Thud! Mass Market Paperback – Sep 12 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Ankh-Morpork's City Watch Commander, Sam Vimes, stars in the latest entry in Pratchett's popular Discworld series (Going Postal, etc.). "Thud" is the sound that commences the novel, as a dwarf is bludgeoned to death; it's also the name of a chesslike match that recreates the battle of Koom Valley, a long-ago fight between trolls and dwarfs. As the anniversary of the battle approaches, ancient politics and the present-day murder cause tensions between the trolls and dwarfs to boil. Though Koom Valley was a disaster for both sides, certain community leaders from each side have been spoiling for a rematch—something Vimes is duty-bound to prevent. In the midst of this, a push toward affirmative action forces Vimes to hire a vampire named Sally to the Watch. She's sworn off human blood, but that's cold comfort to the assortment of humans, dwarfs, trolls, werewolves and golems that make up the police force. Vimes and his motley crew of coppers are called upon to not only find the murderer and keep the peace but also, in a jab at The Da Vinci Code, solve the riddle of a painting that reputedly holds the secret to what really happened at Koom Valley. Pratchett's fantastic imagination and satirical wit are on full display.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Unwilling to get caught up in the fact that he is the duke of Ankh-Morpork, Commander Vimes still shaves himself and runs the Watch as well as he can. Lord Veternari forces him to get involved in politics, though, because the Watch is incurring serious expense as it grows, and because his multicultural efforts have forced him to hire a vampire as a member of the Watch. Vimes has a lot on his plate, anyway, what with the upcoming anniversary of Koom Valley (a battle between trolls and dwarves that is part of an age-old war), an unsolved murder that reveals the limitations of the Watch in dwarfish eyes, and the theft of a valuable painting from the Royal Art Museum. On top of everything he does as part of his job, he must make it home at six o'clock on the dot every day to read to his young son. Everything is connected, of course--even Sally, the vampire taken on by the Watch. Unsettling secrets are revealed about the true history of Koom Valley, and in a basement in the city, dwarves and trolls are playing the game Thud!, a miniature battle of Koom Valley, together. As always, Pratchett's latest Discworld yarn is funny, fast-paced, the kind of satire that explores serious issues while making readers love it. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Like all Discworld novels, it's a stand-alone book. The only problem I had with reading it first was that it's got a few spoilers for earlier books (ie: Cheery. That's all I'm saying).
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, hates fantasy and/or is a fan of clever prose.
Sam is the Commander of the City Guard, and - having married Lady Ramkin - a member of the nobility. He's also recently become a father and has made reading "Where's My Cow" to his son every evening at six o'clock his top priority. Despite being a devoted father, however, he mightn't necessarily be considered a typical hero : he doesn't like Assassins (they keep trying to kill him), Kings (it's an old family traditions : even in chess, he supports the pawns) and the Undead (particularly vampires).
For the most part, Ankh-Morpork's ethnic groupings are already well-represented in the Watch. Sam's most capable officer is Captain Carrot - who was born human, although raised as a dwarf. Carrot is an incredibly innocent and very honest character and is widely believed to be Ankh-Morpork's rightful King. (Sam has - to date - refrained from beheading him). Carrot's girlfriend, Angua, is also a member of the City Guard - though, being a werewolf, she also shares Sam's misgivings about vampires. Sergeant Detritus, a troll who deals roughly with troll drug-dealers, seems a natural - not to mention likable - cop, though Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs (a confirmed slacker and probably human) are the most experienced officers. Cheery Littlebottom is an ex-alchemist dwarf, who more or less founded forensics department. (Cheery left the Guild of Alchemists after, accidentally, blowing up the Guild Council). However, for the first time, "Thud" sees a vampire apply to join the Watch. The vampire in question, Sally von Humpeding, is fortunately a Black Ribboner - meaning she abstains from drinking blood.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Another great adventure on the Discworld. A good read guaranteed to entertain followers of the series.Published 16 months ago by James Parsons
A standard Dsicwolrd novel, entertaining, a few laughs, a satire of our own world but not one of the best Discworld novels I've read so far. Still, can't go wrong with Sam Vimes.Published on Dec 19 2013 by Dan
Always my favourite author, Terry Pratchett has outdone even himself with his latest reads. Thud! is one of the greatest mixtures of adventure, fantasy, moral and humour in... Read morePublished on Sept. 23 2007 by Vick
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... Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2005 by Janelle Martin