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The Truth: Stage Adaptation

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There's been a murder. Allegedly. William de Worde is the Discworld's first investigative journalist. He didn't mean to be - it was just an accident. But, as William fills his pages with reports of local club meetings and pictures of humorously shaped vegetables, dark forces high up in Ankh-Morpork's society are plotting to overthrow the city's ruler, Lord Vetinari.

336 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 2000

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About the author

Stephen Briggs

100 books78 followers
Stephen Briggs is a British writer of subsidiary works and merchandise surrounding Terry Pratchett's comic fantasy Discworld. He is also a narrator of many Discworld audiobooks
who graduated from Curtin University with a double major in Theatre Arts and Creative Writing before attending WAPPA and studying Broadcasting. Midway through his time there he decided he didn't want to be a journo and moved to Sydney to join RMK Voice Productions. Stephen has voiced countless campaigns and appeared in numerous professional plays. He has written and directed six short films, one of which, Whatever it Takes, satirises the Voice Over business.

Please note that there is a separate Stephen^^Briggs whose area of expertise is psychotherapy.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 952 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,850 followers
March 21, 2021
Special edition, the satire of newspapers and news flashes is closer to the truth than real life media and information networks´blurred self perception.

So guess what happens when the first free press, immediately followed by the invention of printing, starts writing about what really happens in Ank Morpork. Soon, the information landscape changes forever and Vetinari, other interest groups, competitors, and an intrigue in the background culminate in an epic battle for the hottest headline before deadline.

I deem this novel as one of the best media satires ever written, because it describes the painful state of affairs from each perspective. The dumb consumers of the media, people wanting to be mentioned, the influence of the industry, incompetence of politicians, triviality and redundancy of daily news and meaningless daily politics, and the underlying questions who chooses the tone, contents, and subliminal messages of the news and why people are so keen in investing years of their lives in wasting it with worthless, trivial, dumbing down garbage making one a so called well informed citizen. Ask George Carlin.

The unconscious self satirizing potential is best shown by the pressure to find something to tell, the first reporters not sure about what´s worth telling, still asking questions such as what´s really important and serious or how they can be sure if it´s true, how sweet. But soon the childhood diseases are over and trivia and irrelevances are produced in mass just as in real life, where the only change is technological, while the humanities are stagnating and degenerating with the always same wars, hate, greed, injustice, and destruction with a system cemented as fake democracy.

Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip reminded me of two characters, pairs too if I remember it right, from one of Gaiman´s novels and one of Tad William´s series, Otherland, who had the same potential to greatly entertain. Such a marvelous duo of lunatic evil guys, no matter in which novel, evil is just too sexy.

Maybe, if you haven´t already chosen wisely and stopped consuming worthless news, this novel may give you the inspiration to think about why you should be willingly consuming any kind of left, right, economic, faith, etc. propaganda, when real hard facts, science, and the best worlds of all, fiction, can give joy and happiness.

I´ve already posted this in my review of Woodward´s book Rage, but I deem it worth mentioning, because it´s the hilarious real madness regarding the news:
Social evolution has stagnated and lead to a dead, ridiculous democratic system, completely controlled by lobbyism, not to be taken seriously anymore, leading to a situation where comedy shows and websites such as
The daily show with Trevor Noah
The onion
The late show with Stephen Colbert
bring more depth, insight, and truth than all information and education in schools, newspapers, news networks, and, lol, the representatives and their official channels themselves.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:

This one is added to all Pratchettian reviews:
The idea of the dissected motifs rocks, highlighting the main real world inspirational elements of fiction and satire is something usually done with so called higher literature, but a much more interesting field in readable literature, as it offers the joy of reading, subtle criticism, and feeling smart all together.
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 64 books233k followers
February 9, 2012

I think I've only read this Pratchett novel once before, and on the re-read, I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

Don't get me wrong. The worst Terry Pratchett novel is still wonderfully enjoyable. And while I don't think this one is *the* best, it's *among* the best. Definitely on his A list.

As a bonus, I think this book would be more accessible to new readers, as most of the main characters are new, and the older characters are mostly there for support.

As I re-read all the Discworld novels, one of the things that I appreciate more and more is their optimism. After reading one of his books I get the feeling that the world is a good place. There may be good people and bad people, but if you're one of the good folks, things will work out okay if you do your best and catch a little good luck.

I need to feel that way sometimes.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews47 followers
March 31, 2021
The Truth (Discworld #25), Terry Pratchett

The Truth is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, the twenty-fifth book in his Discworld series, published in 2000.

The book features the coming of movable type to Ankh-Morpork, and the founding of the Discworld's first newspaper by William de Worde, as he invents investigative journalism with the help of his reporter Sacharissa Cripslock. The two investigate the charges of embezzlement and attempted murder against Havelock Vetinari, and help vindicate him.

William de Worde is the black sheep of an influential Ankh-Morpork family, scraping out a humble lifestyle as a common scribe and making extra pocket money by producing a gossipy newsletter for foreign notables.

This arrangement is soon undermined by the arrival of a team of dwarves to Ankh-Morpork who intend to start a printing business; however, de Worde and the dwarves establish The Ankh-Morpork Times later employing Sacharissa Cripslock and Otto, a black-ribbon vampire and iconographer.

However, Guild of Engravers is antagonised by the unauthorised efforts of the Times; in response, the Guild cuts off their paper supplies and establish the rival newspaper The Ankh-Morpork Inquirer, a loss-making tabloid filled with popular fabricated stories.

Meanwhile, a conspiracy is afoot in the city to depose the Patrician, Lord Vetinari. The wealthy and powerful (but anonymous) Committee to Unelect the Patrician hire Mr. Pin and Mr.

Tulip, a pair of villainous mercenaries from outside Ankh-Morpork known as the New Firm, to frame Vetinari with a staged embezzlement.

Pin and Tulip manage to catch off-guard the normally impassible Patrician with Charlie, a witless Vetinari look-alike that they had previously kidnapped and forced to collaborate.

The plan starts going south, though, when Drumknott, Vetinari's clerk returns in the middle of the scene and the New Firm is forced to stab him and render Vetinari unconscious, hoping to also frame him for murder; their efforts are hampered by Lord Vetinari's prized terrier, Wuffles, who bites Mr. Pin and escapes, becoming the sole witness to the crime.

William makes the mistake of advertising a reward for information leading to Wuffles' recovery, causing a frenzy among the local Ankh Morpork population.

Realising that the job is much harder than their employers had initially suggested, the New Firm decides to skip town.

Although the job is unfinished they extort from their employers' zombie lawyer and representative Mr. Slant their promised payment and a big "bonus" in jewels, using compromising previous voice recordings captured with a dis-organiser Mk II. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز چهارم ماه آگوست سال 2020میلادی

عنوان: دیسک ورلد (جهان صفحه) کتاب بیست و پنجم: حقیقت؛ نویسنده تری پرچت؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیایی - سده 20م

دیسک ورلد (جهان صفجه)، یک سری از کتابهای فانتزی هستند، که روانشاد «تری پرچت»، نویسنده ی «انگلیسی»، نگاشته ‌اند؛ داستان‌های این سری در جهانی با نام «دیسک‌ ورلد (جهان صفحه)» می‌گذرند؛ که صفحه‌ ای تخت است، و بر شانه‌ های «چهار فیل»، با هیکلهای بزرگ، قرار دارد؛ این فیل‌ها نیز، به نوبه ی خود، بر روی پشت یک «لاک‌پشت غول‌آسا»، با نام «آتوئین بزرگ» قرار دارند؛ در این سری از کتابها، بارها از سوژه های کتاب‌های نویسندگانی همچون «جی.آر.آر تالکین»، «رابرت هاوارد»، «اچ پی لاوکرافت»، و «ویلیام شکسپیر»، به گونه ای خنده دار، استفاده شده ‌است؛

از سری «دیسک ‌ورلد» بیشتر از هشتاد میلیون نسخه، در سی و هفت زبان، به فروش رفته‌ است؛ این سری در برگیرنده ی بیش از چهل رمان (تاکنون چهل و یک رمان)، یازده داستان کوتاه، چهار کتاب علمی، و چندین کتاب مرجع، و مکمل است؛ از این سری، چندین رمان تصویری، بازی کامپیوتری، نمایش تئاتر، سریالهای تلویزیونی اقتباس شده ‌است؛ روزنامه ی «ساندی تایمز» چاپ «انگلستان» از این سری به عنوان یکی از پرفروش‌ترین سری کتاب‌ها نام برده، و «تری پرچت» را، به عنوان پرفروش‌ترین نویسنده ی «انگلستان»، در دهه ی نود میلادی دانسته است؛

رمان‌های «دیسک‌ورلد» جوایز بسیاری از جمله جایزه «پرومتئوس»، و مدال ادبی «کارنگی» را، از آن خود کرده ‌اند؛ در نظرسنجی «بیگ رید»، که «بی‌بی‌سی» در سال 2003میلادی، در «انگلستان» انجام داد، چهار رمان سری «دیسک‌ورلد»؛ در فهرست یکصد کتاب برتر قرار گرفتند؛ همچنین مردمان «انگلیس»، در این نظرسنجی، چهارده رمان «دیسک‌ورلد» را، در شمار دویست کتاب برتر، دانستند؛ تا کنون، از این سری، چهل و یک رمان، به چاپ رسیده است؛ «تری پرچت» که پیش از درگذشتش؛ در ابتدای سال 2015میلادی، از بیماری «آلزایمر» رنج می‌بردند، اعلام کردند که خوشحال می‌شوند که دخترشان، «ریانا پرچت»، به جای ایشان، به ادامه ی این سری بپردازند؛ تا جلد بیست و ششم رمان این سری، رمان «دزد زمان (2001میلادی)» به دست «جاش کربی»، به تصویر کشیده شده ‌اند، اما نسخه ‌های «آمریکایی»، که انتشارات «هارپرکالینز» آن‌ها را، منتشر کرده، دارای تصاویر روی جلد متفاوتی هستند؛ پس از درگذشت «جاش کربی»، در سال 2001میلادی، نقاشی‌های روی جلد کتاب‌های بعدی این سری، بدست «پائول کربی» کشیده‌ شدند

کتابهای اول و دوم: «رنگ جادو»؛ کتاب سوم: «زنان جادوگر»؛ کتاب چهارم: «مرگ»؛ کتاب پنجم: «سورسری (برگردان فارسی جادوی مرجع)»؛ کتاب ششم: «خواهران ویرد»؛ کتاب هفتم: «هرم ها»؛ کتاب هشتم: «نگهبانان! نگهبانان»؛ کتاب نهم: «اریک»؛ کتاب دهم: «تصاویر متحرک»؛ کتاب یازدهم: «مرد دروگر»؛ کتاب دوازدهم: «جادوگران خارج»؛ کتاب سیزدهم: «ایزدان خرد (خدایان کوچک)»؛ کتاب چهاردهم: «لردها و بانوان»؛ کتاب پانزدهم: «مردان مسلح»؛ کتاب شانزدهم: «موسیقی روح»؛ کتاب هفدهم: «اوقات جالب»؛ کتاب هجدهم: «ماسکراد»؛ کتاب نوزدهم: «پاهای خشت (فیت آو کلی)»؛ کتاب بیستم: «هاگفادر»؛ کتاب بیست و یکم: «جینگو»؛ کتاب بیست و دوم: «آخرین قاره»؛ کتاب بیست و سوم: «کارپه جوگلوم»؛ کتاب بیست و چهارم: «فیل پنجم»؛ کتاب بیست و پنجم: «حقیقت»؛ کتاب بیست و ششم: «دزد زمان»؛ کتاب بیست و هفتم: «آخرین قهرمان»؛ کتاب بیست و هشتم: «ماوریس شگفت‌انگیز و موش‌های آموزش‌دیده‌اش»؛ کتاب بیست و نهم: «ساعت شب»؛ کتاب سی ام: «مردان آزاد وی»؛ کتاب سی و یکم: «هنگ بزرگ»؛ کتاب سی و دوم: «کلاهی پُر از آسمان»؛ کتاب سی و سوم: «گوینگ پوستال»؛ کتاب سی و چهارم: «تود!»؛ کتاب سی و پنجم: «وینتراسمیت»؛ کتاب سی و ششم: «بدست آوردن پول»؛ کتاب سی و هفتم: «دانشگاهی‌های نادیدنی»؛ کتاب سی و هشتم: «نیمه‌شب بایست بپوشم»؛ کتاب سی و نهم: «اسنوف»؛ کتاب چهلم: «بالا آمدن مه»؛ کتاب چهل و یکم: «تاج چوپان»؛

کتاب بیست و پنجم تاسیس روزنامه دیسک ورلد و ....؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 10/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
January 16, 2019
The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret.

So it says on the cover of the Ankh-Morpork Times. Printer’s error? Maybe. Maybe Terry Pratchett is up to his old tricks and this is a monster truck rally of Have-At-You!! intended to satirize journalism, government, free speech, and whatever else might get in the way.

In 1980 Sting, lead singer, songwriter and bass player for The Police sang this:

“Poets priests and politicians
Have words to thank for their positions
Words that scream for your submission
And no-one's jamming their transmission
'Cos when their eloquence escapes you
Their logic ties you up and rapes you

De do do do de da da da
Is all I want to say to you”

In 2000, Terry Pratchett first published his 25th Discworld novel – The Truth. It’s about words. It’s about a free press, the first of it’s kind in Ankh-Morpork, and about the social, cultural and economic forces that weigh upon us and all of our decisions. It’s also about relationships and family and internal elements of our nature that keep us moving forward.

Like most of Pratchett’s work, there are ubiquitous and entertaining references and allusions to pop culture, history, art and whatever else strikes the fancy of this extraordinary writer – my favorite here being numerous Watergate references.

Just as in Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, two criminals make an attempt to steal the show and damn near do. Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip are the Vincent and Jules of the Discworld: dangerous loose cannons with good lines.

Another excellent entry into the Discworld universe.

“Because nothing has to be true forever. Just for long enough, to tell you the truth.”

Profile Image for Jen - The Tolkien Gal.
458 reviews4,462 followers
October 20, 2022
3.5 stars

This was a fun book and a great introduction to William de Word, the creator of the newspaper of Ankh Morpork. He's a fun character and goes through excellent development.

Death makes a hilarious appearance and the Watch is scattered throughout. The Patrician also developed after approximately 26 books.

So, as always, I'd recommend this to fans of the Discworld series.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
Want to read
August 11, 2016
I was astonished just now to read the following passage from a recent Time article about Donald Trump:
Ask him about these struggles and the braggadocio fades to fatalism. “All I can do is tell the truth,” he says. “If that does it, that’s great. And if that doesn’t do it, that’s fine too.”
Mr. Trump, please call me as soon as possible. I have an idea. And I think you'll like it.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,100 followers
June 27, 2019

Ahhh, the start of the industrial revolution, as seen through the eyes of The News, Discworld style, and it's Ing fun. Ing right, I say! Ing stuff keeps bleeding through from our universe to Discworld and some might say the folk there JUST AREN'T READY for change and crap like this, but ING THAT.

Dibbler has his finger on the pulse of the time all right... even if it's bleeding cause he cut it. And Word? He's all right. The truth is, he's just getting caught up in the spirit of the Ing times.

Maybe not my favorite Industrial novel in Ing Discworld, but it serves its journalistic bleeding satirical Ing edge. :)

Profile Image for Ravenskya .
234 reviews37 followers
December 4, 2013
Reviewing Pratchett is always hard, I absolutely adore most of his books, and his literary cannon is huge. I have been reading all of the Discworld books in chronological order and have finally arrived at “The Truth,” the twenty-fifth book in the series. “The Truth” introduces the character of William de Worde, a young son of a noble who chooses not to follow in his father’s footsteps, rather attempting to make his own way in the world. Late one night the local rumor that Dwarves have found a way to turn lead into gold comes to light right in front of de Worde. Lead can be turned into gold if you use the lead to make a printing press, and manage to find an excellent writer like de Worde to start Ankh-Morpork’s first newspaper.

As with all of Pratchett’s books, we have the evolution of the newspaper over a matter of a week rather than the hundred or so years that it took in our world. Soon there is competition across the street with headlines like “Woman gives birth to snakes” and “Man abducted by Demons.” William de Worde however, is obsessed with truth, stories come flooding in, and soon he has hired Sacharissa as a story writer, and Otto the vampire as a photographer. I have to admit that the first time Otto takes a picture for the paper literally cause me to snort my drink out through my nose, and tears to come to my eyes from laughing so hard. I think that scene is one of the funniest moments I have ever read in a book. Sacharissa is the daughter of an engraver who becomes quite the excellent reporter, and ends up being key to the discovery of the truth at the end of the book. Otto, a vampire from Uberwald has joined the temperance group and given up the red stuff, not that he doesn’t have his moments, but he tries so hard to keep himself under control.

William’s struggle as the head of the newspaper suddenly is flung into high gear when the Patrician is accused of murder. At this point the book begins satirizing the Watergate scandal complete with the anonymous tipster who is never seen (though readers of other discworld books will figure out who the tipster is fairly quickly). The guards, specifically Vimes, figure heavily into this book as they go about trying to discern what actually occurred with the Patrician. This book has one of the stronger plots in a Discworld book, rather than the humor coming from the plot, the plot is rather serious and the characters involved are the source of the humor. I personally find this to be a much better book than some of his earlier works because it feels as though it has more control over itself and doesn’t sacrifice for a joke except in some minor areas involving the bad guys.

Speaking of the bad guys, we have Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip… the bad guys from the Looney Toons, you know the ones… the big dumb guy and the little wise a__. They have been hired by a group of “concerned citizens” to set up the Patrician… these concerned citizens are of course, from the upper crust of society with a very defined idea of who should actually be in charge (preferably someone very dumb who will do what they tell him). I personally did not enjoy the bits with Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip (who has a cursing problem and an obsession with trying to get high, even though it’s never stated outright). I found them to be rather tedious though I know others would find them to be the most humorous part of the book. For those of you who either read these with your children or let your little ones read discworld books (we listen to many of them on audio CD while on road trips, our children think they are hysterical). I don’t know that I would hand this to a child under 12… possibly under 14. The main reason being that Mr. Tulip snorts anything he can get his hands on, though most of the time he’s completely unsuccessful, having snorted mothballs, flour, flea powder etc, I’m not sure that I’d want my kids hearing that (my kids are 7 and 10).

As a whole this book is brilliantly funny and the satire is genius. This will be funnier to people who are familiar with the press, particularly writing for papers and those with a pretty good idea of how Watergate played out. Although I considered making this a four star book because of my dislike for Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip… the fact that the scene with Otto made my drink exit my nose bumped it back up to a five star book. I highly recommend it to Discworld fans and those who are considering becoming Discworld fans.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,231 reviews115 followers
September 8, 2008
A lot of your enjoyment of Terry Pratchett's DiscWorld series comes down to your awareness of the object of Pratchett's satire. In the case of "The Truth," it's the world of newspapers and journalism in general. Having a background in this, I found a lot of Pratchett's zingers and satire to be dead-on accurate in their humor and observation.

What I didn't find quite as spot-on was some of the twists and turns of the novel. For one thing, the identity of who is behind the elaborate conspiracy is so easily deduced that it ruins some of the driving force of the last half of the novel. Of course, the problem is that the readers know the identity (or can deduce it easily if you're paying attention), while the characters don't because they don't have as much information as we do. It's a case of the reader being a bit too omniscient for his or her own good and ruining the final revelation a bit.

Another issue is the speed at which things occur. William DeWorde goes from hand-carving a monthly newsletter for five at-home benefactors to running a newspaper complete with moveable type press within a week. Pratchett works too hard to pile on absurdity after absurdity as the newspaper takes off in ways that William can't expect and doesn't prepare for. Pratchett works too hard to make a few funny observances by compresing the timeline and making the story feel a bit rushed at points.

Which a lot of this can be forgiven with Pratchett being his typical self and finding unique ways to put words together to be both thought-provoking and funny. Once again, Pratchett has this way of finding just the exact right turn of phrase and combination of words to make what he's doing appear completely effortless. But if you step back and look at it, you realize exactly what he's doing and how he's doing it. And that alone makes "The Truth" worth appreciating.
Profile Image for Knjigoholičarka.
153 reviews8 followers
January 11, 2013
Prvobitno sam dala knjizi 3 zvezdice, jer jednostavno nije na humorističkom nivou starijih Pračetovih knjiga. Pogrešila sam, jer Pračet, kao i svaki pisac, ima pravo da evoluira; u ovom slučaju krećemo se od specifičnog teripračetovskog humora ka satiri. Ka kritikama modernog društva, sa osvrtima na politička, sociološka i ina događanja.

Nakon što sam malko porazmislila, shvatila sam da mi se zapravo najviše dopalo to što je u ovoj knjizi Pračet uporedio žutu štampu sa JMPDŽ Diblerovim kobasicama - znate kakvo je smeće unutra, ali se uvek vraćate po još. Jer je lepo upakovano. Jer vrišti očiglednošću. Nezamarajućom glupošću.

Što je najlepše od svega, setila sam se Brehtove izjave o politici... da se ona tiče svih nas. Da nemamo pravo da kažemo "politika me ne zanima"... jer politika, to je cena hleba, cena mesa u prodavnici, to je nešto od čega zavise životi običnih, malih ljudi, koji kažu "politika me ne zanima"... koji kažu "za sve su to dođoši krivi"... koji kažu "politika je dosadna, ima li nečeg smešnog u novinama?"...

Naravno, volela bih da živim u politički dosadnoj državi. Da ne moram da brinem hoću li sutra imati za 'leba, da znam da postoji pravni mehanizam koji štiti obične, male ljude, čak i one koje politika ne zanima. Da znam da i nad popom ima pop, da znam da niko nije nedodirljiv. I da u njoj postoji barem jedan pravi Vajms i barem jedan pravi De Vord.
Profile Image for Nathan.
399 reviews126 followers
December 16, 2014
Complete Discworld Reread

“An’ then…then I’m gonna get medieval on his arse.”

There were more pressing problems but this one intrigued Mr. Pin.

“How, exactly?” he said.

“I thought maybe a maypole,” said Mr. Tulip reflectively. “An’ then a display of country dancing, land tillage under the three-field system, several plagues, and if my –ing hand ain’t too tired the invention of the –ing horse collar”

You can always tell when my favorite author is on his ‘A’ Game and when he is off. When the plot for a book is a bit weaker than the norm the easy jokes start coming through. The obvious ones, more likely to come from the fun guy at a party or a start up standup comic. I think of all the bad jokes that permeated through Soul Music and Moving Pictures and I cringe. So it is with great pleasure that I will point out that nowhere in The Truth did a character shout out some paraphrasing of ‘you can’t handle the truth.’

Finally breaking from his ongoing sub-series for the first time in quite a while The Truth is the first to feel like a success to me since Small Gods. While the last book in the series set the stage for the world to start changing The Truth finally picks and aspect of Anhk-Morpork’s society to change in the major way. And true to life what better way is there to shake everything up than by have the people learn what is going on around them; or at least the free presses’ version of events?

One of Pratchett’s funnier openings starts it off, people speculating that the Dwarves have found a way to turn lead to gold. Just another example of Pratchett getting more out of a page and a half than any one should be able to. Quickly we meet the protagonist of the novel when he runs right into this gold making machine (or more accurately, it runs into him); a movable type press a dwarven couple has brought into town against the wizard’s long standing order against it. But money moves all, and as long as the Patrician sees no issue then it is time to proceed with this new venture.

William de Worde has long told important people what is happening in the city and made enough to survive on by doing so (plus all the figs he can eat). Making copies was a time consuming process though, this new movable type makes it so easy. On a whim he tries selling these items to non-important people and quickly find the news waits for no one. Of course timing is everything and when the Patrician is suddenly accused of attempted murder de Worde finds himself working hand in hand with the watch to solve this case (without the watch wanting him around at all).

As a look at the impact of free press the book is hit or miss. This little venture becomes a full force in incredible time; a must read after two or three issues. de Worde and his cohorts, quickly joined by a reporter by nature named Sacharissa, fall into the game so fast there is no real transition of learning what power they have quickly found (most of their struggles are against the norm and involve supplies and competition rather than acceptance of this new idea). And of course de Worde is only interested in the truth, in no way influenced by money or political situations; a picture of what we hope free press could be rather than any reality we live in. The cash driven yellow journalism is presented as the outlier, the deviation, rather than any sort of norm.

But despite getting up and going so quickly the way they start interacting with the world around them is a highlight. A pen in the hand changes everything; the knowledge that things could be made public proves to be as effective as old threats. The City Watch finds itself in the position of being watched (whereas before when asked Who Watches the Watchman before Vimes was always able to ME). The public has to learn what role these papers actually play, and what role they play with the truth (sometimes in an over the top manner but this is a short book).

I would suspect that this book is most memorable for most folk because of the pair of villains, The New Firm, Pin and Tulip. They are not nice people at all. In some ways they are nothing new; the obvious comparison is Croup and Vandamer from Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Old James Bond fans would recognize their style in the villainous pair form Diamonds are Forever. Hell they remind me of a diabolical Abbott and Costello as much as anything. Pin is the thinker, Tulip is the muscle. They play to each other’s strengths and finish each other’s sentences. But Tulip makes them something special. Maybe it is a gimmick, giving the supposedly dumb muscle a reverence for things of beauty (another nod to Gaiman’s characters?). But listening to Tulip wax poetically about various works of art, even choosing to use a balled fist to knock someone out so as to save an antique, is a complete gem.

As an addition to this series The Truth is a welcome one, one of my favorites truth be told (feel the pun people). I am not sure it says what it wants to in the way it wants; it tackles little issues with an ease that its handling of journalism never grasps. But it is real damn funny, a kick to read, and basically a standalone outside of knowing a bit about the Watch in the background (something that was common early in the series but getting rarer by this point). Right now I am going to call it a top five Pratchett book, let’s see where I stand with that when I have reread them all.

4 Stars
Profile Image for Lel.
882 reviews19 followers
November 1, 2017
This is now up there with one of my favorite Discworld books. I loved the humor and the characters. I found it funny that the further along William got with the newspaper the more demanding and shouty he got.
If your familiar with Discworld this wont be anything new, its just another great Discworld book. If your not familiar with the Discworld, you really want to be.
Profile Image for Iryna Khomchuk.
454 reviews65 followers
September 13, 2016
Почну з аплодисментів стоячи перекладачеві цієї книги на українську Олександру Михельсону – такого колосального задоволення від мови, гри слів, імен, понять, навіть діалектів та акцентів я не відчувала з часів Гаррі Поттера. І дуже шкода, що для Михельсона переклад був просто випадковістю, бо займається він журналістикою (хоча вибір саме цієї книги Пратчетта якраз не випадковий). Так само дуже шкода, що це – єдина перекладена українською книга Пратчетта (принаймні, інших я не знайшла).

Отож, про книгу. Вона, здається, 25-та з серії про Дискосвіт, та хто ж їх рахує, бо читати Пратчетта варто за близькою вам тематикою або й усього підряд. А от тематично роман близький не тільки Михельсону (отут і простежується невипадковість), а й мені, бо він – про журналістику, зокрема про її зародження в суспільстві. І нехай воно – фентезійне й вигадане, нехай живуть там люди, гноми, зомбі, вампіри, перевертні й іще купа всіляких істот та неістот, і нехай це взагалі казка, та, що – брехня, проте натяків, алюзій, асоціацій, а то й прямосказань у ній ой як багато!

З усіляких кутів і точок зору розглядається у книзі поняття "правди". Бути правдивим і бути чесним – це одне й те ж чи ні? Правда для когось окремо взятого й правдя для суспільства загалом відрізняється чи ні? Сьогоднішня правда буде такою ж завтра чи також ні? А скільки розмірковувань виникає про інформацію загалом! Про те, чого одні інфоприводи цікаві, а інші – ні. І що перші зовсім не мають бути правдивими, об’єктивними і навіть реальними. Чи варто усім знати про все, а чи треба дозувати інформацію (і правду, звісно ж). Чи можна керувати суспільством посередництвом інформації і як... І ще багато того, що крутиться в голові не лише у професійних журналістів, бо ж усі ми так чи інакше дотичні до цієї сфери, як споживачі хоча б.

За розмірковуваннями про своє професійне ледь не забула згадати про Дискосвіт – прихильники фентезі його не можуть не оцінити. Тут різні рази не просто живуть, щоб битися чи миритися, а співіснують, інтегруються, асимілюються й роблять усе те, що й представники різних рас, національностей та віросповідань у реальному світі. Але ж казка – то така річ, яка дозволяє сказати табуйовану в суспільстві правду (що ж іще?). І ті, хто готовий, її почують.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,275 reviews228 followers
July 25, 2019
Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2019.

The printing press has come to Ankh-Morpork and William de Worde is there from the beginning. He's been making a living writing a newsletter for a small group of nobles, but when he stumbles across the dwarfs who have brought movable type (and the wrath of the Guild of Scribes) to the city, they all quickly realize that the newsletter can go to many more people and be produced much more often. Thus the Ankh-Morpork Times is born, complete with editors, a photographer, articles about clubs and funny-shaped vegetables and de Word himself as an investigative reporter. Which is handy, because Lord Vetinari has been accused of murder and the Watch's hands are tied.

I'm ambivalent on the Industrial Revolution series. I think they have their ups and downs. The ups are mostly associated with Moist von Lipwig and show the organic development of their particular innovation out of the actual Discworld and Moist's ingenuity. This one isn't quite that, with much of the Ankh-Morpork Times coming together magically like the newspaper industry in our world, and William's particular set of journalistic ethics just appearing out of nowhere. It's not quite Moving Pictures-level of magical insertion, and some of it does make sense, but it does so at a fast pace to get out of the way of the story and the thematic elements.

Still, if you ignore that, it does make a lot of good points about the role of a free press in a society, even when that society is a fun-house mirror of our own.
Profile Image for Miriam Cihodariu.
577 reviews124 followers
March 14, 2021
I think I liked this least out of all Discworld novels read so far, maybe because it introduces completely new characters (after just getting attached to the old ones), or maybe because it attempts to poke fun at the media/news system, from an outsider perspective of someone justifiably fed up or frustrated with the inconsistencies promoted by journalists.

While it's all understandable (and I think Mr. Pratchett was of course not as much of an outsider as the reader profile he attempts to cater to in this book), I think much has changed since the early 2000s when the book first came out. So in the meantime, the whole battle regarding the accuracy of media sites and 'fake news' has become a much more important and prevalent topic, carrying a lot of weight and being used as part of the lousiest political discourses. Considering this context, I think I can't be as easily amused by what now comes across as a pretty crass type of humor (though of course it was not originally written as such). It's just that considering the turn of events of the past decade or so, the topic of this novel didn't really age well.
Profile Image for Olosta.
166 reviews3 followers
February 8, 2021
Read this for the second time - first time was in the Czech translation years ago (an ingenious translation, in the unlikely case you understabd Czech go and read it).

Once again I was reminded of why I love Terry Pratchett so much.
Profile Image for Jannah A.
902 reviews52 followers
June 10, 2018

Just a good a read as before.. 5/5

Read in bursts throughout my first few days in Spain. Didn't disappoint after a Reread

Very very funny. Duh. Its hard to say anything different when it comes to my Terry Pratchett reviews. Great satire disguised by lots of fun, conspiracy and a good ol' romp.

"The truth shall make ye free fret"

Ankh-Morpork has finally got a newspaper. Despite the backlash about printing presses, due to the unpredictable nature of letters once printed, the dwarves have found an economic way to print and earn, while the citizens of Ankh-Morpork can finally read about the happenings of the city with side info about funny shaped vegetables and obscure hobby meetings.

Though the story centres around William de Worde, the accidental journalist, the cameos from the city watch are great. Otto the black band vampire with a passion for light, despite its deadly reprecussions for vampires, is a memorable character, but my favourite is Mr. Tulip, who is a raging bullhead killing machine with an obsession for any powder substances (except for actual drugs) to insert into his nose, mouth or even ears (this includes salt, flour and curry powder) and self censoring foul mouth.

And here be some quotes bc what else do I have to offer when it comes to reviewing on this here book ey. They probably won't make sense out of context. Eh.

“Ah," said Mr Pin. "Right. I remember. You are concerned citizens." He knew about concerned citizens. Wherever they were, they all spoke the same private language, where 'traditional values' meant 'hang someone'.”

“We haven’t noticed any cracks,” said William.

“Ah, but possibly on this very site a strange cult once engaged in eldritch rites, the very essence of which permeated the neighborhood, and which seeks only the rite, ahaha, circumstances to once again arise and walk around eating people?”

“What?” said Gunilla. He looked helplessly at William, who could only add:

“They made rocking horses here.”

“Really? I’ve always thought there was something slightly sinister about rocking horses,” said Lord Vetinari, but he looked subtly disappointed.

“And at all costs there must be no trouble with the Watch.”
“Yeah, we know about the Watch,” said Mr. Pin. “Mr. Slant told us.”
“Commander Vimes is running a very…efficient Watch.”
“No problem,” said Mr. Pin.
“And it employs a werewolf.”

White powder fountained into the air. Mr. Pin had to slap his colleague on the back.
“A —ing werewolf? Are you —ing crazy?”

“Uh…why does your partner keep saying ‘ing,’ Mr. Pin?” said a chair.

“You must be out of your —ing minds!” Tulip growled.

“Speech impediment,” said Pin.

“Are you poised for the exciting new millennium that lies before us, Drumknott? Are you ready to grasp the future with a willing hand?”

“I don’t know, my lord. Is special clothing required?”

“I did tell you that the Watch has a werewolf on the staff,” he said.

“Well? So what?” said Mr. Pin.

“A werewolf would have no difficulty in talking to a dog.”

“What? You’re telling us people will listen to a dog?” said Mr. Pin.

“Unfortunately, yes,” said Mr. Slant. “A dog has got personality. Personality counts for a lot. And the legal precedents are clear. In the history of this city, gentlemen, we have put on trial at various times seven pigs, a tribe of rats, four horses, one flea, and a swarm of bees. Last year a parrot was allowed as a prosecution witness in a serious murder case, and I had to arrange a witness protection scheme for it. I believe it is now pretending to be a very large budgerigar a long way away.”

(After William's newspaper help a reward for finding a dog which was a witness to murder)
“William groaned. It was Vimes. Worse, he was smiling, in a humourless predatory way.
"Ah, Mr de Worde," he said, stepping inside. "There are several thousand dogs stampeding through the city at the moment. This is an interesting fact, isn't it?"

He leaned against the wall and produced a cigar. "Well, I say dogs," he said, striking a match on Goodmountain's helmet. "Mostly dogs, perhaps I should say. Some cats. More cats now, in fact, 'cos, hah, there's nothing like a, yes, a tidal wave of dogs, fighting and biting and howling, to sort of, how can I put it, give a city a certain . . . busyness. Especially underfoot,
because - did I mention it? -they're very nervous dogs too. Oh, and did I mention cattle?" he went on, conversationally. "You know how it is, market day and so on, people are driving the cows and, my goodness, around the corner comes a wall of wailing dogs . . . Oh, and I forgot about the sheep. And the chickens, although I imagine there's not much left of the chickens now.”
Profile Image for Sid Nuncius.
1,128 reviews106 followers
September 26, 2019
A Terry Pratchett novel scarcely needs another review from me, but I have just re-read this for the third or fourth time and thought I'd add my voice to the chorus of praise for it.

For me, this is among Pratchett's best. He is brilliant here - funny (of course) but also wise, humane and very insightful into the workings of the press and how a free press influences and checks those in power. He does all this within an exciting, beautifully paced narrative with his usual array of very well painted characters both new and familiar. (I have been in love with Sergeant Angua for years and was pleased to see her make a brief but welcome appearance). He uses them to make delicate points about race relations, generosity and meanness of spirit, what "sorry" might really mean, the responsible use of power and so on. It is all presented in Pratchett's typical witty, readable style - like this exchange between The Patrician and Willam de Worde, who is producing a newspaper:
`So . . . we have what the people are interested in, and human interest stories, which is what humans are interested in, and the public interest, which no one is interested in.'
`Except the public, sir,' said William, trying to keep up.
`Which isn't the same as people and humans?'
`I think it's more complicated than that, sir.'
`Obviously. Do you mean that the public is a different thing from the people you just see walking about the place? The public thinks big, sensible, measured thoughts while people run around doing silly things?'
`I think so. I may have to work on that idea too, I admit.'

No need to go on, I suspect. In short, this is high-quality Pratchett, and it doesn't get much better that that. Very warmly recommended.
Profile Image for Miri Gifford .
1,567 reviews65 followers
June 15, 2018
My favorite thing about these books is not how funny they are (though they are fabulously funny) or how great the narration always is (though the narration is outstanding), but how pointedly they mock all our bullshit. In this book it's the media—

"It amazes me how the news you have so neatly fits the space available . . . No little gaps anywhere. And every day something happens that is important enough to be at the top of the first page, too. How strange."

—and consumers of it:

"So . . . we have what the people are interested in*, and human interest stories**, which is what humans are interested in, and the public interest***, which no one is interested in."

*man-eating goldfish, people's husbands being kidnapped by elves
**cute animals, penis-shaped vegetables
***a plot by the wealthiest people in the city to frame the governor for murder so they can replace him with someone who will stop "ruining the city" by letting in all the outsiders.

Profile Image for Tim Hicks.
1,537 reviews119 followers
August 20, 2014
I've reviewed this book before. On re-reading it, I think it's Sir Terry at his peak. Especially in the first quarter of the book, the jokes are sharp and subtle, the groaners are broad and unexpected, and the style is just effortless.

I'd forgotten how much this book tells us about Foul Ole Ron, one of my favourite characters.

And I hadn't noticed before what a good, carefully-developed character William is.

I wonder, too, if this is the first book in which it's clear that Vimes and Vetinari don't rule through power, but through subtle, chess-like moves that gently lead the other "players" to have no choice in their moves.

And finally, I enjoyed meeting the unusual and thoroughly nasty Mr. Pin and Mr. ___ing Tulip.

If you've only rad this book once, I recommend a re-read.
181 reviews29 followers
March 25, 2014
I believe this has been one of the most incisive Terry Pratchett books to date for me. Great social commentary, great echoes of our own world translated into Ankh Morpork and, now, more than ever, Terry Pratchett creating a loudspeaker for himself in the character of William de Worde.

I can't help but notice that most of Terry Pratchett's books from this period of his writing are quite excellent and it's been a while since I ran into a stinker. Not much to say that I haven't said in other reviews.

If you're a fan, I assume you've already read this.
If you're not, this isn't the point to start at, but it's a good point to get at.
Profile Image for Vishesh Unni.
97 reviews18 followers
April 26, 2016
One of the saddest things in life is that there are but a finite number of books by Terry Pratchett. He is a master.

"Because nothing has to be true forever. Just for long enough, to tell you the truth."
Profile Image for Nigel Temple.
Author 11 books2 followers
January 26, 2008
I admit it! I am a Terry Pratchett fan. I have bought all of his books. They make me laugh out loud and I find myself re-reading them. What more can I say? =)
Profile Image for Tim.
2,181 reviews212 followers
October 9, 2015
This newspaper yarn of truth is more yawn than accustomed with Sir Pratchett's other works. 4 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Olga Godim.
Author 12 books74 followers
September 15, 2018
I don't know who decided that Pratchett's Discworld novels are funny. They are not. They are miles-deep and insightful. They make you shiver in recognition of your own face in a not always flattering light. They prod your conscience. They test your common sense. Although many of his stories inspire some laughter, that laughter is usually tinged with mockery. Pratchett writes satire, and this novel is an excellent example of it.
The theme of this novel is the TRUTH. And journalism. And if there is any connection between the two.
The hero, William de Worde, is a rebellious scion of a rich aristocratic family. William's rebellion is quiet. He loves words, so instead of following in his father's arrogant and loud footsteps, he is trying to make a living as a humble writer. Until he stumbles upon a printing press, operated by dwarves. Until a secret cabal concocts a plot to depose Patrician Vetinari. Until William's conscience and his thirst for news make him turn to investigative journalism.
He starts a newspaper and tries to figure out what happened to Vetinari. He unravels the nefarious plot. He prints his stories without regard to his own safety. He is dedicated to the TRUTH. Unfortunately, many obstacles arise between William and the TRUTH. Most of those obstacles are created by his fellow men: business rivals and lawyers, the Watch and the ruthless criminals. Fortunately, William is as tenacious and arrogant in his quest for knowledge as the countless generations of aristocrats on his family tree had been in their pursuit of money and power. He is a true son of his family after all, just as arrogant and loud and relentless as his father. Only his goals and methods are different. And his TRUTH is different too.
He also learns that the TRUTH is not as easy to obtain as facts or statistical data. And it is not easy to define either. In fact, many different people have many different TRUTHS, and they are frequently ready to fight for it against all others. Some TRUTHS are huge. Others are small and seemingly insignificant. It takes a true journalist to arrive at the universal TRUTH through his writing. The way Pratchett did in his books.
As is often the case with Pratchett, the novel is stuffed with quotable materials. Below are a few quotes I couldn't resist.

Vetinari about change:
'We've always looked beyond the walls for the invaders,' he said. 'We always thought change came from outside, usually on the point of a sword. And then we look around and find that it comes from the inside of the head of someone you wouldn't notice in the street. In certain circumstances it may be convenient to remove the head, but there seem to be such a lot of them these days.'

William's contemplation about words and letters:
...if you took the leaden letters that had previously been used to set the words of a god, and then used them to set a cookery book, what did that do to the holy wisdom? For that matter, what would it do to the pie? As for printing a book of spells, and then using the same type for a book of navigation - well, the voyage might go anywhere.

While William strives to find the big TRUTH, his friend Sacharissa, a writer for his newspaper, sees the small truths of the small people:
'Listen, what's true to a lot of people is that they need the money for the rent by the end of the week. Look at Mr Ron and his friends. What's the truth mean to them? They live under a bridge.'

An excellent novel. And so TRUE.
Profile Image for Chip.
453 reviews52 followers
February 23, 2019
With this book, Sir Terry Pratchett turned his eyes on the field of journalism.

Characters: 4*
Plot: 3.8*
Universe: 3.8*

My favorite quotes:
“A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”

“Sometimes glass glitters more than diamonds because it has more to prove.”

“William: "I'm sure we can all pull together, sir."
Vetinari: "Oh, I do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.”

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

“When people say "clearly" something that means there's a huge crack in their argument and they know things aren't clear at all.”

“Nothing has to be true forever. Just for long enough.”

“For example, the dwarfs found out how to turn lead into gold by doing it the hard way. The difference between that and the easy way is that the hard way works.”

“Character assassination. What a wonderful idea. Ordinary assassination only works once, but this one works every day.”

“I have certainly noticed that groups of clever and intelligent people are capable of really stupid ideas.”

“...raised a trembling hand. 'Is this the bit where my whole life passes in front of my eyes?' he said.
'Which bit?'

“The mountains of madness have many little plateaux of sanity.”


“I'm sure it's all journalism [...] It means it's true enough for now.”

“In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds.”

“what was once considered impossible is now quite easily achieved. Kings and lords come and go and leave nothing but statues in a desert, while a couple of young men tinkering in a workshop change the way the world works.”
Profile Image for Tasha.
565 reviews6 followers
May 24, 2020
Reread 2020: So much of Pratchett's satire has hit home in this read. Pratchett was a journalist at the beginning of his writing career so it's fun to see him compare investigative journalism (broadsheets) vs people pleasers (tabloids) in this novel about the first Discworld printing press.

Here are some particularly relevant quotes I enjoyed:

"People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things…well, new things aren’t what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don’t want to know that a man bites a dog, because the world is not supposed to happen like that. In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds"

"lies could run round the world before the truth could get its boots on"

"Nothing has to be true forever. Just for long enough"

"I have certainly noticed that groups of clever and intelligent people are capable of really stupid ideas"

"Sometimes glass glitters more than diamonds because it has more to prove"

"He'd found hard truth less hard than an easy lie"

"We’ve always looked beyond the walls for the invaders,’ he said. ‘We always thought change came from outside, usually on the point of a sword. And then we look around and find that it comes from the inside of the head of someone you wouldn’t notice in the street. In certain circumstances it may be convenient to remove the head, but there seem to be such a lot of them these days"

"'But I’m not doing anything wrong,’ said William.
‘No, it may just be you’re not doing anything illegal,’ said Vimes"

"…everyone had been so dead set against any form of fire brigade, reasoning – with impeccable Ankh-Morpork logic – that any bunch of men who were paid to put out fires would naturally see to it that there was a plentiful supply of fires to put out"
Profile Image for Γιώργος Μπελαούρης.
Author 29 books135 followers
September 16, 2020
I really loved this one! So many Dickens vibes!
The beginning of the first news paper by letter boy William. William and Sacharissa had a nice relationship, Harry King had a beautiful back story, the stirrin of the city was fun and –as always- I just love Vimes and Vetinari. But! my favourite parts of the book waz those with Pin and Tulip (although their ending waz kinda predictable) and the back and forth between William and Vimes!
Profile Image for Ipek.
118 reviews4 followers
January 7, 2021
Yuzlerce guzel kelime okuduktan sonra kendi yavan kelimelerimle yorum yazmak cok sıkıcı. TP eşsiz bir, hatta on karakter daha vermis. Ne yazdiysam sildim, boyle bir kitabi ne kadar begendigimi anlatabilmek benim icin cok zor.
Düğün pastasi gibi, kat kat, suslu, gözalıcı ve unutulmaz bir kitap.
Profile Image for Jen.
14 reviews2 followers
August 10, 2020
Absolutely relevant right now but funny and distant enough to not add to the weight of the world right now. Great distraction despite it's relevancy. And a good laugh is always good
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