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Feet of Clay (1996)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld: City Watch (3), Discworld (19)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,100122740 (4.14)210
It's murder in Discworld! -- which ordinarily is no big deal. But what bothers Watch Commander Sir Sam Vimes is that the unusual deaths of three elderly Ankh-Morporkians do not bear the clean, efficient marks of the Assassins' Guild. An apparent lack of any motive is also quite troubling. All Vimes has are some tracks of white clay and more of those bothersome "clue" things that only serve to muck up an investigation. The anger of a fearful populace is already being dangerously channeled toward the city's small community of golems -- the mindless, absurdly industrious creatures of baked clay who can occasionally be found toiling in the city's factories. And certain highly placed personages are using the unrest as an excuse to resurrect a monarchy -- which would be bad enough even if the "king" they were grooming wasn't as empty-headed as your typical animated pottery.… (more)
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» See also 210 mentions

English (114)  Spanish (3)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Dutch (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (122)
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
Excellent book! Best of the Guards series so far. ( )
  Autipho | Jun 3, 2024 |
Who is poisoning Vetinari and how? Are there ~gasp~ female dwarves in the Watch? Who is the Earl of Ankh? Are golems things or people? This novel has some funny moments of course but I enjoy the characters finding their identities the most. ( )
  elorin | Mar 21, 2024 |
Another solid Discworld novel. Humorous, but also able to explore issues of gender & prejudice in the world. I thought that the development of Cheery, a new character, was especially enjoyable. ( )
  brp6kk | Feb 5, 2024 |
Something is afoot in the great city of Ankh-Morpork. Two murders seemingly unrelated. Golems who appear to be misbehaving. And to top it all up, the Patrician has been poisoned (although he still lives).

Fear not, for the City Watch and its commander Sam Vimes are on the case.

In the third installment of Terry Pratchett’s City Watch storyline, and the nineteenth novel overall in his Discworld universe, Pratchett introduces yet more ethnic groups into the City Watch and provides us with the most unlikely of replacements for Ankh-Morpork’s Patrician.

One of the continuing plotlines for Ankh-Mopork is the absurdity of its ruler, Havelock Vetinari. A former member of the Guild of Assassin’s, holds the city in what can only really be called a vicelike grip. That being said, he finds himself the target of many attempts on his life and position, although is never really at any harm from them. He runs the cities underworld like he runs the business world, saying that the only sort of crime he likes is organized crime; organised by him!

Naturally, Commander Vimes, once again promoted as a result of the previous books ending (Men at Arms which in my opinion, is a superior novel),. He's on hand to help Vetinari out, although it’s obvious halfway through that Vimes’ involvement is purely academic. Carrot (the true heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork) and his girlfriend and fellow officer, Angua join Vimes in trying to solve the crime.

As noted: This story isn’t as good as Men at Arms was. And I'm told nothing compares to Night Watch. But I did enjoy that it introduced us to the Golems (who will show up in one of my favorites, Going Postal) as well as the watch's new forensics expert dwarf Cheery Littlebottom (she was pretty funny).

Interesting side note: The title is a figure of speech from Hebrew scripture and the script used in the book to represent Morporkian being written by a golem resembles the Hebrew alphabet, a reference to golems' origins in Jewish folklore.

In Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being that is magically created entirely from inanimate matter (usually clay or mud). The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material in Psalms and medieval writing.

As usual, Pratchett serves up an entertaining story full of sly puns, witty historical/mythological references, and philosophical musings all in the guise of fantasy. Having just read Men at Arms, this novel and its plot just wasn't as fascinating to me, as the plot of the previous book. Still, any Pratchett is worth your time. ( )
  ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
Feet of Clay is another in the sub-series of books about the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. It involves golems, and murder, and an assassination plot, and the Watch's new forensic alchemist, and the rightful king, and the problems of being a vegetarian werewolf. It manages to be both a fine fantasy and a unique police procedural, with some cogent things to say about the human urge for kings. And it is almost continuously hilarious. It is difficult to say anything else about this book without sounding like a jacket blurb. Let us simply note that Pratchett performs to his usual standard.
added by Shortride | editThe Washington Post, Janice M. Eisen (pay site) (Sep 29, 1996)
 

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pratchett, Terryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blomqvist, MatsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brandhorst, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenCoats of armssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ittekot, VenugopalanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, RonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, RobinPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLaren, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pieretti AntonellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planer, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabanosh, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was a warm spring night when a fist knocked at the door so hard that the hinges bent.
Quotations
Just because someone's a member of an ethnic minority doesn't mean they're not a nasty small-minded little jerk.
You never ever volunteered. Not even if a sergant stood there and said, "We need someone to drink alcohol, bottles of, and make love, passionate, to women, for the use of." There was always a snag. If a choir of angels asked for volunteers for Paradise to step forward, Nobby knew enough to take one smart pace to the rear.
It wasn't by eliminating the impossible that you got at the truth, however improbable; it was by the much harder process of eliminating the possibilities.
When you've made up your mind to shout out who you are to the world, it's a relief to know you can do it in a whisper.
'Atheism Is Also A Religious Position,' Dorfl rumbled.

'No, it's not!' said Constable Visit. 'Atheism is a denial of a god.'

'Therefore It Is A Religious Position,' said Dorfl. 'Indeed, A True Atheist Thinks Of The Gods Constantly, Albeit In Terms Of Denial. Therefore, Atheism Is A Form of Belief. If The Atheist Truly Did Not Believe, He Or She Would Not Bother To Deny.' (p. 241 of the Book Club Edition)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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It's murder in Discworld! -- which ordinarily is no big deal. But what bothers Watch Commander Sir Sam Vimes is that the unusual deaths of three elderly Ankh-Morporkians do not bear the clean, efficient marks of the Assassins' Guild. An apparent lack of any motive is also quite troubling. All Vimes has are some tracks of white clay and more of those bothersome "clue" things that only serve to muck up an investigation. The anger of a fearful populace is already being dangerously channeled toward the city's small community of golems -- the mindless, absurdly industrious creatures of baked clay who can occasionally be found toiling in the city's factories. And certain highly placed personages are using the unrest as an excuse to resurrect a monarchy -- which would be bad enough even if the "king" they were grooming wasn't as empty-headed as your typical animated pottery.

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Book description
There's a werewolf with pre-lunar tension in Ankh-Morpork. And a dwarf with attitude and a golem who’s begun to think for itself.

But for Commander Vimes, Head of Ankh-Morpork City Watch, that’s only the start…

There’s treason in the air.
A crime has happened.

He’s not only got to find out whodunit, but howdunit too. He’s not even sure what they dun. But as soon as he knows what the questions are, he’s going to want some answers.
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