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Thief of Time (Discworld) Mass Market Paperback – April 30, 2002
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If you were helpless with laughter over Shanghai Noon, enjoy satirical British humor and terrible puns, or just need your Pratchett fix, grab this book. Unfamiliar with Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series? It's time to discover one of the funniest, most literate, and most thought-provoking authors writing today.
The Monks of History live in a Tibetan sort of area known as "enlightenment country." Their job: "to see that tomorrow happens at all." A mysterious Lady wants time-obsessed Jeremy Clockson to build a totally accurate glass clock. It will trap time and stop it, eliminating humanity's irritating unpredictability. This would make the Auditors, who observe the universe and enforce the rules governing it, very happy. It would also put Death out of a job, which the Grim Reaper isn't happy about. Fortunately, the History Monks have encountered this situation before; in fact, Lu Tze, the Sweeper, has personally dealt with it before. Even better, he has a new, gifted apprentice, Lobsang Ludd, the "thief of time." This time, they'll stop trouble before it can start! To add chaos to the mix, there's the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse--the one who quit before they became famous.
Although there are 25 other Discworld novels and many of the characters appeared first in previous books, you don't need to have read even one to enjoy The Thief of Time. (If you're the sort of reader who hates to miss any references, you might want to track down a copy of The Discworld Companion.) As a bonus, this book is a painless introduction to what quantum physics says about the nature of time. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Here we go again! In the newest appealing installment of the Discworld series, Pratchett (The Truth) takes on religion, time and... kung-fu movies? The cast includes Death; Miss Susan, Death's granddaughter; Jeremy Clockson, a clockmaker; Lobsang, a novice monk; and Lu-Tze, a sweeper at the temple of the History Monks. When a mysterious lady asks Jeremy to make a clock that is perfectly timed (even to the last tick), trouble begins it seems that such a clock would have the power to stop time completely. There would be no yesterday, no tomorrow, no next minute; in fact, everything and everyone would stop in its tracks. It's up to Miss Susan, Lobsang and Lu-Tze to figure out who in the end has decided to build the dangerous clock and how to stop him before the world crashes to a halt. Along the way we learn Rule One: "Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man," which is a very good lesson to learn. We also find out that Lobsang has more in store for his future than to be an apprentice monk. The story includes a quick nod to James Bond flicks with Qu, the monk who supplies gadgets to Lu-Tze and Lobsang, and at the end of Time the four (no, make that five) horsemen of the Apocalypse get to ride out for a jaunt. You don't need to catch all the in-jokes to enjoy the fun. Agent, Ralph Vincinanza. 6-city author tour.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I read the entire sequence centered on Death (and his extended family) first, since my introduction to the world of the Disc was the movie version of _Hogfather_.
I bought the first one, _Mort_, just to see if I would like it. I liked it well enough; I bought the next two books in the series on the Death story-arc. A quarter of the way through the second book, I bought the final two books of the arc.
I neared the end of one of those books and I bought the first three books from the "Guards" story-arc. At this point, I have only read one of those books, the first _Guards, Guards_. I was pleased, since I have to admit that I was a bit worried about the continuity of quality between story-arcs. Was I just interested in the character of Death, or did I like the world as a whole?
It turns out that I like the world as a whole, and this is a huge strength of Pratchett. I want to learn about all the inhabitants and read all the stories, no matter how tangential. I don't usually keep many books in my wish list, but it is now filled up with Discworld books. He builds a world like Vonnegut did. There are many familiar elements of the world we inhabit but there is the magic element that rips from genre fiction: what Vonnegut did with science-fiction, Pratchett does with fantasy elements.
There are a couple of things about the series generally that I really enjoyed. The first is what you try to develop as a writer, a unique voice. I've been struggling on finding the right word to really describe what I would characterize as Pratchett's voice. It is arch and tongue-in-cheek and just fun if you've read enough. He's a post-modern Tolkien, but that's a little off.
Secondly, he is funny, and he's not afraid to go for the easy joke. There are puns-galore, if you like that sort of thing. I happen to. There is one very memorable one that he just sort of sneaks in during _Soul Music_. He takes the reader 90% of the way to the pay-off but allows the slow dawning to set on the reader, so that a bad pun feels like it was done masterfully. Which it is, it really is.
If I had to make a critique of the books in the series that I have read so far is that I have read them too fast. My wife often tells me to slow down and enjoy the books you like, but I seldom listen to her. I should have here. There have been a couple of times that I enjoying the ride so much, I didn't even bother to remember what I had just read. I had to go and reread the last 50 pages of _Guards, Guards_ because of this. I enjoyed it too much.
Otherwise, this is an unqualified recommendation for the Discworld books. Spend some time there, you won't regret it.
This novel follows Death and his granddaughter Susan as they confront something that befuddles all humans; time. Sadly this is the last time we see Susan, a character I feel in love with in Soul Music, but things end on a positive note for her, so we can write our own happy ending for her in our her.
Pratchett always set a high bar for his work; this one is no different.