Thud! Discussion

Discussion in 'THE WATCH BOOKS' started by Cynical_Youth, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Cynical_Youth New Member

    Bedtime Stories

    Dwarfs and trolls have a long history of animosity. Koom Valley is the reason. It is the battle where dwarfs/trolls ambushed trolls/dwarfs long ago that still fuels vivid re-enactments in dwarfs and trolls not in any way related to what took place there.
    These dwarfs and trolls have brought Koom Valley to Ankh-Morpork. In a conflict that exaggerates and stresses the details of its Roundworld equivalent, a strong political message can be found. Pratchett shows us that the mere existence of a conflict is enough to keep it going for centuries. Through the smart juxtaposition of the effect and its cause Pratchett conveys how racial hatred and prejudice are often cruel meaningless perversions of an irrelevant and petty dispute.
    Thud! is a dark novel that explores the rough edges of two harshly conflicting cultures, but it is also profoundly Discworld and leaves the reader wondering what is real and what it is fantasy.


    Here it is! The discussion of the latest Discworld novel.

    I'll start by giving my opinion and asking a few questions and we'll see where it goes from there.


    I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I think it has the best storyline so far. The story is interesting and strong. The element of mystery and suspense works very well in this book and I would almost classify it as a thriller. On the other hand, I missed some of the comical elements that make Discworld what it is. By this I don't mean it needs more one-liners or comical characters. I mean that Thud! fails to dilute its message with a bit of mockery which ultimately leads to the impression, on me anyway, that it takes itself too seriously. The central conflict in the book, Koom Valley, is harsh. The self-reflection that makes Discworld open and honest is not there. Thud! leaves no room for discussion in that area.
    So... not the best Discworld book I've read but certainly a very decent one and one that showcases Pratchett's abilities to a larger extent than before.

    What is your take on this?
    What do you think of Thud! and do you agree with me on the message?

    Also my second discussion question:
    Do you think Thud! places Where's My Cow? on a similar level as the legends of the dwarfs and the trolls (Mr. Shine, Tak, legends surrounding Koom Valley) with the prominent place it is given in the book to illustrate the danger that lies in such traditional stories because essentially they have little truth in them and are often interpreted subjectively?

    Feel free to respond in any way you like. Answer my questions, ask your own questions, ridicule my opinion.. etc.

    Just discuss. :)
  2. sampanna New Member

    I liked it, its a nicely written story.

    I agree though, there isn't too much comic relief. I didn't particularly like the parts about Nobby's love life, and even Angua, Sally etc. on a girls night out .. it seemed a little forced!
  3. Cynical_Youth New Member

    I felt that the contrast with the rest of the story was really too big to play this out effectively and I thought it didn't really fit Cheery and Angua.
  4. sampanna New Member

    Come to think of it, this one seems to be written with a movie in mind .. it's actually possible to make a good movie out of the book (I think). And there are so many small things that would appeal to a movie audience .. glowing vurms, Angua and Sally facing off for a fight, naked .. I'm sure there are much more.
  5. Cynical_Youth New Member

    That is a good point, I hadn't looked at it that way yet. I had a similar feeling when reading The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.
    Scenes like (white spoiler text):
    Rats swimming in stuff (can't remember in what), the tap dancing rat and the rat festival at the end would all make great children's movie scenes.
  6. Hsing Moderator

    From the top of my head…
    Plus: The book as a whole… was really good. A lot of the whodunnit I like about some of the Watch books, a lot of Ankh-Morpork-atmosphere (more than in Going Postal, for some reason), suspense and all. When I was at page 199, I had decided I liked it would make it under my top 5, at least for now (its kind of shuffling).

    Plus: I really liked most of the new characters introduced, besides finding Sally boring (see below). In Going Postal, I soemhow felt I could connect to the more central newcomers like Moist and “Spike”, but not with the sidekicks in that book. In “Thud”, some of the sidecast is really charismatic, or rather three dimensional I think… Mr Shine, Grag Bashfullson, poor Helmclever, A.E. Pessimal… I loved the small twist with A.E.Pessimal; sent to Vetinari to annoy Vimes (that is what he suspects, at least), and –is simply hired. :)

    I also didn’t expect to see so many well known characters successfully into the story again. All the classic constellations made a re-appearance after having somwhat faded into the background during, say, Night Watch. Nobby and Colon have their scenes, although Colon suddenly displayed a lot of cunningness just when it came handy (the scene in the museum) and fell back into his usual routine later in the museum-related scenes towards the end of the story.
    Minus: Sally: for such an eyecatching and charismatic appearance as hers is described to be, she stays surprisingly colourless. Would her character be deleted out of the story, we wouldn’t miss that much, except that putting a vampire into the watch was somehow on the schedule and she was a background to contrast Angua in this book, who was an old regular who got a little more of the spotlight again. We never leran anything more about Sallys oh-so-stunning appearance than that she might pass for 16. I found nothing in the text that enabled me to form some kind of mental picture of her. Maybe I overred something…

    Ah, I found it nice to see Angua back, but as she was, as far as I remember, always described as pretty charismatic and all in the Watch books so far, or the type not bothering at all with it, suddenly there’s a big fuss about her feeling like the poor dumb cousin next to, excuse me, a pretty colourless sally-character. She somehow seems to have lost part of her self confidence over her years with Carrot, which is never a good sign for a relationship. I also noticed that all the vampish behaviour Angua saw in Sally, didn’t bother her at all when they combined their effort in “vampish” behaviour when trying to talk Tawnee out of the Nobby-relationship. Was that a Sex-and-the-City reference I only partly got or what? I suspect so...
    But I agree to you guys that it would have fit better in earlier Watch books, who were more centred on Ankh Morpork, in a way.

    Another thought The curse awfully reminded me of that thing hunting Tiffany in “A Hat Full Of Sky”…. I didn’t mind that, but still – the “its looking for a champion it can use”-bit and all that…
    The solution Vimes found for himself –denying that it had succeeded with entering his mind at all –might have fit tha character as such. But even from the most rational person on the disc, you might, seeing that he is a citizen of the Discworld after all, expect some kind of acceptance that such things exist, and are more than folk tale.
    That’s it for now. More later.
  7. Hsing Moderator

    I think I don't quite get that question... ?
    What I liked is how Vimes' affection towards his son is displayed. I was afraid it might be a much... "cuddlier" book all in all, the dark part was more of a pleasant surprise to me, but I was also relieved to see how well Vimes transformed into a father-figure without loosing too much of himself.
    When that scene was displayed where he races home for the first time in the book, I thought, at first: "oh, no, this is just a little too much classic slapstick for me..." You know, these old black and white movies...?
    And then the whole scene took a turn, not by its action, only via the description. (p 122 - 123 in the Transworld edition):

  8. Cynical_Youth New Member

    I'm not that sure about that question myself, it was more of a hunch. It boils down to this:
    The book is permeated with references to dwarf and troll legends, even aside from the Koom Valley story. I thought that, especially when Vimes was taking apart the Where's My Cow? in his head, Pratchett was making a point about these stories. Like a children's book their content depends on what is entertaining or what supports the storyteller's intention (in this case stories about cruel dwarfs and stupid trolls). In particular that as long as the reader is satisfied their mutability is limitless. For example in the dwarf legend that depicts troll as having stolen life. When Bloodaxe speaks through the cube we hear the original version, where trolls are given in life in gratitude. Two opposite situations really, and the first hs simply been formed around the dwarf perspective of Koom Valley. Maybe the link is tenuous, but I thought that particularly during the scene where Vimes unravels the Koom Valley myth while reading, well... shouting, to his son attempted to connect the two in order to make a point.

    I agree with you about Sally. She was the only new character that didn't really work.

    Originally put forth by Hsing:
    I'm not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean the story as a whole or Sally?
  9. Hsing Moderator

    I meant the "girl's night out".
  10. Cynical_Youth New Member

    Ah right, yes you're right about that. :)
  11. Hsing Moderator

    One other thing I stumbled across was, right in the beginning, when Vimes said to himself that he never got the grip on politics...(p18) I mean, in this book, he was a little more himself again, in that respect, but after seeing him as the sideacast in "Monstrous Regiment"... well...he did quite well there.
  12. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    I'm not sure about this book. I liked bits of it, but I've got some problems with it. Admittly, I read it while ill, and on tubes and while walking to and from places, so I've probably rushed it and will like it more the second time.

    I didn't like Angua in this book. I think after T5E He's stereo typed her character. Angua *isn't* like the other werewolves, that’s why she's works, after defining the traits in the last book, it seems he's just applied them too her. A few examples of this: Her not wanting to have a 'S.H.O.W.E.R.*' Now, as far as I can remember Angua has always been quite clean- I can remember in T5E Carrot said after her and the wolf rode the manure cart and Angua would head to a pool straight away. I can also remember a couple of times in past books where Angua remarked that she wanted a shower. There was never any sign of her having Issues' with it.

    Also the Carrot Good Dog/Master thing. Never before has Angua's thought's been that of a Dog 'Must be a Good Boy!!' What annoys me about that is Angua and Carrot don't have a Master/Dog relationship. In MAA Gaspode has a discussion with Angua about how werewolves are a bit like Dogs and how if she chooses to go back, she won't be a dog, she'll 'be happier as a human'. Now, for me, that was an important character defining moment. Angua chose to over come her animal side and enter the relationship as a Human. Now, it seems that she's reverted to just Dog/Master relationship. Which I don't like. The point of Angua is that she is in control, and acts differently to normal werewolves.

    I was unsure of her 'I hate vampire' thing. I liked how she was envious of Sallys vampiric grace because I think that is something Angua would want, but I think a lot of there relationship seemed a but forced.

    What I felt was missing from this was the sense of a crime. It felt too political, rather than mystry. I didn't really *care* that there had been a murder, normally, that is what drives Vimes but I didn't get that same sense this time. I also didn't really think there was a villain, Ardent didn't seem that important at the end.

    I liked the bit's in Vimes mind, but didn't feel they where used to there full potienal, I was waiting for some epic struggle but it just seemed that at the end 'The Watchman' showed up. We only really got a sense that the Dark was being chased a bit before that. I'd of liked to of seen all this expanded.

    I really loved Vimes with his Kid, I felt they where the best bits of the book. I loved the way his world completely changed when he was in the presence of his child. I also liked Vimes' interaction with Vetinari, where they have got the stage where they both know the game and say enough with just looks. Mr Shine was interesting, I hope we see more of him.

    I'm not sure about Carrot in this one. I get the feeling that Pratchett doesn't know what to do with him anymore.
  13. TheJackal Member

    I thought the end was crackingly good. I wonder what dwarf/troll relationship will be like in the next novels...?

    Liked Thud! much more than Going Postal or Monstrous Regiment. One of his best.
  14. jaccairn New Member

    I enjoyed the book as a whole although I agree that Sally didn't have much characterisation - no clues as to why she only looks 16, very few hints about her spying role. It does leave lots of opportunity for development though.

    I liked that the wizards actually came up with something almost practical to speed up the coaches.

    And it looks like Ankh-Morpork is going to get it's own underground system. :D
  15. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    She looked 16 because she was only 57, which is quite young for a vampire, and vampires age slowly. What I thought was odd about her is what was she replaced her Vampirism with? Otto-photography, Melitida (sp) has coffee, Lady Marolotta has replaced blood with politics. I thought for a second, that she'd obcess over men (because of what she'd thought about Carrot) this would make sense in the sense that in vampire terms she's a 16 year old girl-getting crushes. It would also lead to an interesting conflict between Angua and her. In that she'd be obcessing over Carrot, who's Anguas. But if she stopped obcessing over him, she'd start obcessing over blood.I think that would have been ok.
  16. janible New Member

    I enjoyed Thud a lot, though I'm naturally inclined towards any of the Watch books. The murder this time almost seemed to be designed by Agatha Christie: the actual murder was in a group fight; the reported murder was only a set up.

    If I was going to sum up this book, I would say it is about different groups or "people" who are forced to look beyond the externals or geneneralizations that they have made about other groups in their world. While they are using their generalizations, things like bigotry, prejudice, and even war are accepted.

    This is a common theme in his books, for me. (Jingo, Carpe Jugulum, Men at Arms, Monstrous Regiment) He presents us with a character with predetermined characteristics, and then he begins to show the inner person. Paradigms are shaken and prejudices have to be re-examined. In Thud we've got the obvious ongoing conflict between the trolls and dwarfs, which has been fueled by faulty worldviews on both sides. Interestingly, when young trolls and dwarfs play Thud, and begin to try to think like the other guys, a lot of their assumptions about each other profoundly change.

    The subplot involving Angua and Sally, and then also Tawnee and Cheery, was still about understanding and communication coming only after people have looked at the inner person. The girls make a lot of assumptions about Tawnee and then have to rethink their beliefs when they discover how she has been viewing herself and the world around her.

    Granted, Sally does come across as rather colorless, but maybe this is because she is always having to keep a tight rein on herself. In some ways she reminds me of the vampire in Monstrous Regiment from that standpoint. I would like to see her developed more three dimensionally.

    Angua, for me, has always had these inner struggles going on, including her relationship with Carrot. I'm in the process of rereading the Watch series for the umpteenth time, so I'll keep my eye out for specifics as I read.

    Her reaction to Sally, as a vampire, wasn't too surprising, since the feud between vampires and werewolves is pretty longstanding. Her feelings were really heightened by the female thing, though. I finally decided that part of her problem was "hormonal" since it was definitely the wrong time of the month for her! :) Maybe this also accounts for her reaction at the idea of a S.H.O.W.E.R. She never seemed to mind getting clean before, and her reaction was similar to her family's response to a B.A.T.H. in Fifth Elephant. Maybe during a full moon, she's feeling a lot more possessive of Carrot, too.

    Interesting idea about the connection between Where's My Cow and the other traditional stories. I probably should read the book again, keeping that idea in mind. By the way, has anyone seen a copy of Where's My Cow yet?
    Edit: I just saw TheJackals comments on Where's My Cow in the Boardania section! Fast answer to my question! :D
  17. Hsing Moderator

    Hm, okay, seen in that light, the "Girls night out" fits somewhat better in the overall plot... Still, it had a different... flavour than the rest of the book.

    Another point I'd like to hear your opinions on: I think PTerry did a fantastic job showing how followers of the same belief could come out as different as Ardent and Bashful, and under which circumstances.
    And... did the description of how the orthodox dwarfs dress remind only me of some kind of Disc Ayatollahs?
    The "recruitment" mechanisms of the orthodox dwafs was interesting, too.
    And the twist at the end, the revealing of what Koom Valley had meant to be once... yes, that was... ... ... *sobs*
  18. Tephlon Active Member

    Just finished it. Highly impressed.

    There were some really funny bits, but a bit sparse...

    I did like the fact that Vimes finally embraces technomancy (Gooseberry, Bluenose LOL), although he'll be known as "Insert name here" for a LONG time. This is another example of keeping an open mind...

    I rushed the reading a bit, so I'm going to reread it next week when I have more time, try and get some of the subtleties.
  19. janible New Member

    Tephlon, there have been days when I have felt a bit like "insert name here", like Sam! If I only knew, my computer has been feeling put upon at times, too. :D

    I noticed that resemblance to ayatollahs in Fifth Elephant, too, though it was more pronounced in Thud. The idea that anyone who is not a dwarf, is just a "bad dream" fits the comparison, too. In one of the interviews, Terry said that the book was already written when bombings in England occurred, and it was all a coincidence. I believe him, since he's been coming at some of these ideas from different directions for years.

    I was thinking about some of the charateristics we see in the orthodox dwarf religion. Any religion can take a major wrong turn when those characteristics take hold. Declare everyone else as evil, and be sure to not interact with them (or you may find out what they are really like!). Don't think, doubt, or worse yet, ask questions! "Recruit" using any means possible, and the ends justify the means.

    So again, we run into the whole discussion of religion versus faith! (I know, it's one of my favorite topics! :) ) My family and I were discussing how this book is a good one to use as a warning to us Christians, too. We're to live by faith, not by religion!
  20. bbakag New Member

    Just wanted to say my favourite bit of this book was the Watch stopping traffic (closing two of the busiest roads, in fact) for Vimes' race home for the six o'clock story. With two young children of my own, I'd very much like a man who'd do that!

    Definitely a new favourite of mine, as all the City Watch books continue to be.
  21. Hsing Moderator

    As said, same here...
    And yes, child related traffic privileges would be nice from time to time...

  22. Hsing Moderator

    By the way, Janible, I also noticed the S.H.O.W.E.R.-thing... I do have to reread the older Watch books in the near future, but I kept asking myself - wasn't that one of the reasons she left her family, because she didn't fit quite that well into those clichés?
  23. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    I'll post more on this later, but here's one thing for now re the S.H.O.W.E.R. thing. Being around vampires brings out the werewolf in Angua far more strongly than usual. Being around a full moon brings out the werewolf in Angua much more strongly than usual. Despite her best efforts, being around a vampire at full moon made a lot of werewolfy things about Angua far more prominent and less controllable than they would normally be. So no wonder she had an unusually bad reaction to the notion of a shower. But, she still got in - which is why she's still the Angua we know.
  24. Ba Lord of the Pies

    Ba found the parallels somewhat interesting. Did anyone else notice this?
  25. Tephlon Active Member

    I didn't but it is very interesting that he used the exact same words.

    I was thinking about how technomancy might improve stuff in A-M, with Vimes positive reaction to the imp's calculation abilities, and how a Hex-like machine might fit in that.

    A crimelab with a computer... I think Cherry might be very interested in having an imp rebuild the crimescene in scale or something like that. CSI: Ankh-Morpork here we come.
  26. mowgli New Member

    Heh... Ba, where did your first example come from? It's familiar, but I don't remember what book I saw it in!
  27. Tephlon Active Member

    The first quote is from Hogfather.
  28. Electric_Man Templar

    Thud, it wasn't the greates book of Discworld that I've read by a long shot. It completely failed to hook me in the way that almost every other book has.

    It wasn't the lack of humour, the last three books equalled it in that regard, but they kept me interested, I was forever wondering what was going to happen next. In Thud, I didn't really care. I never really understood what was so mysterious about it all.

    The deep-down dwarves were bad, that was communicated from practically the first paragraph. At the end, they were still bad. I've never seen a set of characters portrayed so one-dimensionally.

    Sally was also crap. She seemed to be there only to annoy Angua, when they found out she was actually a spy, it was swept aside in a sentence, what was the point of it?

    I did like the scene at the end where Vimes read the book to the cave, that was fantastic.

    But overall, not great.
  29. Electric_Man Templar

    Few extra thoughts (I rushed the last post somewhat because of my time running out in the internet café.)

    Thud was far too put-downable for me. Usually I'll have to force myself to put a Discworld book down. This time round it was too easy to do so.

    The technomancy... was a a half decent joke for the first reference to Gooseberry, but then Terry overdid it somewhat with his 634 subtle takes on actual product names and the joke became somewhat flat.

    As for the following dark... that seemed far too similat to Vimes' struggle with "the Beast". It can rile him up and protect him, but he can control it from going too far. It didn't seem like a new idea, unless Terry was suggesting that the beast was always the following dark. In which case, Vimes is going to be a much reduced character from now on.
  30. Orrdos God

    Sadly, I have to agree with Ben.

    It was good, but.. I dunno. It was lacking something. I agree with pretty much everything he said about it really.

    I'll need to give it a reread and see if it's any better second time round.

    Also: DAMN IGORS!!!
  31. sampanna New Member

    I read it again, and I noticed one jarring note: Rhys threatening Vimes, albeit briefly, using Sam's wife and son. It doesn't seem like the sort of thing he would do, does it? I mean, even for an instant.

    As for the following dark, it felt more like the hiver than the beast. I also thought that the main plot was similar to The Fifth Elephant, but reduced. Like the same religious extremists style plotting to create a war. It's a slim similarity, I know, but I felt like that anyway.

    Also, it will be interesting to see how the trolls shape up, they might play a greater role from now on. Maybe we might even see some troll related stories .. that would be interesting.
  32. Marcia Executive Onion

    As a promotion for Thud, Waterstones is providing City Watch ID cards, where you can show that you are human, vampire, werewolf, etc. I' think you have to buy two TP books to get one, but I'm not sure.
  33. Mimiru New Member

    I feel like I wasted a lot of money on Thud. I bought it as soon as it came out in hardcover instead of waiting, which would have definately been smarter. It was a good book, guys are right, it's not one of the best. I'm addicted to the Watch books, so I knew I'd get it eventually. :lol:

    I read Where's My Cow in the store. The illustrations were pretty good, but they seemed really cartoony.

    Hey, on a side note, does anyone know the conversion of £25.00 to American dollars?
  34. Tephlon Active Member

  35. Hsing Moderator

    Strange... Again I can only say I wasn't half as disappointed as the rest of you... But maybe I don't have a problem with PTerry's books becoming less funny and more dark and story bound because I never got most of the jokes, anyway.

    About Rhys "threatening" Vimes... (and swiftly backpaddeling)... it may not the thing the person Rhys may do, bvut the ruler Rhys...
    I was reminded of this quote:

    from "Guards! Guards!". Note the second paragraph. It seems to be a similar thing.
  36. Electric_Man Templar

    That wasn't why I was disappointed. It had as many funny moments as Night Watch or Going Postal, and I loved them.

    My problem was the story, it was too ponderous and a lot more predictable than usual.
  37. sampanna New Member

    Hmm .. possibly similar. I'm not sure .. Vimes isn't like a leading thief .. he is likely to go more berserk than subdued if threatened like this .. and every person in power apparently has a complete understanding of Vimes psychological profile. So it would never work .. at least as a threat.

    Still, I suppose its a minor point, and maybe Terry felt that he had to make Rhys appear more fallible.
  38. spiky Bar Wench

    Well I quite liked it... I don't know if it'll make the best list but it was still a good book. The mystery for me wasn't "who done it...?" but rather the mystery was Khoom Valley, it was a 'who done it...?' for wars/history... And it was trying to find out the mystery of Khoom Valley and the device that kept me hooked than who killed the dwarf (which was more obvious)...

    I quite liked finding out more about troll history as they really haven't come up much as a culture rather than as individuals. Vimes with his son was also good and I also quite like Lady Sybill's down key response to the 6 o'clock reading sessions and the darning of socks.

    I will say that covers similar ground to other books and the Vimes has been a little over-used of late, I would like to see more of the salvation of Brick with some focus on Detritus...

    I will have to have a reread to determine if the quick first rereading (12 hours) has left me with the right impression.
  39. AuntieM New Member

    I'm about 3/4 through it and really enjoying it. I don't think it is anymore similar to other books than any of the other books. There would have to be a similarity if you use the same people - ie, the City Watch, the same location - ie, Ankh Morpork and a foriegn part - ie, Koom Valley. I love the jokes, split my sides laughing at Fred and Nobby discussing Tawnee!
  40. Hsing Moderator

    I think Spiky was right about the "Whodunnit" and that, in this case, it was more a historical Whodunnit than the question who murdered the dwarf.

    I was reminded about an authentic case of the manipulation of a peoples myth. In "Thud", someone rewrote the dwarven mythe about the creation of dwarves, men and trolls. It would have been interesting to see what the Trolls concept of their creation was, and what they thought of that myth.

    When I started studying, I wrote a paper about a small tribe in pre 19th century Indonesia. The tribe themselves believed in a myth that basically stated that their first ancestors were born after some animal, by coincidence, absorbed the semen of a God/Demigod/Prince who had long left the location at that time, and that this animal became the ancient mother of that tribe. It was absolutely taboo to recount that myth, ecxept under special circumstances, to strangers or even random members of the tribe. That myth lacking a proper father, or proper ancestors at that, was set in a time and area where lacking both was a big shame for most peoples living in that area.
    "Coincidentaly" this tribe was employed by all other tribes of that area mainly for dirty or hard (or both) work, and they were regarded a people second class to their neighbours.
    Sources indicate a possibility that the myth was adapted to their role as inferiors, and there are elements in many versions of the story that indicate that this was done by story tellers from outside the tribe.
    And now shame on me, but I can't for my life remember the name of those people. But I'll do some research, and be it only for completeness' sake.
  41. Roman_K New Member

    Thud! wasn't the best Discworld book, but it wasn't the worst, either. To me, Monstrous Regiment will hold that title for all time.

    Still, they both share similar issues. One is the plot. It just wasn't as interesting as it could be. Something was missing. It was very predictable, which was quite unfortunate, and it lacked... something. What that is, is quite indefinable to me.

    It had its good points, though. I shall try not to repeat what has already been said, though.

    The scene with Nobby and Colon in the museum was quite amusing. First, there was Ms. Pouter's... 'art'. I quite share Lord Vetinari's opinions on art, and was quite amused by Ms. Pouter's second art piece, even though nailing her ear to a stake had unforeseen consequences, such as people actually considering it art.

    Then there was Nobby and Colon's discussion on the crime at hand. It was quite interesting actually. Terry has been hinting, via Vimes, that Nobby and Colon can in fact achieve much, if they but try. Seeing them try was quite amusing, as they were both dead wrong, but the possibilities they discussed were interesting.

    What I liked the most was Nobby's criminal mind at work. He worked out various methods of how the painting could have been easily stolen by, well, asking himself how he'd do it himself.

    Then there was Colon's comment on war: "War... what is it good for? Absol-"

    Which was taken from a song whose name I currently don't remember, but Nobby's replies were quite amusing. That particular dialogue was of a style I last saw in Jingo, when they were watching a warship's name being painted on, and talking about foreigners.

    The references to brand names of various technological goodies were amusing, in a way, but it was the way they were applied in the dis-organizer that was amusing.

    Especially the Bluenose. You have to love that one.

    Then there was the scene with A.E. Pessimal being commandeered into the Watch. The best was Willikins explaining to him the basics of fighting a troll.

    "What if it is, in fact, behind me"

    "Ah, well, I am afraid that in that case sir has to go back and start all over again, sir."

    "And, er, how do I do that?"

    "Being born is traditionally the first step, sir."

    That had me laughing.

    What I find interesting is Ankh-Morpork's gradual slide into technological advancement. In fact, is it steampunk I see looming in the distance? It certainly could be, with that Device the grags left behind in Ankh-Morpork.
  42. Mimiru New Member

    I don't think that Monstrous Regiment was so bad. Vimes was great in it (for the little bit he was in.)

    Ankh-Morpork going steampunk? That'd be interesting to see, but do you really think it'll go that way? I can't wait to find out.

    Arg. Night Watch was much better then Thud.
  43. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    I wouldn't say it was bad, it just didn't wow me. Which is fair enough, you can't love everything.
  44. Tephlon Active Member

    War, by Bruce Springsteen
  45. davobanavo New Member

    Get out of town! No way! Edwin Starr, covered by Bruce Springsteen (probably badly, given his back catalogue). Sheesh... What are you good for?!
  46. shadowgirl New Member

    just finished Thud! and although l agree that this book is not one of the "funiest" pterry books, it is possibly one of the "darkest". l just recieved the discworld calendar and one of the months has a lovely picture of Diamond and B'hrian Bloodaxe playing the boardgame.

    Apparently you can buy the boardgame from somewhere.......
  47. jaccairn New Member

    Ottakars used to have the game. There's a new version out with simpler rules which is meant to be easier to play. It does use the same board and pieces as the old one.

    edit for more info
  48. SunshineDaydream New Member

    After reading people's comments, I wasn't expecting to like the book as much as I did. Now that I've finally finished it, I can say that it was quite enjoyable, but definitely not one of my favorites. I'm not sure why-there were some delightful new characters (Grag Bashfullsson, Brick, A.E. Pessimal-and what does his name mean? I'm sure it's a play on something but I can't figure out what.) I agree that Sally was merely annoying (Maladicta would be more fun in the watch and had way more personality.)

    Part of the problem was that I was too worried about the outcome to enjoy the book. For me, it was a lot like Night Watch in that I wasn't convinced it was going to have a happy ending. There have been similar books dealing with conflicts between opposing countries or civilizations (Jingo, for example, or Monstrous Regiment) but those seemed more interested in the characters, and the war was background. In Thud, the Koom Valley conflict loomed over everything, and the characters seemed more incidental.

    I don't think there was much development of the regular crew (except Vimes and his son, and frankly, those bits just annoyed me, even though I realize the story time was a set-up for the end). And maybe it's the fictional equivalent of racism (specieism?) at work, but I just wasn't as attached to the dwarf characters as I am to Vimes and Vetinari.

    The game Thud was neat, though, and I liked the various uses of it. I think I might enjoy it better on re-reading (now that I know the ending), but it's not going to be one of the ones that put a smile on my face just thinking about them. Most of his books (most recently Going Postal) I get to the end and wish there was another 500 pages. Thud, I just wanted it to be over. Sad but true.

    Edited to add paragraphs (sorry folks, I didn't realize I had that much to say).
  49. Roman_K New Member

    Sunshine? Enter key, the usage of. It would be far easier to read your post if it was devided to paragraphs.
  50. sampanna New Member

    Watch Rush Hour Phlon :)
  51. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    I'm afraid I have to agree! Sunshine, could you edit your post to break up the block of text? It's very hard to read as it is. Thanks in advance! :)
  52. Hsing Moderator

  53. SunshineDaydream New Member

    Edited. I'll try to use the preview key in the future-I don't think I realized it was that long. Sorry.
  54. sampanna New Member

    Thanks Sunshine :)
  55. Roman_K New Member

    My thanks.
  56. Cynical_Youth New Member

    "Pessimal" is the opposite of "optimal". It has also been suggested that it is a portmanteau of "pessimist" and "decimal."* :)

    *Suggested by Edmund Schluessel to attribute it correctly.
  57. Maljonic Administrator

    That's interesting, I had a thought that his name was chosen on purpose to fit his job, a bit like a Charles Dickens character, but only in the back of my mind as I was reading. :)
  58. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    Thanks for the edit, Sunshine!

    I really liked Grag. We've seen a few mild-mannered religious types before from Pterry, but he never seems to fully explore the impact that a liberal religious leader can have in a community. I hope we'll get to see more of this character.

    I disagree. I thought Colon and Nobby were back on track in this book. They'd become a bit 2D in recent Watch novels, but I got a real sense of them as more than one-joke characters, and without ignoring their past roles either. I was very happy with that. I thought the development of Angua was interesting too, even though Sally was such a washout of a missed opportunity. She seemed a lot more human to me in this book - ironic given how much more trouble she was having with being a werewolf - and a lot less Susan-lie. I've actually started to warm to Angua a little, for the first time ever.

    Also, I loved the bits with Sam Jr. I felt they lent a new layer and greater credibility to Vimes. They also made him a bit more human, and therefore less of the Supervimes he seemed to be becoming in recent books.

    Also, another character I really loved - Mr Shine. Him diamond.
  59. Rincewind Number One Doorman

    I loved the bits with Mr Shine. And Vimes Jr.

    I Hope Mr.Shine is used agian.

    I did wonder though, in the Troll vs Dwarf at thud, surely the trolls would be a bit crap? Or I'am i just speicist? :oops:

    Also on a side note, I've recently re-read Soul Music and Cliff is the smartest troll around (bar Mr Shine).
  60. Roman_K New Member

    Are you referring to the game itself, or to the cranial capacities of trolls as opposed to dwarves?

    I loved Mr. Shine. I feel, though, that he has been horribly underused in the book. If he does take up the kingship of the trolls, beyond signing a treaty, then I doubt we'll see much of him anymore. Sad, really.

Share This Page