Soul Music, by Terry Pratchett. The 16th Discworld book.
Publisher: HarperPrism, 1995
Source: the Library
Really? I don't think it's possible. Okay, I'll give it a try. A young bard named Imp y Celyn (which means "of the holly") gets tired of being just a young bard in a country full of bards, so he goes traveling. And ends up in Ankh-Morpork. Where he discovers that the Musician's Guild has a stranglehold on all music, and that he and a couple of fellow-musicians (a Dwarf named Glod and a troll named Lias) don't have the money to join. But they do have the money to buy a very strange guitar, which has some very strange effects on them. Meanwhile, Death's granddaughter Susan is having some very strange experiences. Death is having (another) existential crisis and has gone missing, so somebody has to take over. But Susan is all too human. Things get weird after that.
Okay, that does it. I'm not going to try any more.
I admit I have my times of wondering who the heck I am to write a review of Sir Terry's work. I mean, really? But that's what I do, so I'll try.
I have mixed feelings about this one, as I do every time too much of our world intrudes into the Discworld. I mean, I know the whole thing is just a means of satirizing the heck out of everything human, but still, I get all weird when the boundaries of fantasy and reality start to blur (for the record, I also liked Anne McCaffrey's Pern a lot less when the old computer started to give them modern technology). But Soul Music is also just glorious fun, with all the references to rock and roll (er, that would be "music with rocks in"). And he does offer a brilliant view of the beginning of everything in a single chord of music. I really like that modification of the big bang. The Big Band theory?
Finally, we are given a view of the choices we all face, in a way. Susan Death may be able to prevent the day the music died, but young Imp (known from the time he started playing music with rocks in as Buddy Celyn, and you figure it out) may have to pay the price.
There's a boatload of inside jokes, a fair number of references that the younger generation may or may not get, and a joke about viola players that I have to remember to share with my Mom (who plays viola). All in all, a worthwhile Discworld outing.
Full Disclosure: I checked out this copy of Soul Music from my library and received nothing whatsoever from the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and no one else's.
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