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Thief of Time (Discworld, #26)
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Thief of Time (Discworld #26)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  36,920 ratings  ·  788 reviews
Time is a resource. Everyone knows it has to be managed.





And on the Discworld that is the job of the Monks of History, who store it and pump it from the places where it's wasted (like the underwater - how much time does a codfish need?) to places like cities, where there's never enough time.





But the construction of the world's first truly accurate clock starts a race against
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Paperback, 430 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Corgi (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Melki
Well, I did not love Lu-Tze, or the History Monks, or the Glass Clock plot...BUT, this being a Pratchett book, it was easy to find plenty of other things to go gaga over.

- This exchange between Susan and her grandfather:

"They're going to do something to time? I thought they weren't allowed to do things like that."

NO. BUT HUMANS CAN. IT HAS BEEN DONE ONCE BEFORE.

"No one would be that stu---"

Susan stopped. Of course someone would be that stupid. Some humans would do anything to see if it was possi
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Novac
This was my first exposure to the work of Terry Pratchett. As a long-time Douglas Adams fan, I had heard Pratchett's name many times, but never took the time to actually read one of his books. I grabbed this one because the plot sounded interesting, and when I read the jacket at home, I noticed it was part of the "Discworld" series. Curious about how to properly start the series, a lump formed in my throat as I discovered that there are thirty-two Discworld novels, and that's not counting four y ...more
Katherine Furman
A small disclaimer for this review: I read this book mostly while I had a fever, so I can't be held accountable for accuracy.

This is the second Pratchett book I've read and though I enjoy him, it's hard for me to shake the thought that I'm reading Douglas Adams light, set in a Dungeons and Dragons fantasy land instead of sci-fi outer space. That's not altogether a bad thing though b/c I Adams is one of my very favorite authors and he did not leave this world with too many books.

Thief of Time, a
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Chris
I could repeat what all the other reviews have said about this book, but I'm not.

You should read it for a total of five reasons.

1. Susan (one of the best characters ever)
2. Pratchett's character of Death rules.
3. The wonderful use of chocolate in the novel.
4. Mrs. War
5. One of the best descriptions of a school room ever.
Cory
Excellent book. It's up there in my top 5 Discworld books. Lu-Tze is my second favorite character, after Sam Vimes. I first encountered him in "Night Watch", and I wasn't so sure he wasn't just a stereotypical characterization of a crazyish monk.. I should've known better, having read several of Pratchett's books by then. It's a very interesting plot that makes you laugh, smirk, and think along the way. As usual, the pacing of the story is excellent. There's no real lag, and though there are sev ...more
Kaethe
3/26/2004

I don't know why I didn't review this one before. Death is featured, but once again, more play is given to granddaughter Susan, who, in the ongoing move to Discworld modernity, is now an elementary school teacher. There is an impending apocalypse caused by the Auditors again. We also get a few new characters: one a very talented clockmaker, another a novice under Lo Tze the time monk. Marvelous fun along the way as Pratchett explores what time means to humans. Such fun. There's a yeti.

I
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Lightreads
Discworld. A one-off about a timepocalypse. This didn't do much for me. It sets up a lot of higher order dualities – order vs. chaos, that sort of thing – and then just sort of leaves them flapping in the breeze. I kept reaching out for more and pulling my hand back clutching a pile of ethnic stereotypes and a few puns. The puns were punny, at least? I want to say something high school book report here about the way this book breaks the usual thematic association between time and death, but even ...more
Rebecca Huston
Usually, if a series has more than a dozen books in it, I don't keep up with it. Most of the time it is too unwieldy and just plain boring. The author either starts to repeat themselves with characters and situations or goes off into outlandish events that just are not believable. Not so with Terry Pratchett -- his inventiveness and biting humour keeps me coming back for more. This one, Pratchett looks at the nature and elements of time, and wraps it all up in a pretty shiny bow for his readers. ...more
Claudiu
It's been perhaps a whole year since I've last read Terry Pratchett. After 20-something books, you need to take a short rest from a certain universe, if you want to get anything done with your reading schedule.
It's easy to fall into the Discworld series and never surface again, especially as at this later part of the series there seems to exist a creative high that permeates every page and every line.

I've come to a point in reading this series in which it's hard to call favorites. I can call out
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Kristen
I have been reading Pratchett's books in order and have now completed #26... I have to say that reading what has taken him a lifetime to write is actually a very interesting experiment in watching a writer grow at his craft. Early Discworld books are one joke after another, with the plot simply stringing together the insanity of the humor... but as time has passed, his style had become far more plot driven and far less interested in the humor. True this book is still amusing, but one would read ...more
Jose Luis
Brillante a ratos como solo Sir Terry sabe ser. El último libro de la saga de la Muerte (por ahora) deja el protagonismo a su nieta Susan Sto-Helit, que junto con el barredor Lu-Tze acapara las líneas más memorables del libro.

Tres estrellas porque es lo que merece cualquier cosa que escriba Pratchett, que da ese tono tan genial hasta a la lista de la compra. Pero incluso en la escala Pratchettiana, le falta una historia audaz como la tienen muchos otros volúmenes. Cae en algunos clichés habitual
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Scott Kleinpeter
Pratchett is a delight. There's no other way to talk about a man who treated fantasy with the rigor of a medium-hard sf author, maintained a strong philosophical bent in his plots and mechanics, and yet managed to be consistently funny and fun throughout the proceedings. It's to the detriment of literature that every genre doesn't have it's own Pratchett, or to my own detriment that I don't know about them. And seeing Pratchett play with Time the way a child plays with Legos is just a hoot, let ...more
K.
Not my usual fare, but after reading "The Wee Free Men" I willingly delved. "Wee Free Men" is more YA situated, whilst most of the rest of the Discworld series is directed at adults (or so I've read). Why? Perhaps just because the two "adult" Pratchetts I've read have been somewhat dizzying and many of the young set might not give it proper attention? Dunno. Anyway, there was nothing, NOTHING in this book unsuitable for a child to read in terms of violence, sex, language etc. Yes, a few swear wo ...more
Redfox5
So they are getting slightly better as they go on. But still not enough to push the rating any higher. I was glad DEATH featured in this one, and much time must have passed since Mort. Since he now has a granddaughter. I liked when the Death of Rats appeared to annoy her. The auditors were interesting, there scenes tended to make me smile. I loved this quote:

"The Auditors had tried to understand religion, because so much that made no sense whatsoever was done in it's name. But it could also exc
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Tim
Een van mijn favoriete Discworld boeken tot zover (en dat wil wat zeggen, al heb ik er nog heel wat te gaan). Zoals gewoonlijk steekt Pratchett weer heerlijk de draak met literaire clichés zoals de oude monnik die wordt voorafgegaan door zijn ongekende reputatie. Elk boek waarin de Auditors of Reality een rol spelen is daardoor al meteen bijzonder grappig. Voeg daar aan toe dat het tofste personage uit de reeks (Death)een reünie houdt met zijn mede Horsemen en je hebt een boek dat werkelijk een ...more
katenka
I remember reading the book for the first time in 2007. I didn't like it and simply put it aside. Some time passed and I, being a huge Terry Pratchett fan, was literally running out of Discworld books (note I reread most of them several times). Somehow I started bumping into Thief of Time quotes on the net and somehow I got this feeling that maybe the time had come for me to give the book a second try. And I did. You know, the first thing I understood after a few pages was that you may be wrong. ...more
Autumn
As always, Pratchett is fantastic. Want good, smart, "you're as smart as I am so hop in" humor? Read Pratchett. It's like being in on the joke even if you've never heard it before; Pratchett knows you'll get it anyway and appreciate it.

Wonderful, as always, to have Susan in the story. I think we should follow her education methods more often. Death is always entertaining to have around, especially thinking about him drinking tea from a mug labeled, "World's Greatest Granddad" and actually havin
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Nicolas
Comment fait Terry pratchett ? A chaque tome, je me demande si il pourra encore explorer de nouveaux aspects de son monde à tiroir, et à chaque tome, il le fait spectaculairement. Dans ce tome, il s'attaque, dans le désordre, aux cavaliers de l'apocalypse, aux vieux moines pleins de sagesse, au temps qui passe, en passant par les musées inutiles. Et chacun de ces sujets mérite qu'on en parle, ce qui est malheureusement très difficile sans déflorer l'intrigue, habilement construite comme d'habitu ...more
Hacedores Desierto
Bueno, para empezar decir que se trata de Mundodisco y de Terry Pratchett con lo cual como mínimo tengo que decir que sigue siendo genial. Y en este además se genera algo grande dentro del mismo libro.

Pero vayamos por partes, podemos empezar hablando del humor de Pratchett que se destila de cada una de las páginas, pero con eso no acabaríamos nunca porque es un humor que, o bien te deja indiferente o bien te enamora. También tenemos a uno de los "nuevos" grandes personajes del Mundodisco, Lu-Tzé
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Lindsey Duncan
In my experience, there are two types of Pratchett novels: those that start with a tight focus on a single character / plotline and explode outwards, and those that start with several characters / plotlines and converge inwards. To me, the former are far superior, the latter never quite coming together. I never feel like the plot totally makes sense, the characters keep you at arm's length ... and it never quite feels as if they've earned the resolution.

Unfortunately, Thief of Time is one of the
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Mirna
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Adam
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হাঁটুপানির জলদস্যু
পরযাচেটের বই চারতারার কম দেওয়া মুশকিল। এই বইটার কলাইমযাকস একটু জোলো। কিনতু যথারীতি, নতুন কিছু চমৎকার মজার আইডিয়া আছে। পরযাচেট একটা পরচলিত ধারণাকে মোজার মতো উলটে দারুণ নতুন একটা কিছু বানাতে পারেন। যেমন, ঘড়িকোকিল। এই কোকিল সঙগিনী আকরষণ করার জনযে একটা কাককু কলক বানায়, তারপর তার ভেতর থেকে ঘণটায় ঘণটায় বেরিয়ে এসে ডাকাডাকি করে। আবার যেমন, সাবসটিশন। সুপারসটিশনের সাথে এর পারথকয হচছে, সাবসটিশন হচছে সেসব সতযি জিনিস, যার অসতিতবে কেউ বিশবাস করে না।

সুসান সটো হেলিট চরিতরটা তেমন জমে ওঠেনি।
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Wastrel
A frustrating installment - Pratchett at his very best, at the service of plot, themes and characters that aren't really in the upper echelon. The result is entertaining for at least two thirds of the book, but rather unravels once the finale starts pulling on its threads. The ending doesn't just not fully work, its flaccidity deflates the rest of the book. I was really enjoying reading this... but when I finished, I felt disappointed and underwhelmed.

That said, it's much better than I remember
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Andrew Walters
I've never been a big Pratchett fan, I think partly because I always thought he wrote the tales of redwall, which of course he didn't. When my Sister handed me this to read I was a bit pensive, but she said it was funny, and I had a Christmas break on my hands so I gave it a go.

I am very glad I did.

The wit and wisdom in these discworld novels (I have now read 2) seems to get better and better as they go on. There is a type of wry, cynical depression behind them (characterized by death, offish
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Strugglingwriter
Terry Pratchett's writing is magical as always. This one builds slowly but transforms into a page turner. So many good characters in here including Death and his granddaughter Susan.

Oh and the four horsemen of the apocalypse show up, with a fifth horseman. And history monks.

Thank you for all you have written, Sir Terry.
Shaz
"Lu-Tze had long considered that everything happens for a reason, except possibly football."

"‘It makes you wonder if there is anything to astrology after all.’
‘Oh, there is,’ said Susan. ‘Delusion, wishful thinking and gullibility.’"
Elizabeth
Just when I think I'm reading Terry Pratchett for fun, I find myself mulling over the ideas he presents. Time. How do we see time personally? How do we imagine history? Don't we cover up the holes in history? Don't we spend time, waste time, agonize over the use of time while it drains away? What is a perfect moment? And while some of Pratchett's characters wrestle with time, others are figuring out what it means to be human. Having a body that has orifices, various demanding needs, and necessit ...more
Jose
Another amazing book, even if some of the jokes got tiring fast, the characters and the story makes up for it.
Ralph McEwen
If your are familiar with Discworld, then you will find the first 50 pages of the book only slightly confusing. If your are new to Discworld, I suggest that you start with an earlier book. I enjoyed this book even though I don’t usually like it when Terry Pratchett gets metaphysical, but when your dealing with Time, the manipulation of it, Death and the unknown powers in the universe and how else could you deal with it. The story poke fun at all of and made me laugh several times. The story at l ...more
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1654
Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,
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More about Terry Pratchett...

Other Books in the Series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches #1)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10)
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1) Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1) Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1) Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch #6)

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“Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.” 8559 likes
“When in doubt, choose to live.” 236 likes
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