Discworld Reading Club #25: The Truth

There are no inconsistencies in the Discworld books; ocassionally, however, there are alternate pasts.
–Terry Pratchett, at alt-fan-pratchett

The books covered so far:

  1. The Colour of Magic
  2. The Light Fantastic
  3. Equal Rites
  4. Mort
  5. Sourcery
  6. Wyrd Sisters
  7. Pyramids
  8. Guards! Guards!
  9. [del]Faust[/del] Eric
  10. Moving Pictures
  11. Reaper Man
  12. Witches Abroad
  13. Small Gods
  14. Lords and Ladies
  15. Men at Arms
  16. Soul Music
  17. Interesting Times
  18. Maskerade
  19. Feet of Clay
  20. Hogfather
  21. Jingo
  22. The Last Continent
  23. Carpe Jugulum
  24. 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. :slight_smile:

Your thoughts?
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.”

Great book. One of the best in the series, and a further examination of Pterry’s belief in the net virtue of civilization.

I have to ask, though… what’s with the potato? I never really understood what that was all about.

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.

I don’t know… he seemed to associate it with a specific childhood trauma. I think it was more complex than that.

*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.

The Truth is one of my favourites, though there are a couple of characters I don’t like much. Mostly Otto, who got annoying after a very short time.

But I like William, I like Miss Cripslock, and I like the dwarfs who run the printing press, so when any of them are in it it’s wonderful to read.

It’s clear from the start that Terry is drawing from his own experience as a journalist in almost every scene. I think that adds a peculiar authenticity.

It’s still pretty -ing jarring to this native speaker. It’s a very unnatural sound by itself, so there’s no good way to pronounce it internally.

I suspect that Vietnamese have no problem with it.

one thing I’ve never been able to figure out.

Harry King is the expert at picking up unwanted junk and finding someone that will buy it.

Why does he have supplies of new paper that he can sell to the printers?

Pulp, Peter. Wasted old paper, processed and remade.

The villains in Discworld are often stiffs—they don’ t have sufficient personality/chance of survival–because they can’t survive they need to be kinda stupid…

EXCEPT when they are completely -ing crazy! Mr. Tulip made the bad guys as interesting as the good guys in this one.

I always imagine it as the beeping sound made to mask uncouth language on TV or radio shows.

I’d love to see it on film. The way I picture it, they’d keep bleeping him out until someone else asks him what that “bleeping” sound means… and how he’s producing it. :cool:

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.

Yeah the ‘-ing’ thing bugged me. I found myself actually reading ‘fucking’ every time I saw it because it was too jarring otherwise.

I don’t know. I can picture him expanding his field.

My favorite bit: the folks in the boarding house who believed that what was written in the newspaper had to be true because otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed to print it.

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.

“-ing young women,” actually. Or ladies. Maybe.

Old rags, wood chips, sawdust… lots of waste products can end up as paper.

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!