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The Truth by Terry Pratchett

The Truth (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Terry Pratchett, Josh Kirby (Cover artist)

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6,25856644 (4.13)196
Title:The Truth
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Other authors:Josh Kirby (Cover artist)
Info:Corgi Books (2001), Edition: paperback / softback, Paperback, 443 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:Ankh-Morpork, British humour, Discworld Series, humour, journalism, newspapers, parody/satire

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The Truth by Terry Pratchett (2000)



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English (53)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
April 3 2004
Jan 1 2012

Having read it twice, I feel like I should remember it better.


December 16, 2014

The Industrial Revolution series-within-a-series are all devoted to bringing the Discworld out of medieval European fantasy and into the modern world. This is the development of the printing press and newspapers. It is a romp on the theme of great newspaper romantic comedies, with the clever aristocratic publisher solving a mystery, dealing with politics, and getting the girl despite a certain romantic obliviousness. Lots of jokes about people wanting things published in the paper (pictures of amusing vegetables), jokes about feeding the press, and rather more serious issues dealt with lightly: integration, new technology, old boys.

Satisfying but somehow hard to distinguish in memory from the movies it riffs on.

Personal copy. ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 17, 2016 |
Just finished rereading this one. Still one of my favorites. Highly recommended.
Update (December 2013) And I just reread it again. Yep, still a favorite. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (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)

» Add other authors (35 possible)

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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Author's Note

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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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