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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time and again
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...
Published on 28 Jun 2004 by Chris

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definately NOT his best ever
Although I am known to suffer from Pratchett Mania having read all the Discworld series, (most three times) collected the figurines and read most his other masterpieces, I was somewhat bemused by this one, I could'nt get into the storyline and felt it jumping around a bit to much without ever really tying in properly and then rushing at the end to pull it all together...
Published on 27 July 2001


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time and again, 28 Jun 2004
By 
Chris (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Thief of Time: A Discworld Novel (Paperback)
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 (Swansea) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Thief of Time: A Discworld Novel (Paperback)
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. That is what the unquestionable genius of Pratchetts's timing can do for anything he chooses to tell us.
And, as ever, the narrative is filled with light touches of wonder that collapse myth and storytelling and history into atoms of glowing humour. A smile can break out on your face like an infectious rash at any time in the course of the story. Take an example: War, personification extraordinaire, and one of the four horseman of the apocalypse (apologies to Ronnie), has, with the passing of time and the increasing maturity of humankind, become a different man. He has settled down and married Mrs War. A once blood-thirsty, unrepentant force of nature, he is now a brow-beaten husband who is not allowed to eat red meat because his wife tells him that it will bring on his trouble. He thinks that, in this day and age, he may as well change his name to Negotiated Settlement in keeping with how humans now resolve dispute. He has taken up a hobby even, now watching the unflinching battles of ants at the bottom of his garden. His hacking arm isn't what it used to be. It is just a short scene showing us War's home life, but it is a snapshot of perfect and quiet humour that steals its way into your affections just as so many of Pratchett's characters do.

I won't say that this is the best Discworld book, as I think we are no longer in those realms. But I will say that Thief of Time is a wonderful book. It is impossible to put it down once you pick it up. It bids your body to stay up late at night when your mind knows that you have work in the morning. It draws your eyes towards it when you should be looking at the football match you've been waiting to watch for months. It is wonderful because it inspires wonder. It is enchanted. It is magic.
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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
By 
This review is from: Thief of time (Hardcover)
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
This review is from: Thief of time (Hardcover)
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
This review is from: Thief of Time: A Discworld Novel (Paperback)
"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. However, as a Sweeper at the monastery, few pay him any real attention - only the most enlightened know who he actually is. He is an expert at deja-fu, a form of martial arts, and particularly enjoys growing bonsai mountains. In "Thief of Time", Lu-Tze is assigned a difficult new apprentice : Lobsang Ludd. Lobsang was a foundling and was raised for a while by the Guild of Thieves. (In fact, it seems he was pretty good at what he did). However, he entered the Monastery after being discovered by Brother Soto, the Order's Field Operative in Ankh-Morpork. Lobsang shows an uncanny talent for the Order's work also : when there's a time leak, he manages the Procrastinators like an artist.

Jeremy Clockson, like Lobsang, is a foundling - though, in Jeremy's case, he was raised by the Guild of Clockmakers. He runs a shop in Ankh-Morpork and is a brilliant, though slightly erratic, clockmaker. He's on medication (senior Guild members make sure he takes it) but id officially sane (he has the certificate that proves it). Jeremy is hired by the mysterious Lady Myria LeJean to build a truly accurate glass clock. If you believed in fairy stories, it might just remind you of one where Time herself was trapped inside a glass clock...

A fast-moving and very enjoyable book - Lu-Tze, in particular, is very funny though I was a bit sorry Quoth and Death of Rats didn't feature more. Lady LeJean, surprisingly, became a very likeable character. Very highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, one of the best, 11 Feb 2003
By 
iz (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Thief of Time: A Discworld Novel (Paperback)
Thief of Time follows on seamlessly from the rest of the Discworld series, and is yet another story in the true Pratchett style, with all the add-ins, twists and hidden jokes that go with that.The story is quite complicated, so it helps if you can commit to reading the book more than once, but it is also easy to get into the story, and turns out to be a good read. It introduces characters previously unseen in the Discworld, like Lobsang Ludd and his "twin", but also re-awakens some of the old favourites, like Susan, Death's granddaughter, Death himself (in so far as Death can be said to be awakened) and Lu Tse the little bald monk. For those that like the recurring characters in the series, however, this is perhaps not so good as some of the more general books, since it gives the inpression that at least some of the characters probably will not return, having been so changed by the passing of Time that the next story about them would have to be very different anyway.
This book is probably not the best starting point for the series, because it gets better the more background information the reader has available, but even so it is possible to read it as a stand-alone book. I would recommend reading the series in order beforehand, but actually most of the relevant background information can be found in the "Death" trilogy.
All in all, the writing style of this book is easy to get along with and I would give it a full five stars for interest, but it is connected rather strongly with 'that which has gone before'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story, 5 Sep 2003
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This is the twenty-sixth book in Terry Pratchett's series on the Discworld--a flat world, supported on the back of four massive elephants riding on the back of a planet-sized turtle, anything hilarious can happen here, and eventually does. In this book, the Auditors are out to tidy up that messy little loose end called "life" with the help of a very special clock. Death (capital "D", he's the man, or rather the anthropomorphic personification) is ever their enemy, and he recruits his granddaughter, Susan, to stop them. However, Susan isn't alone; Lu-Tze (800-years-old and one of the greatest of all History Monks) and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd (whose command of time is astounding for one so young) are hot on the case, and some of the Auditors seem to have an agenda of their own.
Once again, Terry Pratchett has pulled a great story out of the recesses of his fertile imagination. His command of the language, and his flair for clearly running concurrent storylines, is as strong as ever, and make this a gripping story. This is the fifth Death book, after Mort, Reaper Man, Soul Music and Hogfather, and well worth the cost.
I strong recommend this book. (By the way, in this book you find out that death by chocolate is indeed a possibility.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For it is not written..., 23 July 2001
By 
Malan Strbenc "malann" (Ljubljana, Slovenia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thief of time (Hardcover)
...is a new motto in our family. There is a lot to enjoy with the (five) riders of apocalypse, the auditors' life experience and Rule One. And the abbot (remeber the reincarnated one from Mort's first solo?) with his BIKKIT wisdom and ruber yak. The story is complex, no matter what others may say, but it is a bit different than usual. I didn't get the yeti thing, but I managed to catch a hidden James Bond parody! It may be not the best Pratchett book but please, when doing rating, keep in mind to rate the book in general not in comparison with other books of the same author!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make Time for this - it's his best., 2 Dec 2002
This review is from: Thief of Time: A Discworld Novel (Paperback)
Now I never thought Terry Pratchett would be able to do it - writing a better Discworld book than Reaper Man. But with Thief Of Time, he does just that. Of course, you'll find the classic Pratchett ingredients - the world viewed with a deadpan ironic twist, snappy one-liners, a natural gift for comedic timing and a well-honed eye for the bizarre - but here it's more. Far more. The novel's unrelentingly rich, because Pratchett manages to seamlessly interweave a number of entirely unrelated themes *and* keep them all going as the novel unfolds.
Firstly, for DiscWorld fans, both the scenario and numerous characters are fondly familiar - the setting's the great city of Ankh-Morpork, as ever its usual mix of grime, stupidity and intrigue - the Wizards of Unseen University appear in habitual "What Not To Wear meets Celebrity Fat Club" style, the Auditors of Reality are back, but this time Death's not around to stop them, since He's trying to drum up support for a little pony-trekking among the other three Horsemen Of The Apocalypse (oh, did I say just three?), and so it's all up to Susan, His grand-daughter.
Parody is an essential part of Pratchett novels, and here you'll find James Bond's MI6 meeting the Shaolin Temple of a David Carradine TV series with a dash of Grimms' Fairy Tales thrown in for good measure. Brilliantly conceived, wonderfully observed and hilariously executed.
But what sets this book apart from other Pratchett novels is that it sneakily makes you think, without your knowing that you're doing so, because you're too busy having such a good time chuckling. There's a whole underlying theme in the novel about the nature of Time that isn't silly and that isn't just used as a narrative device to force the plot along - Terry's thought about it, clearly. Imagine Steven Hawking after just one or two beers and just a brief puff of relaxing Indian herbal smoking mixture, and you might just get a vague idea - there's a Science Of The DiscWorld feel here, but infinitely more subtle.
If Terry Pratchett wants to allege that he's just a writer of comic fantasy - and he's the best there's been, without doubt - then that's fine with me. If you want to read The Thief Of Time on just this level, then you'll get everything you want out of it. Farbeit from me to accuse him of being either a philosopher or an educator - I'll not blow his cover.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heehee, 28 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Thief of time (Hardcover)
Susan is back! And, as always, with Susan comes the Death of Rats (Although where did the death of fleas go?)
I think Thief of Time is one of the best Discworld books. It's got funny points, it's got dramatic points, its even got romantic points.
I realise it steps out of the normal parts of the world recently inhabited by the author, but most of the best books don't focus on established backgrounds, and it's nice to get away from characters that have been explained already (Pyramids, for example)
Although it could be read alone, I don't think it's a good place to start, as some of the background is then missed as are some of the references.
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Thief of Time: A Discworld Novel
Thief of Time: A Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett (Paperback - 1 May 2002)
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