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Thud! - Terry Pratchett

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Author: Terry Pratchett / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 22 July 2010 / Genre: Fantasy / Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd / Title: Thud! / ISBN 13: 9780552156639 / ISBN 10: 0552156639

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    8 Reviews
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      07.05.2012 13:18
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      For a rating I'd give it a 5/5 for overall enjoyment.

      Thud is the 30th Discworld novel written by Terry Pratchett. As you will see by my username I love books by Sir Terry Pratchett they are usually filled with humor.
      This book features The Watch a group of men commanded by Samuel Vimes. To be Honest I usually don't enjoy the novels in which they feature in. This book is the exception for me and features my two favorite characters Otto and Igor. Otto is a vampire and a Photographer who has sworn not to drink blood. In my Opinion Otto is the funniest character to come out of the series. The Watch in my opinion is like the local police but with a twist, their members consist of vampires, trolls, dwarves, humans and one werewolf.

      Plot
      It is nearly the anniversary of the battle of Koom anniversary, a battle between dwarf and troll. It is a battle so famous that there is a painting in a local gallery to remember it. The local dwarf population is looking to reenact the battle of Koom for real. It is up to commander Vimes and his fellow watchmen to make sure the battle does not take place at all.

      If Vimes was not already busy enough he has to recruit a vampire into the watch by the local patrician. He does not have much of a choice in the matter.
      Conclusion

      Most of books are taken from Fairytales, events in history, famous Plays and are infused with Terry's humor. Although I did enjoy this book I feel as though I would have enjoyed the humor more if I knew what event this was taken from. As I have mentioned before I don't usually enjoy the novels in which the watch feature, because I feel they don't have as much humor. This book is the exception and for me is the best in the Watch series. I found Terry's take on modern art in this book to be very humorous .His characters could not understand why some things are considered art. This book has a lot of humor in it everything from an old granny trying to do poll dancing and failing. I really enjoyed both the title of this book and cover.
      If you have never read a Discworld novel I would recommend this. The book is a standalone novel.

      For a rating I'd give it a 5/5 for overall enjoyment.
      Price

      £5.91 on Amazon uk paperback
      Kindle edition £4.94

      This review can also be found under my ciao username pratchettfan

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      06.03.2012 22:03
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      The Discworld is 34 Not Out

      Unbelievably, Thud! is the 34th Discworld novel (eek!). Normally when a series gets that long in the tooth, you expect the author to get a bit lazy, take shortcuts or start recycling elements from earlier books. On the evidence of Thud! Terry Pratchett is still a long way away from resorting to fleecing loyal readers in that way.

      Thud! sees the welcome return of fan favourite Sam Vimes and his motley crew of Watchmen. This time around, they are trying to prevent Ankh Morpork from becoming a battle ground as trolls and dwarfs argue over the Battle of Koom Valley and the secret of exactly who ambushed who.

      The Watch novels have always given Pratchett the opportunity to muse on some pretty topical issues, such as law and order and the rights of the rich over those of the poor. Thud! is no exception, taking pot shots at politics and diplomacy, war stories and creation myths and religion in general. Some of these are pretty intelligent observations, hidden behind barbed or sarcastic comments that will make you laugh at the same time as making you think.

      This is Pratchett's undoubted skill. Discworld novels might be pigeon-holed as "fantasy-science fiction" but they go far beyond that simplistic labelling. In Thud! Pratchett bolts together a genuinely interesting and intriguing plot, a strong roster of characters, plenty of laughs and some thought-provoking insights which reflect on the real world.

      True, in terms of the plot, you might not always be entirely sure where it is heading or even exactly what's going on, but that's not important. What's important is that almost every page of the book will keep you handsomely entertained. The plot is actually quite logical in a slightly odd kind of way and it comes together wonderfully at the end, tying up in a very satisfying way all the loose ends which have been flapping around and puzzling you. The Watch books have always had the most coherent (if daft) plots, and this one is no exception.

      Where Thud! is better than other Watch titles is in its use of sub-plots. Many of these are completely independent of the main plot, but provide both a welcome occasional break from it and are often amongst the highlights of the book. The idea of Nobby nabbing a pole dancer girlfriend, (the brilliantly named Tawneee), for example will be a source of great mirth to readers who have followed the Corporal's previous attempts at seducing the opposite sex. At the same time, Pratchett uses it to muse on sexual politics. The highlight of the book, though, has to be the need for Sam Vimes to be home every night at 6pm to read "Where's My Cow" to his new son, Young Sam.

      Where's My Cow has to be one of the most inspired of Pratchett's creations in the long history of the Discworld. The storybook for children perfectly mimics the inane, patronising nature of most children's literature and everything which Pratchett has railed against in his own efforts at writing for children. I defy anyone to read the passages from Where's My Cow and get through without laughing out loud. It's also used effectively as a leitmotif, particularly at the end, when the juxtaposition of violence and children's literature is, quite simply, brilliant.

      As ever, it's the Discworld characters that really make Thud! stand out. By now, author and readers alike are very comfortable with the main players in the Watch and it shows. Pratchett is able to take the opportunity to add slightly new elements to the characters we know and love, whilst keeping them recognisably the same. Sam Vimes is still a suspicious, cynical man which gives Pratchett plenty of opportunity for snide(but shrewd) observations on human nature. Nobby and Colon are still terminally stupid, but a great Laurel and Hardy double-act, whilst Detritus the Troll is as solid and reliable as ever with his literal turn of phrase and mind. It's great to see these characters get another outing and they don't let us down.

      If there's a disappointment, it's that other established characters don't get much of a look in. Both Carrot and Angua feel sidelined, popping up only occasionally and not having a great deal to do for much of the book. Similarly, not all the new characters work - Sally the Vampire has quite an important role to play in the plot, but always feels a little marginal and slightly ill-defined. This has been an increasing problem with The Watch books. As The Watch has continued to grow, the focus on the tight cluster of original characters we first grew to love in Guards! Guards! has inevitably been diluted.

      To some extent, this doesn't matter. The real glue in The Watch has always been Sam Vimes and he is superbly written and developed. For the first time in a while, Pratchett is able to bring out a new side to Sam and there's an interesting comparison to be made between Sam Vimes the Copper (hard, cynical, suspicious) and Sam Vimes the Family Man (slightly scared of his wife and a doting father). There are some priceless moments where Sam is busily terrorising some poor recruit, only to himself be reduced to a gibbering wreck by the imperious tones of Lady Sybil or the crying of his young son.

      The banter and relationship between the characters is as strong as ever. The constant bickering, misunderstandings and "intellectual" musings once again providing many of the book's funniest moments. This is helped by Pratchett's tremendous ear for the right combination of words. Many of the things he has his characters say are not particularly funny or new when taken in isolation. However, Pratchett has a knack of saying exactly the right thing in exactly the right way at exactly the right moment. Indeed, when Mrs SWSt and I read this together, our progress through the book was rather sedate - not because we were bored with it or because we are slow readers; rather because we enjoyed some passages so much that we just had to go back and read them again!

      Thud! might be the 34th Discworld novel, but there's no signs yet that Pratchett is starting to rest on his laurels. It might not be the best place for a newcomer to the series to start (but then, why would you start at number 34 anyway?), but existing fans will find plenty of that Old Pratchett Magic to keep them entertained.

      Basic Information
      -----------------------
      Thud!
      Terry Pratchett
      Corgi, 2006
      ISBN: 978-0552152679

      (c) Copyright SWSt 2012

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      • More +
        24.07.2010 15:58
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        30-odd books on, Pratchett shows no signs of relenting

        Thud! That's the sound a club makes when it clonks you on the head. It's also the name of a board game in the Discworld, a bit like chess, where you play as either dwarves or trolls, and then slug it out. I'm not sure what the rules are but it looks like great fun.

        The books starts, as a lot of City Watch books do, with murder. The dwarves' demagogue has been murdered, and things aren't looking too well between the trolls and the dwarves, who have been sworn enemies for centuries. With the anniversary of the Battle Koom Valley (an ancient battle between dwarves and trolls) coming up, ethnic tensions are building.

        There's also been a theft, possibly connected with the murder and the upcoming anniversary, of a fifty foot painting of the Koom Valley war. With a new recruit in his team - a vampire called Sally - Sam Vimes is called in to solve the murder before Koom Valley happens all over again, outside his door.

        Oh, and Vimes has to be home, every night at 6, to read his son Where's My Cow before bed.

        ---

        So we're back with the City Watch. We've been getting a lot of these books lately. I guess now that it's such a powerful force in Ankh-Morpork, whenever anything happens it's really up to them.

        Thud does something interesting, in that it finally goes into detail this tension between dwarves and trolls that has been spoken of since some very early Discworld books. While we've only heard of Koom Valley, Thud goes into some depth about it. It's good to have this quite important part of Disc history finally expanded on.

        There's also a few cool subplots involved in the book. Samuel Vimes is a constantly evolving character. Now he has a son, which he has to go home to read to every night, no matter what he's doing. To fit in with the ethnic tension themes Pratchett is examining in the book, the addition of a vampire character in the Watch expands on the idea that werewolves (Sergeant Angua) and vampires (Sally) hate each other.

        Thud! is a great book, and another fantastic addition to the Discworld collection. Filled with the trademark humour and some really intriguing mystery elements you're all expecting, it's a thrilling read from start to finish.

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        05.08.2009 23:51

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        A great book that can be enjoyed by all.

        Thud is an amazing book from Terry Pratchett.

        It focuses on the Commander Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork city night-watch.

        After a murder of a high ranking dwarf official Vimes finds himself drawn into a battle that has long raged between the Trolls and the Dwarves.

        Vimes must juggle a heavy case load of murders, a city on the verge of total out and out war and his newborn son.

        Pushing back through years of anger, hate and racial tension Vimes must break this case before lives are lost. So what exactly does an ancient board game, a group of deep-down dwarves and the mysterious 'Mr Shine' have to do with who ambushed who years ago?

        This is one of the best books i have ever read. This book is a brilliant blend of mystery and humour. The storyline is unbelievably good and i found the book in depth but not boring which was outstanding as i normally get quite bored reading books.

        This book is quite long and i suppose that if you don't like reading books (like me) then this may not be the book for you but it is certainly a good place to start reading Terry Pratchett's novels.

        It is very typical of the great novels that we have all come to know from Terry Pratchett

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        21.07.2009 10:42
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        One of my favourite Discworld novels

        For the past hundred years or so, Mr Terrance Pratchett of Wiltshire has been producing a whimsical series of novels concerning the exploits of divers personages upon a celestial body which resembles in many ways our own Terra, save but for the trifling datum that it is a flat disc carried by four mighty elephants, who labour under their not inconsiderable burden whilst being borne through the firmament by a giant turtle.

        Readers have matured alongside this giant of prolificness as these merry adventures have developed from joke-a-minute fantasy spoofs into challenging tracts for our times which happen to contain trolls and vampires.
        Nowhere is this more evident than in the development of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. Going from a ragtag crew of misfits and petty criminals in 'Guards! Guards!', the Watch has gone from being a one-note gag about crap guards in fantasy novels, through a phase of detective fiction parody and has finally developed into an exploration of the Discworld's most psychologically real character, Sam Vimes.

        Next to the cowardly wizard Rincewind, and even the grumpy possibly evil witch Granny Weatherwax, Vimes looks like Hamlet taking a wee over Simba from the Lion King. A recovering alcoholic full of murderous rage and bitterness held in check by his allegiance to the cause of justice. It sounds like any number of stock literary detectives, but Sam Vimes stands out by being a truly nasty piece of work. He is very much a product of the crime-infested streets he seeks to protect.
        In Thud, Vimes comes up against the ingrained prejudice between Dwarfs and Trolls, encapsulated by Koom Valley. Referenced in several earlier Discworld novels, this is the battle where both armies managed to ambush each other. Like much of Discworld lore though, this little throwaway quip has escalated to become a surprisingly subversive plot element. With references to civil war between extremist minority groups and parades through the other group's turf this can only be the Discworld's answer to the darkest days of sectarian-torn Belfast, not to mention religious tensions that threaten peace throughout cities all over the world, but the point is never nailed home and so the novel can be enjoyed agenda-free.

        The annual Koom Valley protests and marches and riots are a bit intense this year, possibly provoked by the presence of hard-line 'deep down' Dwarfs who are excavating beneath the city and don't recognise Ankh-Morpork law. Vimes has to deal with a Watch falling apart from the inside as its trollish and dwarfish members struggle to reconcile their racial and professional identities, as well as the usual business of solving a politically-charged murder. This time round, however, Vimes's crime-busting is impeded by the presence of Young Sam, his toddler son who demands to be read to every evening on the stroke of six.
        Young Sam is important because it shows a human side to a character that occasionally veers a little too close to being Judge Dredd in tights. Although Vimes has been happily married since the end of his second adventure, his relationship with his wife was perhaps unwisely summed up as 'Love was a dicey word for the over 40s'. While a lot is left unsaid between our hero and Lady Sybil Ramkin, her blind acceptance of her husband's devotion to duty means that she never really casts much light on his character. A comfortable marriage is very boring for readers, but a young baby who will make a workaholic lawman charge across town, leaving chaos in his wake... that creates conflict, which is the essence of drama, as any GCSE theatre studies student will tell you.

        The Watch wouldn't be complete without its coppers though. Carrot the almost-Dwarf (he's seven foot tall, but apparently that doesn't matter) and rightful King of Ankh-Morpork bobs along for the ride but doesn't do a huge amount considering the story centres on the dwarfs - a slight hint that Pratchett is a bit bored of this character, I felt. Instead, his werewolf girlfriend gets a nice little subplot getting to know a new vampire copper, Sally.
        At the same time, Detritus the troll forms a paternal bond with troll junkie Brick. This largely consists of hitting him. Nobby Nobbs has also got a girlfriend in the improbably beautiful shape of a Discworld lapdancer.

        These subplots are a little more, well, SUB than usual. The reader is never left in any doubt that this is Vimes's story, and it's a rare moment where we are in anyone's head but Vimes. To me, this increasing adoption of Sam Vimes as the preferred central character tells you all you need to know about Pratchett as an author. In the early days of pastiche and spoofery, you had Rincewind the wizard reacting against the genre and being terribly cutting about all the cliches around him. The witches were a step up, commendably solid characters sending up their fantastic surroundings by prodding them with distinctly earthy logic. But Vimes is a bad-tempered man with a family and a devotion to justice. He skewers the fantastic things around him with caustic wit and bitterness, but purely from his professional perspective as a policeman. It's just better writing, God damn it.
        Thud is a fine entry in the Discworld canon, although in some respects it has been overlooked in favour of newer characters in Going Postal and Making Money. It bears repeated readings, and for added enjoyment, you can also get a copy of 'Where's My Cow?', the picture book that Sam reads to his young son throughout the novel - the illustrations to which make it abundantly clear that actor Pete Postlethwaite (Brassed Off, Jurassic Park 2) is the physical inspiration for Vimes.

        Read. Enjoy. Read again.

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        • More +
          13.09.2008 22:32
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          The Watch uncover more Dwarf Culture

          t's a mystery.
          It's a who done it.
          It's a crime thriller.
          It's all of these things and more.

          A theft, a murder, a vampire joining The Watch.
          Mr Vimes is going to go spare!

          We have Dwarves keeping secrets that even Captain Carrot is struggling to get them to reveal and the last person you expect to help crack the mystery is Sams wife Lady Sybil. We have strippers, pole dancing clubs, Nobby dating a stunner, The Breccia helping The Watch with their enquiries and many other strange ideas that really do work very well together.

          We get to meet Vimes as a father and a madman and he's great in both roles. Its a great mystery. Its a great crime thriller. Its even a good chase story. So many seemingly unconnected threads are finally drawn together in a very good conclusion that feels very satisfying. Good for a re-read as well, as there are always new things to find in this.

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            07.04.2006 19:52
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            funny, compeling and sort of familiar but you dont know why( until you look out the window)

            From the first pages this book keeps you entertained with wit and charm and a sense of ' why is this so familliar?'
            This book brings back characters that never seem to get old from 'His grace and blackboard monitorship, commander sir samuel vimes' the centeral figure in ankh-morpock city watch to the much loved ' Nobby Nobbs'.

            The story developes around a murder of a high ranking dwarf, killed in ankh-morpock before the anniversary of the battle of coomb valley. Fought between dwarfs and trolls,( with maybe a few humans squeezed in for good measure ), but no-one can remmember who started it or who ambushed who, possibly even why it happen except for the hatred between the to races.

            This starts a major headache for commander vimes who gets stuck in the middle of another possible coomb valley happening, right outside his office window in anck-morpock, while also trying to find the time to get home for 5 to read his newborn son 'wheres my cow?'.


            This is and absolute rollercoaster of a book that keeps you questing what will come next and even when you know you cant believe its happenig. It holds a mirror up to some of the troubles of our own world and twist it in ways to show how funny the truth can be.

            Most importantly it has something for everyone of all ages humour,slapstick with a good murder mystery and war thrown in a given a good stir.Keeps you smilling long after the last page has been read.

            To tell you anymore would spoil too much of the story so just buy it instead its well worth it.
            Unfortunatly if your not a disk-world fan you may find it hard going and abit confusing at first but you'll get use to it.
            Once you've read it you will go get more of the series as they're highly addictive.

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              03.01.2006 12:11
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              A great novel for fans.

              Sam Vimes is on the trail of a Dwarf killer. He has to find the murderer and quickly otherwise it will be Koom Valley all over again but this time in his city. The Dwarves and Trolls have an age old grudge and it takes little to stir up the racial hatreds of the two races on this, the anniversary of the battle were it officially all started. Plagued by an undercurrent of Politics, board games and dwarf law can Vimes find the killer and more importantly still get home by six to read “Where’s my Cow”?

              “Thud” is Terry Pratchett’s thirty second Discworld novel in a vast and wide ranging series that is set firmly in the realms of fantasy yet bears resemblance to our own reality. Based on a Disc shaped world were anything is possible Pratchett has created a complex World were Wizards rub shoulders with trolls and humans with Vampires. Were his novels vary from many others in the fantasy genre is in the humour, observations and parody prevalent in all his works. Although it is easy to dismiss Pratchett as a fantasy writer his novels are full of political and social commentary and are often thinly veiled attacks on the society in which we live. “Thud” is no exception.

              Following the story of our central character Sam Vimes, Pratchett discusses the futility of war and its origins the hypocrisy of, but inevitable importance of organised religion and the importance of individual efforts to change things. However, this does not mean this is a novel you should take entirely seriously. Pratchett’s genius is in taking ridiculous settings and making a humorous yet poignant plot out of it. Hence amid personalities clashes between werewolves and vampires are inter racial messages but you barely notice these amid what is essentially one long situation comedy packed with jokes and quotes.

              Commander Samuel Vimes, head of the Ankh-Morpork’s very own version of the police “The Watch” is a long established and possibly the most infamous Discworld character. With easily the most books dedicated to him this is largely due to him being such a wonderfully flawed hero. A reformed alcoholic, he fights daily with his own racism. So full of anger and a constant sense of injustice, he is the perfect foil for Pratchett to propel the plot along with. “Thud” gives Sam Vimes a pivotal role and the irony of this angry, fundamentally racist character attempt to bring equality into his force and his city is not lost on this reader. Vimes is also given the funniest interactions and his aversion to and rejection of new technology such as his “Disorganiser mark-5” is hilarious and apt in the new I-pod generation. Excerpts such as the one below illustrate this perfectly:

              “Then would you like to engage the handy-to-use BluenoseTM Integrated Messenger Service?'
              'What does that do?' said Vimes with deep suspicion. The succession of Dis-Organizers he had owned had proved quite successful at very nearly sorting out all the problems that stemmed from owning them in the first place.
              'Er, basically, it means me running with a message to the nearest clacks tower really fast,' said the imp hopefully.
              'And do you come back?' said Vimes, hope also rising.
              ' Absolutely!'
              'Thank you, no,' said Vimes.”

              Unfortunately, other characters within “Thud” are given a somewhat sparse role and as such even characters familiar to Discworld fans are somewhat poorly realised here. This does not detract from an otherwise great read but those looking for more than the Sam Vimes show may be disappointed. The supporting cast of misfits are given some great lines but are merely padding to help the plot along. Cameo appearances by Archchancellor Ridcully of the Unseen University and Death himself seem tagged on in an effort by Pratchett to please all readers and feel a derivative and unnecessary although undoubtedly entertaining.

              What is also noticeable is how inaccessible this novel is to new readers to the series. Full of established characters and with several references to previous books especially those within “The Watch Series” it is virtually essential that you are an avid fan of the series. Although it is not impossible to enjoy this novel without any prior knowledge of the series to truly understand it the history of Discworld and the relationships of its characters is vital. Do you know who the Low King is? Chryoprase the troll? If not this novel is certainly not for you.

              However, “Thud” is a novel that does not relent in terms of pace or plot and fans of the series will find it an excellent read full of Pratchett’s legendary humour. Reading “Thud” is a familiar and pleasant experience for me and this is certainly a return to form after the competent but relatively dull “Going Postal”. Pratchett has once again returned to the “no chapter” style which I feel allows his writing to flow as it should and a s a result the 398 pages fly by perhaps with the end coming to a somewhat abrupt yet satisfactory.

              As you can see I have a lot of good things to say about this novel. Pratchett fans will lap this one up although as I mentioned above non-Pratchett fans need not apply. Perhaps the best test to see if you want to buy this novel is if you find the following sentence to be ever so true or total nonsense:

              “In one way or another, are we not all looking for our cow?"

              If you get this you need to get “Thud” if not you just don’t get it.

              ISBN: 0385608675
              Available at amazon.uk for £7.98 in hardback which is a bargain considering its’ £17.99 RRP

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            • Product Details

              Koom Valley! That was where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls. It was far away. It was a long time ago. But if he doesn't solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office. With his beloved Watch crumbling around him and war-drums sounding, he must unravel every clue, outwit every assassin and brave any darkness to find the solution. And darkness is following him. Oh...and at six o'clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, he must go home to read 'Where's My Cow?', with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy. There are some things you have to do.