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Thief of time [Hardcover]

Terry Pratchett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Jan 2001 Discworld Novels
"Thief of Time" is the 26th novel in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and comes complete with a full supporting cast of heroes and villains, yetis, martial artists and Ronnie, the fifth horseman of the apocalypse (who left before they became famous).

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (20 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385601883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385601887
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 273,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett is the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he is the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he is the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Photography © David Bird

Product Description

Amazon Review

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


"Other writers are mining the rich seam of comic fantasy that Pratchett first unearthed, but what keeps Pratchett on top is - quite literally -- the way he tells them." - "The Times" "["Discworld"] has the energy of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and the inventiveness of "Alice in Wonderland,.".[Terry Pratchett] has an intelligent wit and a truly original grim and comic grasp of the nature of things." - A.S. Byatt, "Sunday Times"

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time and again 28 Jun 2004
By Chris
I have read all the Discworld novels and most of them I rated 5 stars for enjoyment. This book, however, would get 7 stars for enjoyment, style and the ideas behind it. My friends usually borrow my TP books but so far they have not been able to put their hands on this one!
There really isn't much of a plot (depending on your point of view of course), but the action is continuous and the punchline - although a little bit expectable - quite striking.
I got to meet one of my favourite characters in a bit more detail - Susan. We meet a new guy - Lobsang - whose namesake actually has some achievement in real-life buddhism. Also all the other nicking from 'well-known' ideas, films, etc will keep your head spinning until the last page, because you start wondering after a while if you have missed anything.
Another thing I love about Terry Pratchett is his thought-provoking style. Even a unenthusiast of physics like me has been inspired to read up a little more on the subjects of time and relativity thanks to this book.
I agree with the others that this book is not for the beginning Discworld novel reader, since most of the characters are already well known from the other books and their personalities - and in some cases personifications - are well developed there up to this book.
Once you get to sit down with this book you only have to do two things: read and enjoy!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as he ever was 18 Nov 2002
By ghandibob VINE VOICE
It is difficult to write about this the twenty-sixth Discworld novel, without having ever written about any of its predecessors. It seems to lack context. Much the way, I would imagine, that new readers must feel in opening the first page of a later Pratchett book without, like myself, having grown up with the Discworld series. It is hard, also, to be objective when I can chart the passage of my life by what the characters in these books were up to.
But, for new readers, Thief of Time surely represents the best way in. There are new characters at the centre of events - Lu Tze, Lobsang Ludd, Jeremy, a renegade Auditor. There is no Granny Weatherwax, Rincewind or Vimes, with all their associated baggage of sharp, subtle characterisation and well-earned history and affection, to contend with. True, Nanny Ogg appears, but her role is that of a big film star making a cameo in a film: notable and warmly received, but not integral to the understanding of the story. Susan is also in place, and her role is entirely central, but she has been growing up with the series, and she is now a very different woman to the one who appeared in Soul Music, for instance. Death also performs a role that he has not previously investigated in earnest - that of a horeseman riding out in the face of an apocalypse - and so even the (almost) unchanging face of mortality appears fresh for the new recruits.
There is another reason that this novel represents the ideal entry point for the novice. It is as sure-handed a book as Pratchett has produced. It is funny, it is warm and it flows with the incredible pacing that Pratchett has made his hallmark. Out of thin air he can form a thriller of plot and anticipation. Imagine Waiting For Godot reading like a Raymond Chandler story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the rings slips to number two! 24 July 2001
I have loved almost all of Terry Pratchett's novels, but never before have I read such brilliance! I found The Truth a little hard to get through so when I started Thief of Time I was pleasantly surprised. Even though I was on holiday and having a great time, I couldn't stop dreaming about the book and wishing I could read and drive at the same time. Susan is one of my favourite characters and she was great in this novel as was Lu-tze - but Lobsang goes straight in to the top five, and I hope that he will appear again in a future novel and not disappear like Pteppic. I nearly cried when I finished it, and I will definately be reading it again. I congratulate Terry Pratchett on his wonderfull imagination and hope he forever continues to share it with us.
Read this book!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting evolution of the series 9 Nov 2001
By A Customer
With this and 'The Truth' Pratchett appears to be moving beyond the confines (such as they were) of the formulae established in his City Watch, Death and Witches novels. I can only hope the trend continues. Much as I loved the earlier books the last two have had a much greater range of ideas and imagination and develop the Discworld into a much more interesting place. The unconfined Pratchett imagination is a joy to behold. Grounded in Discworld mythology, and with some familiar characters 'Thief of Time'ranks with Pratchett's very best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Behold, the Fifth Surprise ! 31 Oct 2006
By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE
"Thief of Time" is the twenty-sixth book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series and was first published in 2001. He has gone on to win the Carnegie Medal for "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" and was awarded the OBE in 1998.

Officially, The Auditors are in charge of the universe : they see that atoms spin, that gravity works and that things move in curves. However, they hate life - too many irregularities - and have tried several times to deal with those pesky humans. In "Thief of Time", they're at it again - only, this time, they're being a little more devious about it. Normally Death - wears black, bony knees, big grin, carries a scythe - would do what he could to thwart them. However, due to an impending Apocalypse, he has to gather his fellow Horsemen - Famine, War and Pestilence - for the traditional ride. (There's also the matter of the mysterious fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, who left before they became famous). As a result, Death persuades his grand-daughter Susan into helping out with the fight against the Auditors. Susan is now a teacher in Ankh-Morpork, so she's used to fighting for her life on a daily basis. Thankfully, for this battle she has Death of Rats and Quoth the Raven to help her out.

The Order of Wen and is based at the Monastery of Oi Dong in the High Ramtops. It is known by several aliases - including the History Monks. It's up to them to see that history follows the right track (it doesn't just happen, after all), and when history breaks it's the Order's job to fix it. Their job is made easier by their ability to move and store time, largely thanks to their "procrastinators". Lu-Tze is one of the Order's most notable members.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I wanted a hardcover first edition of this book & now I've got one......
Great story, well written, Terry Pratchett at his best - and that is saying something!
Published 20 days ago by Donus
5.0 out of 5 stars I will be glad when i have read all of the "disc world" ...
I will be glad when i have read all of the "disc world" books, so that i can read other authers
Published 1 month ago by mikkithfish
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite TP book.
I can't say i took to this really,i guess it was a little outside of my comfort zone.Not that its a bad book per se,it just didn't click straight

away but it definitely... Read more
Published 1 month ago by mrdubyadee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by R. Ardis
5.0 out of 5 stars Terry at his best
Always a joy to reread Discworld novel and i do like LuTse very much! Interesting ideas about age and maturity and lots of fun.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
Love pratchett but was slightly disappointed with this one. Felt quite waffly in sections and made me laugh less than other disc world books. Read more
Published 2 months ago by TW
5.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett still has it!
This book lived up to its promise. Reading these in order and all together. Some are good, some are great, some are fine but not spectacular. Read more
Published 3 months ago by dawnlabarre
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best in the Death story arc.
The best concept, the best delivery, the best ending. If I could only read one discworld novel this would be it.
Published 5 months ago by James Earl
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for mum
Great price and great service product well packed. This was bought as a present for my mum and she loved it.
Published 6 months ago by Chris
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good'un
I genuinely couldn't put this down and had forgotten how good a Discworld novel can be. Time literally flew by....
Published 6 months ago by Pipster
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