DEATH is not only the main character of “Reaper Man”, he becomes a humorous metaphorical concept in the hands of Terry Pratchett when imagining if the Grim Reaper got replaced and the consequence to the Disc. Pratchett is at his comical and narrative best, further developing previously established characters and introducing memorable new ones.
The Auditors, which I first learned about watching The Hogfather miniseries, make their first appearance in the Discworld novels and target DEATH because he’s gained a personality. The result DEATH is forced into retirement, it’s short but he decides to learn to live in what time he’s got. While living on the farm of Miss Flitworth, DEATH learns about every day things and personal interactions as “Bill Door” all the while checking his golden watch tick down. While DEATH is on the farm, the Auditors didn’t have someone to immediately fill his position resulting in people dying but not “moving on” as in the case of Windle Poons, a 130 year old Wizard who had a more active undead “life” than his actual life. Poons, the Wizards of the Unseen University, and many other assorted characters must contend with the build up of Life Force that could result in something that can be the death of a city.
The two plots are vaguely intertwined and only combine with one another at the very end, however each has little subplots that Pratchett uses not only to humorous but narrative effect that drives the book forward. Honestly, I could not find a fault in this book and probably because since I’ve started reading Discworld I’ve been looking forward to reading the DEATH series of books with anticipation. However, the time I spent reading this book has been with a smile on my face as noted by my co-workers who shared a table with me during lunches and breaks. I can’t give a better recommendation than that.