Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

“Thud,” the most recent novel by Terry Pratchett, is by far the best book I’ve read this month. Of course, the only other books I’ve read this month have had titles like “World Religion from an Anarchy FascistFeminist Perspective” and “Civilization From Creation to Two Thousand Years in the Future: A Year by Year Account.” (The history book was better by the way. It had pictures.) “Thud” would be a decent book even if it had some stiffer competition. It’s probably not his best book, or the most easily accessible to anyone who hasn’t read other Discworld series books before, but I liked it anyway. In other words: don’t bother with this novel unless you were already into Terry Pratchett and were planning on buying this book whether or not some lowlife reviewer for a school paper thought it was incredible or a rank pile of garbage. I suppose if you don’t like Terry Pratchett already, you probably skipped this article entirely, which is too bad for you, because it has a surprise twist ending. So what makes Terry Pratchett worth reading? It’s because he uses his self-created fantasy realm to skewer many issues in the actual world. “Thud” focuses on ethnic violence and hatred, but other books have been about war, women’s rights and gun violence. Yet the morals of his stories don’t come off as preachy, because you’re too busy laughing at the really dumb jokes he inserts everywhere. Sort of like my religion text.

As an important reviewer of the most avante garde art and entertainment (re: movies and books I feel like writing about) I can’t say I’m completely satisfied with “Thud” though. Unfortunately there is no thirty-day money back guarantee like they have on those industrial cleaner commercials. I suppose that’s for the best however, since having lots of hardback books on my bedroom shelf makes me look intellectual, which is definitely the look I’m going for right now. And there’s the resale value to think of. If I wait a few years I expect to get a full three dollars for it at my next yard sale.

So what’s “Thud” about? I probably haven’t done such a good job of describing it so far. In basic terms, “Thud”, like other Pratchett books, takes Tolkienesque fantasy and twists it into a satirical jest. In this case, trolls and dwarves become equally proud ethnic minorities in the city of Ank-Morpork.

Close to going to war in the middle of the crowded metropolis over an event taking place thousands of years ago, their struggles could easily be translated into Arab, Jewish, Black, White or Swedish…somebody. In any case, the book has a great deal to say about mutual racial hatred and its difficult “solutions.”

On this level the book is a masterpiece. However, on a much shallower level, it does not contain enough banana peel style jokes, and thus fails utterly as a piece of fiction.

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