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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Old For Rock and Roll? Too Young to Die?
The answers to those questions and more may be found in Terry Pratchett's hilariously funny and thoughtful Soul music.
Soul Music consists of two parallel plot lines which, because this is Discworld and not the earth, converge as they reach the story's horizons. First we meet Imp y Celyn, soon to be known to the world as Bud of the Holly or Buddy, as he travels the...
Published on 2 Mar 2005 by Leonard Fleisig

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Discworld Novel Set Around Rock Music!
Another installment in the Death series. Death goes missing again, and its up to his grand-daughter to fill his shoes. For a human this becomes a difficult task, and much like in the novel Mort, things don't go as planned.

Not being a huge fan of music, some of the jokes were a little lost on me. Also I do think that its a difficult task to have a "musical"...
Published on 8 Nov 2010 by Louise Roberts


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Old For Rock and Roll? Too Young to Die?, 2 Mar 2005
By 
Leonard Fleisig "Len" (Virginia Beach, Virginia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
The answers to those questions and more may be found in Terry Pratchett's hilariously funny and thoughtful Soul music.
Soul Music consists of two parallel plot lines which, because this is Discworld and not the earth, converge as they reach the story's horizons. First we meet Imp y Celyn, soon to be known to the world as Bud of the Holly or Buddy, as he travels the long and winding road from his home of Llamedos to Ankh-Morpork. Back hone, Imp's music always made his people smile and he knew if he had a chance he could make some people dance and maybe they'd be happy for a while. Unable to raise enough cash to join the musicians' guild, Buddy, after picking up a very odd guitar at a strange music store joins up with Glod the dwarf and Lias the troll and form a musical group. In short order the group has a gig at the Mended Drum.
In the meantime, DEATH is in the midst of his nineteenth nervous breakdown. As DEATH walks through his land of broken dreams, he seems unconcerned about what becomes of those who should now be departed. There will be disastrous consequences for the universe (see Reaper Man) if DEATH does not perform his obligations. The Death of Rats and his raven translator Quoth go desperately seeking Susan, DEATH's granddaughter. She is persuaded by Death of Rats to fill in until DEATH can be found and persuaded to return to work. Susan soon finds herself atop DEATH's horse Binky. She's eight miles high and when she touches down in Ankh-Morpork she enters the Mended Drum to meet her first assignment - - - Buddy. And then all heck breaks loose.
Buddy starts to play the guitar just like he's ringing a bell and the world seems to stop. It may be that only the good, like Buddy, die young but in this instance Susan says something DEATH would never say: "it isn't fair". Though no fault of her own, Buddy does not go up to that spirit in the sky, Buddy and his music live on. The obvious question becomes why is he still alive and to what purpose?
"Music with rocks in" it becomes the next big thing. Even the wizards at Unseen University fall prey to these musical magic moments, so different and so new. Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler soon makes an appearance and rapidly transforms himself from purveyor of sausages to greedy rapacious rock and roll impresario. Soon, every kid in Ankh-Morpork wants to be a music with rocks in star. They get electric guitars but don't learn how to play. They think with their hair swung right and their pants too tight it will be all right. Little do they know that in the crafty hands of CMOT Dibbler even musicians with talent will soon be in dire straights.
Meanwhile, Susan, Death of Rats and even Albert, DEATH's loyal man Friday, search Discworld for DEATH. DEATH has been seen sitting on the dock of the river in Ankh-Morpork, drinking whiskey and rye with the good ole boys at the Mended Drum, and standing guard at midnight at an oasis manned by the Klatchian Foreign Legion. His internal dialogue is priceless, funny, and thoughtful.
Events proceed rapidly as Dibbler prepares the band for a huge free concert in Ankh-Morpork. This will be Discworld's Woodstock. Will Susan's sense of justice prevail? Will Buddy survive even though the sands in his hour glass are long gone? Will the Librarian get money for nothing and his chimps for free? Will the wizards ride though mansions of glory in suicide machines? The answers to these questions aren't blowing in the wind but they are in the book.
As far as Terry Pratchett's Discworld books are concerned, Soul Music is near the top of the charts . . . with a bullet.
Elvish has left the building.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rock'n'roll comes to Discworld, 7 Jun 2000
By A Customer
It had to happen some time. We'd already talked about movies (Moving Pictures) and gods (Small Gods), so it only could be matter of time before Pratchett dealt with that other passtime, music. And he does it very well too. But I thought this book didn't actually concentrate on music that much and spent more time dealing with Death's disappearance. The introduction of Susan, Death's grand-daughter, by adoption, is a brilliant idea, and having her take over the business is a genius touch. The bits which are about music are well written and funny, but it all draws itself to a rather disappointing end. Not one of his best, but still very good nonethless. (P.S., for all those who have read it, did you realise that Llamedos, where the lead singer comes from, is not a Welsh name, but sod-em-all written backwards?)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One, two, one, two, many, lots..., 29 Dec 2006
Soul Music is (along with Hogfather) my favourite Discworld novel. I first read it at the age of twelve, and finally, five years later, someone got it through their heads to get it for me for Christmas.

The book revolves around a young man called Imp y Celyn (who's name translates roughly to "bud of the holly"), who journeys to Anhk-Morpork in a bid to become the greatest musician in the world. In the city, he meets a troll named Lias (who is incapable of counting to four) and a dwarf named Glod Glodsson (who's only in it for the money), and together, they form The Band With Rocks In. Thier style of music, dubbed "Music With Rocks In", takes the Discworld by storm, causing it's inhabitants to become obsessed with songs such as "Don't Step On My New Blue Boots" and "Good Gracious Miss Polly". Even the wizards in the Unseen University have been tranformed by it, with the Dean painting his bedroom black and weaing a studded leather robe that says "BORN TO RUNE".

Many aspiring Music With Rocks In bands spring up in The Band With Rocks In's wake, such as "We're Certainly Dwarfs" and a band that changes it's name so much they just end up being known as "Ande Supporting Bandes".

Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler also appears, eager to exploit the new fad to make himself a quick fortune.

Only thing is, Music With Rocks In is alive. And it's the only thing stopping Imp from meeting an early death.

Meanwhile, Death has joined the Klatchian Foriegn Legion in a bid to forget, and it's fallen to his granddaughter, Susan Sto-Helit, to take on the Duty. And she's more interested in saving Imp from his "Live fast, die young" destiny, which causes a lot of trouble for Albert and the Death of Rats.

All in all, Soul Music is a hilarious book and one of the best in the Discworld series, with many puns on well known aspects of music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Discworld greats, 25 Feb 2005
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This is the sixteenth book in Terry Pratchett's series on the Discworld - a flat world, supported on the backs of four massive elephants riding on the back of a planet-sized turtle. Anything hilarious can happen here, and eventually does.
In this book, Death (capital "D", he's the man, or rather the anthropomorphic personification) disappears, and his granddaughter (that's another story) is forced to pick up the family business. But, there's something very strange going on here. A young man who was supposed to die has been strangely saved by music, and the music now owns him. It has all happened before, somewhere else, but now it has come to the Discworld - sex and drugs and Music With Rocks In!
This is one of Terry Pratchett's masterpieces, and that is really saying something. I like all of the Discworld books, but several are special, like this one. This is a great book, laugh-out-loud funny with lots of great references to rock music and movies. Beyond that, though, the story is very entertaining, and will keep you sitting up at night turning pages (like it did to me).
This is one of the Discworld greats, a book that I highly recommend to all fans of great fantasy literature!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a blinder of a Pratchett Novel, 18 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This has to be one the Pratchett greats. I have read this book time and again and I still find a bit of humour I missed at each pass.
The storyline is based in Ankh-Morpork, the Diskworld's city that never sleeps. This time its unlikely that anyone will get any sleep as Music With Rocks In breaks through the thin walls of reality that encompass the fragile universe that Discworlders call home.
Imp y Cellyn, alias Buddy (of the Holly), wishes to be the most famous musician in the world. Unfortunately wishes like that can lead to trouble, as they most often do in the Discworld.
The story takes off as we are introduced to the key characters Susan, Death's granddaughter, and Buddy, leader of the Band With Rock's In. Susan has been pulled into the reality gap left by the absence of her anthropomorphically personified granddad Death as he has disappeared in search of forgetfulness?!? Unfortunately things don't go quite to plan for Susan. She is disillusioned by the fact that the good die young and the bad die old and prosper. She wants to make a few changes and nothing like the laws of the Universe are going to stop her!
When it comes to Buddy's turn to ascend from this mortal coil, Susan is bent on saving his life. Before she can act the Music saves Buddy's life instead. From now on all is a hectic whirlwind of swirling adventure and misadventure, hellbent towards achieving the magical climax of this not-to-be-missed literary escapade.
Possibly one of my most favorite books ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book Ever, 17 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Soul Music (Hardcover)
This is my favourite book. I thought that it was going to be really boring when I first saw the cover, because it had Death on a Motorbike! However, you can never judge a book by its cover as they say...The teaming of a dwarf and a troll in a rock band is inspired and some of Pratchett's best lines live here. If you like Pratchett you will love this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Discworld Novel Set Around Rock Music!, 8 Nov 2010
Another installment in the Death series. Death goes missing again, and its up to his grand-daughter to fill his shoes. For a human this becomes a difficult task, and much like in the novel Mort, things don't go as planned.

Not being a huge fan of music, some of the jokes were a little lost on me. Also I do think that its a difficult task to have a "musical" novel however I think that Pratchett pull this off well. Its not one of my favourite Discworld stories, but I do love Death and Susan in this, I think they are particularly strong characters, and they pull the story together. I also love the setting of Anhk Morpork, and its denizens, particularly the homeless beggars who are brilliant individuals. Overall a good read if you love Discworld and Pratchett, but in my personal view, not his best novel but definitely worth a read.

I also think, having seen the tv series, that it is a good adaption of the novel, and if like me, you struggle with the musical side of things, this is a brilliant series to add the musical element to a well-written novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but not one of the best, 9 Nov 2009
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul Music: (Discworld Novel 16) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
Imp y Celyn, trained as a musician in a druid society, arrives in Ankh-Morpork ready to seek his fortune. Instead, the city rapidly deprives him of the few riches he already has. Teaming up with the dwarf horn-blower Glod and the troll drummer Lias, Imp braves the wrath of the Musicians' Guild by playing without a licence. When he acquires a special guitar from a back-alley shop, Imp learns that he and his band are meant for greatness, for sex and drugs and Music With Rocks In (well, one out of three isn't that bad).

Meanwhile, Susan, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sto Helit, is rather perturbed to learn that she is the granddaughter of Death, and when her grandfather decides to take some time off she has to step in and do the job. Which would be fine except that when it becomes time for her to collect the soul of a certain musician, she learns that music doesn't want him to die. At least, not until it decides the time is right...

Soul Music is the Discworld's take on rock music, essentially doing for music what Moving Pictures did for movies. In fact, Pratchett lampshades this a couple of times, with references to the events of that earlier book informing events (such as Ridcully becoming convinced horrible Things from the Dungeon Dimensions are about to break through the walls of reality at any second). The problem is that whilst he does this amusingly, Pratchett never really breaks away from the basic concept. He throws some great new ideas and characters into the mix, with the introduction of HEX (the Discworld's first AI-based computer), the Duck Man and the excellent character of Susan, who recurs in several future books, but overall it does feel like Pratchett is retreading old ground here. The Death storyline is also somewhat under-developed, with no real reason for Death suddenly taking a few weeks off being given. In fact, it feels very odd he would after the chaos this caused last time in Reaper Man (the events of which are also referenced several times, making Soul Music one of the most continuity-heavy books in the series).

Of course, as has been said in these reviews before, Pratchett on autopilot is still better than most writers at the very top of their game. Pratchett has a huge knowledge of music and lets the reader know it with references (both overt and subtle) to Buddy Holly, Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Meat Loaf, punk rock and The Blues Brothers roaring past the reader like bullets from a machine gun. The pace is fast, the narrative is tight and some of the cliches of rock 'n' roll are very cleverly used to set up and further the storyline.

The problem is that Soul Music, whilst entertaining, lacks the spark of greatness that infused the three books that preceded it, and if read in close conjunction with the earlier volumes it does feel like a slight step down in quality. The new characters are not quite as memorable as those in the books which preceded it and the running gag with the Bursar's insanity and dried frog pills is starting to wear pretty thin by this point. Pratchett also has a slight problem with the cameos from the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, who in their own books get involved whenever something crazy happens in the city and eventually sort it out, but in other characters' volumes simply come across as useless and somewhat pointless, which seems a bit disrespectful of them after their fine achievements in Men at Arms.

Still, these are really minor problem. Soul Music (****) remains a very entertaining and readable novel, and is available now in the UK and USA. An animated movie based on the book is also available in the USA (in a double-pack with Wyrd Sisters) on DVD, although it is currently out-of-print in the UK.
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4.0 out of 5 stars There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvish, 23 Sep 2006
"Soul Music" is the sixteenth book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series and was first published in 1994. 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, a little thin, carries a scythe, likes the colour black - appears in more of the Discworld books than any other character. By and large, he makes only a very brief appearance and - while the role he plays in "Soul Music" is still a supporting role - he has a huge influence on what happens in the book. Back in "Mort", he took an apprentice who eventually went on to marry Ysabell - Death's adopted daughter. In time, the pair had a daughter called Susan, who makes her first appearance here. As the book opens. Susan is a pupil at the Quirm College for Young Ladies. She can't quite remember her maternal grandfather, let alone what he does <ahem> for a living...however, she has inherited some of his abilities. Unfortunately, Death is feeling a little depressed, and it seems there are certain things he'd rather forget. (The problem is that he's not quite sure how to go about forgetting). It's all causing Albert, Death's butler, and the Death of Rats quite some concern. When Death takes soe time off in order to try and forget, it also causes Susan a great deal of bother...you see, somebody's got to do Death's job...

Imp y Celyn, meanwhile, is a promising young harp-playing bard from Llamedos (a country with Welsh tendencies). After a blazing row with his father, he sets off to become the greatest musician in the world, and eventually arrives in Ankh-Morpork. While trying to join the Guild of Musicians, he meets Glod Glodsson (a horn-playing dwarf) and Lias (a troll who specialises in percussion). The trio, however, are a little short on funds and can't quite meet the subscription fee. This means they're barred from playing music professionally in the city...which is unfortunate, as the on ly way they can raise the money for the fee is by playing music professionally. Things get even worse when Lias accidentally breaks Imp's harp - though they soon make the mistake of replacing it with a guitar from a magical music shop. Inspired by the guitar, the trio invent a new style of music the becomes known as "Music With Rocks In" - something that leads them hurtling towards disaster. By the way, a rough translation for "Imp y Celyn" is "Bud y Holly"...

A big plus for the book is the return of Death of Rats and the introduction of his sidekick, Quoth the Raven. Quoth, named by a wizard who thought he was also a comedian, is partial to an eyeball and - like the skull he roosts on - can talk. However, he absolutely refuses to say "nevermore". A very funny book, with a plenty of nods to famous songs, bands and movies, it's highly recommended. It may be a slight advantage to have read "Mort" - though as the book begins with a brief introduction, you'll not really miss out if you haven't.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Music for the soul, one of best fromTerry Pratchett, 27 April 2003
By 
A Dunsford (Wiltshire England) - See all my reviews
Discworld stories by Terry Pratchett are full of one-liners, puns and clever double meanings. As you read Soul Music you might smile occasionally, chuckle or even burst out in uncontrollable laughter.
The paperback cover shows Death riding a motorbike, borrowed from the librarian of Unseen University (a rather talented orangutan), in a death defying leap across a canyon. The ancient city of Ankh-Morpork with its "interesting river" that is home to seven unique toxins, sprawls out in the background.
Deep in Ankh-Morpork there is an old shop that looks like it has always been part of the city, but it wasn't there yesterday. Inside is a musical instrument for sale. Its magical power calls to a boy from the mountains. Although he has the looks he is not elvish, he's a country boy.
After traveling to the city he meets up with a troll and a dwarf. They become "The band with rocks in". Their music is like nothing that has ever been heard before, it really rocks. They encounter Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler (He would have been a used car salesman if cars had been invented). Dibbler can see the potential for a nice-little-earner and with some venture capital from Chrysoprase "The Godfather"; the band embark on a successful tour. Each night is a complete sell-out and the citizens of Discworld slowly become rebellious and lawless as they are entranced by the music with rocks in. The music is a parasitic life force and likes it here.
If that wasn't bad enough, Death has run off to the Klatchian Foreign Legion. He needs to ... forget. His grand daughter Susan has to take over Death's duties. This is not easy because Susan is mistaken for the tooth fairy, strange considering she has a scythe and rides a huge white horse called Binky. Susan decides that some things just aren't fair and Discworld is never quite the same again.
If you have never read Discworld books before you really should give this one a try.
There is also an animated version of this book available on DVD. The animation style is not to everyone's taste but once you become engrossed in the story it works very well indeed and does help to explain the music jokes, which are mostly from the 50's and 60's.
As Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler once put it: "Old music is never forgotten, it's a compilation album opportunity."
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Soul Music: (Discworld Novel 16) (Discworld Novels)
Soul Music: (Discworld Novel 16) (Discworld Novels) by Terry Pratchett (Paperback - 1 Oct 2005)
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