Thief of time Hardcover – 20 Jan 2001
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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""See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
Tick...how long does it take the universe to reinvent itself? Think Planck time, 10 to the minus Eeek!. The smallest piece of time there is. What would happen if you could defy Einstein and peer inside the smallest segment of time?
Jeremy wants to find out. Lu-Tze definitely does not. Death thinks it's a bad idea. Susan wants to know why ME! The death of Rats, Lobsang and the four Rider Of The Apocalypse(?), are fairly sure it's worse than a Sunday afternoon. It must be stopped. But who by...?
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Writing a long-winded review for this novel is unnecessary in my eyes. After all, reviews are nothing more than opinions dressed up as fact, and I hope this is taken as such. Read morePublished 12 days ago by J. Roberts
Brilliantly clever novel. I find that Terry Pratchett's books either leave me blown away by their ingenuity, subtle humour and wisdom - or I am left feeling he's copied a formula... Read morePublished 1 month ago by katie
Excellent quality. I've found that I have a relatively small head! when it comes to hard but took a risk with the M/L size as it was they smallest they had. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Graeme Ingram
I think this is one of his best. Great characters which should be silly but Pratchet makes them real.
This is my favourite of all Discworld books, yet really only features one character.Published 2 months ago by Florabunda
my grandson hated reading but after the first Terry Pratchett book he read he now loves to read loves this books many thanksPublished 2 months ago by karen