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Thief of Time

Terry Pratchett

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (3 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Doubleday

Published : 2001

Copyright : Terry & Lyn Pratchett 2001

ISBN-10 : HB 0-385-60188-3
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-385-60188-7

Publisher's Write-Up

Time is a resource. Everyone knows it has to be managed.

And on Discworld that is the job of The Monks of History, who store it and pump it from places where it's wasted (like underwater - how much time does a codfish need?) to places like cities, where there's never enough time

But the construction of the world's first truly accurate clock starts a race against, well, time for Lu Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd. Because it will stop time. And that will only be the start of everyone's problems.

Thief of Time comes complete with a full supporting cast of heroes and villains, yetis, martial artists and Ronnie, the fifth horseman of the Apocalypse (who left before they became famous).

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul (010202) Rating (8/10)
Review by Chrissi (010202) Rating (8/10)
Review by Nigel (310501) Rating (7/10)

Review by Paul
Rating 8/10
Terry has always appealed to my sense of humour (Warped!!!!!!!!) and this book is one of his better ones (but not his best) it involves the history monks trying to prevent time from being stopped by the construction of the perfect clock. Anyone who can remember David Caradine in Kung Fu will recognise parts of the characters of Lu Tze and Lobsang Ludd. Bugger! That's given my age away.

It is witty in places and has Terry's own twisted view of humanity that is a breath of fresh air to all us cynics out there.
Paul (1st February 2002)

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Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
I know that this was not everyone's favourite TP, but I quite liked it. Nigel preferred The Truth, but I think that I liked this better. There are lots of little bits in it that you recognise, but that is just like all the other TP books. There is a lovely bit where Lu-Tze is talking to Lobsang, and he says that he will not call (Lobsang) him after a small insect if Lobsang will not address him as "Master". I remember this from David Caradine walking on rice paper so it must have had quite an effect on me...

The story of the Thief is rather more intricate than some of the others; it is basically a problem once again with the Auditors, out to tidy the world of humanity. There is a fairy tale about a clock that was able to measure time so accurately that time stopped. The monks had to rebuild time and all history, using all the sparebits left over from other periods, but the auditors want to rebuild the clock and get rid of all this pesky life for good.

Once again, Death is involved, for an anthropomorphic personification he takes it all very seriously, (there are several in this book, including Ronnie Soak the milkman). When Death realises his role, he sends the Death of Rats and Quoth to see Susan. He needs Susan because she is able to help him, but not in a direct manner, she has to figure out what she can do and how to do it.

Strangely enough, Nanny Ogg pops up in here as well, at several different points, with her services as a midwife being in demand, and if you can imagine a conversation between her and Susan, with Susan wanting to know something and Nanny being, well, Nanny, you might imagine how that might have come about.

Did you know that there are Yeti's on the Discworld? There are, and they have a strange and wonderful talent, as well as being friends with Lu-Tze, apparently they have been extinct three times. I must have a different understanding of the concept of extinct, because it was definitely alive when last I saw it.

Perhaps I liked this because the images are so varied, but it might just be because the use of Chocolate as an offensive weapon was just so smart, and the idea that people can spontaneously combust at the pleasure of chocolate melting on their tongue, well, make mine a Thornton's Chocolate Ginger! (Nigel will eat Marzipan, just in case you would like to know...)

And I didn't mention Igors once...
Chrissi (1st February 2002)

Review by Nigel
Rating 7/10
After Mr Pratchett's last Discworld outing, The Truth, I was looking forward to his new novel. Thief of Time is basically a Death novel and returns us to the characters we met in Reaper Man and Soul Music, as well as introducing the History monks (have they been before? hehe).

The plot involves the making of the perfect clock that will stop time if set into motion. The maker of the clock doesn't realise this and is being used as a tool to destroy mankind. In steps a monk and his apprentice (very Kung Fu, the one with David Caradine...'If you don't call me Master I won't name you after an insect') and Susan, Death's Grand-daughter.

As with all the Discworld novels there are a lot of funny observations that will have the fan laughing, especially Igor and the Master. Death pops up here and there, although his parts are limited. Also introduced is the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse (yep).

However, I found the novel overall a little disjointed and felt it wasn't one of the best. A shame really as The Truth was very good and so I'd expected more. Time for Rincewind and the Luggage to return perhaps?
Nigel (31st May 2001)

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