It's fitting that I finished this book on Easter morning, I think. It's all about life and death, and Death IN CAPITAL LETTERS, and a wizard named Windle Poons.
Windle Poons has just died, but since Death has been forced to retire (got too interested in his crops, developed a personality), Windle Poons and everything else that has died since just sort of . . . hangs around waiting for the new Death to show up. The whole thing turns into this escalating mass of controlled chaos where metaphors become reality, cities lay eggs, and swear words pop into physical existence as twittering, flying creatures.
While it's certainly not the most profound work of literature I've ever read, it does have some very specific (and hilarious) things to say about the human condition, and in the end, is weirdly moving in that way only funny things can be. Much, much better than Moving Pictures. My faith in the Discworld has been restored.
And, as is customary for a really good review of a Discworld novel, I shall conclude by quotation:
"The Dean himself didn't know when he'd been happier. For sixty years he'd been obeying all the self-regulated rules of wizardry, and suddenly he was having the time of his life. He'd never realized that, deep down inside, what he really wanted to do was make things go splat."
"Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind."
And for a bit of solemnity:
"No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."
"LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?"