On occasion, I like to go out and get myself a fun fictional book to read. Studying philosophy means that reading a light hearted work of fiction is a breath of fresh air compared to reading the dense original works of philosophers or even articles that comment on their original work.
Anyway, as usual, I stood in some bookshop with a dumb look about my face. I had no idea what to get, I didn’t know what I felt like reading and everything just seemed so bleh.
…And then I spotted Terry Pratchett’s book, Thud!
A smile crept over my face, a smile of pure glee. Here and there in my childhood, I have picked up Terry Pratchett’s books and not a single one of them has managed to disappoint me. The best part of his Discworld series is that they don’t need to be read in any order whatsoever. You can read any single one and it would make complete sense…Actually, I take that back because if you read a Discworld book of his the first thing you find out is that the world the stories are based on is supported by giant elephants…and the elephants are standing on a huge turtle…and the turtle is hurtling through space…
Not to mention there are vampires (some who abstain from human blood), werewolves (some who pay people to release chickens so they can chase them), witches, dwarfs and trolls and all kinds of things.
Ah yes, dwarfs and trolls! This is what this book is essentially about. It is about their historical hate for each other, and the mystery murder of a dwarf “leader” or “Grag”. The dwarfs serving under this leader immediately point their fingers at the trolls. Now this is mostly set in Ankh-Morpork, a metropolitan and cosmopolitan city in Discworld (and by Discworld’s standards too), and because the murder happened there, tensions rise really high between the two…ethnicities? No, two races, that’s the one. Mystical races, even.
And the commander of the Police force (or City Watch as they are called) called Samuel Vimes is left to take care of all of it. It is up to him to solve the mystery before a violent Troll-Dwarf war occurs. As he races with his team to find the truth, maintain peace and order, as well as raising his child, it all culminates in a historical discovery that will shock both troll and dwarf…and probably humans too…and everyone else caught in the middle of it really.
Now it all sounds serious and political, and in a sense there are serious messages within it, but Pratchett’s charm never fails to shine through with all of his humour. He actually makes me chuckle aloud, and people do look at me like I’m weird, but I admit that it is rare for an author of a book, just through the power of words, to make force me to make an audible noise of happiness at reading their work.
And once you read this book, then you will want to read every other Discworld book out there.