Death

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Read: The Sanctuary

Dual (or multiple) interwoven time lines seem pretty popular in current successful novels. The Sanctuary, for instance, connects one story plot playing in the early 1700 with one in the early 2000. Raymond Khoury mixes quite a bit of action – shoot outs, kidnappings, hot pursuits – a string of coincidences with an appealing scientific motive. Though the general level of violence and the number of shady characters is rather high the novel also brings up an interesting mix of moral attitudes and scientific ethics.

How far should you go, how far can you go to achieve your goal? Here, questionable scientific experiments, torture, and murder are obviously accepted means to reach the end. On top of that, even the goal is “ethically challenged.” Should one strive to find the cure for death, to prolong one’s life beyond the normal expectations? And, should you share that knowledge?

For this novel does not tell the “usual” quest for a religious artifact or a secret that could shatter the foundations of the Church, it does tell the quest for a vaccine to cure the disease of aging. And prolongevity – doubling, tripling the healthy human life expectancy – raises some serious social and moral questions.

These questions are far more interesting than the novel itself that only cursorily is concerned with them.

Still, The Sanctuary is quite entertaining – even though [url=http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Khoury]Khoury’s[/url] first novel The Last Templar was a bit more enjoyable and enthralling.

Read: Sourcery

Pratchett’s Discworld novel number five – Sourcery – features again Rincewind and (my favorite) Death, together with his three fellow horse-riders of the Apocralypse, the apocryphal apocalypse.

The story is nice and everything. It’s just apt to kill some time on a train trip. The most remarkable thing about this novel, however, is Pratchett’s extensive use of footnotes. There are 25 footnotes in total. There were some footnotes in his earlier novels, too. Yet, here he really establishes the footnote in his work as a literary device that provides a departure from the main narrative, tells a different story altogether, and provides meta-commentaries on the plot – a comic relief from an already comic novel.

Read: Mort

Pratchett created a wonderful character: Death. You just have to love every encounter with this guy. Each dialog sparkles with this unique dry sense of humor that is one of the reasons I like Pratchett’s work.

Death appears in almost all Discworld novels. Mort, however, is the first book in which Death is one of the main characters and has more “page time” than otherwise.

Mort is definitely one of my favorite Discworld novels.

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