Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Book Report: Thud, by Terry Pratchett

I find Pratchett books are like peanuts: one just leads to another. In this one, Sam Vimes, the commander of the Ankh-Morpork city watch, discovers the murder of a Dwarf by what appears to have been one of their ancestral enemies: a Troll. But nothing is ever the way it seems, especially in a police force that includes a werewolf with pre-lunar tension, a reformed vampire who goes by "Sally," and Corporal Nobby Nobbs, who carries an I.D. card that certifies him as probably human. A colony of ultra-conservative Dwarfs are digging for something under the city, something that drove its previous owner mad. It could trigger open warfare between Dwarfs and Trolls, catching Sam Vimes, his coppers, and the entire city between them. Even if Sam solves the murder, what the Dwarfs awoke in the mud-filled tunnels under Ankh-Morpork might just kill him anyway.

Pratchett tends to write his Discworld books in series based on a recurring cast of characters: the Witches, the Guards, the wizards, with the occasional stand-alone novel in which these casts appear as bit players. Of them all, I think books about the Guards are my favorite. The cast is consistent and fun, the action always exciting, and the mysteries always as interesting and twisty as anything you'd find in the mystery section of the bookstore. Plus there's exploding dragons, domesticated werewolves, Dwarfdom as a religion as well as a race.

Ulysses Rating: 5- I'll read this again and again.


Mini said...

If you haven't done so, treat yourself to this on audiobook. The reader does a fantastic job with all of the characters, especially Nobby Nobbs. I'm so grateful to my son for introducing me to Discworld.

Ulysses said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I've seen a couple of his works dramatized, but haven't heard the audiobooks yet.