Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thud - Terry Pratchett

The new Terry Pratchett Discworld (TM) novel, Thud is a Commander Vimes novel, so I was more or less guaranteed to like it - and I did ! Vimes is forced to deal with the upcoming anniversary of the Battle of Koom Valley, a battle between dwarves and trolls that has made them enemies for several centuries. The trouble is that the dwarves are being egged on by a rabble-rousing Grag, a dwarf who stays underground as much as possible, and if he has to go outside, moves around dressed in layers of black leather and is carried around in a sedan chair that has no windows, since the outside world has no interest for a Grag.

Then the Grag, Hamcrusher, turns up dead, allegedly killed by a troll - and the dwarves try to keep the murder from Commander Vimes. When he goes to investigate he finds that the dwarves have been undermining Ankh-Morpork (his city !) quite literally... Added to that, is the fact that Lord Vetinari has finally bullied Vimes into at least interviewing a vampire candidate for the Watch - most species Vimes can get along with, but a vampire in his Watch ?

And on top of all that, he must be home by 6 pm on the dot every night to read his son, Young Sam's, favourite picture book Where's My Cow ? to him at bedtime...

Funniest scene (for me, anyway) in the book is the moment when Vimes, who's just been battered by tones of water, looks up and sees Death nearby, sitting on a folding chair and reading a book. It turns out that whilst Vimes is having a near-death experience, Death himself is having a "near-Vimes experience" !


SSK said...

I especially loved this book, moreso for Vimes's reason for never missing his 6 O'clock appointment--that 'if he missed it for a good reason even once, he'd start missing it for bad ones, as well'.

It's such a quintessentially Vimes point of view, and I love how Pratchett makes that world view stand out in the midst of everything.

And I'd forgotten about that scene with Death! (It's been a while since I read the book)

'Near Vimes experience'...priceless!

Michele said...

Yes it's great fun - and very funny that Death's having a "near Vimes experience" - TP is just SO clever and witty !!