Thursday, 6 September 2012

Review: Soul Music

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Soul Music, first published in 1994, is the next novel in the Death storyline. Death has, once again, problem with his profession and leaves to seek forgetfulness. He couldn't have chosen a worse time...
His talents are transferred to his granddaughter, Susan Sto Helit, who didn't know of her heritage since her parents, Ysabell and Mort, had a dispute with Death when she was small. Susan has difficulties with her new tasks, since she grew up to be a very sensible abd realistic person and just doing the Duty won't do for her.
At around the same time, a young harp player named Imp y Celyn tells his parents that he wants to be the greatest musician in the world. He leaves home and ends up in Ankh-Morpork, where he starts a band with a troll and a dwarf, whom he met at the (too expensive) musicians guild. When the troll accidentally ruins Imp's harp, they find him a guitar in a mysterious music shop. All of a sudden, music comes alive and brings fame and riches to the Band (With Rocks In). But don't the famous die young? It's all Susan can do to keep Imp, aka Buddy, alive and singing...
In the end, Death has to return to save the day, the discworld, and his most faithful servant.

I've read Soul Music in German before, but enjoyed the English version more. Translations can only get you so far (although I've also heard that 50 Shades of Grey is better in German)...
Anyway, Death is always an amusing character to read about, especially when he tries to be human, and it's almost sad that the main focus of this novel is on music, the Band and CMOT Dibbler making money (and failing horribly in the end). It lacks the usual philosphical component of Death novels.

Again, what I admired most about Soul Music was the continuity. I think it's amazing how Terry Pratchett doesn't make mistakes, even though he is working with only remotely connected storylines in his different discworld novels. There are always connections, guest appearances from characters of older books, and it always fits. J.K. Rowling didn't even manage that in seven books for just one story.

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