Thud!

akfarrar

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Nov 11, 2006
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30
At the heart of this novel is the Commander of Ankh-Morpork City Watch, Sam Vimes.

Married to dragon breeding Lady Sybil (who has also taken up Sock Darning: She isn't very good at it, but it is the sort of thing one ought to do, as a wife), and with a young son, Sam, expecting his dad to deliver a daily, 6 o’clock reading of, 'Where's my cow?' - complete with sound effects, The Commander is faced with a situation of developing 'inter-species intolerance' which threatens the very existence of Ankh-Morpork itself.

With Lord Vetinari pressing him to take on a Vampire as a member of his force (which doesn’t go down too well with the resident Were-Wolf - or with Sam himself, for that matter) and with several of his Dwarf officers leaving, Vimes is forced to try to ease the situation as the Battle of Koom Valley anniversary approaches – and the hundred’s of years of bickering (and worse) the anniversary has brought with it.

A murder in the closed world of the Dwarf Deep-Downers complicates matters, as do threats to his family.

Drug sniffing Trolls don’t make matters any easier.

And why was a very large picture stolen?

On one level this is an enjoyable detective romp through (and under) the streets of Ankh-Morpork, driven by a twisting, turning plot and a cast of regular Disc World characters.

But if most detective tales are, ‘Who-done-its’; and Agatha Christie’s Poitrot stories are, ‘How-done-its’; Thud is a very much a, ‘Why-done-it?’!

What is driving the characters to behave the way they do?

This is explored most thoroughly in Vimes himself – who is not immune from the petty prejudices of humanity and who exhibits a growing anger as the story develops.

The all too easily justified anger is the most threatening thing in the story and brings Vimes, the Trolls and the Dwarfs to the very edge of destruction.

The book is a comedy, however, and like all comedies, it leaves the reader with a satisfying optimism.

On Disc-World, conflict will never be far away, but it can be resolved.
As in most of Pratchett’s books, the themes and observations he makes reflect very much on the real world we find ourselves in.

Koom Valley, to me, has deep echoes of Kosovo and the ‘Field of Blackbird’s’ in 1389 – a battle which has had murderous repercussions down through history and well into our future. (Ismail Kadare’s, Three Elegies For Kosovo, explores the same issues as Pratchett, but in a very different genre).

And if some of the characters in Thud are almost cliché – so too are some of the real people driving religious, gender and political intolerance (from whichever side).

For those who know the Disc-World stories, this is very much in the tradition of the earlier books – no chapters, footnotes, strong clear plot line and lovably eccentric characters (a 5 star Butler in this one :D , and totally ‘heart-of-gold, dumb-blond’ pole dancer:) ).

I just can’t wait for the next one. (I will have to living in Hungary - but think it could be on its way.)
 

akfarrar

Active Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2006
Messages
30
should this be moved to reviews? :)
Yes, and no (I must admit I didn't see the reviews forum :eek: ).

I do review (in the sense of going over the plot) - but am interested in what people think about the ideas - the linkage to Kosovo, the central focus on Vimes and the placing of the book in a more 'traditional' El Prat framework than some of his more recent works (like Going Postal which I think experiments with Victorian Novel forms).

(Please scream if I break conventions - I will keep doing it but would prefer to do it deliberately ;) )
 

Winters_Sorrow

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should this be moved to reviews? :)
Done.
Good Review, akfarrar. I must admit I'm enjoying that TP is starting to tackle issues in his novels with more maturity, trying to deal with them rather than poke fun and parody the extreme viewpoints (as in Equal Rites).
Thud still "suffers" from having a happy ending as opposed to a more "realistic" partial resolution.
On a personal note, I use to love the footnotes, but they do distract from the story :)
 
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