Soul Music

Terry Pratchett, Author HarperPrism $20 (389p) ISBN 978-0-06-105203-3
Nepotism is given an unusual spin in Pratchett's 14th Discworld novel, as Death's granddaughter picks up the scythe when the Grim Reaper takes a vacation. Trolls, dwarves, magicians and rock music--music played with rocks--figure in this amusing but overlong romp, which begins with the formation of a band by aspiring musician Imp y Celen (aka Buddy). Arriving in the city of Ankh-Morpork, Buddy finds a magical guitar which enables the group--a rock-playing troll, an ax-wielding dwarf and an Orangutan pianist--to drive crowds wild. But the instrument causes conflict between the motley crew and Susan, Death's granddaughter, who is just adjusting to her new post. Many of the ensuing comic situations involve Death trying to get drunk, though Pratchett's liberal application of jokes scores as many misses as hits. Extraneous plot information slows the pace as the narrative rattles to a colossal, albeit uninspired, conclusion. Science Fiction Book Club main selection. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/1995
Release date: 01/01/1995
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