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Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

Thief of Time (edition 2002)

by Terry Pratchett

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7,27973487 (4.09)191
Title:Thief of Time
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:HarperTorch (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
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Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett


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Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
Oh I dunno. I didn't feel the heart or the insight in this one. To me it felt more like it was making fun of itself and of the Discworld series, which is itself already satire, so... ok.... Anyway, to be honest, I'm just trying to get caught up to the very first one I read, [b:Going Postal|64222|Going Postal (Discworld, #33)|Terry Pratchett|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1170621674s/64222.jpg|1636617], which absolutely wowed me. I want to see what I think of that now after reading them in order. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Terry Pratchett does time. What would happen if the Auditors decided to tidy things up by stopping time? It would be the end of the world as we know it and therefore Death talks to Susan Sto-Helit about doing something about it, while the auditors recruit a brilliant but disturbed clockmaker and simultaneously a young monk, Lobsang Ludd, finds that the only one willing to train him is the eccentric Lu Tze, who are Monks of History who can use time, but when time is running out they need to rescue the world.

I loved it, talks a lot about embracing what time you have and using it in a light-hearted way and made me think a lot outside of the story and I have a weakness for any story that features Susan. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Feb 29, 2016 |
Pratchett keeps up his excellent style, clever plots underwoven with unlikely sub-plots, lght humour mixed with apposite digs at life and human nature. Death's granddaughter Susan is involved, and we meet the Discworld 'auditors' more than in previous books. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Thief of Time is the twenty-sixth novel in the Discworld series and can likely be read as a stand alone, although it is the fifth featuring Death as a major character and the third with Susan.

The auditors of reality have devised a new plot to destroy humanity – they’ve commissioned Jeremy Clockson, a gifted and obsessive clock maker, to craft the ultimate clock, one that will be wholly accurate. Once this clock starts, time itself will stop.

Death senses that something is wrong and alerts Susan, now an elementary school teacher. Meanwhile, among the Monks of History, young Lobsang, who has an unprecedented ability to slice time, is apprenticed to the legendary Lu-Tze. Together, they must save time and make sure tomorrow happens.

“Wen considered the nature of time and understood that the universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. Therefore, he understood, there is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, he said, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.”

Thief of Time was partly about how we think of time. We speak of saving it and losing it, and the Monks of History can bend it. Of course, Thief of Time was also about what it means to be human. Susan, the granddaughter of Death, builds her life around being logical and normal, and she struggles with the knowledge that she’s not fully human.

“Susan was sensible. It was, she knew, a major character flaw.”

Thief of Time contained my old favorites, Susan and Death, but I also enjoyed the other characters who got their time in the limelight. Lu-Tze appears again after his minor role in Small Gods, becoming a protagonist after fifteen books have passed. He was both hilarious and wise, and his banter with Lobsang was excellent. Lobsang himself never develops the strength of character of Lu-Tze or Susan, but he was likable if somewhat forgettable.

Thief of Time is structured as multiple plot strands which come together fantastically at the end. Unlike some of the earlier novels, these strands all relate well and feel like the same book. Pacing also is excellent, and the book never sags.

“When in doubt, choose to live.”

I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone looking for a good book, particularly if they’d like something funny but still meaningful.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Jul 2, 2015 |
I began reading this quite randomly, the day before Terry Pratchett died, and I'm glad I did. He said, "Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?", and I was happy to be one amongst many who vowed to continue speaking his name.

I should begin by warning you that I cannot speak about Discworld with any equanimity or reserve, because I love these books with a passion that is almost unqualified. I discovered them when I was not young enough to forget them, nor old enough to dismiss them either. Because of irregular reading patterns, and a reluctance to ever complete the canon, I have books left out, here and there, and this was one of them.

Most beloved amongst Pratchett's universe, Discworld, to me, atleast, is the character Tiffany Aching, who will wear midnight when she is old, but has had enough of darkness for now. Close behind is Sam Vimes, and then, Susan Sto Lit, who is, as this book says, "helpfulness personified".Susan Sto Lit is the (adoptive) granddaughter of Death (or rather, the personification of Death). She's human, but not entirely so: able to ride her grandfather's horse Binky, converse with other figurative entities (like the Hogfather and the Tooth fairies), slip through time, and use, in a smaller way, Death's COMMANDING VOICE.

In this book, Susan's dayjob, involving teaching in a school, is interrupted when her grandfather Death seeks her help on an urgent matter. Someone is attempting to trap Time, and the world is about to end. As one of the horsemen of the Apocalypse, he has places to be (the aforementioned Binky is his horse, as such). It's up to Susan to find what is happening, and, if possible, stop it, because there's something about this that is not in the natural event of things. A gifted, but not altogether normal, clockmaker called Jeremy has been inveigled into the plan, and is building a clock that can measure the tick of time.

Meanwhile, in a timeless valley, the History Monks, who store, rearrange and slice time to keep things moving in a nice and linear fashion, are having trouble with a young prodigal novice called Lopsang. Lopsang gets assigned to the equally troublesome and legendary monk, now Sweeper, Lu-Tze. When the flow of Time is disturbed, Lu-Tze and Lopsang dash off to Ankh-Morpork to try and stop whoever is messing about. But neither Lu-Tze nor Lopsang are entirely what they seem, either.

What I loved about Thief of Time (apart from Susan Sto Lit, and Death, whom I adore, and are recurring characters in Pratchett's Discworld universe) was that it contained, so beautifully, elements of utter satire and humour in balance with a measured study on exactly what it is that makes us human. There are Susan and Lopsang, who are human, but not entirely, and that makes them human enough to feel lonely, but different enough to be unable to find their equals. There's Death and the other Horsemen, who are personifications, and therefore not human, but into whom, over time, human qualities leak. And then there are The Auditors, who keep the universe running, who can unweave rainbows and measure molecules, but are perplexed by the essentials of human desire. And amidst these questions of what makes us what we are, and what makes our perceptions of time change and alter, Pratchett is able, and willing, to create gloriously funny send-ups of all manner of things, from Buddhist texts to karate films and the master-student dynamic. This book hits every note perfectly.

Everytime I've read a Discworld novel, I've felt, "This one is my favourite," because Pratchett doesn't just amuse, he opens doors and questions, he makes you ask and wonder, and grow. I feel the same way about this one.

And, as a bonus, if you've read the book, and particularly, the end, I have this easter egg for you. I read a particularly apt poem by Jude Goodwin called "Every Time" that reminded me so much of the denouement. She says,

"Do you have stars
in your mouth?
she asks
and I laugh,
she’s never tasted
winter like I have,
midnights that linger
for days. Yes,
I tell her. Come see."
1 vote reva8 | Mar 16, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pratchett, Terryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cazenove, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Cuir, GabrielleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidd, ChipCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parri, DyfrigTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rudnicki, StefanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
According to the First Scroll of Wen the Eternally Surprised, Wen stepped out of the cave where he had received enlightenment and into the dawning light of the first day of the rest of his life.
Sometimes thinking is like talking to another person, but that person is also you.
Nine-tenths of the universe, in fact, is the paperwork.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett. It is not the same work as Tony Hillerman's book of the same name.
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Book description
Time is a resource. Everyone knows it has to be managed.

And on the Discworld that is the job of the Monks of History, who store it and pump it from the places where it's wasted (like the underwater - how much time does a codfish need?) to places like cities, where there's never enough time.

But the construction of the world's first truly accurate clock starts a race against, well, time for Lu Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd. Because it will stop time. And that will only be the start of everyone's problems.

THIEF OF TIME comes complete with a full supporting cast of heroes, villains, yetis, martial artists and Ronnie, the fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse (who left before they became famous).
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061031321, Mass Market Paperback)

If you were helpless with laughter over Shanghai Noon, enjoy satirical British humor and terrible puns, or just need your Pratchett fix, grab this book. Unfamiliar with Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series? It's time to discover one of the funniest, most literate, and most thought-provoking authors writing today.

The Monks of History live in a Tibetan sort of area known as "enlightenment country." Their job: "to see that tomorrow happens at all." A mysterious Lady wants time-obsessed Jeremy Clockson to build a totally accurate glass clock. It will trap time and stop it, eliminating humanity's irritating unpredictability. This would make the Auditors, who observe the universe and enforce the rules governing it, very happy. It would also put Death out of a job, which the Grim Reaper isn't happy about. Fortunately, the History Monks have encountered this situation before; in fact, Lu Tze, the Sweeper, has personally dealt with it before. Even better, he has a new, gifted apprentice, Lobsang Ludd, the "thief of time." This time, they'll stop trouble before it can start! To add chaos to the mix, there's the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse--the one who quit before they became famous.

Although there are 25 other Discworld novels and many of the characters appeared first in previous books, you don't need to have read even one to enjoy The Thief of Time. (If you're the sort of reader who hates to miss any references, you might want to track down a copy of The Discworld Companion.) As a bonus, this book is a painless introduction to what quantum physics says about the nature of time. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:47 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In Discworld, time is a resource managed by the highly capable Monks of History. Everybody wants more time, which is why on Discworld only the experts can manage it. While everyone always talks about slowing down, one young horologist is about to do the unthinkable. He's going to stop. Well, stop time that is, by building the world's first truly accurate clock. Which means esteemed History Monk Lu-Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd have to put on some speed to stop the timepiece before it starts. For if the perfect clock starts ticking, time, as we know it, will end. And then the trouble will really begin.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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