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on 17 April 2016
Feet of Clay was the first Pratchett book that I ever read, and it’s the book that made me fall in love with the Discworld series. I still think that the Ankh Morpork City Watch books are the best books within the series, and I’m not sure whether that’s because they’re the books that introduced me to Vimes and Vetinari or because they’re just really, really good. Perhaps it’s a bit of both.

In Feet of Clay, the Watch is finally beginning to get into shape, and if you’ve read the later books in the City Watch series, you’ll kind of see how it was in this book that the Watch became an actual credible organisation, rather than a ragtag bunch of corrupt nutters who everyone looked down upon.

Part of that is because of the golem aspect of the story line – it’s their feet of clay which cause something of an uproar in the city, and we get to see the full force of Vimes’ liberal attitude, here. Perhaps ‘liberal’ is the wrong word here, but you can’t deny that he has a strong sense of justice, and justice is justice no matter what species you are.

And there are plenty of other reasons to love this book, too – to start with, a crime has been committed, but nobody knows who did it, how they did it, or what it was that they actually did. Meanwhile, Angua is on fine form, Carrott comes into his element as the Watch is forced to deal with dwarfish politics, and Vimes has several of his finest hours.

Now, I read this book first because it was one of Pratchett’s most recent works at the time, and whilst I do think it’s one of his greatest works, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you start with it. In fact, you’re probably better off with one of the earlier City Watch books, or if you read them all in order. That said, it’s definitely one to look forward to, and your enjoyment can only be enhanced if you’ve read the books that came before this, as you’ll pick up on more of the nuances.

And so overall, I’d say that this is an essential book for your collection, whether you’re a Pratchett reader or not. In fact, you should get it whether you’re into fantasy or not, ’cause Pratchett rocks!
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 16 February 2018
Feet Of Clay is a terrific book. It has always been a favourite of mine and reading it again (for the third or fourth time, I think) it has lost none of its brilliance. It's worth saying that if you're new to Pratchett, don't be put off by the trolls, dwarves and so on. It's just an incredibly effective device for mirroring human society. (And Detritus the troll is a wholly wonderful character, too.)

Here, Vimes and the Watch are investigating apparent attempts to poison the Patrician, while something strange and menacing is going on with the golems in the city. It's a superbly constructed story, excellently paced and very exciting a lot of the time, but what makes it special, as always it Pratchett's incisiveness about human issues. There is some wonderfully acute observation about race, gender politics and class, for example, all lightly and often very funnily done, and underpinned by Vimes's humanly flawed attitudes and pragmatism. He manages to say really important things without ever being ponderous or preachy about it.

There are, of course, plenty of great comic moments. For instance, early on, three crooks burst into the Watch's bar, take Angua hostage and haul her out into the street:
"Hadn't we better help?" said a constable who was new to the Watch.
"They don't deserve our help," said Vimes.
(I should probably confess at this point that I have been hopelessly in love with Angua for years.)

Feet Of Clay is written in really good, unobtrusive prose and it is thoughtful, exciting, gripping, very funny and at times genuinely moving. What more could you want? Very warmly recommended.
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on 7 April 2006
Feet Of Clay is another fast-paced detective mystery by Terry Prattchett.In Feet Of Clay the Patrician of Ankh-Morpok is being poisoned and there are rumors among the golems that a king golem will come and free them from their days of silent slavery.If the golems are freed they will wreak havoc upon their former masters and the only people who can stop this from happening are the men,women and various other species of the night watch including new constables Cheery,Dorfl,Downspout and Visit-the-infidels-with-explantory-pamplets.If you enjoy this book then read books 8,15,21,24,27 and 32.
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on 26 December 2013
Another feat of genius storytelling from the supreme Grand Wizzard of The Genre.

These Watch tales are always a pleasure to read and re-read again and again, there is always something new that I discover, like the Dirty Harry scene with Carrot and Angua at the café and the getaway horse and cart across the road, pure gold.

All the characters are so believable, even the ones that get no more than a few paragraphs before they are killed off or merge into the cast of thousands, when old favourite characters make a guest appearance, like C.M.O.T Dibbler selling his sosig ina bun, brings a smile to warm the depths of any dark mood.

Sam Vimes is like "JUDGE DREDD" of The Watch, he is THE LAW. He's even got the same nickname 'ole Stoneface', hmmmmm.

Fred and Nobby are always welcome here, Fred wants to retire and buy a farm and when he's chased by the Golem ,he very nearly does. Nobby is possibly the last Earl of Ankh and he mingles with the other (k)nobs.

C.S.I makes an appearance in the Watch in the form of Cheery Littlebottom, a dwarf with no eyebrows and a gender/identity issue.

This is a great murder/mystery/conspiracy plot well worthy of Conan Doyles famous creation.

This is a book that deals with race, sex(ism), politics(yawn), slavery and murder, this is a page turning, roller coaster ride that you do not want to get off. I am always slightly saddened when I finish a visit to Ankh-Morpork and my time on The Watch ends.

Pratchett is a comedy genius with his puns and play on words,

"He's a Peer"

"I'd better put fresh sawdust down then"

'Nuff said
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VINE VOICEon 3 June 2007
Feet of Clay" is the nineteenth novel in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series, was first published in 1996 and is the third to focus on Sam Vimes and Ankh-Morpork's City Guard.

Sam is the now the Commander of the City Guard, and - having married Lady Ramkin - a member of the nobility. It's fair to say he's not your typical hero : he doesn't like the Undead (particularly vampires), Assassins (they keep trying to kill him) and - in keeping with an old family tradition - Kings (not an ideal musketeer then). Sam has quit drinking - though it's still something of a struggle - and smokes the occasional cigar to ease the blow.

Although numbers among the ranks are rising, Sam tends to rely on those he knows best. His most capable officer is Captain Carrot - who was born human, although raised as a dwarf. Carrot is an incredibly innocent and very honest character and is widely believed to be Ankh-Morpork's rightful King. (Sam has - to date - refrained from beheading him). Carrot's girlfriend, Angua, is also a member of the City Guard though - being a werewolf - she isn't quite so popular. Sergeant Detritus, a troll who deals roughly with troll drug-dealers, seems a natural - not to mention likeable - cop, though Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs (a confirmed slacker and probably human) are the most experienced officers. The one newcomer is Cheery Littlebottom, an ex-alchimist dwarf who becomes quite useful in the City Guard's newly established forensics department. (Cheery left the Guild of Alchemists after, accidentally, blowing up the Guild Council. Alchemy is an unusual profession for a dwarf, though Cheery - as it turns out - isn't your usual dwarf).

"Feet of Clay" gives Sam a good, old-fashioned mystery to solve - a mystery that includes a couple of rather unusual murders. One of the victims is Father Tubelcek, who Sam considers to be one of the neatest corpses he's ever seen : eyes closed, arms neatly folded across his chest...and a slip of paper with some strange writing on it in his mouth. The other victim was Mr Hopkinson, curator at the Dwarf Bread Museum. Dwarf bread is much more useful on the battlefield than on the breakfast table, and Hopkinson had unfortunately been beaten to death with a loaf. There is a little white clay and a suspicion of Golems hanging around, but the murders are puzzling...however, it's difficult to focus on a puzzle, when you've also got to investigate the poisoning of the Patrician. (He's surviving, but only barely). The difficulties aren't confined to professional matters - there's even bad news for both Sam and Nobby at a personal level. Following a visit to the Royal College of Heralds, Sam learns he is ineligible for a Coat of Arms. (An ancestor, Old Stoneface, killed Ankh-Morpork's last king). To make matters even worse, news of his rejection is delivered by a vampire called Dragon King of Arms. Nobby, on the other hand, is devastated to learn he is Earl of Ankh.

Another very funny book from Pratchett, with a storyline 'underneath' it all that your standard murder-mystery writer would love to tell. Excellent stuff, highly recommended !
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on 1 June 1999
I've just finished reading this book. I've only just started reading Pratchett, and I've been doing it sequentially. So far, this is the best by a mile. The book mixes TP's slapstick humour with his average man satire; when you throw in a jaundiced political view, pitying sentamentalism and a fun murder mystery, you have an addition to the Discworld series that is a delight to read. A word of warning, you really ought to read Guards Guards first. Otherwise, you'll never quite understand Nobby.
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on 3 November 2000
The Guards series is, with the Witches books, Pratchett's best work: lively, ingenious parodies of classic detective fiction. This one takes off the best of all detective writers: the ingenious John Dickson Carr.
We have a remarkably well-hidden least-likely killer; we have a series of impossible crimes, including the traditional 'lighter-than-air' killer; we have the Patrician being poisoned under impossible circumstances, and involving a classically original device; and we have a series of bizarre, possibly cult-related, murders.
The entire thing is zestfully written - the humour is in Pratchett's best vein, likewise Ankh-Morpork. Social satire is not missing - we have EQUAL RITES (i.e., the recognition of sexuality) occurring among the dwarves - and a scathing satire on religion. In short, one of Pratchett's masterpieces.
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on 26 April 2000
I'm surprised this one doesn't have more reviews. In my opinion it's one of the best novels in the series. The Watchment contingent is full of funny and warmly human old (Vimes, Carrot, Angua, Nobby) and new (Littlebottom, Dorfl) characters. Ankh Morpok is alive with the smell of blood, meat, beer, and the undead. The jokes are constant and very funny: The Committee for equal heights, the dwarf who wants to wear make-up, Nobby becoming an aristocrat... The plot is a greater achievement than in most Discworld novels. I'm personally growing a bit irritable with some of Pratchett's tics (the slightly patronizing pseudo-philosophy...) but that doesn't detract from the extraordinary quality of this book. Simply great.
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on 10 November 1999
Feet Of Clay is one book in a long line of Discworld novels. Following the life of Commander of the watch Sir Samual Vimes, Pratchett projects his humor straight into the funny bones of his readers.
The plot in this Brillant novel seems rather obscure unless you have read the previous book about the night watch in Guards Guards! and men At Arms. immersing to the off his nut Discworld fan and a great introduction for the timid adventurer into this classic world.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 2 March 2016
This is the nineteenth Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, and features the City Watch, led by Commander Vimes; that’s Sir Samuel Vimes to those in the know. When harmless Father Tubelcek is killed, and then Mr Hopkinson, the curator of the Dwarf Bread Museum, there doesn’t seem to be any link between the deaths. But Vimes also has his own cross to bear, in the form of a visit to the Royal College of Heralds, as per his wife’s wishes. When Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork falls deathly ill, Vimes begins to think that this time it all might be a bit much. But of course he can rely on the ceaseless search for truth of his City Watch, with Captain Carrot, and the new forensic expert Cherry Littlebottom.

This is a wonderful Discworld novel; I always like the novels that feature the City Watch, and the disparate characters who make up the guards. The Patrician is always on top, dark form, and Vimes’s unorthodox methods of keeping the peace in Ankh-Morpork are always suitably twisted. All generally works out well in the end, and the city of Aknh-Morpork grinds on. Excellent stuff.
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