The Truth tells how Anhk-Morpork’s first newspaper got it’s start and how the second son of a wealthy family found his own way while he wrestles with what IS truth and why does it matter. William de Worde is an ethical writer and publisher who stumbles onto a group of dwarves and their new purchase from their hometown, a printing press. His once a month newsletter to the uppercrust soon becomes a daily newspaper angering the engraver’s guild and sparking rival publications including the Inquirer which cares more about selling papers and putting the de Worde’s Times out of business that bothering about the truth. But William has an inside informant about the charges of attempted murder against city leader Vetinari and soon hires a whole staff to run the newspaper including lots of dwarves, a troll, a zombie and my favorite vampire from Discworld, Otto von Chriek a photographer who has to watch how strong a flash he uses or the light evaporates him.
A bedtime story of a character in Pratchett’s Discworld series becomes a real book that you can pretend you are reading along with Captain Vimes as he reads it to young Sam. I’ll leave it to your better judgment if you want to read it to your kids or not. They might decide that they want a collection like the main character in the story.
‘Vimes’ prompt arrival got a nod of approval from Sybil, who gingerly handed him a new book to read to Young Sam. Vimes looked at the cover. The title was The World of Poo. When his wife was out of eyeshot he carefully leafed through it. Well, okay, you had to accept that the world had moved on and these days fairy stories were probably not going to be about twinkly little things with wings. As he turned page after page, it dawned on him that whoever had written this book, they certainly knew what would make kids like Young Sam laugh until they were nearly sick. The bit about sailing down the river almost made him smile. But interspersed with the scatology was actually quite interesting stuff about septic tanks and dunnakin divers and gongfermors and how dog muck helped make the very best leather, and other things that you never thought you would need to know, but once heard somehow lodged in your mind.”
Vol. 21 of Discworld. It isn’t much of an island that rises up one moonless night from the depths of the Circle Sea — just a few square miles of silt and some old ruins. Unfortunately, the historically disputed lump of land called Leshp is once again floating directly between Ankh-Morpork and the city of Al-Khali on the coast of Klatch — which is spark enough to ignite that glorious international pastime called “war.” Pressed into patriotic service, Commander Sam Vimes thinks he should be leading his loyal watchmen, female watchdwarf, and lady werewolf into battle against local malefactors rather than against uncomfortably well-armed strangers in the Klatchian desert. But war is, after all, simply the greatest of all crimes — and it’s Sir Samuel’s sworn duty to seek out criminal masterminds wherever they may be hiding … and lock them away before they can do any real damage. Even the ones on his own side. Satire of war over a tiny bit of land and national pride. Also of the practice of training and arming the very same countries that become your enemy. If only this solution at the end could work in the real world
On the Discworld’s last continent, it’s hot. It’s dry. . . very dry. There was this thing once called the Wet, which no one now believes in. Practically everything that’s not poisonous is venomous. It will all die in a few days, except. . . Who is this hero striding across the red desert? Champion sheep shearer, horse rider, road warrior, beer drinker. A man in a hat, whose Luggage follows him on little legs, Yes . . . all this place has between itself and wind-blown doom is Rincewind, the inept wizard. He was accidentally sent to the fabled continent of xxxx (since people weren’t sure it existed why name it) when the wizards of Unseen University tried to return him from the Counterweight Continent . Now guided by a spirit guide (kangaroo shaped of course) Rincewind tries to stay out of trouble and just get home. The last continent curiously resembles Australia in some rather amusing ways.
Rincewind’s adventures on the Counterweight Continent: the home of Twoflowers. The people think he’s The Great Wizard come to help them start a revolt against the emperor, mayhem and mischief ensue. The story also features the famous barbarian horde leader, Ghenghiz Cohen, known as Cohen the Barbarian. Cohen is a fun, fictional character in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels that began as a parody of the famous pulp hero Conan the Barbarian and Genghis Khan all rolled up into one.
A Golem that thinks for itself? A werewolf and a female dwarf on the Watch? What’s happening in Ahnk-Morpork? Vimes has all this going on and keeping his wife Lady Sybil happy by going to visit the local Heraldry shop about a family coat of arms and trying to figure out who is poisoning the regent and perhaps more importantly how and why?
The auditors of Discworld and all it’s “lifeforms” including gods, people and Death decide that Death has been falling down on the job and they are going to replace him. While waiting for a replacement, people still die but no one is there to take them away. Some are physically present while others are ghosts trapped in the in-between and all other living things can’t die either so and abundance of life force builds up. Chaos ensues as it can only on Discworld especially at the Unseen University and Ankh-Morhpork. Meanwhile in the countryside, a tall dark stranger has been hired by a widow to bring in the harvest and he’s very gifted with a scythe.
Death gets preoccupied with the meaning of existence at the same time a living force of music enters Discworld and “Music with Rocks In It” is born. Death’s “granddaughter” discovers who her grandfather is when she suddenly inherits his job. Quite a lot for a young teen to take on, but Susan is up to the challenge especially with some help from Binky and the Death of Rats (yes, it’s a rat in a black cloak with scythe). Lots of fun references to early rock legends like Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Rolling Stones etc., as well as early rock songs. Also, shows how rock and roll changed the culture and everyday life of it’s fans in of course an exaggerated way
Affirmative action in fantasy land: Captain Vimes of the Night Watch (city police) is now in charge of new recruits including trolls, dwarves and female werewolves. It’s a big job–but an even bigger job awaits when an ancient document reveals that Ankh-Morpork has a secret sovereign.
This book also contains Vimes “Boots Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness” and I think he’s correct and it could be applied to all sorts of items in our economy. “The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars has a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.”(less)
Book 14 in the Discworld series, but more importantly the 4th book featuring the witches, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick and introducing Agnes Nitt. It’s also a fun spoof of a Midsummer’s Night Dream. Leave it to Pratchett to add more layers of humor and satire to one of Shakespeare’s best known comedies.