The Truth (Discworld Series #25)

The Truth (Discworld Series #25)

by Terry Pratchett

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062307361
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/29/2014
Series: Discworld Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 143,770
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.20(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.


Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1948

Place of Birth:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England


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

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

TheRumor spread through the city like wildfire (which had quite often spread through Ankh-Morpork since its citizens had learned the words "fire insurance").The dwarfs can turn lead into gold ...

It buzzed through the fetid air of the Alchemists' quarter, where they had been trying to do the same thing for centuries without success but were certain that they'd manage it by tomorrow, or next Tuesday at least, or the end of the month for definite.

It caused speculation among the wizards at Unseen University, where they knew you could turn one element into another element, provided you didn't mind it turning back again next day, and where was the good in that? Besides, most elements were happy where they were.

It seared into the scarred, puffy, and sometimes totally missing ears of the Thieves' Guild, where people put an edge on their crowbars. Who cared where the gold came from?

The dwarfs can turn lead into gold ...

It reached the cold but incredibly acute ears of the Patrician, and it did that fairly quickly, because you did not stay ruler of Ankh-Morpork for long if you were second with the news. He sighed and made a note of it, and added it to a lot of other notes.

The dwarfs can turn lead into gold ...

It reached the pointy ears of the dwarfs.

"Can we?"

"Damned if I know. I can't."

"Yeah, but if you could, you wouldn't say. I wouldn't say, if I could."

"Can you?"



It came to the ears of the night watch of the city guards, as they did gate duty at ten o'clock on an icy night. Gate duty in Ankh-Morpork was not taxing. Itconsisted mainly of waving through anything that wanted to go through, although traffic was minimal in the dark and freezing fog.

They hunched in the shelter of the gate arch, sharing one damp cigarette.

"You can't turn something into something else," said Corporal Nobbs. "The Alchemists have been trying it for years."

"They a can gen'rally turn a house into a hole in the ground," said Sergeant Colon.

"That's what I'm talking about," said Corporal Nobbs. "Can't be done. It's all to do with ... elements. An alchemist told me. Everything's made up of elements, right? Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and ... sunnink. Well-known fact. Everything's got 'em all mixed up just right."

He stamped his feet in an effort to get some warmth into them.

"If it was possible to turn lead into gold, everyone'd be doing it," he said.

"Wizards could do it," said Sergeant Colon.

"Oh, well, magic," said Nobby dismissively.

A large cart rumbled out of the yellow clouds and entered the arch, splashing Colon as it wobbled through one of the puddles that were such a feature of Ankh-Morpork's highways.

"Bloody dwarfs," he said, as it continued on into the city. But he didn't say it too loudly.

"There were a lot of them pushing that cart," said Corporal Nobbs reflectively. It lurched slowly around a comer and was lost to view.

"Prob'ly all that gold," said Colon.

"Hah. Yeah. That'd be it, then."

And the rumor came to the ears of William de Worde, and in a sense it stopped there, because he dutifully wrote it down.

It was his job. Lady Margolotta of Uberwald sent him five dollars a month to do it. The Dowager Duchess of Quirm also sent him five dollars. So did King Verence of Lancre, and a few other Ramtop notables. So did the Seriph of AI-Khali, although in this case the payment was half a cartload of figs, twice a year.

All in all, he considered, he was onto a good thing. All he had to do was write one letter very carefully, trace it backwards onto a piece of boxwood provided for him by Mr. Cripslock, the engraver in the Street of Cunning Artificers, and then pay Mr. Cripslock twenty dollars to carefully remove the wood that wasn't letters and make five impressions on sheets of paper.

Of course, it had to be done thoughtfully, with spaces left after "To my Noble Client the," and so on, which he had to fill in later, but even deducting expenses it still left him the best part of thirty dollars for little more than one day's work a month.

A young man without too many responsibilities could live modestly in Ankh-Morpork on thirty or forty dollars a month; he always sold the figs, because although it was possible to live on figs you soon wished you didn't.

And there were always additional sums to be picked up here and there. The world of letters was a closed bo- mysterious papery object to many of Ankh-Morpork's citizens, but if they ever did need to commit things to paper quite a few of them walked up the creaky stairs past the sign "William de Worde: Things Written Down."

Dwarfs, for example. Dwarfs were always coming to seek work in the city, and the first thing they did was send a letter home saying how well they were doing. This was such a predictable occurrence, even if the dwarf in question was so far down on his luck that he'd been forced to eat his helmet, that William had Mr. Cripslock produce several dozen stock letters which only needed a few spaces filled in to be perfectly acceptable.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Other writers are mining the rich seam of comic fantasy that Pratchett first unearthed, but what keeps Pratchett on top is – quite literally – the way he tells them." – The Times

"The Truth is an unmitigated delight and very, very funny…The pace is compelling but he never lets his tale descend into simple farce." – The Times

"[Discworld] has the energy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the inventiveness of Alice in Wonderland…[Terry Pratchett] has an intelligent wit and a truly original grim and comic grasp of the nature of things." – A.S. Byatt, Sunday Times

Customer Reviews

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The Truth (Discworld Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a masterpiece that is easily overlooked in the mass of sci-fi/fantasy parodies out there. The characters are all perfectly laid out, and even if you have never read a Discworld book before, you will have little-to-no problem at all catching up with the setting. Comedy here ranges from slapstick and wordplay to intelligent in-jokes and lampoons. Everywhere you look there is something to laugh at. This is a must read for any comedy or fantasy fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...and maybe think a bit. Or maybe not. But the 25th Discworld book is surprisingly fresh and funnier than most of its predecessors (not an easy task!). The adventures (and misadventures) of the Disc's first investigative journalist, as he battles to save his newspaper from ruin and Ankh-Morpork's Patrician from a dastardly plot, are at once a fine film noir newspaper story, a fairly average thriller, and the setting for a comic masterpiece. Although featuring many characters from earlier books set in Ankh-Morpork, this novel can be read as a stand-alone by those new to the series. Hopefully, the as-usual awful cover won't put too many people off (I haven't seen what the artwork on the UK edition is like - almost certainly good, like all the others Josh Kirby has done - but even a plain brown wrapper would be better than this). In short: Buy it, re-cover it, and read it.
Noisy on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Puns flow as thick as the River Ankh - but somewhat faster - in this 25th Discworld novel from Terry Pratchett. I'm used to that now, although it almost caused me to stop reading Pratchett through pun overload after the first two of his adventures. This story is confined to Ankh-Morpork, and relates the setting up of the first newspaper. The complete bestiary of fantastical citizens seems to be involved (with dwarves to the fore), to the extent that Pratchett seems to be trying to make points about racial tolerance along with the key theme of independence of the press. In fact, add to this the underlying discussion about political manipulation by the privileged classes, and you might be forgiven for thinking that there's rather too much social commentary for this to be just another story in the Discworld series. Everything seems to end on a positive note, but I was left with more questions than were answered by the resolutions put in place. Is this what I really want from a discworld novel? Actually, no - I just want the rip-roaring story (which we certainly get) and not the political philosophy primer. Still, it's as good as any of his others, and other people may like the additional depth, so it's still worthy of a recommendation.
gercmbyrne on LibraryThing 3 months 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!
sa54d on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Of all of the Discworld novels this is the one I would, in all seriousness, assign as required reading were I teaching a class. The course would have to relate to mass media, censorship, intellectual freedom or civil liberties. Sometimes satire does a better job of showing the importance of our rights and freedoms better than any bombastic speech or (blinding flash of the obvious) your typical 8th grade civics course.
rakerman on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I thought it was good. Really placed an emphasis on the importance of verifying your sources (it's about a newspaper), which seems to be a lost art these days.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
The world of Ankh-Morpork may not be ready for the newsletter, Ankh-Morport Times. This publication was created by William de Worde, a journalist who has a gift for investigating. This skill has created enemies who now want to stop his presses. Soon they create The Inquirer, a tabloid which deals in items that are not the truth. DeWorde found out Lord Vetinari, the city's patrician, has a story which could cause big trouble. DeWorde, discovers that the truth is something that is needed to reveal the entire story. I love the works of Terry Pratchett and his stories in DiscWorld. He was such a genius when it came to crafting words in subtle ways so they make you smile just looking at the page and anticipating what is coming up. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys these books or to those that enjoy fun fantasy.
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Wapls More than 1 year ago
No time spent here is wasted. Also go to L-space for more depth.
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