The Fifth Elephant
This one is one of my all-time favourites. I love that William was raised as a bastard and still tries to do the right thing, I love Otto and his obsession with light (and the… complications that ensue), I love Sacharissa just for her name, let alone her Girl Friday spunkiness, I love the return of Gaspode as “Deep Bone”, I love everything. Definitely one of the highest points in the series.
“WHO KNOWS WHAT EVIL LURKS IN THE HEART OF MEN?
The Death of Rats looked up from the feast of potato. SQUEAK, he said.
Death waved a hand dismissively. WELL, YES, OBVIOUSLY ME, he said. I JUST WONDERED IF THERE WAS ANYONE ELSE.”
“There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What’s up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don’t* think* so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!”
“Some people are heroes. And some people jot down notes.”
Mr. Tulip grew up in what seems to be a poor environment constantly on the verge of starvation, so he’s fetishized the potato, because the potato is the “poor man’s” food, easy to grow with large yields and high in calories and carbohydrates. It’s probaly pretty much the only thing he had to eat as a kid.
So, nowadays, he’s sure that as long as he has a potato, everything is going to be ok.
*It was a traditional dwarf ax. One side was a pickax, for the extraction of interesting minerals, and other side was a war ax, because the people who own the land with the valuable minerals in it can be so unreasonable sometimes. *
All in all, not a bad outing. I really didn’t warm up to William that much, but the rest of the characters were note-perfect. I loved the New Firm. And that’s the —ing truth.
I really liked this one, especially coming off the comparatively weak (IMO, of course) The Fifth Elephant. William de Worde is not a particularly strong character, but he’s more than made up for by Sacharissa and Harry King.
Since I initiated the DW reading club and abandoned it*, I feel I have to make a positive contribution.
Being a journalist, The Truth resonates strongly with me, although it has one serious flaw, IMO, which has not been used by Pterry since this outing, thankfully, i.e. the plot hinges on some 'stash twirling rich guys trying to get rid of Vetenari. It was fun the first time, but I think this was the 6th time that McGuffin was used and it as stale by the 2nd time.
There are many very good scenes in the book, though as a non native English speaker, I always stumble on the -ing use of -ing, thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be as jarring if English was (were?) my first language.
*Short explanation: My idea was that we would *re-read * the series together and find new things, apart from the obvious stuff. Most people didn’t, relying on memory instead so, to me, the idea of a DW re-reading club was lost and I lost interest. Sorry.
I don’t think so. His modus operandi is to collect stuff and sell it to people that want it. So, he collects dogs muck and sells it to the tanners, who use it in leather preparation, somehow. He doesn’t actually do any tanning himself. Likewise, he’d collect old paper and sell it to the paper mills, and THEY would process and remake it. Actually doing the processing himself is outside his field.
I love the “'s not a Harpsichord. It’s a Virginal. That’s because it’s for -ing virgins” line.
Love that the Times basically becomes The Big Issue.
Also Pin and Tulip are very reminiscent of the bad guys from Neverwhere for me.
Also, I didn’t have a problem with the “scheme to take out the Patrician” plotline, as I can see how they’ve evolved over time from the simple to the more complex.
As I recall, he associated it with his culture. “So long as you have your potato with you, everything will be all right” is something everybody believes where he comes from. Why a potato? Pterry is whimsical; and it makes as much sense as any other supersition. ----ing deep!