Feet of Clay (Discworld Series #19)

Feet of Clay (Discworld Series #19)

by Terry Pratchett

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

$9.99
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, July 25

Overview

It's murder in Discworld!—which ordinarily is no big deal. But what bothers Watch Commander Sir Sam Vimes is that the unusual deaths of three elderly Ankh-Morporkians do not bear the clean, efficient marks of the Assassins' Guild. An apparent lack of any motive is also quite troubling. All Vimes has are some tracks of white clay and more of those bothersome "clue" things that only serve to muck up an investigation. The anger of a fearful populace is already being dangerously channeled toward the city's small community of golems—the mindless, absurdly industrious creatures of baked clay, who can occasionally be found toiling in the city's factories. And certain highly placed personages are using the unrest as an excuse to resurrect a monarchy—which would be bad enough even if the "king" they were grooming wasn't as empty-headed as your typical animated pottery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062275516
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/28/2014
Series: Discworld Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 55,879
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.

Hometown:

Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1948

Place of Birth:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England

Education:

Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

It a warm spring night when a fist knocked at the door so hard that the hinges bent.

A man opened it and peered out into the street. There was mist coming off the river and it was a cloudy night. He might as well have tried to see through white velvet.

But he thought afterwards that there had been shapes out there, just beyond the fight spilling out into the road. A lot of shapes, watching him carefully. He thought maybe there'd been very faint points of light ...

There was no mistaking the shape right in front of him, though. It was big and dark red and looked like a child's clay model of a man. Its eyes were two embers.

"Well? What do you want at this time of night?"

The golem handed him a slate, on which was written:

WE HEAR YOU WANT A GOLEM.

Of course golems couldn't speak could they?

"Hah. Want, yes. Afford, no. I've been asking around but it's wicked the prices you're going for these days . . ."

The golem rubbed the words off the slate and wrote:

TO YOU, ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS.

"You're for sale?"

NO.

The golem lurched aside. Another one stepped into the fight.

It was also a golem, the man could see that. But it wasn't like the usual lumpen clay things that you occasionally saw. Ibis one gleamed like a newly polished statue, perfect down to the detailing of the clothes. It reminded him of one of the old pictures of the city's lungs, all haughty stance and imperious haircut. In fact, it even had a small coronet molded on to its head.

"A hundred dollars?" the man said suspiciously. "What's wrong with it? Who sellingit?"

NOTHING IS WRONG. PERFECT IN ALL DETAIL NINETY DOLLARS.

"Sounds like someone wants to get rid of it in a hurry. . ."

GOLEM MUST WORK GOLEM MUST HAVE A MASTER.

"Yeah, right, but you hear stories ... Going mad and making too many things, and that."

NOT MAD. EIGHTY DOLLARS.

"it looks ... new," said the man, tapping the gleaming chest. "But no one's making golems any more, that's what's keeping the price up beyond the purse of the small business-" He stopped. "Is someone making them again?

EIGHTY DOLLARS.

"I heard the priests banned making 'em years ago. A man could get in a lot of trouble."

SEVENTY DOLLARS.

"Who's doing it?"

SIXTY DOLLARS.

"Is he selling them to Albertson? Or Spadger and Williams? It's hard enough competing as it is, and they've got the money to invest in new plant-"

FIFTY DOLLARS.

The man walked around the golem. "A man can't sit by and watch his company collapse under him because of unfair price cutting, I mean to say . .

FORTY DOLLARS.

"Religion is all very well, but what do prophets know about profits, eh? Hmm . . ." He looked up at the shapeless golem in the shadows. "Was that thirty dollars I just saw you write?"

YES.

"I've always liked dealing wholesale. Wait one moment." He went back inside and returned with a handful of coins. "Will you be selling any to them other bastards?"

NO.

"Good. Tell your boss it's a pleasure to do business with him. Get along inside, Sunny Jim."

The white golem walked into the factory. The man, glancing from side to side, trotted in after it and shut the door.

Deeper shadows moved in the dark. There was a faint hissing. Then, rocking slightly, the big heavy shapes moved away.

Shortly afterwards, and around the comer, a beggar holding out a hopeful hand for alms was amazed to find himself suddenly richer by a whole thirty dollars.*

The Discworld turned against the glittering backdrop of space, spinning very gently on the backs of the four giant elephants that perched on the shell of Great A'Tuin the star turtle. Continents drifted slowly past, topped by weather systems that themselves turned gently against the flow, like waltzers spinning counter to the whirl of the dance. A billion tons of geography rolled slowly through the sky.

People look down on stuff like geography and meteorology, and not only because they're standing on one and being soaked by the other. They don't look quite like real science. But geography is only physics slowed down and with a few trees stuck on it, and is full of excitingly fashionable chaos and complexity. And summer isn't a time. It's a place as well. Summer is a moving creature and likes to go south for the winter.

Even on the Discworld, with its tiny orbiting sun tilting over the turning world, the seasons moved. In Ankh-Morpork, greatest of its cities, spring was nudged aside by summer, and summer was prodded in the back by autumn.

Geographically speaking, there was not a lot of difference within the city itself, although in later spring the scum on the river was often a nice emerald green. The mist of spring became the fog of autumn, which mixed with fumes and smoke from the magical quarter and the workshops of the alchemists until it seemed to have a thick, choking fife of its own.

And time moved on.

Autumn fog pressed itself against the midnight windowpanes.

Blood ran in a trickle across the pages of a rare volume of religious essays, which had been tom in half

'There had been no need for that, thought Father Tubelcek.

A further thought suggested that there had been no need to hit him either. But Father Tubelcek had never been very concerned about that sort of thing. People healed, books didn't. He reached out shakily and tried to gather up the pages, but slumped back again.

The room was spinning.

The door swung open. Heavy footsteps creaked across the floor-one footstep at least, and one dragging noise.

Step. Drag. Step. Drag.

Father Tubelcek tried to focus. "You?" he croaked.

What People are Saying About This

Jerry Pournelle

If you don't know Pratchett and Discworld, you've got a treat in store. He's the funniest writer I've come across.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Feet of Clay (Discworld Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 87 reviews.
SpoodyGoon More than 1 year ago
Feet of Clay was recommended and at first loaned to me by a co-worker who thought I might like it. Because I went through many years of hardly ever reading, I had been searching for something to capture my interest and get me back in to reading full time. For me Feet of Clay is on the level of Call of the Wild by Jack London because it lead me into a body of work that kept me happily reading for many years. It draws you into an amazing world of wonder and keeps you grounded with a good old fashion detective story. I would recommend this to anyone who don't mind taking a trip somewhere else to have a good laugh at reality. I am of course a Terry Pratchett fanatic but even in his body of work this is a stand out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you haven't yet discovered the magic of Discworld, you are missing out on some of the wittiest prose in English! Sort of Harry Potter meets Monty Python!
corinne13 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It made me see the value of life in a whole new way. This book makes life's hardest problems disappear and makes them all easy to answer. I loved every second of this book and still do. I read it as often as I can over and over. The style makes me smile and the characters and there personalities make me laugh out loud all the time. I even wrote my college paper on this book. This book makes me happy after I read a sad or bad book. Love it!!!
anounomouse More than 1 year ago
Humorous story with unforgettable characters. There are people that still take every word for its direct meaning which is no excuse for murder.
keruichun More than 1 year ago
I love Terry Pratchett novels. They're fun, light reads that end up to be much deeper than you think they'll be. This book is my favorite of his novels because of the deeper questions asked about our personal freedom to think for ourselves and do according to what our thoughts dictate and not what others demand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I finished this book last night and couldn't sleep for a while, thinking 'It's a VERY good book!' :) I read many of Pratchett's books, I liked all of them, but this one is the best so far.
iamiam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this fantastical procedural, Pratchett has completely found his feet, and made me forget Small Gods a few books ago. Funny, inventive, and clearly written form inspiration instead of following a previous book's structure by rote, this is one of the damned good Discworld novels. There's even a bit of 'life guidance' in here, without the use of a troll hammer.
polarbear123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not my favourite Pratchett. Here is why. Yes there are the usual funny observations and the members of the Nightwatch are on top form as usual. However there simply is no satisfaction towards the end of the novel. How does the story end? It felt like Pratchett was unsure at some points. Slightly untidy endings bug me - I like them to either be tight or incomprehensible, but slightly untidy is irritating. Yes I know this all sounds silly but hey in the end its just my opinion, take no notice of me!
ravenwood0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Feet of Clay, Vimes has satisfactorily resolved his questions about career and home, Carrot has risen to the post of Captain himself, and most of his fellow guards seem to have settled in. Then the head of the Dwarf Bread Museum (one of Carrot's favorite places in the city) is found beaten to death by one of his own loaves and that's just the first in a series of mysterious murders. Even the Patrician finds himself poisoned-though with the Patrician, you never can tell if he did it himself just to keep his enemies on their toes. Something strange is happening with the city's golems, but getting them to talk about it will be difficult, considering that they have started committing suicide. Talking dogs, superconducting trolls, and brand new and unique inventors.
catherinestead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Someone's poisoning the Patrician, the golems are revolting and to top it all off a dwarf has joined the Watch. A dwarf who's acting (shock, horror!) like a girl! Vimes is in a flap, Carrot is imperturbable, Nobbs is (much to his dismay) in the aristocracy, and Colon is neck-deep in something distinctly smelly that probably shouldn't be mentioned in polite company.A very entertaining part of the Discworld City Watch series.
Aldrea_Alien on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The golems were an interesting bunch, certainly when it comes to Dolhf, and I love the transformation Cheery went through over the course of the story.Of course, with murders come clues and they were ... well, to be fair, some were a little odd at first. Vague enough to actually have me wondering how they got to where they got to from such information (yes, I peeked at the end and was puzzled until I reached where they¿d solved it all).Though I enjoyed it, I¿ve two niggles about this one. Firstly there¿s the descriptions of the heralds themselves. I got all muddled in having three (or was it four?) being described one after the other. Maybe it was due to the late night I read that particular piece. Even so, thank goodness there¿s a page in the front with the pictures.Secondly it¿s Angua. More precisely her insistence that something must eventually go wrong with her relationship and she¿ll have to leave. So she always seemed all geared up to go. I never feel settled enough in the character to fully enjoy reading some her scenes. She just rubs me the wrong way.
love2laf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Watch books are always my favourite, and this is a good one. Plenty of satire, golems, and truly, truly awful puns (are there any other kind?).
jnicholson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Vimes struggles to achieve work-life balance while someone is trying to poison the Patrician. Introduces the Golems of Ankh-Morpork. Another humdinger from Pratchett.
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can see why a lot of people say that the City Watch books are their favourite Pratchetts. There is the same wordplay and warping of Earth culture as in the other Discworld books, but underneath there is a much more serious mystery story.
kristenn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one ended up feeling like an editor went overboard. The plot was much more complex but the explanations were missing. The what was clear but the why was given short shrift. And it seemed like some very interesting whys. He also went a little overboard on the side plots and secondary characters this time. Or at least both were less interesting than usual.
M.Campanella on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Feet of ClayThe humour is there ¿ and Pratchett is famed for it ¿ for all to see, and so that is probably one thing we can overlook easily enough, despite being for many people what makes his works enjoyable.What made them enjoyable was also how well put together they were. Ideas that you encounter on page one, perhaps as a humorous anecdote, will return again and again as the novel progresses.The ten dollar word for this is theme.Playing with this can have a lot of effects. The one Pratchett seems to enjoy the most is irony. This irony can turn the discovering moment of who-dun-its (an essential moment for that genre that has become boring from over use) into something a little more wonderful. Some modern writers have tried to jazz up this moment by riddling their plots with pretzel twists. Pratchett does not do much to cover up his tracks in this respect, he just makes you enjoy those moments more. Pratchett has found a game he plays well. But if you play with this further and further eventually you may be `accused of literature¿ ¿ as Pratchett has.
391 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Feet of Clay, the third novel in the Watch series, involves a rogue golem and a very puzzled Sam Vimes. It appears someone has poisoned Vetinari, and two people have been found dead - ostensibly killed by a golem, a creature constructed of baked clay and brought to life by the words in its head. I really enjoyed this novel; it was suspenseful and compelling but also very well thought-out, and it brought up a lot of intriguing questions.
bdamokos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is a nice read, but not really memorable.I liked it, as it features my favourite character, Carrot but it is not as funny as some other books in the series (like e.g. Guards! Guards!).It features golems, witch makes this book interesting, though the readers do not get a chance to "see into their heads" up until the end of the book, unlike in Going Postal.I would recommend this book to fans of the Night Watch, or the Disworld fans who would like to read all the books, but this is not a good starting point, its just not funny enough or does not have concepts deep enough to pull the uninitiated Pratchett reader into reading all the books they can get their hands on.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The emergence of proper 'whodunnits' in Discworld. This is quite a well constructed mystery, with the usual jokes along the way. Also the introduction of the excellent Constable Visit, Discworld's answer to Jehovah's Witnesses.
Narilka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Murder in Discworld! Sam Vimes and the rest of the Night Watch are on the case, gathering Clues to solve the mystery. A couple new recruits join the Watch and are fun additions to read about. Underneath the humor and mystery is a sub-theme that Pratchett has a talent for. In this case it is the concept of "freedom." While not the best entry book for new Discworld readers, fans of the series will enjoy it.
farnsworthk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fun Discworld mystery involving golems. There are lots of dimensions to this one and I am starting to see why the City Watch characters are so beloved. I can't wait for the next one.
Moriquen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed reading this book a lot, even though I don't think it is the best Discworld novel so far. It was, for lack of a better word, cute ... Sort of a magical 'whodunnit'. I enjoyed reading about the beginning of the golems coming alive, or at least getting speach. Thanks again for sending it my way noname-blue.Some of my favourite quotes: (These quotes show exactly why I love Pratchett so much.)'But getting a grip would mean there would have to be a long, bottomless moment when he was not exactly holding on to the roof and not exactly holding on to the drainpipe and in very serious peril of holding on to the ground.''Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.''Sir?''It seems you have managed to retain this even though you are Authority.''Sir?''That's practically Zen!'
keristars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is probably one of the best written Discworld books, so far (#19 in a series of...many more). It takes three plot lines and weaves them together in a very satisfying story involving the Watch, golems, Vetinari, and plenty of Clues. The mystery gets tidied up at the end with just enough red herrings along the way to make it a fun ride rather than tedious.Feet of Clay doesn't seem to parody or satire anything specifically, near as I can tell, though it does have a general theme of police procedurals and mysteries, as usual with the Watch. The other themes coming into play here are golems, nobility and the tracking of descent (again, something that has appeared before in the Watch books thanks to Carrot), and also a lot about hidden or heretofore unknown identities - Angua the werewolf, Cheery Littlebottom the female dwarf, Corporal C. W. St. J. Nobbs the (possibly) Earl...Overall, I found the book to be tightly written with a good pace. Too many of the early Discworld books got tedious or boring about 4/5 of the way through, though the last few I've read (going in publication order) were much better about it, and this book didn't have the problem hardly at all. In fact, where it did start to get to where I wanted to skip pages, the tedium cleared itself up in a matter of paragraphs.
gercmbyrne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terry Pratchett is a god who walks among men. The entire Discworld series is a joy and only a strange mad creature cursed by gods and man would refuse to read and love these books!Vimes and CO investigate mysterous murders, political intrigue and golems....
lorelorn_2007 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pratchett's allegorical glorification of British policing continues in Feet of Clay. And so what if it was never like this? I loved every last syllable.