Reaper Man (Discworld #11; Death #2)

Reaper Man (Discworld, #11) - Terry Pratchett

TW: one homophobic joke, some racist jokes, ableism

 

Yo! This was my first foray into the Discworld and into Terry Pratchett's writing, and it was a treat. A little weird, and very charming. I didn't know I needed Bill Door and the Death of Rats in my life until I read this book. I didn't know why I disliked malls until I read this book. I didn't know I should have been distrusting snow globes until I read this book. I did know that all the best butlers are named Albert, and that's confirmed in this book.

 

The focus of Reaper Man appears to be death, as well as Death, but it's really all just a way to examine life and all of its varied uses and misuses. How do we live? How do we not live? It's in death - or more accurately when Death fails to show up - that Windle Poons begins to truly live. And it's a way for Death, who has never known life beyond the reaping of it, to experience how life happens rather than just how it ends. Death as Bill Door is a delight, and I will love this book just for that alone. His existential crisis at living is a beauty to behold. He's an awkward character, and an even more awkward "human" because he's never had to fit in, or get along with people, or sleep. He doesn't even know what sleep is, y'all. And while he's having his crisis, Poons is having his reawakening, or perhaps just awakening since he never lived his life while he was alive, and the friends he makes along the way just add to the absurdity. 

 

The story does drag a little in some places, but some of that could just be due to my unfamiliarity with this world. The humor is more quirky ironic than laugh out loud funny, and it's packed full of philosophical musings that I personally enjoyed.