Thief of Time
by Terry Pratchett
Pub. Date 2001
“They revealed an exquisite mask of a face that had nevertheless been made up by a clown. Probably a blind clown. And one who was wearing boxing gloves. In a fog. The woman looked at the world through panda eyes and her lipstick touched her mouth only by accident.” Pg. 246
Do you like snide, entertaining descriptions like the one above? Do you like stories with multiple parts that feel like they don’t belong, but by the end of the book mesh together perfectly? Do you like wacky worlds that somehow give you a better understanding of yourself and the world in which you live? Last of all, do you like British humour? Then this is the book for you! In fact, any of the Terry Pratchett Discworld series I highly recommend to you.
If you have not heard of the Discworld series, it is an accumulation of about 40 books that does not have to be read in any order because each one can stand on its own, although the more books you read the more references you understand from other books. Pratchett’s world development is complex, and yet able to be understood quickly. I find myself reading slower and slower in order to catch all the puns and references to modern society. His satires are smooth, and I often find myself reading passages multiple times just because they are so clever. There are several times I can’t control my snorts of laughter or my grin.
Thief of Time has three main story lines: an obsessed clockmaker, an apprentice History Monk, and a mysterious school teacher. When the “auditors” decide to have a clock built to stop time and freeze everyone on the planet, each person becomes involved in the situation in various ways. Quirky, imaginative, and flawlessly executed, I find myself going from contemplative to confused to cracked up. It is quite the trip.
This story and others in the series have very little violence, sexual connotation, or foul language. I would recommend these books for strong readers since the plot is so complicated with little dialogue and a lot of description. I would recommend it for both men and women, especially those who like science fiction and/or fantasy since there are elements of both. For those who love books like The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Alice in Wonderland, or just a good satire, try these books.