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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

4.5 (167 )
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4.7 (89 )
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4.6 (89 )
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 (20)
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  •  
    Catherine Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 09-22-10
    Catherine Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 09-22-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    2
    2
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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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sandra Osborne Park, Australia 03-01-13
    sandra Osborne Park, Australia 03-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    5
    4
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    0
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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 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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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
  •  
    Janice Roodepoort, South Africa 05-29-12
    Janice Roodepoort, South Africa 05-29-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 06-14-12
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 06-14-12 Member Since 2009

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
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  • 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
  • Amazon Customer
    PETERBOROUGH, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Love the book, dislike the audio quality"

    Another great story of the discworld. I've read them all, and am working through the audio books during long journeys. Love Pratchett's work, unfortunately this is my least favourite narrator. Not a fan of the voices he assigns to characters - especially the trolls.



    The Guards stories are my preference and this is a great one. Would recommend the story but the quality of this was not great. Volume occasionally changes as if sitting closer to the microphone, and sometimes with more or less background 'hiss/hum'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • zac
    north walsham, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Now thats a story"

    One of the first Audible books I have bought, well read and great for a long drive, the audio quality is much better than I was expecting

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shaun
    Scunthorpe, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Great book"

    I love pretty much all of the Terry Pratchett books and this is one of my favourites. I used o listen to a load of audiobooks from my local library but the stopped doing them so when i found this i was super excited.

    The book itself is fantastic, its kind of a murder/mystery in a similar fashion to the other books in the City Watch set and like all discworld books it has a great sense of humor. I would definately recomend this audiobook to anybody that would listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    Skipton, United Kingdom
    9/8/12
    Overall
    "Bad Narration and editing ruins this book"

    The narration has really got to a stage here where the more you listen to Planers interpretations the more you realise that its just not right.

    However the worse thing about this book is the editing. At one part of the book Planer breaks character and rereads a section as he was not happy with it. This was not picked up on in editing and as a result you get Planer telling the reader he will read that section again.

    If like me you love dicworld chances are that you will download this anyway, but please be prepared for a book you will probably think is the worst read in the series, which is a real shame when you consider just how good a book it actually is.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mary
    Coventry, United Kingdom
    9/17/11
    Overall
    "Superb fun"

    I absolutely LOVED this book, so much so, I took my time with it as i didn't want it to end. Nigel Planer's narration was, as per usual superb. I love his characters voices and find the timbre of his reading voice to be very familiar and comforting. Tony Robinson is good narrating Pratchett books too, but I find Stephen Briggs too harsh. Feet of Clay has 'The Watch' trying to solve a murder mystery that rivals Agatha Christie! With Golums, vampires, werewolves, trolls, dwarves and of course the odd human to boot! A great bed time story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paddington
    Oxford, UK
    11/24/10
    Overall
    "Oof."

    No, no - not quite right. There's a fine line between giving characters, well, character - and hamming it up more than Miss Piggy at the panto. Stephen Briggs gets this right, and I commend those Pratchett novels he has narrated to your attention: distinct enough to be interesting, normal enough not to be annoying. This doesn't.

    Whilst the sample of this one was promising, in the end Mr Planer fairly pole-vaults that fine line after about half an hour of listening. Cloying, oily, self-satisfied: inadvertent, no doubt, but that is the sense of the narrator that comes across. I suspect it is because of how good an actor he actually is; but great imitation and variety is not really (when you think about it) what a listener seeks in a narrator. The world's greatest mimic would be a tiresome tale teller. Distinctions between characters in literary art are mostly a matter of rhythm and vocabulary, not accent. I felt the pace and character of Pratchett being wrestled rather artlessly away into a showcase for Planer's ability to gurgle, hiss and ooze about the place.

    I could have done without the Ulster Sergeant Colon, too.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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