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Feet of Clay: Discworld, Book 19 | [Terry Pratchett]

Feet of Clay: Discworld, Book 19

Who's murdering harmless old men? Who's poisoning the Patrician? As autumn fogs hold Ankh-Morpork in their grip, the City Watch has to track down a murderer who can't be seen. Maybe the golems know something - but the solemn men of clay, who work all day and night and are never any trouble to anyone, have started to commit suicide....
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Publisher's Summary

Who's murdering harmless old men? Who's poisoning the Patrician? As autumn fogs hold Ankh-Morpork in their grip, the City Watch has to track down a murderer who can't be seen.

Maybe the golems know something - but the solemn men of clay, who work all day and night and are never any trouble to anyone, have started to commit suicide...

It's not as if the Watch hasn't got problems of its own. There's a werewolf suffering from Pre-Lunar Tension, Corporal Nobbs is hob-nobbing with the nobs, and there's something really strange about the new dwarf recruit, especially his earrings and eyeshadow.

Who can you trust when there are mobs on the street and plotters in the night and all the clues point the wrong way? In the gloom of the night, Watch Commander Sir Samuel Vimes finds that the truth may not be out there after all...

Browse more of our novels of Discworld.

©1996 Terry and Lyn Pratchett; (P)1999 Isis Publishing Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"Most writers would have trouble producing a full page of the rich zaniness with which Terry Pratchett fills entire novels. His comic fantasies have plots and characters, but they're really about language. They beg to be read aloud." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (199 )
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4.8 (116 )
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4.6 (115 )
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3 star
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  •  
    Catherine 09-22-10
    Catherine 09-22-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Great, as usual, but with a glitch"

    This is the fifth Terry Pratchett I've bought, I'm going to work/listen my way through the entire library. Nigel Planer is absolutely brilliant and perfect as a narrator, I may move on to listen to everything he's narrated.

    BUT.
    There is a "skip" in Part One, Chapter Four, minute 56:20. The narration moves from Foul Ole'Ron and the others shrinking away from a strange figure in the night, and jumps to the suicide of a golem in the butcher's workshop.
    I can't get Audible customer support to understand my complaint - there's a problem with the recording! - or respond to it.

    I still like the story, and the recording, I just wonder what I'm missing.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Roodepoort, South Africa 05-29-12
    Janice Roodepoort, South Africa 05-29-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Great Story and great Reading"

    The characters in this fantastic Terry Pratchett story are brought to life by the reader, bringing a whole new layer to the great tales that Terry Pratchett writes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sandra Osborne Park, Australia 03-01-13
    sandra Osborne Park, Australia 03-01-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    17
    5
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    "Nigel Planer delivers again."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Feet of Clay to be better than the print version?

    I've enjoyed the print versions of Pratchett's books for years, but there's something about Nigel Planer's delivery that really brings it all to life.


    What about Nigel Planer’s performance did you like?

    I've listened to a few recordings by Nigel Planer now, and I really like the way he has assigned specific accents and personality touches to each of the characters. He's continued this from one book to the next, so there's a great audible continuity to his work.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent Karlskrona, Sweden 09-03-12
    Kent Karlskrona, Sweden 09-03-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    17
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    "Another excellent night watch book."
    What did you love best about Feet of Clay?

    All the clever pop culture references to, among other things, classical robot movies like Robocop.


    What other book might you compare Feet of Clay to and why?

    Hmm. It's a mystery story at heart with an enormous amount of little things going on.
    I'd say it compares well to Men at arms by the same author.


    Have you listened to any of Nigel Planer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Solid as always.
    He does not quite reach the same level as Stephen Briggs but is still a top notch reader.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The phrase uttered by Dorfl: 'Undead or alive you are coming with me' perhaps?
    Or possibly 'taking names and prodding buttock'.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone interested in reading Terry Pratchetts Discworld series but has not yet done so should probably start with a previous city watch book: Guards Guards!
    There is very little about this book that cannot be enjoyed on its own but most people prefer to follow the characters chronologically.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 06-14-12
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 06-14-12 Member Since 2013

    When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Prejudice & racism through City Watch eyes!"

    "Feet of Clay" is one of my all-time Discworld favourites. It is the third Ankh-Morpork City Watch novels. While the story is straight-forward, it is also one of the most complicated. After digging into Jewish folk-tales, Terry Pratchett introduce the race of golems into the Discworld universe. These clay figures are the pinnacle of hard work and goodness, but are generally rubbished as good-for-nothings and always suspected of doing things that they are not supposed to do... until one of them lives up to the prejudice of the Ankh-Morpork community.

    Pratchett gives a satirical look on the issues of prejudice, sexism, xenophobia and racism. In "Feet of Clay" he leaves no stone unturned to highlight the dark reality of this phenomenon. However, I cannot help wondering, if a Sherlock Holmes fan without a sense of humour would be more angry about Commander Samuel Vimes so very different approach to detective work, than that of the greatest literature sleuth of all time?

    I found a scene near the end of the book gripping. After the golem, Dorfl, is fixed, live returns to him. When questioned on how it is possible, he reacts,"Words written in the heart cannot be taken." (To understand the context, you need to listen to the audio book.)

    More than one character is led from oppression to freedom, from slavery to autonomy. In South Africa these themes have been heard so many times, but Pratchett is able to let it resonate with your heart.

    Nigel Planer is an excellent narrator and bring the characters successfully to life.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to chuckle while dealing with serious matters.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Ann Ingham
    Cheshire UK
    6/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "lovely"

    one of the best disc world stories. funny moving ingenious enthralling. full of interesting questions about life politics and the nature of nobility

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    5/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of my favs"

    I love this book have read and listened to it over and over again happiness

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kevyn
    5/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another great Audio book from Terry Pratchett,"

    Another great Audio book from Terry Pratchett, Nigel Planer really makes you feel part of the story and brings it to life. on to the next!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
    4/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another retread of the same ground"

    What has really surprised my as I have gone through a Terry Pratchett retrospective since his death is that the first three City Watch books are basically retreads of each other. In all three there is a plot to install a king, a tool of that plot that gets out of control and a background story about race relations. Revisiting the books it feels like Pratchett really liked the characters of Vimes, Carrot and Vetenari but couldn't work out what to do with them. As a result, by the time you reach Feet of Clay, it feels like he is treading water.

    As a standalone book it is perfectly fine and probably the best of the three but having listened to them in order I found myself frustrated by the lack of development.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bethany Black
    4/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Probably my Favourite Watch story"

    Excellent story, really good allegory for acceptance of difference, probably my second favourite discworld book after Reaper Man. Almost perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dr. R. Brompton
    UK
    3/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of my favourite Pratchett stories!"

    This is one of my favourite Terry Pratchett stories and it is brilliant. A great story, with very witty repartee throughout. Nigel Planner's narration is ok but nothing more. Too many of his character voices tend to blend into each other and the female voices are not very female sounding. However, this are still relatively minor niggles as the story carries you along. A good day's listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • K. Harcus
    1/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of my favourites so far"

    I really loved getting to know Vimes better as a person. There were also some truly creepy moments in this. I loved the intricacies of the poisoning plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Demeter
    Norwich, United Kingdom
    12/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A tour de force"
    Any additional comments?

    Starting with the knock on the door in the dead of night, we have mystery story; murder, attempted murder, and their investigation by Commander Vimes and the rest of the Night Watch crew. If you are not familiar with the disc world, the cast of characters will surprise. There are golems, "a golem must work", "a golem must have a master"; there is wee mad Arthur, an entrepreneur who remains independent of the guild; a dwarf who causes more than a few raised eyebrows as she is comes to terms with her femininity; a werewolf, trolls, and a host of others. A theme of new roles and discovering how to be who we are. As always Pratchett's book is a social commentary while being entertaining, satirical and sometimes downright funny.

    Nigel Planer reads the book with real skill, a factor which I find is essential to my enjoyment of an audio book. A richly deserved 5 stars for both the story and and the reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    7/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Typically brilliant Pratchett and Planer combo."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - it's light, yet observationally sharp; inventive and funny.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The plot keeps you hooked without being overbearing or heavy, yet still provides some food for thought between the story and the satire.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chloe
    Coventry UK
    5/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What makes a man 'alive'?"

    Feet of Clay follows on in the City Watch tradition of police procedural in a fantasy city whose inhabitants are all guilty of something (unless perhaps they lie down quietly all day in a dark cellar, in which case they are probably 'guilty of loitering'). Such is the view of Sam Vimes, whose single-minded quest for justice without regard to social status, despite him being married to the richest woman in Ankh-Morpork, attracts a lot of enemies.

    There is some political chess being played in Ankh-Morpork in this book - someone wants the Patrician out of the way, and is prepared to stop just short of murder to achieve it. The hunt for the killer brings to light another story, that of a group of golems, pottery men who are powered by the words in their heads, are treated as slaves and are looked down upon by even the undead as being 'unalive'. What have they been meeting for, and what have they got to do with the attack on the Patrician?

    The characters have aged a little since the preceding novel but are still cleverly written and funny as ever. While I don't love this novel as much as Men at Arms, I would still happily listen to this again and again. Pratchett at his best!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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