Thief of Time
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Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time, confronts Discworld and a variety of its defenders with an insidious menace; never before has the phrase "The End of History" had quite so sinister a sound. In the great stinking metropolis of Ankh Morpork, an obsessed clockmaker receives an unusual commission from an excessively beautiful woman whose feet do not touch the ground; strict school-teacher Susan finds herself summoned by her grandfather Death, to do him a favour; the monks who manage the even distribution of Time find themselves with a recalcitrant novice; and dairyman Ronnie Soak muses on his glory days, when he was the Fifth Rider of the Apocalypse, the one who left before they got famous.
As always, the sometimes startlingly surrealistically original, sometimes comfortingly groanworthy, jokes are underlain by some intensely complex ideas and tight plotting. Susan sto Helit makes a reappearance as one of Pratchett's more interesting heroines; the sinister Lady LeJean is one of Pratchett's most interesting villains, particularly once we learn the answer to the mystery about her.
There is an attractive darkness to much of the humour here--Pratchett is often at his best when at his darkest.--Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“In a better world he would be acclaimed as a great writer rather than a merely successful one . . . This is the best Pratchett I’ve read . . . Ought to be a strong contender for the Booker Prize.”
“Terry Pratchett is one of the great inventors of secondary — or imaginative or alternative — worlds. He is not derivative. He is too strong . . . He has the real energy of the primary storyteller.”
–A.S. Byatt, The Times
From the Compact Disc edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Early Discworld books were comedy monologues strung together by a plot. Sometimes a pretty thin plot. As just one example, a whole page was required to set up the famous "felonious monk" pun in _Soul Music_. The early stories tended to be pretty much a structure to support the jokes. Sure, there was more, but it was mostly for laughs.
Somewhere between _Hogfather_ and _Carpe Jugulum_, Pratchett brought his writing to a new level. It's controversial among some of his fans, but the newer books raise deeper issues and work at multiple levels. There are still lots of laughs - you can't read about a raven named "Quoth" without smiling - but there's also a terrific, compelling story to be told. While the humor in _Color of Magic_ could be sophomoric - remember when the imp ran out of the color pink when Rincewind and Twoflower visited the Whore Pits? - there is nothing even slightly sophomoric about the plot or jokes in _Thief of Time_.
This story involves the ongoing struggle between Death and the Auditors, the use and abuse of time, quantum physics, the Monks of Time (appearing for the first itme since _Small Gods_) and the peculiar and completely different aptitudes of two very different young men to manipulate time. As an unexpected bonus, you learn why there are those nagging inconsistencies across the Discworld novels; it turns out its not Terry's fault at all... Oh, and the whole Kung Fu/Mystic Masters thing gets the Pratchett Treatment.
On the Discworld, natural forces and even unnatural forces are personified. Death is a person. Well, maybe three persons, but I don't want to spoil anything. The Auditors - roughly, the heat death of the universe - are more or less persons. Time, as it turns out, is a person. And each of those Personifications has most of the foibles of humans. After all, humans invented them.
Trust me, it all makes perfect sense.
This is a terrific book. Highly recommended. You don't need to know anything about Terry Pratchett, the Discworld or Susan Sto Helit to appreciate this book. I disagree with other reviewers who say that we won't read Pratchett 25 years from now. We will, for the same reason we read Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain and other great satirists: their skewed view of their times that they present helps us understand our past. They help us understand what it means to be human.
The Discworld truly is a mirror of our world and, while it is mostly a fun house mirror, it's still possible to know without doubt what it is you are seeing in that distorting mirror. And it makes you laugh.
DAMN, says Death. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAVE THE WORLD ALREADY? I MEAN, IT'S NOT LIKE I GET PAID FOR IT. BUGGER OFF, TERRY PRATCHETT!
And with that he stalks off to practice his sycthing skillz on an innocent beatle.
But although this plot seems a little contrived, PTerry is just too good. It still is a gripping read, as only PTerry can make it.
No, my one main problem is with Lu-Tze, of Small Gods. PTerry totally destroyed him. He is nothing like he was in the first book he was in, and by the end he is reduced to a bumbling fellow who has only managed to keep his reputation via magic tricks. That's what it seemed like to me, anyway. I didn't like Jeremy either; he seemed a clone of the main dude from The Truth.
Also, what was with the yeti? It just didn't make sense; you will find out what I mean when you read this book, which you will.
Happy Discworld reading.
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Thief of Time as a book is great but Thief of Time as a audio book is fantastic.Read more