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The Truth [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Terry Pratchett
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Dec 16 2008 Discworld Novels (Book 25)
William just wants to get at the truth. Unfortunately, everyone else wants to get at William. And it’s only the third edition. William de Worde is the accidental editor of the Discworld’s first newspaper. Now he must cope with the traditional perils of a journalist’s life – people who want him dead, a recovering vampire with a suicidal fascination for flash photography, some more people who want him dead in a different way and, worst of all, the man who keeps begging him to publish pictures of his humorously shaped potatoes.

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The Truth, Pratchett's 25th Discworld novel, skewers the newspaper business. When printing comes to Ankh-Morpork, it "drag(s) the city kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat." Well, actually, out of the Century of the Fruitbat. As the Bursar remarks, if the era's almost over, it's high time they embraced its challenges.

William de Worde, well-meaning younger son of reactionary nobility, has been providing a monthly newsletter to the elite using engraving. Then he is struck (and seriously bruised) by the power of the press. The dwarves responsible convince William to expand his letter and the Ankh-Morpork Times is born. Soon William has a staff, including Sacharissa Cripslock, a genteel young lady with a knack for headline writing, and photographer Otto Chriek. Otto's vampirism causes difficulties: flash pictures cause him to crumble to dust and need reconstitution, and he must battle his desire for blood, particularly Sacharissa's. When Lord Vetinari is accused of attempted murder, the City Watch investigates the peculiar circumstances, but William wants to know what really happened. The odds for his survival drop as his questions multiply.

The Truth is satirical, British, and full of sly jokes. Although this cake doesn't rise quite as high as it did in previous volumes, even ordinary Pratchett is pretty darn good, and those who haven't read a Discworld novel before can start here and go on to that incredible backlist. --Nona Vero --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The 25th book (after The Fifth Elephant) in the Discworld series returns to the thriving city of Ankh-Morpork, where humans, dwarfs and trolls share the streets with zombies, vampires, werewolves and the occasional talking dog. Young William de Worde makes a modest living running a scribing business, including a newsletter of current events for a select subscription list. Then he meets dwarf wordsmith Gunilla Goodmountain, inventor of the printing press, who helps transform de Worde's newsletter into a daily called The Ankh-Morpork Times (subhead: The Truth Shall Make Ye Free). While the city's civil, religious and business leaders are up in arms over The Times, Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, encourages the advance--as long as it remains a "simple entertainment that is not going to end up causing tentacled monsters and dread apparitions to talk the streets eating people." In the meantime, as de Worde's staff grows and a type turns the subhead to "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret", two shadowy characters are hired to remove the Patrician--permanently. Pratchett's witty reach is even longer than usual here, from Pulp Fiction to His Girl Friday. Readers who've never visited Discworld before may find themselves laughing out loud, even as they cheer on the good guys, while longtime fans are sure to call this Pratchett's best one yet.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good ----ing book Feb. 23 2007
Terry Pratchett is one of the rare few authors who can progress a series without tiring his subject matter or his invented universe. This is outing twenty-five, and Discworld is as fun as ever -- maybe even more so. It's a world of vampires, hard-nosed cops, incredibly cynical politicians, and idealistic li'l newspapermen.

William de Worde, a member of the elite (read: snotty) classes, wants to start a newspaper, the Ankh-Morpork Times, using printing presses with movable type and employing dwarves. Soon he has also gained a skilfull but very ladylike reporter named Sacharissa, and a photographer vampire named Otto. Their news remains fairly dull (except for "funny" vegetables) until the Patrician is accused of murder.

The problem is that William wants to tell the people the Truth -- which gets him enemies, fast. The Times soon has competition from a tabloid; William and his staff are being targeted by a pair of hit men, including Mr. Tulip, who is a strong-arm psychopath with very fine sensibilities and a very dirty vocabulary. With the help of the Watch, and the Truth on their side, William and his friends unravel the mystery to find out who committed the murder, and who wants the presses stopped for good.

It's really, really hard to write a good satire. Really ----ing hard, as Mr. Tulip would put it. And when it's about something like freedom of the press, truth and journalism, it has the potential to be hideously dull. Fortunately Terry Pratchett's light dialogue and fun characters keep "The Truth" afloat.

Despite more than two-dozen books, Pratchett does a good job with the absurdities of reporting, running a paper, and dealing with less-than-pleasant locals.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The truth is a nuisance Sept. 1 2005
And William de Worde sets out to become the very finest nuisance that Ankh-Morpork ever knew. You know it's true, because you read it in the newspaper. The paper that he writes.
This whole book is a tangled story of who is in power, and who wants it, and wouldn't touch it with somebody else's stick. There are good guys, bad guys, and misunderstood guys - but people cross lines in a heartbeat. (Well, not all of them actually have heartbeats, and some of the heartbeats get beaten heartily, but you know what I mean.)
This is standard Pratchett goofiness, but that is a very high standard. He builds his story around a few new characters, but builds it within the framework of the established characters. The current book refers to all the previous ones, but welcomes the new reader anyway.
This is high-grade silliness. It's one more very enjoyable chapter in the Discworld's ongoing saga, but also a good story without all the others. For me, another Discworld book is almost a little vacation.
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There is always a certain joy in reading any Pratchett book which features familiar places and faces. This book is consistent in style and content with most of his other Discworld novels.
However, at the end of my second reading of this book, there were no particular jokes or paragraphs that I felt like re-reading. Nothing really memorable. As always, there was a large dollop of pop-philosophy, which in some of his books is more amusing/interesting than in this one (c.f. Small Gods, for example).
The introduction of "dark light" to the story seemed to be superficially thought out and unnecessary to the story, adding neither plot nor humour (or "humor" for american readers) nor depth to the reader's understanding of the Discworld.
However, as can always be relied upon, there were some new and unusual characters to enjoy (the vampire who is enthralled with flash iconography) and enough of a plot to retain my interest.
Many of Mr Pratchett's books would get an enthusiastic 5 stars from me; this one barely achieved 4.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In a word . . . May 20 2004
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
William de Worde's at loose ends. Scion of a Discworld aristocratic family, he's disdained both their money and their lifestyle. Drifting into the city of Ankh-Morpork, he needs employment. Since he's neither a Thief nor an Assassin, let alone a Seamstress [hem! hem!], he must find employment. Inevitably, it must have to do with words. Not a spy nor a gossip, he generates a newssheet for selected clients - the aristocrats known through his family connections. An encounter with a runaway machine ["Stop the press!"] on the street launches him into a new career. Pratchett's account of de Worde's subsequent history is his finest work. He draws on his own ancient stint as a journalist to provide a story both entertaining and insightful.
There's a rumour about that the dwarfs have learned to turn lead into gold. The printing press is unknown in Ankh-Morpork. The unknown is always fearful, but the dwarfs lust for gold overrides silly superstition. They have a press and only require words to apply their magic transmutation. William, initially reluctant, is there as the catalyst. All he needs is input and it arrives with ferocious intensity.
There has been a crime - always the best news. The Patrician [City Manager], Lord Vetinari, has assaulted his secretary and attempted to abscond with heavy monies. This event brings out the City Watch in the guise of its Commander, Sam Vimes. Most crimes are clear-cut, but this one seems meaningless. We learn a plot's afoot, possibly perpetrated by two strangers in the city. Mr Pim, dedicated and articulate, is accompanied by Mr Tulip, a man of chemical affinities whose language skills are indeterminate. A man whose words are mostly "---" remains difficult to comprehend.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best
Terry Pratchett Discworld novels are always a great and funny read. This one, though very funny at times - Otto the vampire who dies everytime he takes a photo, was great - on the... Read more
Published on June 27 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Ankh-Morpork in all of its whiffy glory
When dwarves smuggle a printing press into Ankh-Morpork, the citizens don't know what to make of it at first. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004 by E. A. Lovitt
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth about The Vampires' Temperance Union
When dwarves smuggle a printing press into Ankh-Morpork, the citizens don't know what to make of it at first. Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2004 by E. A. Lovitt
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't entrance me
2 stars only as compared to the rest of Pratchett's novels. As a general book, I'd give it at least 3.5.
This book had something missing. Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Terry Pratchett as his best!
This is my all-time favourite Disk World book. Terry makes the reader look at the newspaper business in a totally new light. It certainly made me think a few times. Read more
Published on July 24 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Pressing business in Ankh-Morpork
The Truth has the honour of being the 25th Discworld book. I haven't read all 25, but I have read a fair number of them, and I'd have to say this one is the best in awhile, even... Read more
Published on June 7 2002 by David Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Pratchett's best
The twenty-fifth discworld novel delves into that quagmire that is freedom of the press - although William de Worde (our protagonist) stumbles into each precept on his way to... Read more
Published on June 7 2002 by ilmk
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Effort
This is another terrific Discworld book. I loved the new characters and I enjoyed watching Ankh-Morpork assimilate this new cast into the city. Read more
Published on May 20 2002 by "ook98105"
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth shall make you fred
When dwarves smuggle a printing press into Ankh-Morpork, the citizens don't know what to make of it at first. Read more
Published on May 9 2002 by E. A. Lovitt
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