I’ve read a number of Discworld books (nowhere near all of them) and I think this is my favorite. Just read it for the second time; first was several years ago.
This is a story about Death. The Grim Reaper. Or, as he describes himself, an “anthropomorphic personification” of death. Death is getting a little bored with his work and takes on the boy Mort as an apprentice. Hilarity ensues.
No, really, it does. This is Discworld after all. Death’s reason for taking on an apprentice is that he has grown bored (not emotionally though – no glands) of his job. He eventually leaves the work to Mort and seeks other opportunities through an employment agency. (Death: “I USHERED SOULS INTO THE NEXT WORLD. I WAS THE GRAVE OF ALL HOPE. I WAS THE ULTIMATE REALITY. I WAS THE ASSASSIN AGAINST WHOM NO LOCK WOULD HOLD.” Job broker: “Yes, point taken, but do you have any particular skills?”) Mort quickly manages to make a mess of things, and Death comes back in the end to set things straight.
Along with the jokes, there are some philosophical one-liners that kind of make you think.
Death, to Mort: “THERE’S NO JUSTICE. JUST US.”