The Truth Hardcover – Sep 1 2003
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|Hardcover, Sep 1 2003||
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The Truth, Pratchett's 25th Discworld novel, skewers the newspaper business. When printing comes to Ankh-Morpork, it "drag(s) the city kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat." Well, actually, out of the Century of the Fruitbat. As the Bursar remarks, if the era's almost over, it's high time they embraced its challenges.
William de Worde, well-meaning younger son of reactionary nobility, has been providing a monthly newsletter to the elite using engraving. Then he is struck (and seriously bruised) by the power of the press. The dwarves responsible convince William to expand his letter and the Ankh-Morpork Times is born. Soon William has a staff, including Sacharissa Cripslock, a genteel young lady with a knack for headline writing, and photographer Otto Chriek. Otto's vampirism causes difficulties: flash pictures cause him to crumble to dust and need reconstitution, and he must battle his desire for blood, particularly Sacharissa's. When Lord Vetinari is accused of attempted murder, the City Watch investigates the peculiar circumstances, but William wants to know what really happened. The odds for his survival drop as his questions multiply.
The Truth is satirical, British, and full of sly jokes. Although this cake doesn't rise quite as high as it did in previous volumes, even ordinary Pratchett is pretty darn good, and those who haven't read a Discworld novel before can start here and go on to that incredible backlist. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
The 25th book (after The Fifth Elephant) in the Discworld series returns to the thriving city of Ankh-Morpork, where humans, dwarfs and trolls share the streets with zombies, vampires, werewolves and the occasional talking dog. Young William de Worde makes a modest living running a scribing business, including a newsletter of current events for a select subscription list. Then he meets dwarf wordsmith Gunilla Goodmountain, inventor of the printing press, who helps transform de Worde's newsletter into a daily called The Ankh-Morpork Times (subhead: The Truth Shall Make Ye Free). While the city's civil, religious and business leaders are up in arms over The Times, Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, encourages the advance--as long as it remains a "simple entertainment that is not going to end up causing tentacled monsters and dread apparitions to talk the streets eating people." In the meantime, as de Worde's staff grows and a type turns the subhead to "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret", two shadowy characters are hired to remove the Patrician--permanently. Pratchett's witty reach is even longer than usual here, from Pulp Fiction to His Girl Friday. Readers who've never visited Discworld before may find themselves laughing out loud, even as they cheer on the good guys, while longtime fans are sure to call this Pratchett's best one yet.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
There's a rumour about that the dwarfs have learned to turn lead into gold. The printing press is unknown in Ankh-Morpork. The unknown is always fearful, but the dwarfs lust for gold overrides silly superstition. They have a press and only require words to apply their magic transmutation. William, initially reluctant, is there as the catalyst. All he needs is input and it arrives with ferocious intensity.
There has been a crime - always the best news. The Patrician [City Manager], Lord Vetinari, has assaulted his secretary and attempted to abscond with heavy monies. This event brings out the City Watch in the guise of its Commander, Sam Vimes. Most crimes are clear-cut, but this one seems meaningless. We learn a plot's afoot, possibly perpetrated by two strangers in the city. Mr Pim, dedicated and articulate, is accompanied by Mr Tulip, a man of chemical affinities whose language skills are indeterminate. A man whose words are mostly "---" remains difficult to comprehend.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Terry Pratchett's unique wit and insight. Truer words were never written. I recommend this and all of the Discworld books to anyone who enjoys insightful stories which reveal... Read morePublished 9 months ago by John Hambleton
Terry Pratchett Discworld novels are always a great and funny read. This one, though very funny at times - Otto the vampire who dies everytime he takes a photo, was great - on the... Read morePublished on June 27 2004
When dwarves smuggle a printing press into Ankh-Morpork, the citizens don't know what to make of it at first. Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2004 by ealovitt
When dwarves smuggle a printing press into Ankh-Morpork, the citizens don't know what to make of it at first. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004 by ealovitt
2 stars only as compared to the rest of Pratchett's novels. As a general book, I'd give it at least 3.5.
This book had something missing. Read more
This is my all-time favourite Disk World book. Terry makes the reader look at the newspaper business in a totally new light. It certainly made me think a few times. Read morePublished on July 24 2002
The Truth has the honour of being the 25th Discworld book. I haven't read all 25, but I have read a fair number of them, and I'd have to say this one is the best in awhile, even... Read morePublished on June 7 2002 by David Roy
The twenty-fifth discworld novel delves into that quagmire that is freedom of the press - although William de Worde (our protagonist) stumbles into each precept on his way to... Read morePublished on June 7 2002 by ilmk