'Reaper Man' - Book Review

The 11th book in the Discworld series sees Death being fired by "the Auditors of Reality" for the mistake of having developed a personality. Death is actually sort of excited by this: he has time, something he's never had before (he's always had eternity, and a job that used up all of it). So he goes off and tries to have a normal life. In the case of most personifications like Death, another immediately arises. But in this case there's a delay - so no one dies, and the life force builds up on the Disc with some awkward side-effects.

Wikipedia suggests that the title is a play on the movie from the period, "Repo Man."

For reasons I can't fully articulate (isn't that always the way of it with comedy?), this book really struck home with me. It was partly because I thought the humour was better than usual, but I think it was also because I just like Death: he's a charming guy, despite his skeletal appearance and professional calling.

Among the best jokes: the Patrician (ruler) of Ankh-Morpork has always been described as tall and very thin. This time he's referred to as looking like a "predatory flamingo." Pratchett also referred to a funeral as "a reverential form of garbage disposal." And there was the cuckoo joke: "Isn’t there a sort of cuckoo in the Ramtops that builds clocks to nest in?" said the Bursar. "Yes, but that’s just courtship ritual," said the Lecturer in Recent Runes airily. "Besides, they keep lousy time."