworld characters like Albert as well. But it's the serious thinking about life and the place of people within it that makes Mort stand out a little bit more than some of the other early books. Pratchett is also quite disciplined here, with a focused and tight plot that doesn't ramble like some of his other novels (which is sometimes entertaining, sometimes not), and this works quite well.

Mort is also interesting as the Discworld book that has been optioned several times as a big-budget Hollywood movie, but Hollywood has so far been unable to make it as they decided they wanted to remove Death from the book as his presence would be too much of a downer for American audiences to handle. Unsurprisingly and possibly thankfully, the film has never been made.

Mort (***½) is a step-up in quality from the first three books, with Pratchett stretching his author's muscles and discovering some new and interesting tools in his writing box. The next phase of the Discworld series, a more solidly entertaining and interesting series of works leading up to the series' first undisputed classics, begins here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fourth in the Discworld Series, 9 Feb 2008
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Terry Pratchett has become one of the most popular authors alive today and his popularity is richly deserved. But not even with his fertile mind could he ever have envisaged the heights to which his Discworld series would rise. This book first published in 1987 is the third of the Discworld novels and the author is really getting into his stride in the series that broke all records and continues to do so with new books being regularly published.

Pratchett's wit and imagination are second to none. Who else would have or could have thought of the Discworld, a world of mystery and magic sitting on the back of four elephants, who in turn are standing on the back of the great turtle A'tuin the whole lot journeying through an eternal void. Are you with the plot so far?

Mort is the fourth book in the Discworld series and encompasses Terry Pratchett's thoughts on death. Surely death is a very serious and not least, final event. Can death be funny? Well, when it gets the Pratchett treatment you may well laugh yourself to death.

Mort is like many teenagers, spotty and growing out of his clothes too quickly. His parents had always said get yourself a trade son, and you won't go far wrong. So Mort does just that, as apprentice to Death himself. The problem is that although he is willing enough, well reasonably willing, he is not very good at his job and bungles more than one fatal visitation.

Having said that taking on an apprentice and delegating a lot of his work has changed Death's `life' completely, if you see what I mean. Drinking and gambling are just two of the human traits that begin to interest Death. He even begins to look into why fun is fun. It could only happen on the Discworld and if you miss it, you will be sorry . . .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fourth in the Discworld Series, 19 Dec 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
Terry Pratchett has become one of the most popular authors alive today and his popularity is richly deserved. But not even with his fertile mind could he ever have envisaged the heights to which his Discworld series would rise. This book first published in 1987 is the third of the Discworld novels and the author is really getting into his stride in the series that broke all records and continues to do so with new books being regularly published.

Pratchett's wit and imagination are second to none. Who else would have or could have thought of the Discworld, a world of mystery and magic sitting on the back of four elephants, who in turn are standing on the back of the great turtle A'tuin the whole lot journeying through an eternal void. Are you with the plot so far?

Mort is the fourth book in the Discworld series and encompasses Terry Pratchett's thoughts on death. Surely death is a very serious and not least, final event. Can death be funny? Well, when it gets the Pratchett treatment you may well laugh yourself to death.

Mort is like many teenagers, spotty and growing out of his clothes too quickly. His parents had always said get yourself a trade son, and you won't go far wrong. So Mort does just that, as apprentice to Death himself. The problem is that although he is willing enough, well reasonably willing, he is not very good at his job and bungles more than one fatal visitation.

Having said that taking on an apprentice and delegating a lot of his work has changed Death's `life' completely, if you see what I mean. Drinking and gambling are just two of the human traits that begin to interest Death. He even begins to look into why fun is fun. It could only happen on the Discworld and if you miss it, you will be sorry . . .
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Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels)
Mort: (Discworld Novel 4) (Discworld Novels) by Terry Pratchett (Paperback - 18 Nov 1988)
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