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The Truth – Terry Pratchett (2000) juli 11, 2010

Posted by magnusnohr in Uncategorized.
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Karakter: 5

lest: 8-11 juli

he 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.

The Ankh-Morpork City Watch characters also appear in this novel, but have limited roles and are seen mainly from de Worde’s perspective.C.M.O.T. Dibbler also puts in an appearance.

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.

When William falls in with a group of dwarves who have come to Ankh-Morpork to set up shop with their printing press, he inadvertently founds AM’s first newspaper. Realizing that with their press the dwarves can help him put out a newsletter every day, William begins scrambling to find enough interesting events to fill up the space. Arguing that it isn’t worth the effort just to make a few copies for William’s wealthy foreign subscribers, the dwarves print hundreds of copies of the “Ankh-Morpork Times” and hire a group of oddball beggars to pitch them on the street. William is shocked when the newsheets sell like hot cakes, bringing in more money than he wants or knows what to do with.

Before he knows it William has assembled a newsroom staff, including Sacharissa Cripslock, a prim young woman who attracts news items from talkative, flirtatious city guards, Otto, a vampire photographer from Uberwald who has sworn off drinking blood and often disintegrates in his own camera flash, and Rocky, a quasi-literate troll who deals with the more irate members of the public.

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 known as the New Firm, to frame Vetinari for attempted murder and embezzlement. The plan goes off without a hitch, except that Pin and Tulip allow a witness to escape from the scene; Lord Vetinari’s prized terrier, Wuffles.

William and the Times staff investigate the strange charges against the Patrician and set out to find the missing Wuffles, all while trying to cope with threats from the local Guilds, the sudden appearance of a competing paper (the scandalous and largely fiction-filled “Ankh-Morpork Inquirer”), pressure from the City Watch, and the chance that Otto may fall off the wagon at any moment.

William makes the mistake of advertising a reward for information leading to Wuffles’ recovery. Hundreds of Ankh-Morpork citizens mob the offices with dogs of every shape and variety (including many that are actually cats, birds, or cows) hoping to cash in. The New Firm arrive too, capturing every terrier in the crowd hoping that one of them will be Wuffles, and trying to intimidate the Times staff. Otto drives them off using his magical “Dark Light” photography method, which has the inadvertent effect of showing Mr. Pin the angry ghosts of his victims who follow him around and triggering a moral crisis for the normally remorseless thug.

An anonymous tipster named “Deep Bone” (actually a talking dog who operates as the brains of the beggar crew who sell the Times) helps William track down Wuffles, and when Sacharissa discovers the New Firm’s hideout in William’s own family manor he has enough evidence gathered to break the story wide open. Just as he is preparing to go to press, the New Firm return to take revenge. In the ensuing struggle a lamp explodes and the Times’ offices catch fire.

William and the others take refuge outside while Pin and Tulip hide in the cellar. Hot melted lead from the destroyed printing press leaks down on them through the roof, and Pin resorts to murdering his partner so that he can save himself by standing on the much larger man’s corpse. Pin, now only partially sane, emerges from the cellars and attacks William once the fire is out, only to killed when he is impaled on the memo spike from William’s desk.

With the press and office destroyed, it looks like the Times is out of business, but with the application of a crossbow, dwarven axes, and Otto’s sense of dramatic atmosphere, the crew manage to “borrow” one of the Inquirer’s presses for the evening. The big story breaks the next day and Lord Vetinari’s name is cleared just before a new, Guild-controlled Patrician would have seized power.

The New Firm, meanwhile, discuss the finer points of reincarnation, and who does and does not merit it, with Death.

William goes to confront the man behind the Committee to Unelect: his own estranged father, Lord de Worde. After a tense argument, William blackmails his father with the information about his criminal doings, forcing him to flee the city or be exposed.

In the end William is ambivalent about the new and unexpected role of the free press in his life and in the world, but resolves that someone must tell the public must know the truth about what goes on in the city, even if the public doesn’t want to hear it. The Times comes to be recognized, if not exactly welcomed, by the powers that be in the city, and William and Sacharissa make plans to expand even further, hiring new staff, establishing offices in other cities, and hopefully one day squeezing in time for a lunch date in between deadlines.


Hogfather juli 4, 2010

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Karakter: 4+

lest: 4-7 juli 10

In the novel, the Auditors strike again by deciding to eliminate the Hogfather because he does not fit into their view of the universe. They meet with Lord Downey, head of the Assassin’s Guild, and commission the services of Mr. Teatime, whose particular brand of insane genius makes him an ideal candidate for the assassination of the Hogfather and other anthropomorphic personifications. Death decides to take over for the Hogfather in order to make people continue to believe in him, wearing a long red cloak and a beard, but things start to become complicated because he is taking the children’s wishes too literally. Meanwhile, his granddaughter Susan must find out what’s happened to the real Hogfather. She visits his Castle of Bones only to find the hung-over Bilious, the «Oh God» of Hangovers whom she rescues before the castle collapses due to the lack of belief. In an attempt to cure Bilious, Susan visits the Unseen University, where it is discovered that several of these small gods and beings are being created. The University’s thinking machine, Hex, explains that there is ‘spare belief’ in the world – due to the absence of the Hogfather – which is being used to create them. Susan and Bilious then travel to the land of the Tooth Fairy where they discover that Jonathan Teatime has ‘killed’ the Hogfather by collecting millions of children’s teeth and using them to control the children, forcing them to stop believing in the Hogfather. Upon throwing the Assassin off the tower and apparently killing him, Susan clears the teeth away and brings back the Hogfather by rescuing him from the Auditors, who have taken the forms of dogs. They cannot return to their original state and so cannot stop themselves falling off a cliff. Afterwards, Teatime tracks Susan to the Gaiters’ nursery, but is killed by Susan using the nursery poker, which passes through Death because «it only kills monsters».

The Fifth Elephant – Terry Pratchett (1999) juli 4, 2010

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Karakter: 4

Lest: juli 10

The Ankh-Morpork City Watch is expanding; there is now a Traffic department with Gatsos implemented using iconograph technology and awheel clamping team, and the clacks is beginning to replace homing pigeons for communications between officers. It is also investigating the theft of the replica Scone of Stone, a parody of the real-life Stone of Scone, from the Ankh-Morpork Dwarf Bread Museum. (The Scone of Stone in the novel is kept under close guard in a dwarf mine in Überwald, and will form a vital part of the forthcoming coronation ceremony of the dwarfs’ new Low King.)

Samuel Vimes, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch and Duke of Ankh, is sent to the remote region of Überwald as an ambassador to take advantage of the coronation to negotiate with the new Low King on increased imports of fat. (Underground fat deposits are abundant in Überwald as a fifth world-supporting elephant impacted there in prehistoric times, according to legend.) Possibly this satirises the tendency of Earthly nations to interfere in the affairs of other nations who have significant hydrocarbon reserves.

Überwald is also the traditional home of the Disc’s dwarfs who are about to enthrone a new Low King. A cabal of local werewolves seek to exploit this opportunity to destabilize the already deeply divided dwarf society. They instigate the apparent theft of the real Scone of Stone from its closely-guarded cave, hoping to cause a civil war between traditionalists and progressive dwarfs and isolate the country under the werewolves’ feudal leadership.

Jingo – Terry Pratchett (1997) juli 4, 2010

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karakter: 5

lest: juni 10

With the opening of the novel, the island of Leshp, which had been submerged under the Circle Sea for centuries, rises to the surface of said body of water. Its position, exactly halfway between Ankh-Morpork and Al Khali (the capital of Klatch), makes the island a powerful strategical point for whoever lays claim to it, which both cities do.

In Ankh-Morpork, a Klatchian Prince named Khufurah is parading through Ankh-Morpork, where he will be presented with a Degree in Sweet Fanny Adams, but an assassination attempt occurs, and the Prince is wounded. Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, begins investigating the crime, originally suspecting both a Klatchian named 71-Hour Ahmed and a senior Morporkian peerLord Rust, of being involved.

The attempted assassination breaks off relations between Ankh-Morpork and Klatch as Prince Khufurah’s brother effectively declares war on the city of Ankh-Morpork. At this point, Havelock Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, resigns—apparently of his own free will—and Lord Rust takes command of the city. Vetinari has refused to become involved in the war with Klatch, due to the fact Ankh-Morpork does not have anarmy to stand against any opposing forces (the reason given being that killing enemy soldiers makes it difficult to sell them things afterwards), but Rust declares Martial Law and drafts in men from the city to fight.

Vimes, refusing to follow Rust (whom he considers to be a pillock) stands down as Commander of the Watch. Captain Carrot resigns as well, as do Sergeant ColonSergeant Detritus and Corporal Angua. The idea of putting the watch under the command of Corporal Nobbs is rejected by the ruling Council of Guild leaders and the Watch is disbanded. Vimes then recruits the Watch into his own private army, reasoning that, as an official knight, he is entitled to do so by law, with the group remaining independent as knights legally fall under command of the king or his duly-appointed representatives, neither of which exist in Ankh-Morpork.

Angua, following 71-Hour Ahmed, is captured by the Klatchians and taken to Klatch. Carrot, rather than rush off to save her, reports back to Vimes, who gets his private army to head for Klatch. Meanwhile, Nobby and Sergeant Colon have been recruited by Vetinari and his petinventorLeonard of Quirm, on a secret mission of their own, unknown to Vimes