“No one clapped. On the other hand, no one threw anything, either. By Drum standards, this was a hearty welcome.”
“Soul Music” by Terry Pratchett
What happens when you take Death’s teenage grand-daughter and add a little bit of Music with Rocks In?
Pure hilarity, that’s what. Anyone who follows this blog knows that I’m a pretty big fan of Terry Pratchett. Every so often, some of his books hit a little bit, but they’re still enjoyable. More often than not, they’re a really great read. But, every so often, one of his Discworld books just hits all the right notes for me, and Soul Music is one of them. Soul Music managed to do with rock and roll what Moving Pictures failed to do with movies, with its jokes being too obvious and mostly falling flat. Almost every joke in Soul Music sings, which is perhaps a true testament to how music truly moves us all, and is something far greater than we could ever comprehend, as the story suggests. It follow Susan Sto Helit as she attempts to take on the family business when Death goes missing, and Imp y Ceyln from Llamados as he goes to the big city of Ankh-Morpork seeking out music and finds a very special guitar. Their paths cross that Imp’s life becomes devastatingly connected to the strange magic of this ancient instrument harboring a connection to the very thing that could make or break the universe.
Told in the typical Pratchett fashion, which balances light humor with Really Heavy Topics, Soul Music was a blast and, for once, I didn’t feel like the Really Heavy Topic was bordering too much on the Unreachable. It was, a little, I have to admit, but it was easier to swallow than some of his previous attempts to get heavyhanded. esides, any book that has what I’m fairly sure is a reference to They Might Be Giants is instantly propelled into amazing territory on principal alone.
Seriously, the jokes and the puns in Soul Music are easily some of Pratchett’s best. Perhaps it’s because I’m such a fan of music that I appreciate them as much as I did, but there were several loud bleats of laughter that had my cats worried as I read. A good Pratchett book has me grinning lopsidedly in pleased amusement, but a great one makes me laugh out loud consistently throughout the book. Soul Music is one of the latter. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it’s got one of my favorite Discworld endings so far (though it still doesn’t beat the ending to Thud!, not by a long shot).
Soul Music has earned a place among the coveted “favorite” Discworld books…coveted, because it’s just about nearly half of them!
Books read: 21/100.
(And, yes, this is going up way later than my posts typically go up; today has not turned out the way I expected, in that I’ve basically spent all day cleaning the bathroom with the litter box in it and organizing the pantry…weird, strange day).