- 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
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #731,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Truth (Discworld) Mass Market Paperback – September 4, 2001
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2016 Book Awards
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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 alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
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 alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The city of Ankh-Morpork is a vast multicultural and multispecies metropolis with a strong economy and police force, so what happens when Discworld’s biggest city gets a newspaper? Read morePublished 1 day ago by Matthew Ries
I bought this for my son, I don't know anything about the story but he loves the series.Published 10 days ago by Laurel Weston
Discworld version of the 5th estate (the press). Its about time Terry Pratchett took them on. I enjoyed every page.Published 1 month ago by Tom
Perfect Pratchett parody por perilous pals pen premier paper.Published 2 months ago by Frenetic Pony