The Truth – Terry Pratchett

Posted on 6 February 2010. Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , |

How did the first newspaper come about? Was it something that people actually decided to do or was it accidental? The Truth gives a possible starting point and is very entertaining at the same time.

William de Worde was writing a letter to some people outside of Ankh Morpork for the princely sum of $5 per letter. He was previously getting an engraver to make a woodblock and then the printer would print a few copies so he could fill in the names of the recipients and send them off. He was making a nice little living on this until he was hit by part of a new printing press. As part of compensation the dwarves printed off a number of copies of his letter and an idea was born. In next to no time he was employing people as journalists and sellers, but I won’t spoil it by telling you who the sellers were. One thing led to another and he was in deep trouble with the opposition. Some people wanted Lord Vetinari taken care of without actually assassinating him and William de Worde was covering the story as any good journalist does. He uncovered the truth.

Anyway, this is my second book in the Terry Pratchett Reading Challenge 2010. It’s been on the shelf for some time and I just assumed I’d already read it and was delighted to find myself totally wrong. I don’t often read a new Pratchett book. I really enjoyed it, it was good to get some insight into de Worde, we’ve seen him very briefly in other books and it’s always good to have him fleshed out, so to speak. Pratchett writes his characters in 3D and it’s certainly interesting to see each character from someone else’s viewpoint. Commander Vimes is a a good case here as he’s one of my favourite characters, he’s so well drawn and is constantly fighting his foibles. Lord Vetinari was also shown in good light here, some of the characters look on him as being a despot who doesn’t do the right thing for Ankh Morpork but in this book he is shown to be doing some things which help keep the city on an even keel.


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