Thud! is a Discworld story involving the venerable Sam Vimes and the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork. Amidst an old racial conflict between Dwarves and Trolls threatening to boil over into the streets of Ankh-Morpork, Vimes must deal with racial tensions in the Watch, an outside audit, the death of a leading dwarf citizen at the possible hands of a troll, and trying to be a good Dad at home.

Thud! is classic Pratchett comedic fantasy. Though it seemed light his the hallmark footnotes, we get lines like only Pratchett can write:

"The smells of old cabbage, acne ointment and non-malignant skin disease became transmuted, in Corporal Nobbs, into a strange odor that lay across the nose like a saw blade on a harp."
We also get the riffs on classic horror with vampires who belong to a Vampire temperance league with their motto of "Not one drop" (That would be of human blood); and the b-movie Igor who is actually one of a guild of Igors, thus explaining how the Igor character shows up in so many places and times. Modern times aren't exempt either, with the "Gooseberry", an imp powered, technomancy state-of-the-Craft Dis-Organizer Mark Five.

In each Discworld novel, Pratchett typically takes an element of modern society and morphs it into the Discworld setting where he can alternatively poke fun at the societal silliness and highlight humanity. His targets are usually institutions, monopolies or social hierarchies. Thud! is one of the Disc World novels that takes on a issue.

Amongst Pratchett's deadpan humour is a story of tribes, tradition, and choosing who we are. We all come to this world with a personal history, culture and tradition. What happens when this conflicts with our day-to-day life and future goals? Each character's storyline examines the central question in a unique and usually funny way. Though this is fantasy Pratchett's presentation is not simple black and white. He gives us an old and bitter racial conflict between the Trolls and Dwarves in the context of a Dwarven community divided among your average citizen dwarf and more traditional deep-downer dwarf. Contrasting the larger Troll/Dwarf conflict of Koom Valley a more personal exploration occurs inside the City Watch, with the characters faced with being a "copper" and a member of their respective communities. Which tribe do you choose?

Thud! isn't a stand out in the Discworld series but it's a solid story and a great read. It can be read for it's comedic elements alone, and those interested in more can delve a little deeper

Author: Terry Pratchett

Rating Comment: 
Not a stand out in the Diskworld series but it's a solid story and great read.
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