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5.0 out of 5 starsPerhaps the best audiobook of a Terry Pratchett Discworld book. Stephen Briggs is the perfect interpreter.
Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2018
Like many Terry Pratchett fans, I have already read every Discworld book, many several times. With the hole that has been left by the passing of Sir Terry we will all keep desperately looking for a way to get MORE. Stephen Briggs' performance of many of the Discworld books is definitely one of those places to look to fill the Pratchett gap. I have purchased several of the audiobooks and I have to say, this one is probably the best. In fact, when I finished listening to it, I just went back to the beginning. Listening to Audiobooks of novels that you have already read in a world that you have thoroughly imagined is such a double edged sword: what you interpreted in your mind may be really challenged by the performer. I have to say, Stephen Briggs interpretations are now ingrained in me. With the subtlest shift of voice he gives complete distinction to each character and after a very short while, these voices have become the way I hear the characters. You can read all of the reviews of "Thud" itself for story and such, I just wanted to note for those searching for a way to get a bit more Terry Pratchett now that the tap is turned off, that this is a great way to experience it as if it were new.
I always find it hard to decide whether these ratings are correct. Is there some violence? Yes--some street fighting, a murder, some dead bodies found. Not too much description. Threats of violence that are scarier to this reader than the actual violence (Sam Vimes fears for his wife's and his baby's lives). Is there sexual content? Yes. Some lesbian innuendo that might go right over most readers' heads; references to pole dancing; a character described with every euphemism possible that relates to a woman with--er--great...tracts of land, shall we say. So it's probably not appropriate for reading to young kids (age 5-9) unless you want to answer some embarrassing questions. What I love about this book in particular is the analysis of the political situation in Ankh Morpork. So like what we were going through the first time I read it, back in the early 2000s. It is as appropriate now as it was then. And I absolutely love the part where Sam is running through the cave, aware that he's missing his 6pm reading time with young Sam, shouting out the words to the book he's memorized. Overall, I think this is one of the best Disc World books. But to each their own.
5.0 out of 5 starsDarkly humourous but Tawnee is divine
Reviewed in the United States on December 23, 2016
Thud is the 34th discworld novel written by Terry Pratchett. This book returns to Ankh Morpork and the to the cast of characters in the A.M. City Watch. Pratchett has been trying to move the technology of the discworld on. We've had the clacks, the Times, the postal service and in this book a whole bunch of engineering, some riots, some assassins and some murders. There's also a million year-old demonic life force to contend with. Stuck in all of this is 'Mister Vimes'. Vimes has clearly become one of Pratchett's favourite characters. And why not, there's a lot you can do with Sam Vimes. This is a darker novel compared to most of the discworld oeuvre. It's not quite as serious as Nightwatch but it explores darker themes and the sense of humour is less ebullient. Nevertheless this is one of the best discworld novels due to its complexity and interweaving of various comic and tragi-comic themes. Let's just say that Tawnee is a classic Pratchett creation and a romantic Nobby Nobbs is truly frightening. Go on read "Thud!". You know it mages twisted sense.
I'm not kidding, I keep returning to the late Sir Terry Pratchett and have rarely been disappointed! And I admit to having kind of a crush on now-Duke Samuel Vimes of Ankh-Morpok. He is just disrespectful enough to keep himself and others honest, and he is honest enough to know that he recognizes criminals because he has some of their own tendencies resonating in his own slightly tarnished soul. The great question of who started it, the Dwarves or the Trolls is finally settled here, and, as is so often the case, the truth shall make ye fret, to steal from another Pratchett book that I also loved, "The Truth," and fret not, Pratchett-lovers, it is all brought to a conclusion as only Sir Terry can. I'm going to miss his writing terribly, and this book is one of the many reasons why. Detritus gets a surrogate son, Vimes' own son is introduced in a very touching way that shows that Vimes' heart is battered yet healing because of the work and more importantly, because of his good wife, and Vimes gets an ally -- actually, several allies -- that one can only hope will be seen again. The original name of the game of chess' final move, "checkmate," was "shaykh ma'at" or, in English, "the governor is dead," He isn't yet, but it is a very near thing, and Pratchett brings it to a wonderful close.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2017
Another tale starring Pratechett's alter-ego Sam Vimes, somewhat less on the funny side and more on the deep-thinking side, or as deep as you can get with a pedigree in humourous fiction. Worth including on your read-list because the story is echoed in many later books in the series, which may not make sense unless you have been briefed about events in Koom Valley. This is Pratchett showing us he can do more than spin a few corny jokes.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 6, 2018
What can I say, Terry Pratchett was a hilarious genius who is greatly missed. I love his Discworld novels and particularly those based in Ankh-morpork and involving Commander Vimes and the Watch. In Thud! Commandeer Vimes has to deal with a vampire recruit to the Watch, Deep Down Dwarfs undermining his city and street battles between Dwarfs and Trolls who have never forgotten the ancient Battle of Koom Valley. All while getting home each night by 6 pm to read "Where's My Cow?" with all the right farmyard noises to young Sam. I originally bought and read this brilliant book in paperback and recently bought it on Kindle and read and loved it again. You can always rely on Terry Pratchett to make you chuckle. Plus it is always amazing how much of our present times are reflected in his writing. Enjoy!
5.0 out of 5 starsWise, Funny, and very, very well written.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 9, 2015
Sir Terry's books are a delight and an education. His early work was insightful and funny. Since then it has improved. I can only suggest you go and get some of his books and start reading. His later books look deeper into some of the darker elements of humanity while still being far more amusing than a simple gag-book. His characters develop and grow, becoming more and more human. I just wish politicians, priests, teachers and soldiers had his books as part of their training, along, on consideration, with everybody else. Having read they would probably all change their career ground rules. Thud gives us a very good story, a good handful of magic,and a good look at racial and religious intolerance. In short a few lessons in how to watch our feet, our unconscious and our beliefs.
5.0 out of 5 starsPratchett's best realised character - Sam Vimes
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 11, 2009
Every Pratchett fan has their favourite series e.g. maybe love the Witches but tire easily of Rincewind (as I do).
Without question my all time top 5 novels feature the Watch. I think Sam Vimes must be one of the most interesting characters created. At times he comes across as a sort of Discworld version of Gene Hunt! Upright, honest (mostly - I do love his sparring with Vetinari). Men (I suspect) identify with him and want to be like him whereas women (I know) are possibly rather envious of Lady Sybil! There is something reassuring about Sam Vimes being a copper in your town.
To reveal anything about the plot is totally spoilerific - I mean why would you read 'Where's my cow?' and skip straight to the end - you'd miss all the best noises. However I must make a special mention of the 'NEAR VIMES EXPERIENCE' - I woke up half the train stifling snorts of laughter. Got to love the big guy with the scythe.
At heart, and the reason for the success of the series and characters, the novels are quite simply cracking crime stories, with characters you care about. Yes there is a veneer of the fantastic due to the setting and Discworld mythology but they stand up in comparison to the best of 'normal' crime fiction. Feet of Clay remains my personal favourite but Night Watch and Thud are close behind. Best to read them in order so you understand the full backstories of Vimes and his full supporting 'cast' but read them you should... Highly recommended.