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5.0 out of 5 stars love the guards
Terry Pratchet is always a good read, I love the guard series and happily recommend them to everyone to read.
Published 1 month ago by mercphoto

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so humor
When Pratchett is on, he's hilarious. Often though he goes pages without forcing as much as a chuckle, and this book is no exception. While I've heard him compared to Douglas Adams, I don't find him to measure up - still, I have yet to see anyone mix fantasy and humor as well (plus some mystery thrown in in this story). His understanding of theology seems limited,...
Published on Jan. 19 1999


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5.0 out of 5 stars A Seriously Prod Buttock Book, Dec 19 2001
By 
James D. DeWitt "Alaska Fan" (Fairbanks, AK United States) - See all my reviews
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Terry Pratchett's Discworld series is a mirror of our world, but it's a funhouse mirror, with our world reflected back in a distorted way. The distortions are both amusing - sometimes hysterically funny - and thought-provoking. Sometimes the reflection is barely recognizable, and sometimes it is so close to ours that it cuts like a knife. His logic is rigorous, but skewed, and the twists reveal a great deal about the assumptions we make every day.
This is a quintessential police procedural novel, as reflected by Pratchett's mirror, combined with a Frankenstein theme. Instead of detectives and police, we have the Night Watch. Commander Sam Vimes is a classic recovering drunk and Sergeant Colon is fat and lazy - recognizable as stock characters; but another cop is a female werewolf with pre-lunar tension, the captain is a six foot, six inch human who thinks he is a dwarf, a third is a troll and the forensics expert is an out of the closet dwarf trying to get in touch with her feminine side.
Someone has killed two old men, and someone is trying to poison the Patrician, the closest thing the city of Ankh-Morpork has to a ruler. The suspects appear to be golems, the artificial men of Hebrew mythology, but golems can't kill. Golems are the perfect slave, only able to do the things they are told, the "words in their head." And how is it that Corporal Nobby Nobbs, a constable who carries a certificate establishing he is probably human, can be the long-lost Earl of Ankh and the heir apparent to the throne?
All these plot threads and more come together in the finest Pratchett tradition, in one of his best and most satisfying conclusions. Women have their biggest roles yet in a Night Watch novel, and the complex relationship between the Patrician and Sam Vimes continues to evolve. It's only later, when you think about what happened to the golems, that you recognize the reflection of our world and the important messages Pratchett is conveying.
The humor and satire are present in abundance. The scene in which three thieves try to hold up the Night Watch's favorite bar and, worse still, try to use Constable Angua as a hostage, is simply delightful. Pratchett's skills with dialog and characterization are in fine form. But it's the messages that occur to you afterwards that make the novel truly memorable, and make this book, in Captain Carrot's phrase, "seriously prod buttock."
Great fun; highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Everyone's guilty of Something" - Feet of Clay quote, Oct. 12 2001
By 
Anh Nguyen (SoCal) - See all my reviews
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This is another crime story in the tradition of Men at Arms for those who've read previous Guards book. Feet of Clay is a good read, with the backdrop themed around what happen when anyone try to play god and create life without realizing the consequences.
Although the backdrop theme to this book is great, its not as complicated as Fifth Elephant and is not necessarily as funny as Men at Arms. This would would get a 4 1/2 stars if such rating were possible. If you're a fan of the Guards, then don't miss this book. Its a lot better than some of Pratchett's early works. This book dealt with a lot of social politics, and the concept of "Capitalism". This book also dig deeper into the Pratritian of Ankh-Morpork. To all Guards fan, Hamlock Vetinari is still an enigma, but more on him are written in this book as a preface for Jingo. So to anyone who read this review, buy the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly one of the coolest Watch books there is!, Sept. 8 2001
The summary on the back of the book has very little to do with the actual story. So ignore it. And read an *accurate* synopsis instead.
On the more plot-driven side, two old men have been killed, one with a loaf of dwarf bread and one with an unknown blunt instrument. White clay was found at both scenes. Poison-laced grease was under the fingernails of one of the victims. Oh, and did I mention that the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork is being poisoned? Commander Vimes and the rest of the City Watch are going absolutely *crazy* trying to figure out how the poisoner's getting to him. It's not the food. It's not the drink. It's not the air or in fact anything else their new forensic alchemist (a dwarf) has tested. And they've tested practically everything. A golem, one of those odd men of clay who don't- can't- do anything but work and follow orders, has walked on into the Watch House to give itself up for the murders of the old men- but when asked what the weapon was, it completely failed to mention bread. And the other golems have started to destroy themselves.
On the more character-based end of things, we've got a watchwoman werewolf with pre-lunar tension, a female dwarfish alchemist with an identity crisis, and the first golem ever to discover what being free actually is.
You have got to read this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mwhahahahahaha!, Aug. 22 2001
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Of all the multitude of Discworld Novels the ones about the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork are the funniest. The third book about our intrepid group of coppers filled with Pratchett's usual side splitting witticisms, hillarious footnotes, and deep satire and sarcasam. If you liked Douglas Adams but got confused by "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" Try Discworld novels and enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mwhahahahahaha!, Aug. 22 2001
By 
Of all the multitude of Discworld Novels the ones about the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork are the funniest. The third book about our intrepid group of coppers filled with Pratchett's usual side splitting witticisms, hillarious footnotes, and deep satire and sarcasam. If you liked Douglas Adams but got confused by "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" Try Discworld novels and enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Citizen Clay..., May 3 2001
By 
Brian K. Eason (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
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If you are a Pratchett fan then I am wasting my time telling you what a genius Terry is... if you're not yet a Pratchett fan, you need to find your introduction book to the master of Fantasy Satire.
Probably one of the finest mystery stories I've ever read. A Golem has commited murder, except that Golem's can't kill... A locked-door mystery unlike any other, Feet of Clay introduces a variety of exciting new characters to the Ankh-Morpork city watch and happily returns Sam Vimes, Nobby, Colon and Carrot in a story that will have you scratching your head in wonder while you are covering your mouth laughing...
A must have for any fan of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, with a twist, April 28 2001
By 
L. Coats "cobolguru" (Montgomery, AL United States) - See all my reviews
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The early Discworld novels, to me, were lightweight, amusing stories with no staying power because there was nobody in them to like or admire. With the guards novels, he has provided several. Commander Vimes, commander of the Watch and reformed drunk (alcoholics have money). Lady Sybil, his loving and deceptively intelligent wife. Carrot, the 6-foot tall adopted dwarf,together with Angua, the vegetarian werewolf, and their growing love. How will it end? Will they have children or puppies? Will we ever know? On and on the list of good secondary characters continues to grow.
I rated this book at 4 stars upon my first reading, and increased it to 5 after my second. It is a thoroughly funny book, considering that it is, at least in its outlines, a murder mystery. The solution is obvious to some readers, not so to others, but that's irrelevant. It's the path to the solution that's so funny. This may be the most character-driven of his novels, and it ranks with the best of the Discworld series.
It's only after the laughter fades that you realize that Mr. Pratchett has slipped you a fast one. He has raised excellent questions about what it means to be alive and a moral free agent, and then leaves you to sort it out. Funny and thought-provoking at the same time - a rare achievement, indeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great story - Pratchett at his best, March 29 2001
By 
kresnels "kresnels" (Culver City, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Some of the other Pratchett books I've had to give only four stars - because of Feet of Clay. This, to me, was the most memorably enjoyable book in the Discworld series.
A series of brutal, yet inexplicable crimes once again lead Sam Vimes and the Watch down the alleys and backstreets of Ankh-Morpork ... well, not Nobby, because he's been appointed a lord by the Registrar of Heraldry!
For those who relish in the early Pratchett non-stop puns, Feet of Clay has it; like the plot twists? got you covered; like a little message about free will? No problem. You want fries with that?
Anyone who enjoys humor will enjoy Terry Pratchett - people who like a very engaging plot with a surprising ending will really enjoy Feet of Clay. Since you don't really have to read the Discworld books in order, this can be a great starting point - just on the strength of the read. I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great story - Pratchett at his best, March 29 2001
By 
kresnels "kresnels" (Culver City, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Some of the other Pratchett books I've had to give only four stars - because of Feet of Clay. This, to me, was the most memorably enjoyable book in the Discworld series.
A series of brutal, yet inexplicable crimes once again lead Sam Vimes and the Watch down the alleys and backstreets of Ankh-Morpork ... well, not Nobby, because he's been appointed a lord by the Registrar of Heraldry!
For those who relish in the early Pratchett non-stop puns, Feet of Clay has it; like the plot twists? got you covered; like a little message about free will? No problem. You want fries with that?
Anyone who enjoys humor will enjoy Terry Pratchett - people who like a very engaging plot with a surprising ending will really enjoy Feet of Clay. Since you don't really have to read the Discworld books in order, this can be a great starting point - just on the strength of the read. I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A copper's question, Jan. 28 2001
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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If pressed to choose a favourite Pratchett, it would likely be this book. Nearly every element is here, delivered with Pratchett's finest prose and wit. This a bit of a wonder, as it's a murder mystery, a genre I rarely delve into. Still, it's a Pratchett and goes from being worth a look to something to be cherished, its chief character a man to be admired.
Sam Vimes, who we first encountered in a sodden gutter, soddin' drunk, has risen to a knight's rank and is now Commander of the City Watch. He maintains a careful balance between being the Patrician's favourite and his nemesis. Vetanari knows he cannot truly control Vimes, yet for all Sam's resistance to the Patrician's deviousness, knows too that he cannot dispense with The Stoneface Policeman. Especially this time when its Vetanari himself who is the victim of a murder plot. An unsuccessful one, as it happens.
Sam's entered the realm of matrimony, a step which elevates him almost more than the
promotions the Patrician has granted. Lady Sybil, however, remains at the periphery of Sam's focus. He's still a copper and one of the biggest cases of all confronts him in this book. First, foremost and throughout this book, Sam Vimes is tasked with guarding his own back. Vimes is "a jumped-up copper to the nobs, and a nob to the rest", which gorges the ranks of his enemies. His thwarting of an Assassin is pure Pratchett; pure Vimes, for that matter. One can't help but wonder why Vetanari doesn't assign Vimes some bodyguards. Instead he gets a sedan chair - which he "drives" himself.
There are murders in this book, unusual in Pratchett. Two deaths arouse the City's ire against new Pratchett figures, the golems. Golems reach far into the depths of European history - mindless, man-like creatures from the soil who can be put to any task. Created only to obey, they are the perfect slave - rebellion isn't in their make-up. Except for their size, they are nearly defenseless. The perfect suspect, ultimately vulnerable, who can be destroyed without qualms of conscience. The situation is so clear-cut that Sam knows they can't be guilty. But who is?
In his quest for justice, Sam is supported both in the plot and in the characters of his Watch team. In this book, Angua reaches new levels of prominence, which brings Carrot forth in new ways, as well. Describing their situation as a "relationship" gives the term a whole new meaning. The Watch now has a forensic expert in the figure of a dwarf - Cheery Littlebottom. It's not possible to dwell further here on this unique Watch specialist. You must read this book to become acquainted with one of Pratchett's most engaging characters. Read further to discover one of his most devious creations.
As with most of Pratchett's recent books, there's a sub-theme running beneath all the hilarity and convoluted thinking. In this case, the issue is "freedom". This word has been bandied about by so many writers in so many circumstances, it's hard to believe that Pratchett could bring anything fresh to the discussion. As always, Pratchett is able to surprise and excel. His discussion freedom's worth and what it takes to be achieved adds lustre to an already superb story. Pratchett's ability to bring philosophical issues into what is still described as "humorous fantasy" is a unique talent. We must keep buying and touting this finest of purveyors of wisdom and values.
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Feet of Clay
Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett (School & Library Binding - March 2004)
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