Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thief of Time (Discworld, #26)” as Want to Read:
Thief of Time (Discworld, #26)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Thief of Time (Discworld #26)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  33,869 ratings  ·  707 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
Paperback, 430 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Corgi (first published 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Thief of Time, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Thief of Time

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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

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.

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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
হাঁটুপানির জলদস্যু
প্র্যাচেটের বই চারতারার কম দেওয়া মুশকিল। এই বইটার ক্লাইম্যাক্স একটু জোলো। কিন্তু যথারীতি, নতুন কিছু চমৎকার মজার আইডিয়া আছে। প্র্যাচেট একটা প্রচলিত ধারণাকে মোজার মতো উল্টে দারুণ নতুন একটা কিছু বানাতে পারেন। যেমন, ঘড়িকোকিল। এই কোকিল সঙ্গিনী আকর্ষণ করার জন্যে একটা কাক্কু ক্লক বানায়, তারপর তার ভেতর থেকে ঘণ্টায় ঘণ্টায় বেরিয়ে এসে ডাকাডাকি করে। আবার যেমন, সাবস্টিশন। সুপারস্টিশনের সাথে এর পার্থক্য হচ্ছে, সাবস্টিশন হচ্ছে সেসব সত্যি জিনিস, যার অস্তিত্বে কেউ বিশ্বাস করে না।

সুসান স্টো হেলিট চরিত্রটা তেমন জম
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
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
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
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
Leenna Naidoo
I decided to see if Thief of Time had gotten any better with age. I half remembered beginning this Discworld novel years before, but could not remember if I had finished reading it. Back then, this particular Discworld event had not stood out for me, a firm lover of the Witches Trilogy and the Watchmen series.

Thief Of Time begins in a remote valley that is not the famed Lancre, but of foreign parts when time is managed and overseen by specially trained monks. We meet Lu-Tze, a sweeper with his
Tadeas Petak
In quite a few reviews by different people at different virtual spots, I have read that they do not appreciate it too much when Terry Pratchett gets metaphysical or when he gets too philosophical. I openly admit that I love it. I think that he has such an interesting mind to peek into through his books and that particularly by co-writing The Science of Discworld and all of its sequels, he has shown that he has every right to treat heavy subjects that science, philosophy and psychology are concer ...more
Jared Logan
I'm obsessed with Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. They're comfort food for nerds. Each one is like a big casserole made up of old Star Trek episodes, Monty Python routines and Swiftian social commentary, with extra English-ness sprinkled on for flavor.

Last time I reviewed one of these books it was Guards! Guards! which is considered a particular classic in Pratchett's forty volume Discworld canon. I wanted the next one I read to be a lesser-known gem. Fans on various forums seemed divided on
Another superb story in the Death series (sadly the last I think). Very funny throughout. A bit overdone with the metaphysical stuff for my liking though, and I got mightily sick of the "abbott is a baby" joke quite soon.

On the plus side, all the characters were brilliant: Lu-Tze was great, Susan was great, the Horsemen were great, LeJean and the Auditors were great, Igor was great.

Bring on Night Watch!
OK, to start some trouble:

I couldn't get more than 15, or so, pages into this. I know Pratchett is much loved, but I can't figure out why.

It seemed to me that very little care went into the writing and none to the editing: It's glib, but not at all funny. Like someone nice trying to reproduce in conversation the feel of a funny book (one by Douglas Adams, say) someone once described to them.
Sam Taylor
My first Terry Pratchett read, recommended strongly by two friends. Hands down the strangest book I have ever read. Finished only because I knew said friends would grill me on how I liked it. Half the time I did not know what was going on in the story. Characters kept popping up and it seemed as though I was supposed to know who they were and what they were doing. All their voices were great and fascinating, but I was still lost much of the time. That said, everything somehow came together at th ...more
Well Pratchett`s Pratchett! Fun and abundant events and curiously weird characters and more. But what I really like about the Writer is he has a sharp eye for things everyone should notice yet many choose not to...


The more people spoke, the closer to consensus every decision came, and the less responsibility anyone had.

Stuart Langridge

Time is of the essence in Terry Pratchett’s twenty-sixth Discworld novel. 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 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, well, time for Lu Tze and his apprentice Lob

Dec 07, 2013 Yvensong rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Darlene Milner
Shelves: bookcrossing, fantasy
I really enjoyed this addition to the Discworld series. Besides some of my favorite characters showing up (such as Death and Miss Susan,) I now have another character I love, Lu-Tze.

As is typical of the author in this series, he finds more of our sacred cows and pokes fun in such a way that this reader couldn't help but laugh.
Elizabeth Nelson
I really like most of the Diskworld book that I have read but I really like this one because it is one of the few with Susan Sto Helit. She is one of my favorite of the characters. Also this book is a multiple story line book that follows some new people in the Diskworld that are cool.
Duncan Mandel
SUMMARY: Everybody wants more time, which is why on Discworld only the experts can manage it -- the venerable Monks of History who store it and pump it from where it's wasted, like underwater (how much time does a codfish really need?), to places like cities, where busy denizens lament, "Oh where does the time go?"While everyone always talks about slowing down, one young horologist is about to do the unthinkable. He's going to stop. Well, stop time that is, by building the world's first truly ac ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Lost Book!! 1 51 Aug 11, 2012 12:53PM  
Flight reading 2 45 Jan 02, 2012 06:40AM  
  • East of Ealing
  • Knights Of Madness
  • Flying Dutch
  • The Unseen University Challenge: Terry Pratchett's Discworld Quizbook
  • The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently, #2)
  • Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland
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, ...more
More about Terry Pratchett...
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1) Mort (Discworld, #4) Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8) Night Watch (Discworld, #29)

Share This Book

“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.” 8223 likes
“When in doubt, choose to live.” 188 likes
More quotes…