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Thud! (2005)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld: City Watch (7), Discworld (34)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,901131603 (4.15)234
A seemingly routine day in the life of City Watch commander Sam Vimes is abruptly interrupted by an unsolved murder, an impending war, an unwanted new recruit, and a pesky government inspector. By the author of Going Postal. It's a game of Trolls and Dwarfs where the player must take both sides to win. It's the noise a troll club makes when crushing in a dwarf skull, or when a dwarfish axe cleaves a trollish cranium. It's the unsettling sound of history about to repeat itself. THUD! It's the most extraordinary, outrageous, provocative, insightful, and keenly cutting flight of fancy yet from Discworld's incomparable supreme creator, Terry Pratchett. Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch admits he may not be the sharpest knife in the cutlery drawer. He might not even be a spoon. But he's dogged and honest and he'll be damned if he lets anyone disturb his city's always tentative peace, and that includes a rabble-rousing dwarf from the sticks (or deep beneath them) who's been stirring up big trouble on the eve of the anniversary of one of Discworld's most infamous historical events. Centuries earlier, in a gods-forsaken hellhole called Koom Valley, a horde of trolls met a division of dwarfs in bloody combat. Though nobody's quite sure why they fought or who actually won, hundreds of years on each species still bears the cultural scars, and one views the other with simmering animosity and distrust. Lately, an influential dwarf, Grag Hamcrusher, has been fomenting unrest among Ankh-Morpork's more diminutive citizens with incendiary speeches. And it doesn't help matters when the pint-size provocateur is discovered beaten to death, with a troll club lying conveniently nearby. Vimes knows the well-being of his smoldering city depends on his ability to solve the Hamcrusher homicide without delay. (Vimes's secondmost-pressing responsibility, in fact, next to being home every evening at six sharp to read Where's My Cow? to Young Sam.) Whatever it takes to unstick this very sticky situation, Vimes will do it, even tolerating having a vampire in the Watch. But there's more than one corpse waiting for him in the eerie, summoning darkness of the vast, labyrinthine mine network the dwarfs have been excavating in secret beneath Ankh-Morpork's streets. A deadly puzzle is pulling Sam Vimes deep into the muck and mire of superstition, hatred, and fear, and perhaps all the way to Koom Valley itself.… (more)
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» See also 234 mentions

English (128)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (132)
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
Fine, I really think I've had enough of the City Watch stories at this point. ( )
  AldusManutius | Jul 5, 2020 |
Jeeze, every time I read a Discworld novel, it's always like coming back to a very funny home full of angry dwarves and pissed trolls doing their best to get drunk and start a war over some ancient grudge that no one alive actually understands.

In other words, like Thanksgiving Dinner.

Or something like that.

Indeed, it's actually a police procedural with the glorious Vimes as he tries to stop another civil war on the streets of Ankh-Morpork the best way he can... by cutting through all the red tape and bull-heading his way through every single problem.

Or going berserk while yelling a kid's bedtime story, thoroughly destroying the morale of his enemies.

It's the little things.

I love these books. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Thud! is a solid City Watch novel, not up to the lofty heights of Jingo or Night Watch, but a solid adventure with some interesting things to say in the line of, say, Men at Arms. There's ethnic tensions brewing between trolls and dwarves, both in and out of the city, and Vimes has to (as usual) simultaneously investigate a murder and stop mass political violence as well. There's a lot of fun stuff here: the auditor who becomes a Watch member himself, another Nobbs and Colon investigation, the high-speed trip to Koom Valley, Vimes's devotion to his daily ritual with his son. But some of the threads don't feel effectively drawn through, and I got a bit confused at all the stuff with the Summoning Dark, a demonic sigil accidentally absorbed by Vimes.
  Stevil2001 | May 29, 2020 |
Perhaps even 4.5*

The City Watch subseries has been one of my favorites since I read "Guards, Guards" and this late (last?) book didn't let me down. I loved the way Vimes interacted with his Gooseberry (the DiscWorld version of a Blackberry) & his way of coping with the government inspector. ( )
  leslie.98 | Nov 21, 2019 |
Commander Vimes vs. Trolls vs. Dwarfs and their ancient feud. Also vs. an ancient evil that is stalking around Ankh-Morpork. Spoiler: Vimes wins, because, well, Vimes.
Vimes and his city watch have really grown on me, to the point that I just love them all tons, and their stories are always a hoot. Vimes is gruff and irritable and angry and sharp and also a big old softy, and who wouldn't love that?! Highly recommended. ( )
  electrascaife | Sep 13, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKowen, ScottCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Him who mountain crush him no
Him who sun him stop him no
Him who hammer him break him no
Him who fire him fear him no
Him who raise him head above him heart
Him diamond

- Translation of troll pictograms found carved on a basalt slab in the deepest level of the Ankh-Morpork treacle mines, in pig-treacle measures estimated at 500,000 years old.
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The first thing Tak did, he wrote himself.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Koom Valley? That was where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls. It was far away. It was a long time ago.

But if he doesn’t solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office.

With his beloved Watch crumbling around him and war-drums sounding, he must unravel every clue, outwit every assassin and brave any darkness to find the solution. And darkness is following him.

Oh . . . and at six o’clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, he must go home to read ‘Where’s My Cow?’, with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy.

There are some things you have to do.
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