Share for friends:

Thud! (2006)

Thud! (2006)

Book Info

4.26 of 5 Votes: 1
Your rating
0552152676 (ISBN13: 9780552152679)

About book Thud! (2006)

"What kind of creature defines itself by hatred?"That is the overarching theme of Terry Pratchett's Thud! which is indisputably one of his best works - in content and execution and the amount of serious thinking it makes me do after seeing the usual 'mundane' things through the prism of Pratchett's writing.Like other Pratchett's later works, this book is a departure from the light-hearted humorous comedic tone of earlier Discworld books which initially were just smart and witty parodies of fantasy genre conventions but have easily transcended that since. Yes, the witty remarks, dry humor and the moments of pure comedic genius are still unquestionably there, but the overall tone has changed. It's more serious. It gets angry. It has sharp edges. It's not afraid to bite. It wants to make you think - and maybe chuckle once in a while during it. The comedy this time has met the tragedy.And no wonder, for the material it tackles is not light-hearted at all.If I had just one word to sum it up the theme it would be Darkness.- Of course, the darkness of underground mines and caverns - the obvious one.- The horrible darkness of bigotry and hatred and prejudice and ethnic conflicts. - The intolerant darkness of any sort of fundamentalism.- The oppressive darkness of political intrigues that plow right over the lives of ordinary persons.- The seductive darkness of mindless revenge.- And, of course, the hidden darkness that lurks inside each person. Even inside Sam Vimes. Especially Sam Vimes. "No excuses. No excuses at all. Once you had a good excuse, you opened the door to bad excuses."Commander of Ankh Morpork City Watch (and also the Duke of Ankh and former Blackboard Monitor), Sam Vimes is a straight-as-an-arrow copper who may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer (so they say, but *they* may not always be right) but who is your go-to man when manure hits the windmill. After all, "When people are trying to kill you, it means you’re doing something right. It was a rule Sam had lived by." He has been through a lot since his days as a cynical disillusioned drunk in the once-dysfunctional Ankh-Morpork Watch. As time went by, he gained a lot - a city that miraculously functions and manages to remain stable, loyal colleagues who became dear friends, and family that provides him the blessing he is afraid he does not deserve. But all things gained can be lost, and that's something that would worry him quite a bit. "Vimes had never got on with any game much more complex than darts. Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks round, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." And this time Sam Vimes has enough to worry about. Ankh-Morpork is not a good place to be right now, with tensions from the centuries-old ethnic conflicts (in Discworld fashion, those are between the dwarfs and the trolls) at the all-time high as the anniversary of Koom Valley is nearing. Koom Valley was a place where centuries ago the dwarfs ambushed the trolls. Or perhaps the trolls ambushed the dwarfs. Nobody knows. What they do know is that they are supposed to hate each other - because it's always been so. For them, the battle of Koom Valley never ended, and Sam Vimes would do anything to prevent it from replaying in the streets of Ankh-Morpork. The no-idea-who-ambushed-whom Battle of Koom Valley seemed like a throwaway joke in the earlier Discworld books. But here Pratchett takes full advantage of it, turning the funny on its head, making it serious and even tragic at times. Because Koom Valley still lives on in the minds of people despite hundreds of miles and hundreds of years, and still claims its victims as the dead bodies pile up and hatred is sparked by those who think they see the light (or rather, the darkness), and riots are about to tear the city apart and turn it into another battle of Koom Valley, and Sam Vimes is not having it, and not even ancient supernatural entities can stop him. ‘Given, then, a contest between an invisible and very powerful quasi-demonic thing of pure vengeance on the one hand, and the commander on the other, where would you wager, say…one dollar?’‘I wouldn’t, sir. That looks like one that would go to the judges.’ Pratchett's Ankh-Morpork world by the time of Thud! has become incredibly complex and developed - to the point where the portrait of the city in my mind is as vivid as though I have really lived there. The characters are unbelievably alive, complex, multilayered, evolving, developing, growing, and very real (yes, real - despite this being a fantasy world, it's firmly grounded in sometimes whacky reality). Pratchett excels at so seamlessly combining the comedy and suspense and drama and tragedy (often within a single page) that the effect is mesmerizing and undeniably incredibly memorable. “The important thing is not to shout at this point, Vimes told himself. Do not…what do they call it…go postal? Treat this as a learning exercise. Find out why the world is not as you thought it was. Assemble the facts, digest the information, consider the implications. THEN go postal. But with precision.” The little details - from the father's unerring love for his child (view spoiler)[(Vimes' semi-delirious rendition of 'Where's My Cow?' amidst the destruction in the caves under Koom Valley and his chilling moment of realization that the assassin would easily target his small child) (hide spoiler)]

“Shoes, men, coffins; never accept the first one you see.” This is my first true experience with Terry Pratchet, and I’m left with the impression that he is (and was) to the fantasy genre what Douglas Adams was to sci-fi. That is to say… expansively clever, decidedly British, and not prone to taking himself too seriously. The man was a brilliant writer and masterful storyteller—of that I’m convinced. The following review will reflect this particular Discworld book only…Samuel Vimes, the no-nonsense Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, has his work cut out for him. With the upcoming anniversary of Koom Valley—a historic battle between trolls and dwarfs—all signs point to escalating hostility between the two species within his otherwise well-integrated city. Someone, or something, is out to restart an old war. When a dwarf is murdered and a troll blamed, it’s up to Vimes and his loyal, diverse police force to somehow keep the peace… and perhaps prevent another Koom Valley in their midst. Time for Sam to break out the hard-boiled investigative skills. “Why bother with a cunning plan when a simple one will do?” From early on my brain decided the character of Sam Vimes should be cast by David Tenant—probably because his Broadchurch persona seemed suitably applicable (with a dash of Dr. Who thrown in for my own amusement.) But it wasn’t until we meet Sam’s toddler son, and learn that Sam has made it an unshakeable paternal priority to read to said son at precisely 6PM every evening, that I truly became attached to the character. And in this reader’s opinion, the threading through of the children’s book played a large role in the keen and endearing genius of this whole tale.“WHERE’S MY COW? ARE YOU MY COW?” It’s safe to conclude that Pratchett isn’t just parodying the fantasy genre (although, he’s delightfully good at it!), he’s parodying—and in his own way, confronting—a complex menagerie of issues. Western society, racial tensions, outmoded traditionalism, historical revisionism, cultural chauvinism, drug use… he takes aim at all of these and gets away with it thanks to an expert layering of guile, tongue-in-cheek humor, and measured poignancy. In this reader’s mind, that makes him an intrepid social commentator. (Considering the creatures inhabiting Discworld are from an array of TRULY different races (i.e. species), it roundly highlights the absurdity of this reality’s ethnic and cultural divides.) The narrative jumps around a bit, including a range of third person perspectives meant to give readers insight into the larger political and social situation. The characterization is whimsical and precise, the dialogue is pithy, and the world-building is deftly handled. Everything weaves around and back together with a thoroughness that feels like a gift I didn’t even realize I wanted until Pratchett handed it to me, all tied up neat and pretty. If I had one complaint, it would be the length. There were times the action was low for extended periods and it felt almost as though the author was rabbit-trailing. (Oh me of little faith, I know.) Of course, some of this could simply be a result of perfectly necessary scenes involving characters that I had less investment in. In any case, my interest sometimes wandered more than I, personally, would have liked. Favorite quote: “His mind worked fast, flying in emergency supplies of common sense, as human minds do, to construct a huge anchor in sanity and prove that what happened hadn't really happened and, if it had happened, hadn't happened much.”

Do You like book Thud! (2006)?

THUDTerry PratchetDoubleday ISBN 0385 608675Another excellent book in the Discworld series from Terry Pratchet, and another one without chapters. The dwarves and the Trolls have never been friends, rather they have been enemies. Now there are so many of them in the city that trouble is about to occur in Ankh-Morpork. The ONLY one who can sort it out is Commander Vimes of the city Watch (police). This is more that just a war story (well not a war story at all really), it has some good characterisations, some new characters, and the usual cast of old friends. There is also some nice comment on the modern world. I especially like the organiser – it is actually useful here! The i-pod was a bit more un-believable, but this is a magic world after all. Sam actually scores a point off Vetinari. If you have a good imagination there’s also a wonderfully comic scene with cabbages. If you haven’t read it already, then I strongly suggest you put a day or two aside, because you won’t want to put it down.

Thud! is part of the Watch subseries, easily my favorites of the Discworld books. Here, Ankh-Morpork is threatened by increasing hostility between the trolls and the dwarves on the eve of the anniversary of the battle of Koom Valley, and Vimes and the rest of the Watch must defuse the tension by solving the mysterious murder of one of the dwarf leaders. I don't think this is my favorite of the Watch novels, but it's as amusing as always, and Pratchett provides interesting sidelights on the character of Vimes by way of his interaction with his baby son.

In a past review on Goodreads I made the connection between Terry Pratchett and G.K. Chesterton, both being apostles of the common sense. This is also true of this book, and if there was ever any literary character who could be described as the emissary of common sense it's Vimes. Not the common sense as in 'lowest common denominator', but as in what's wise, and what has always been known throughout the generations. This groundedness in humanity is what keeps Vimes on his feet, even when his family is threatened and the peace of Ankh-Morpork wobbles precariously. Confronted by hyper-religious dwarves (the 'deep downers', who think the world above ground is a dangerous dream), a mysterious troll prophet 'Mr. Shine', the impressive Lord Vetinari and his accountant, and the pressure to accept a Vampire as a watchman, Vimes keeps his cool and does what's right, which is: getting home at 6 in the evening to read to his little son. And to let nothing come in the way, be it traffic, or the threat of a new battle of Koom Valley, this time fought in the streets of his beloved (or better: tolerated) city of Ankh Morpork. And on top of that, there's a painting stolen from a museum, and Nobby (almost human) seems to have a new girlfriend. I liked this book a lot, and enjoyed its serious contemplation of religious (in)tolerance and the nature of faith a lot, coupled with the struggle of Vimes in confronting his own darkness (literally and figuratively). And a great climax.
—Johan Haneveld

download or read online

Read Online

Write Review

(Review will shown on site after approval)

Other books by author Terry Pratchett

Other books in series discworld

Other books in category Fiction