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Thud! A Novel of Discworld [Hardcover]

Terry Pratchett
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book by Terry Pratchett

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Green was Koom Valley Oct. 5 2005
By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWER
On June 28, 1389 a combined army of Serbs, Bosnians, Albanians and Romanians waged a fierce battle against an Ottoman army on the Plains of Kosovo. Although details of the battle are obscure and lost in the mists of time the animosity between the parties has lingered. It was no surprise therefore that on the 600th anniversary of the battle President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia launched his `ethnic cleansing' campaign in Kosovo. Sometimes the oldest animosities burn the brightest.
That is just about the scenario found in "THUD", Terry Pratchett's latest roller coaster ride through Discworld. The origin and outcome of the ancient Battle of Koom Valley between the Trolls and Dwarves has been obscured and the subject of much debate; but, the lingering and long-lasting hatred between them means they are always one spark away from renewed battle.
Grag Hamcrusher is what you might call a Dwarf extremist. Emerging from the depths he rails against those dwarves who have risen close to the surface. He intimates Dwarf residents of Ankh-Morpork who have made accommodations to a life lived above ground. Hamcrusher is a zealot who would like nothing better than to renew a holy war against the hated Trolls. As Thud opens Hamcrusher has just been murdered, thud "being the sound the heavy club made as it connected with the head". The initial evidence, a troll club found near the apparent murder scene, seems destined to bring their historic enmity to a boil. It is up to Commander Vimes and the Watch to find out who killed Hamcrusher and try to avoid a war that could destroy Ankh-Morpork.
The Patrician, not surprisingly, has complicated matters for Vimes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dealing with Dwarfian fundamentalism Oct. 18 2005
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Ankh-Morpork, the Great City of Discworld, is proud of its "multiculturalism". Except here, it's "multi-speciesism". Trolls, dwarfs, golems, even a werewolf have been incorporated into city society. They are represented in the ranks of the City Watch, that bastion of law enforcement. Once scorned as ineffective, the Watch, under Commander Sam Vimes, the Duke of Ankh-Morpork, is now considered an exemplary force in the City. "All are just coppers" is one of Sam's litanies. Except when it comes to vampires. Yet, once again, Pratchett forces Vimes to confront his prejudices. And we readers to face up to ours.
Into the quietly seething mixture of Ankh-Morpork peoples there arrives a new element. For years, the dwarfs have scrambled up out of the deep dark of their mines to emigrate to Sam Vimes' city. They've become the city's largest "minority group". While boisterous, dwarfs are generally well behaved. Clashes with their ancient enemy, the trolls, have taken little real toll of either group. The deep dark of those mines, however, contain a secret. A secret treasured and sought by elements of dwarf society who consider themselves guardians of its value - the "grags". Nothing offends a grag as much as encountering someone who has "seen the light". These guardians scorn the "short humans" who have abandoned traditional dwarf values in Ankh-Morpork's materialist environment. One of those "traditional values" is the cause of the ancient clash in Koom Valley.
A Discworld legend in its own right, the Battle of Koom Valley is one of those "We won!" - "No, we won!" myths so many societies possess. Each side ambushed the other. Both sides shamefully ran away at its conclusion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner for Pratchett Nov. 16 2005
It started with a painting and a codex...or did it? Whisper the words Koom Valley and see the average Watch Officer pale as they recollect the bloody battle between trolls and dwarfs. Once again it is up to Sam Vimes and the City Watch to save Ankh-Morpork, but this time the threat comes from below.
One of the luminaries of fantasy fiction, Terry Pratchett is best known for cutting British wit, combined with liberal helpings of intelligence and imagination that infuse his Discworld series. To go back to the beginning, Discworld is what it sounds like, a disc-shaped world that is carried on the back of four giant elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle swimming through space. It's a place of magic, thriving cities, and all the usual races you'd expect to find in a fantasy novel - and many you wouldn't.
At the best of times it is difficult to describe a Pratchett novel. The Disc is a confusing place and characters from the various sub-series don't tend to remain in their places, popping up in other plot lines for a cameo before moving off until the next book calling for a walk-on. The easiest thing to say is that if you like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you'll like these books.
Thud! is the 8th book in the City Watch sub-series, about the adventures of the police force of Ankh-Morpork, the largest (and most lawless?) city on the Disc. For the uninitiated, there is enough here that it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone work of comedic fantasy. To truly savour Thud!, grab a copy of Guards! Guards! and experience the City Watch in their first adventure before sinking your teeth into this one.

Pratchett mocks everything so it is not surprising to see yesterday's headlines showing up in his latest work.
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