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The Truth (Discworld) Mass Market Paperback – September 4, 2001

188 customer reviews
Book 25 of 40 in the Discworld Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

The Truth, Pratchett's 25th Discworld novel, skewers the newspaper business. When printing comes to Ankh-Morpork, it "drag(s) the city kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat." Well, actually, out of the Century of the Fruitbat. As the Bursar remarks, if the era's almost over, it's high time they embraced its challenges.

William de Worde, well-meaning younger son of reactionary nobility, has been providing a monthly newsletter to the elite using engraving. Then he is struck (and seriously bruised) by the power of the press. The dwarves responsible convince William to expand his letter and the Ankh-Morpork Times is born. Soon William has a staff, including Sacharissa Cripslock, a genteel young lady with a knack for headline writing, and photographer Otto Chriek. Otto's vampirism causes difficulties: flash pictures cause him to crumble to dust and need reconstitution, and he must battle his desire for blood, particularly Sacharissa's. When Lord Vetinari is accused of attempted murder, the City Watch investigates the peculiar circumstances, but William wants to know what really happened. The odds for his survival drop as his questions multiply.

The Truth is satirical, British, and full of sly jokes. Although this cake doesn't rise quite as high as it did in previous volumes, even ordinary Pratchett is pretty darn good, and those who haven't read a Discworld novel before can start here and go on to that incredible backlist. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The 25th book (after The Fifth Elephant) in the Discworld series returns to the thriving city of Ankh-Morpork, where humans, dwarfs and trolls share the streets with zombies, vampires, werewolves and the occasional talking dog. Young William de Worde makes a modest living running a scribing business, including a newsletter of current events for a select subscription list. Then he meets dwarf wordsmith Gunilla Goodmountain, inventor of the printing press, who helps transform de Worde's newsletter into a daily called The Ankh-Morpork Times (subhead: The Truth Shall Make Ye Free). While the city's civil, religious and business leaders are up in arms over The Times, Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, encourages the advance--as long as it remains a "simple entertainment that is not going to end up causing tentacled monsters and dread apparitions to talk the streets eating people." In the meantime, as de Worde's staff grows and a type turns the subhead to "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret", two shadowy characters are hired to remove the Patrician--permanently. Pratchett's witty reach is even longer than usual here, from Pulp Fiction to His Girl Friday. Readers who've never visited Discworld before may find themselves laughing out loud, even as they cheer on the good guys, while longtime fans are sure to call this Pratchett's best one yet.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Discworld (Book 25)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (September 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380818191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380818198
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Bat-Radish on November 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The title of this review notwithstanding, I'm not *quite* a blind fan of Mr. Pratchett. I have a particular fondness for his bits with Nanny Ogg in, "Pyramids" is one of my favorites, and there are some of his books I can take or leave.
This one, I'm honored to inform you, is the former. I'll take it. Pratchett himself is a former newspaperman, and one gets the impression that most of his pokes at the press industry are dead-on, if couched in fiction. We're back in Ankh-Morpork, in which his knack for the surreal and head-scratchingly amusing always seems to be let loosest. Several honored characters return: Death, the Bursar (whose cameo prompted hysterical mirth on my part) the Patrician, the City Guard, Gaspode the Talking Dog, and Foul Ole Ron, among others. New folks who one really feels ought to join the regular cast are introduced: Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip, most notably. Chances are they won't be back, but I look forward to again encountering Otto.
Diversified Pratchett fans may notice a faint resemblance of these two to another pair of black-suited, unscrupulous gentlemen in "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman, with whom Pratchett has collaborated in the past. The resemblance is largely superficial, however, and Mr. Tulip particularly is a cleverly made and vastly amusing character, given to the peculiar mode of cursing permitted by Discworld's Universal Censors: "-ing!" Otto, the reformed vampire and Anhk-Morpork Times staff photographer, is a further joy to read. The complications with his salamander-flash camera made me laugh until I got a cramp.
If there is one failing in this book, it is that the 'side' characters are so fantastically interesting compared to our protagonist, a comparatively normal human citizen.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Lonya VINE VOICE on November 21, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Two random images occur frequently when reading a Terry Pratchett Discworld book. The first is of time lapse photography, the type used in nature or wildlife programs. One can see a seed planted, germinate, sprout, and then blossom into a flower in a manner of seconds even though it might take weeks to occur in `the real world'. The second is of a frog in a pot of water. It is a time worn cliché that if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water it will leap out immediately. However, if you drop a frog into cool water and gradually bring it to a boil it won't think about jumping out until it is too late.

Terry Pratchett has a marvelous habit of taking devices or institutions that have developed over time in our word and subjecting them to the literary equivalent of time-lapse photography when he imports them into Discworld. Typically, the devices, be they guns (Men at Arms), movies (Moving Pictures), or the modern postal system (Going Postal), are introduced and evolve very quickly., In presenting us with guns, movies, or postal networks formed in such short order Pratchett highlights the perversions these great inventions are subjected to over time that are not so readily apparent when you live through the gradual changes. The reader, like the frog, is presented with a proverbial pot of boiling water and, no doubt, on reflection must ask him or her self, how in the world did we ever let things go this far? This is exactly what Pratchett does with the newspaper business in The Truth. As you witness the time-lapsed development of the institution known to us as the press you cannot help but shake your head and say, how did it ever come to this?

The plot has already been well summarized on the product page.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John DiBello on November 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"The Truth," the twenty-fifth Diskworld novel by Terry Pratchett, is a great way to celebrate a silver anniversary! Pratchett fans already know that his different novels cover several paths: certain ones follow the witches of Lancre, others Death, the Wizards of Unseen University, or the Watch of Ankh-Morpork. This is an Ankh-Morpork novel, and much in the style of "Moving Pictures," "Soul Music," or "Maskerade," a familiar cultural aspect of our own world becomes public and popular in Diskworld--creating grief and strife for everyone and a lot of fun for the reader!
The usual concoction of magical, political, and sociological troubles are afoot in Ankh-Morpork when dwarves bring movable type to the city and Diskworld's first newspaper, "The Ankh-Morpork Times," (motto: The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret") hits the streets. Many of Pratchett's well-loved and familiar characters are here: Sam Vimes, Carrot and Angua, talking dog Gaspode, the irrepressible C.M.O.T. Dibbler--but the spotlight's fully upon William de Worde, determined to make the written "Truth" public. There's a solid mix of old and new characters: a vampire photographer who crumbles into ash each time his flash goes off, two ruthless assassins vaguely reminiscent of a pair from a recent pop-culture movie (down to a discussion of what they call a sausage-in-a-bun in Quirm: 'le sausage-in-a-bun'). A running subplot featuring a dastardly conspiracy against Lord Vetinari moves the action along, but it's actually the story of the struggle of William's conscience and means to bring the truth to Diskworld's population...whether they can handle it or not.
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