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The Truth by Terry Pratchett

The Truth (original 2000; edition 2000)

by Terry Pratchett

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6,24054649 (4.13)196
Title:The Truth
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Doubleday (2000), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:fantasy, discworld, humour, first edition, prometheus shortlisted

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The Truth by Terry Pratchett (2000)



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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Dwarfs can turn lead into gold. That's not just rumor, it's news! Ethical journalist William de Worde likes to investigate stories. And what better way to get the word out than to create the Ankh-Morpork Times, Discworld's first paper of record. When de Worde gets an inside scoop on a hot story concerning the city's favorite patrician, Lord Ventinari, the facts say he's guilty. Yet facts don't always tell the whole story. There's always the truth... and it's not like there's a law against writing words down.

The Truth is the 25th Discworld novel and the second in the Industrial Revolution theme. Movable type has come to Anhk-Morpork and with it investigative journalism and the invention of the Disc's first newspaper. Along the way the staff at the paper end up "helping" the Watch solve a mystery.

We are introduced to some fun new characters. William de Worde is the ethical journalist who insists that what's printed in the paper must be true. Sacharissa Cripslock is his main reporter who has a knack for thinking in headlines. Otto, a reformed vampire, is the paper's photographer. Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip are The New Firm, a non-standard criminal group newly arrived in Ank-Morpork. Gunilla Goodmountain, the inventor and main operator of the printing press, can set type at the speed of dictation. Many of the regular Ankh-Morpork characters also make appearances as supporting cast or cameos, including most of the Watch, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, the Bursar of UU and Gaspode.

The Truth does not have as many jokes and puns as other Discworld novels. Instead it presents the reader with humorous situations and focuses on the characters who don't realize just how strange their view of the world really is. And there are funny shaped vegetables. It is just brilliant. ( )
  Narilka | Dec 31, 2015 |
One of the better Discworlds. It can be read without a knowledge of the rest of the series. ( )
  Lukerik | Nov 26, 2015 |
I have a favorable bias toward the story of someone stumbling into the business of printed news. This story isn't exactly analogous to my own. I decided to start a magazine when the concept of magazines already existed. William de Worde managed to invent the newspaper without even trying. Terry Pratchett does a wonderful job of showing the form evolve in fast-motion.

He also gives ample stage time here to two of my favorite Discworld characters: Lord Vetinari and Commander Vimes. And of course, as always, he manages to make every page humorous without making light of serious issues (which he grapples with on, well, pretty much every page).

This was also terrific read-aloud fare thanks to the character of Mr. Tulip, who swears a lot. Sort of. Specifically, he says, "--ing" all the time. Pratchett makes it clear that he isn't doing the old-fashioned removal of profanity with a dash left behind to show where the bad word was; his character's dialogue is self-cleaning, which leaves a lot of the other characters mystified. It's a lot of fun to read Tulip's dialogue aloud with a solid working-class British accent and lean on that dash before pronouncing the "ing" part. Seriously. Try it. It sounds fantastic.

In fact, I might just use this as a replacement habit to give up swearing, since my son's been begging me to. Kind of a nicotine patch for potty-mouths.

Anyway. Pratchett is such a skilled writer that you can jump into the Discworld books anywhere and enjoy them just fine, but I think this one is even better than usual in that regard. If you haven't read him before, this novel is a great place to start. If you have read him and haven't read The Truth yet, what on earth are you --ing waiting for? ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
The Truth is book twenty-fifth in the Discworld series and a stand alone. Although characters from other novels appear, it largely focuses on new characters.

William de Worde sends out a monthly newsletter to foreign royalty, but when a group of dwarfs brings a printing press to Ankh-Morpork, William becomes editor in chief of Ankh-Morpork’s first newspaper, the Ankh-Morpork Times. With a plot underway to take down Vetinari, it is up to the Times to use some investigative journalism to find the truth.

Obviously, The Truth deals with the idea of truth and the value placed on it. Sometimes it seems that nobody cares about the truth, because a lie is more convenient or maybe just more interesting. But isn’t it important that the truth is out there?

“Someone has to care about the… the big truth.”

William is the son of Lord de Worde but has fallen out with his father and now lives on his own, making money off his words. However, William’s background still has a huge effect on his character. He can try to change himself, but he can’t completely erase his background. This works to make William both a flawed but interesting protagonist.

I also love the supporting cast. The Truth features both Vimes and Vetinari, who are both wonderful. Then there’s a couple new characters introduced who are employees of the Times – Sacharissa and Otto. I particularly love Otto, a vampire photographer who crumbles into dust whenever he uses the flash.

“We’ve always been privileged, you see. Privilege just means ‘private law.’ That’s exactly what it means. He just doesn’t believe the ordinary laws apply to him. He really believes they can’t touch him, and that if they do he can just shout until they go away.”

The group of “concerned citizens” out to remove Vetinari are doing so largely out of a sense that the city is no longer “our sort of people” and a desire to get back to the “good old days.” Another large part of The Truth is dealing with this sort of prejudice.

“William wondered why he always disliked people who said “no offense meant.” Maybe it was because they found it easier to say “no offense meant” than actually to refrain from giving offense.”

From a plot wise perspective, it’s easy to figure out who’s behind the attempt to remove Vetinari. The fun comes in seeing how the staff of the Times reacts to the challenges thrown there way.

The Truth is a delightful entry into the Discworld series, if not one of my favorite. I would recommend it to anyone looking to try the series, particularly if you have more than a passing interest in journalism.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Jul 2, 2015 |
The Truth is the last of the Terry Pratchett books I'm reading for my Beach Blanket Bonanza challenge, although I do now have a copy of Feet of Clay on my TBR pile. I have to say that my summer reading has renewed my interest in Pratchett's Discworld books.

The Truth like the other two books I've recently read, takes place in Ankh-Moorpork. The Watch are present but only on the sidelines. They are trying to hold the city together while the Patrician stands accused of murdering a member of his staff.

The main focus of the story though, is on a local wordsmith, William de Worde who is Ankh-Moorpork's local bard turned newspaper reporter. He and some industrious Dwarves and an overly enthusiastic vampire photographer have found a way of turning lead into gold: the hard way. They have invented the printing press and they are going head-to-head with Commander Vimes to get to the truth behind the Patrician's alleged crime.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the newspaper and the trouble they had gaining legitimacy. I found the mystery part of the book took too long to get off the ground compared to the fast-pacing of Men at Arms. ( )
  pussreboots | Jan 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Much as I enjoyed The Truth, honesty nonetheless compels me to admit that the novel didn't seem quite as zippy or fresh as most of the Discworld books (though still offering more entertainment per page than anything this side of Wodehouse). But Pratchett doesn't just spew out jokes and puns (photographs as "prints of darkness"): He implicitly defends a liberal humanism, one that loathes bigotry, jingoism, easy answers and any kind of zealotry.
added by Shortride | editThe Washington Post, Michael Dirda (pay site) (Nov 19, 2000)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidd, ChipCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, RobinAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Sometimes a fantasy author has to point out the strangeness of reality. The way Ankh-Morpork dealt with its flood problems (see p.232 and onwards) is curiously similar to that adopted by the city of Seattle, Washington, towards the end of the nineteenth century. Really. Go and see. Try the clam chowder while you're there.
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The rumor spread through the city like wildfire (which had quite often spread through Ankh-Morpork since its citizens had learned the words "fire insurance").
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Book description
William de Worde is the accidental editor of the Discworld’s first newspaper. Now he must cope with the traditional perils of a journalist’s life — people who want him dead, a recovering vampire with a suicidal fascination for flash photography, some more people who want him dead in a different way and, worst of all, the man who keeps begging him to publish pictures of his humorously shaped potatoes.

William just wants to get at THE TRUTH. Unfortunately, everyone else wants to get at William. And it’s only the third edition…
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380818191, Mass Market Paperback)

The Truth, Pratchett's 25th Discworld novel, skewers the newspaper business. When printing comes to Ankh-Morpork, it "drag(s) the city kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat." Well, actually, out of the Century of the Fruitbat. As the Bursar remarks, if the era's almost over, it's high time they embraced its challenges.

William de Worde, well-meaning younger son of reactionary nobility, has been providing a monthly newsletter to the elite using engraving. Then he is struck (and seriously bruised) by the power of the press. The dwarves responsible convince William to expand his letter and the Ankh-Morpork Times is born. Soon William has a staff, including Sacharissa Cripslock, a genteel young lady with a knack for headline writing, and photographer Otto Chriek. Otto's vampirism causes difficulties: flash pictures cause him to crumble to dust and need reconstitution, and he must battle his desire for blood, particularly Sacharissa's. When Lord Vetinari is accused of attempted murder, the City Watch investigates the peculiar circumstances, but William wants to know what really happened. The odds for his survival drop as his questions multiply.

The Truth is satirical, British, and full of sly jokes. Although this cake doesn't rise quite as high as it did in previous volumes, even ordinary Pratchett is pretty darn good, and those who haven't read a Discworld novel before can start here and go on to that incredible backlist. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:58 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

William de Worde, a struggling scribe in the city of Ankh-Morpork, comes up with the idea of publishing an upper-crust newsletter with a newfangled printing press, but his success attracts the attention nefarious factions who take steps to put him out of business.… (more)

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