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The Truth - Terry Pratchett
Member Name: defiler
The Truth - Terry Pratchett
Date: 06/05/01, updated on 06/05/01 (72 review reads)
Advantages: It's a Discworld book, It's written by Terry Pratchett, It's very funny and has a great story
Disadvantages: Still only available in hardback so a bit expensive (paperback shouldn't be too far off), Not as many laugh-out-loud moments as many discworld books (if you find this a disadvantage)
I'm a big discworld fan and was excited to hear the release of another one was due, especially as this time I had the opportunity to get a signed copy. I waited in line for over an hour to get it signed to be told by some people things like "This is only a small queue, last year it was x times bigger", got my book signed and left the store noticing that the queue when I left was bigger than when I arrived.
I just feel sorry for anyone that spends their day going to one place and signing books for hours only to have to then travel to somewhere else to sign more books before they can finally go home. He did seem a nice enough person though and would do most of the things people requested of him such as signing books that weren't really on the signing tour, signing cards, letting people take pictures and talking to fans about things so all in all it was well worth the wait.
Anyway... on with the book itself :)
As usual there are a number of themes running throughout the book which don't seem obviously connected at the start but which you know will be and that the reason will soon become apparent.
The story focuses mainly on William de Worde (anyone who owns a copy of "The Discworld Companion" will see he was actually mentioned in here with a hint to having "a bright future ahead" long before the book was actually published) who has found that the business of supplying information to be a good business, taking the opportunity to set up the Discworld's first newspaper, along with the help of Dwarves who can turn lead into gold (sort of anyway :) he soon begins to find that things are a lot more complicated than he thought and that his life soon becomes a lot more complicated, however he is still drawn to finding out things and revealing the information to people, whether the public wants to know or not.
Meanwhile there is an attempt to unseat the Patrici
an, the city watch goes about its business and tries to find things out and a few very familiar looking villians who are hoping to do whatever they want to and make some money along the way.
The story in general has a darker feel than many of the earlier Pratchett books but this seems to be something that has been happening to most of the recent books and does nothing to take anything away from the story itself.
As usual Pratchett is great with the humour in the book, with humourous observations, great imagination and some great characters and descriptions the book is throughout very funny. I found that compared to many other discworld books there were fewer laugh-out-loud moments and that in general there seemed to be many more smaller jokes, this is no bad thing (and in fact better if you are somewhere where you'd be looked at odly if you burst out laughing) and the book is just as good to read.
I found myself taking longer to read this than I did other Discworld books but I personally believe this was more because I was busy with lots of things at the time rather than being put off by the book itself and at other times would have read this much faster than many of the other discworld books.
For the first time in quite a few discworld books Pratchett introduces some new main characters rather than relying on the popular ones that have dominated much of his previous books (The Witches, Guards, Death and Rincewind), while they are not left entirely out of the book it makes a refreshing change and removes many of the doubts people had about him being unable to come up with any new popular characters.
The new characters introduced are well described and interesting, William de Worde is obviously the main character being introduced and is described brilliantly, you get a feeling that despite not wanting to be anything like his father feels he needs to proove himself to him someh
ow and you really get the feeling that he wants to find all the problems the city has and inform people, whether they care or not (and when they don't care you can feel him struggle to understand why people don't care about something so important).
Out of all the other characters introduced (there are a reasonable number that will no doubt be seen again) the ones that spring to mind best are Otto, Pin & Tulip. Otto is a vampire who enjoys flash photography with the problem that this then turns him to dust, his character is great and there are some very funny moments involving him (some of which are funny even though very predictable).
Pin & Tulip are two very dangerous people (who seem to have been taken from a Tarantino movie), 1 very intelligent and deadly while the other is a little bit slow with some things (far from stupid on others), has a massive drug habit (but is unable to work out quite what drugs are) and the ability to hit things very well. The constant not-swearing of one character has some humourous bits in it and the first joke on it was great as I originally wasn't sure whether they were actually saying what they were saying or if the book had been censored a bit.
Older popular characters such as Vimes can also be seen from a different point of view, Vimes does seem depicted quite bad in many ways however even though in a different book he could easily be the main character trying to figure things out, overall though it is nice to see these characters from another persons point of view other than someone like the Patrician.
It's not as good as some Discworld books but it's one of the better that have been recently released and for once introduces new characters into the stories. If you are a Discworld fan this is a great book to choose, if you have yet to read a discworld book however I would suggest you choose an earlier book and either start at the first book in th
e series (The Colour Of Magic) or choose one of his better (in my opinion anyway :) books (Men At Arms, Interesting Times, Lords and Ladies, Soul Music).