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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, philosophy from a satirist!
Terry Pratchett has an oddball sense of humour. We know this. But the depth of philosophy in this volume is much more than his usual. Don't get me wrong: I enjoy the light-hearted highjinks of the early Pratchett novels. I really get the mythological origins of Discworld. But the manipulation of reality and the sense of time in this book are extraordinary. The characters...
Published on May 8 2010 by Brian Ashe

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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much of a good thing
With each successive Discworld novel, Terry Pratchett pushes the boundaries of his creation further and further - in Thief of Time, he tries to destroy it altogether.
... using the Auditors, the little papershufflers of the universe who crave order, and find humanity the source of way too much disorganization. The Auditors send an emissary to find a sympathetic human...
Published on June 18 2001 by kresnels


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, philosophy from a satirist!, May 8 2010
By 
Brian Ashe "Fantast" (Ottawa, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Terry Pratchett has an oddball sense of humour. We know this. But the depth of philosophy in this volume is much more than his usual. Don't get me wrong: I enjoy the light-hearted highjinks of the early Pratchett novels. I really get the mythological origins of Discworld. But the manipulation of reality and the sense of time in this book are extraordinary. The characters are the usual for Pratchett: flaky, caricatures, with quirks that make them more human than you'd expect. The plot includes, as usual, the saving of the (Disc)world, but the mind stretch is much more than usual. Excellent work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Behold, the Fifth Surprise !, Jan. 23 2007
This review is from: Thief of Time (Paperback)
"Thief of Time" is the twenty-sixth book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series and was first published in 2001. He has gone on to win the Carnegie Medal for "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" and was awarded the OBE in 1998.

Officially, The Auditors are in charge of the universe : they see that atoms spin, that gravity works and that things move in curves. However, they hate life - too many irregularities - and have tried several times to deal with those pesky humans. In "Thief of Time", they're at it again - only, this time, they're being a little more devious about it. Normally Death - wears black, bony knees, big grin, carries a scythe - would do what he could to thwart them. However, due to an impending Apocalypse, he has to gather his fellow Horsemen - Famine, War and Pestilence - for the traditional ride. (There's also the matter of the mysterious fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, who left before they became famous). As a result, Death persuades his grand-daughter Susan into helping out with the fight against the Auditors. Susan is now a teacher in Ankh-Morpork, so she's used to fighting for her life on a daily basis. Thankfully, for this battle she has Death of Rats and Quoth the Raven to help her out.

The Order of Wen and is based at the Monastery of Oi Dong in the High Ramtops. It is known by several aliases - including the History Monks. It's up to them to see that history follows the right track (it doesn't just happen, after all), and when history breaks it's the Order's job to fix it. Their job is made easier by their ability to move and store time, largely thanks to their "procrastinators". Lu-Tze is one of the Order's most notable members. However, as a Sweeper at the monastery, few pay him any real attention - only the most enlightened know who he actually is. He is an expert at deja-fu, a form of martial arts, and particularly enjoys growing bonsai mountains. In "Thief of Time", Lu-Tze is assigned a difficult new apprentice : Lobsang Ludd. Lobsang was a foundling and was raised for a while by the Guild of Thieves. (In fact, it seems he was pretty good at what he did). However, he entered the Monastery after being discovered by Brother Soto, the Order's Field Operative in Ankh-Morpork. Lobsang shows an uncanny talent for the Order's work also : when there's a time leak, he manages the Procrastinators like an artist.

Jeremy Clockson, like Lobsang, is a foundling - though, in Jeremy's case, he was raised by the Guild of Clockmakers. He runs a shop in Ankh-Morpork and is a brilliant, though slightly erratic, clockmaker. He's on medication (senior Guild members make sure he takes it) but id officially sane (he has the certificate that proves it). Jeremy is hired by the mysterious Lady Myria LeJean to build a truly accurate glass clock. If you believed in fairy stories, it might just remind you of one where Time herself was trapped inside a glass clock...

A fast-moving and very enjoyable book - Lu-Tze, in particular, is very funny though I was a bit sorry Quoth and Death of Rats didn't feature more. Lady LeJean, surprisingly, became a very likeable character. Very highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, Dec 27 2006
This review is from: Thief of Time (Audio CD)
I think this is a fascinating CD, ingenious plot, elegantly told where all the loose ends tie up gracefully in the end. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Smashing, Dec 14 2003
By 
C. Morgan "celticrockchip" (Fairfield CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thief of Time (Audio CD)
Terry Pratchett delivers again! Another saterical tale that will leave you both laughing your ass off, and pondering the mysteries of time. An excellent read. However, I highly suggest reading some of his earlier works to gain a better understanding of the world and his charecters. God Bless!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Audio recording captures the spirit of Discworld, Oct. 22 2003
By 
Jocelyn E. Mathis "die Deutsche" (Lawrence, KS United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thief of Time (Audio Cassette)
I needed something to waste time on during a 12-hour drive, so I picked this audio-recording up at the library. I had read several Discworld novels (read: as many as I could get my hands on), so I was ecstatic to find this in the public library! As audio-recordings go, it is unparallelled -- the voice acting is professional, natural, and well suited to each character. The voice of Death does indeed sound "in tones of funeral bells", but without an obvious exaggeration that would detract from the listening experience. Cameos by Harlan Ellison (someone has to read the footnotes!) add charm to an already exceptional performance. I would recommend it to anyone with at least a passing like for Pratchett, and ears to hear.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thief of Time UNABRIDGED Audio Book, Jan. 12 2003
By 
Marvin W. Dease (NC USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thief of Time (Audio Cassette)
I have read every Terry Pratchett Discworld book there is to date.
Thief of Time as a book is great but Thief of Time as a audio book is fantastic. Christopher Cazenove, Gabrielle De Cuir, Karesa McElheny, John Rubinstein, Stefan Rudnicki, and Harlan Ellison are the narrators but what they should be called are the actors. They capture the character's personalities and voices so well they seem real. There is some atmospheric music in the background at key times that is a nice touch. This audio book is definitely worth your money. It takes Terry Pratchett's Discworld books to a whole new level.
Fantastic Audio has a new Terry Pratchett audio book coming out called Night Watch. If Thief of Time is any judge of the quality of their audio books, Night Watch will be well worth your money too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, June 7 2002
I am an absolute Pratchett fan, I thought this book was as good as any other he has written, witty and gripping, it's another of those books that you just can't put down
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4.0 out of 5 stars PRATCHETT ON TOP FORM WITH THIS BRILLIANT NEW TRAGI-COMEDY, June 7 2002
By 
J. C. Bailey (East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Terry Pratchett's wit, erudition and sheer volume of words & ideas will continue to amaze, long after he retires from Discworld writing. Even so, as he got up to the two dozen mark, some of us began to suspect that perhaps he was at last tiring of his creation. He never ran out of fresh ideas, but the way the ideas coalesced into novels started to seem mechanical. It wasn't so certain as before that he was affectionately disposed towards his lead characters. The same bit-part actors began constantly to put in cameo appearances (e.g. the irritating talking dog, the meat pie man, and so on), and to deliver the same predictable punchlines ("on-a-stick", "woof", Death talking "IN CAPITAL LETTERS", etc). For a time, even at best, it looked like writing by numbers. Worse still, the plots sometimes only worked because of holes in the narrative, essential connections between people or actions that the author withheld from the reader in a slightly contrived way (check it out for yourself if you don't believe me). Of course Pratchett remained entertaining - I think he finds it quite hard not to be - but it made me look back nostalgically to "Equal Rites" and "Small Gods".
The good news is that "Thief of Time" is a triumphant return to form. The plot runs like clockwork. The wit, simultaneously affectionate and bitingly ironic, is delivered with beautiful timing. The lead characters are gently heroic, and the villains chilling, even as they are comic. The tragi-comedy runs particularly deep with Lady LeJean, the poignancy of whose inner turmoil (and I don't want to spoil things for anyone who still has the book to look forward to) has been tackled with special warmth and compassion. She ranks as one of the finest creations in Pratchett's entire body of work.
I'm not going to waste your time or mine recycling the plot. Suffice it to say that once again the Universe is in danger of imminent demise. Once again, Pratchett develops a further strand in the cosmology of a universe that works according to the science and superstitions of our medieval ancestors. Yet another cinematic genre is held up to satire (this time the Kung Fu tradition). And once again, Pratchett makes some deceptively deep observations about the world we ourselves live in.
This is Pratchett's best book for some years. Even allowing for the fact that there as always quite a few in-jokes for long terms fans, this would be as good a place as any for a new reader to start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time..., June 5 2002
By 
Jeremy, a clockmaker of Ankh-Morpork has just been commissioned by the odd-looking Lady LeJean to buid the first perfect, truly accurate clock, one that would render all others useless. But if he succeeds, time will stop and the world will end. And Death can feel it, so he asks his granddaughter Susan to investigate while he's trying to round up the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
At the same time at the History Monks' monastery, Lu-Tze the Sweeper has just taken a new apprentice, Lobsang Ludd, who seems to be able to slice time very, very finely.
In Thief of Time, the 26th Discworld novel, Terry Pratchett explores time paradoxes. Aside from his unmistakable humour which, again, made me chuckle and look a bit silly on the bus (but it's OK), I found the philosophical parts a bit too... well, philosophical, and I must admit I sometimes found myself out of my depth. But as a whole, I found this novel very enjoyable. And in any case I just love Igors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett's aphorisms get better and better, June 1 2002
By 
Jenny Hanniver "medieval_student" (Philadelphia, PA, United States) - See all my reviews
Others have reviewed the plot and characters of this outstanding Discworld novel, THIEF OF TIME, so I want to stand back and admire Pratchett's skill with wrapping concepts into a few, often ironic, words. He is the master of the succinct statement. Here are just a couple from THIEF OF TIME:
Page 321: Lobsang is saying to Susan, "It makes you wonder if there is anything to astrology after all." Susan replies: "Oh there is. Delusion, wishful thinking, and gullibility."
Page 356: Referring to Susan, Death's granddaughter: "...she would be immortal for as long as she lived."
And did you catch the wonderful pun on page 308? "Chaos...new, shiny Chaos, dancing in the heart of everything. The idea was strangely attractive." (Strange attractors, anyone?)
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Thief of Time
Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett (Audio Cassette - Feb. 1 2002)
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