WHAT'S YOUR NAME, BOY?
Uh, Mortimer...sir.They call me Mort.
WHAT A COINCIDENCE...
Ah, don't worry; Mort doesn't die, but Death could use an assistant. In fact, Death is dead tired, beginning to question what it's all about, and would like to try something else, for a change. So, Death takes a holiday, and lets Mort stand in for him.
Unfortunately--and hilariously--Mort finds himself in some trouble right away, but he can't find his master anywhere. He doesn't know that Death is currently working as the fastest short-order cook Ankh-Morpork has ever seen, turning out menu items in the blink of an eye and lining the business with saucers of milk for all the strays (CATS ARE NICE).
Mort almost does some serious damage to the universe, and when his eyes start to glow strangely and he starts to talk LIKE THIS, he knows that events and changes are spiraling out of his control. Fortunately, Death does come to his senses and realizes that he can't live any kind of human life. Death has accepted his fate and all is swell in Discworld.
I must say, the funniest Discworld novels are those that take place right in Ankh-Morpork; it's an urban creation that is so ripe for comedy. Well, Pratchett would say that Ankh-Morpork is ripe in, um, much more immediately noticeable ways. This novel only has a few scenes in that most populated of Discworld cities, and those are the funniest ones. I was particularly pleased that Rincewind, a comically inept wizard, made an appearance in Mort. Rincewind must be one of the oldest characters in the series and it was fun to have him bungling around again. I must admit that I missed The Watch, though. Since not much of Mort takes place in the city, we don't get treated to Ankh-Morpork's finest.
Discworld. Always a world of fun.