Summary and book reviews of Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

Thief of Time

A Discworld Novel

by Terry Pratchett

Thief of Time
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2001, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2002, 384 pages

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Book Summary

A superb send-up of science and philosophy, religion and death and a host of other timely topics, Thief of Time provides the perfect opportunity to kick back and unwind.

It was only a matter of time before Terry Pratchett would win the minds and hearts of America. Already a worldwide sensation and Great Britain's indisputable number one author, this intellectually audacious and effortlessly hilarious writer sold more hardcover books in the United Kingdom during the previous decade than any other living novelist. His novels have reigned supreme on English bestseller lists since before the Iron Lady left Downing Street, and though some things have changed since then, Pratchett, thankfully, continues to pen insightfully irreverent tales set in a world a lot like our own -- only different.

Celebrated as one of the keenest practitioners of satire and parody at work today -- alongside Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen -- Terry Pratchett commands a loyal and ever-increasing number of readers and appreciative critics from coast to coast in our own country. As he skewers all aspects of modern life -- and especially our sacred cows -- Pratchett makes us laugh and challenges us to think. And he's at his sharpest, most uproarious best in Thief of Time.

Everybody wants more time, which is why on Discworld its management is entrusted to the experts: the venerable Monks of History, who store it and pump it from where it's wasted, like underwater (after all, how much time does a codfish really need?) to places like cities, where harried citizens are forever lamenting, "Oh where does the time go?"

And while everyone always talks about slowing down, one clever soul is about to stop. Stop time, that is. For good. Going against everything known (and the nine tenths of everything that remains unknown), a young horologist has been commissioned to build the world's first truly accurate clock. It falls to History Monk Lu-Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd to find the timepiece and stop it before it starts. For if the Perfect Clock starts ticking, Time -- as we know it -- will stop. And then the trouble will really begin.

A superb send-up of science and philosophy, religion and death (after all, isn't that where time stops, for most of us, anyway?), and a host of other timely topics, Thief of Time provides the perfect opportunity to kick back and unwind. So don't put off till tomorrow what you could do today. Read Thief of Time. Right this minute. Because tomorrow may not come. (You'll have to read the book to find out why. This is a Terry Pratchett novel, after all.)

Tick ...

Chapter One

According to the First Scroll of Wen the Eternally Surprised, Wen stepped out of the cave where he had received enlightenment and into the dawning light of the first day of the rest of his life. He stared at the rising sun for some time, because he had never seen it before.

He prodded with a sandal the dozing form of Clodpool the Apprentice, and said: "I have seen. Now I understand."

Then he stopped and looked at the thing next to Clodpool.

"What is that amazing thing?" he said.

"Er . . . er . . . it's a tree, master," said Clodpool, still not quite awake. "Remember? It was there yesterday."

"There was no yesterday."

"Er . . . er . . . I think there was, master," said Clodpool, struggling to his feet. "Remember? We came up here, and I cooked a meal, and had the rind off your sklang because you didn't want it."

"I remember yesterday," said Wen, thoughtfully. "But the memory is in my head now. Was yesterday real? Or is it only the memory that is...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Here we go again! In the newest appealing installment of the Discworld series, Pratchett (The Truth) takes on religion, time and...kung-fu movies?.... The story includes a quick nod to James Bond flicks with Qu, the monk who supplies gadgets to Lu-Tze and Lobsang, and at the end of Time the four (no, make that five) horsemen of the Apocalypse get to ride out for a jaunt. You don't need to catch all the in-jokes to enjoy the fun.

Library Journal

Pratchett's latest Discworld novel features the author's hilariously acerbic commentaries on time, history, and the end of the world along with the return of favorite characters from previous series installments. Consistently clever and engagingly topical, this rollicking tale belongs in most libraries.

Kirkus Reviews

Philosophical humor of the highest order.

Reader Reviews

Leila

Awesome :)
Awesome. Nothing else to add :)

Frances Cradone

I love this book!!!!
This book is a great comedy that I find now to be my favorite. I found myself laughing every minute or so, and it is hard to make me laugh. I highly recommend this book to everyone!!!!

Alex

This book is slow and does not seem to have a good subject that it is written on. The book could have been a bit faster, the only highlight is the middle part where someone is murdered

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