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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(4 star).Show all reviews
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. But he also wraps all this humour around a solid murder mystery, where motives are abundant and suspects are few. And Pratchett is one of the few authors who opts for bleeped out dialogue. ----ing funny.

William is a nice if rather passive hero, but the real scene-stealer is Otto. Not only is he lovably eccentric, but he gets the best scenes, like when the camera flash causes him to totter around screaming ("AAAARGH!"), or burn up into a little pile of ashes ("Oohhhhhbbugggerrr!"). Pratchett has created a lot of memorable characters, but few as lovable as Otto. And backing the cast is a gang of dwarves who are gritty, gruff and occasionally engage in singalongs.

The Discworld series is still going strong in its mid-twentieth volume, and Pratchett still has a knack for funny dialogue and lovable characters. Believe me, that's "The Truth."
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on September 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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on June 3, 2004
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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on December 30, 2001
I am not a huge Discworld fan (don't kill me!): the whole wizards and fantasy thing, I feel, can be taken over the top a bit. Having previous once picked Eric randomly off the shelf at a library and finding it frankly average, I was reluctant to try another, but on the insistance of my friend (who is a discworld fan), who highly reccomendeded The Truth to me, I picked it up. I had some reservations about the fact that it was the 25th Discworld novel and I hadn't read many of the previous ones, but the story stands on its own, although some background knowledge may be helpful while reading.
I really did enjoy The Truth. It is a good story, I found myself liking and identifying with the characters, I found it funny, and while occasionally it does try for laughs simply by being weird, Pratchett can tell a good joke. I enjoyed the story and the setup didn't get in the way of it.
It isn't the most complex book in the world: there are deeper novels out there, but in the whole 'What is truth?' debate it does offer some answers, making it interesting even to a point from a philosophical point of view. The book is full of those little truths which make a book enjoyable, the characters are realistic, and after this I think I may check out some of the other books in the series.
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on September 21, 2001
There's no denying it, Terry Pratchett is one of the most outstanding authors of our time, combining sly and witty humour with sharp moralism. The Truth, personally speaking, is not as good as some of his other works, but it more than makes up for it with its characters.
Oh, it's funny, and it's still as sharp a satire as Pterry can write. The Truth is a great book on it's own, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Expect the classic wit and good moralistic and philosophical lesson that comes from Pterry. I won't give you a synopsis, that's been done. But since The Truth is a book written in a whole series of wonderfully humourous books, comparison with his other works would surely arise.
While I am a relatively new fan to the Discworld books (The Truth is the 5th Discworld book that I read), I can't help but make a small note of comparison that The Truth did not quite leave me rolling laughing on the floor as Feet of Clay did. Maybe it's because I've started to grow familiar with the quirkiness of Ankh-Morpork (tragic!), or maybe it's some other reason, but The Truth just didn't have me laughing a lot. As for it's mystery, without offering any spoilers, The Truth is no where as good as Pterry's books on The Watch, which The Truth is all too often linked to. Some events still needed a certain leap of faith to digest and lack a solid explanation.
The Truth does have a very distinct and solid moral theme, posing the thought-provoking question: What is the journalistic truth? Is it what people want to hear, or what the newspapers choose to say? Is a half-truth the truth? William claims to be answerable to the truth, but what truth is that? Telling the truth, as Pterry writes, is not the same as being honest.
But what The Truth does have that raises it above the rest is a cast of colourful and deep characters. Expect the same old favourites appearing - Gaspode and Foul Ole Ron, for an example - and some very interesting new characters. William de Worde may be a character you love or hate (I know I love him - anyone who can do what he did to the Patrician is one heckuva guy), but there's no doubt he's one that speaks of much depth. I won't be surprised to see that he would appear again in another book. Fans of Vetinari (I don't know how many there are, but I know I'm one) would be glad to know that in this book, the mysterious but loyal clerk Drumknott plays a bigger role than usual, and so does his adorable(?) dog Wuffles. Even mediocre characters in the book are interesting. Call it a subjective point of view, not everyone likes the characters in The Truth as I do, but hey, I know I did.
And of course, as promised by Pterry, you get to see Vimes and The Watch from an outsider's point of view. That alone is a bonus in itself.
All in all, The Truth is not the funniest or the cleverest Discworld book that I've read, but it has all the marks of Pterry's works - moral, plot, and humour - combined with one of the most colourful assemble of characters I have read. I will be looking forward to any future books that would include William de Worde in it.
Oh, and of course, the absolutely unforgettable - Otto the teetotaling vampire with a suicidal craving for flash photography, absolutely rocks.
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on January 11, 2002
After a few disappointing novels, the twenty-fifth installment in the Discworld series sees Terry Pratchett returning to humor, plain and simple. Still, the previous novel, The fifth elephant, showed that Pratchett is getting a bit more serious, and this novel continues this 'new' style. The story of William de Worde, and of the power of the Word in general, can be quite serious in places. Still, the book abounds with humorous and funny scenes, and some of the best characters from Ankh-Morpork play their roles to great effect (no Rincewind though!). If you have enjoyed any of the other books in the series, you will probably like this one as well. Let's hope Terry continues to produce works of this quality.
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on December 6, 2001
British witty twisted humor(ist) is back on the better track with the ongoing sagas of Discworld. If you are newbie to Pratchett - it takes a little geting used to British names and theme of thought. Just about all Pratchett's discworld rates at least 4 stars. But one thing gets me...the US cover of recent novels (and reissues) sucks. Harperprism are you listening?These covers (US) doesn't sell Pratchett. British covers gives a general idea of characters, plot frame. If the cover doesn't hold the eyeball - you lost the audience (potential readers).
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