A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett.
Koom Valley? That was where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls. It was far away. It was a long time ago. But if he doesn’t solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office. With his beloved Watch crumbling around him and war-drums sounding, he must unravel every clue, outwit every assassin and brave any darkness to find the solution. And darkness is following him. Oh . . . and at six o’clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, he must go home to read ‘Where’s My Cow?’, with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy. There are some things you have to do. (Goodreads summary.)
Although all the Diskworld novels are much alike in their light-hearted ingenuity, comedic tone, and occasional critiques, they still vary in my interest. Thud I liked much better than others. The secondary reason is probably because the comedy is much more serious – this book is not just laughing at the wild vagaries of this world, it’s laughing with tears in its eyes at the prejudice of men, and it’s not laughing at all at the culmination of fear and bigotry.
The main reason is that the MC is a genuinely good man. He’s not dumb, he’s not coldly calculating and intelligent, he’s not overly intelligent; he truly is a man committed to doing the right thing. Not to give too much away, but he fights even more than his own anger and prejudice in making the right decisions, and it was this that made me respect him. Even when it’s tempting, there are never going to be behind-the-scenes interrogation or casual bribes. And he’ll never, ever neglect his son. For once, Terry Pratchet has given us more than a character we can laugh at: he’s given us a man to respect and take as inspiration.
Sexual content: Man is horrified that his friend dates a pole-dancer, after meeting said dancer “wearing two sequins and a bootlace”. Later, a couple of men go to watch a performance at this pole-dancing club.
Language: 48 d***, 37 bloody, 16 hell, 14 derogatory names, 1 scatological terms
Violence: Character throws a brick at another character, knocking him out; later this character dies in the hospital. A troll smashes man in the ribs with a club. There is almost gang war between trolls and dwarfs and some minor clashing, but no serious injuries. Several characters break into another character’s house and two of them are killed in self-defense, one with a knife and the other by dragon fire.
Other: There is some drunkenness. There is also some drug abuse (drug native to fantasy land) by trolls, and this is portrayed as a bad thing.