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Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19)
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Feet of Clay (Discworld #19)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  37,055 ratings  ·  585 reviews
It's murder in Discworld! -- which ordinarily is no big deal. But what bothers Watch Commander Sir Sam Vimes is that the unusual deaths of three elderly Ankh-Morporkians do not bear the clean, efficient marks of the Assassins' Guild. An apparent lack of any motive is also quite troubling. All Vimes has are some tracks of white clay and more of those bothersome "clue" thing...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Corgi (first published 1996)
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Joan Opyr
Jul 07, 2010 Joan Opyr rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Joan by: Melynda Huskey
What interests me most about Terry Pratchett is that he explores (with great subtlety and wit) issues that other fantasy and speculative writers only pay lip service to -- racism, sexism, identity politics. Pratchett's hero, Sam Vimes, dislikes everyone: Dwarves, trolls, werewolves, gnomes, and, most especially, vampires. He is an equal opportunity curmudgeon, but his dislikes (with the exception of vampires) are not based on the identity of "the other" as much as they are on the identity of Sam...more
Olga Godim
This is a mystery: several murders have been committed, and the Watch of Ankh-Morpork is investigating. The Watch commander, Sam Vimes, has an additional problem: someone is poisoning Lord Vetinary, the Patrician. As both investigations proceed, the author parades in front of the readers a score of characters, each one faultier that the others.
In the lead of that parade is the protagonist Sam Vimes: a cynical policeman, a recovering alcoholic, and one of the few good guys in this predominantly...more
Kaethe
2008 January 1

It probably shouldn't be allowed for a writer to have this much fun with a mystery story.

***

2014 August 20

More mysteries: who is poisoning Vetinari, and, more importantly, how? Who killed the two old men? Why are the golems suddenly acting odd?

Vimes is hard at work on the first question, Carrot is looking into the second and third. Vital assistance is provided by Angua, Detritus, Colon, and Nobbs. Also, there's a new member of the watch, formerly of the alchemists, Cheery Littlebot...more
Callista
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Swaps55
Aug 29, 2007 Swaps55 rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Discworld fans
There's not a whole lot you can say about Discworld other than it's hard to go wrong. Of Pratchett's usual suspects, this book focuses on the Watch and San Vimes, with a brief cameo from Death and none from the infamous Rincewind.

I always feel that the Watch books operate differently than the others, because Sam Vimes comes across as a more well-rounded character who doesn't follow the same mold as someone like Rincewind. He's easier to take seriously, and therefore the Watch books (and there a...more
Cynthia Egbert
As a parent and a mentor to youth, the end of this book totally grabbed me as it had not done before. The idea that someone could go as wrong as the king golem because of too many words put in his head...and then the heart wrenching words from Dorfl as he died "WORDS IN THE HEART CANNOT BE TAKEN". I am posting this on my mirror to remind me that I need to put words in the hearts of those I teach, from my children on down and not just in their heads. As always, I love this book...after all, it sh...more
Sarah Sammis
I started reading through the Night Watch series of Discworld books for the Beach Blanket Bonanza challenge I ran. I enjoyed the books I read then enough to keep reading more of the series. I recently finished Feet of Clay and am now starting Jingo.

Feet of Clay is another straight up mystery. There have been a handful of murders and someone is trying to kill the Patrician again. Vimes, Carrot and the rest of the Watch must figure out who is behind the murders, the assassination attempts and why...more
Dimitris
Loved it. Perfect storyline, perfect feeling, perfect pacing. An obvious exaggeration but one to show how thoroughly I enjoyed the book. It would be difficult not to enjoy the realism of the main characters (and the caricature secondary cast), something I have come to appreciate in the previous City Watch novels. The character development is obviously not monumental as this is an episode of an ongoing series rather than a stand-alone work but still the addition of extra layers of complexity is n...more
Ali
Sep 27, 2009 Ali rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Plot description: Someone is killing old men while someone else is poisoning the Patrician, Lord Vetinari.

I keep returning to the Discworld books over and over – this has to be the fifth or sixth time I’ve read Feet of Clay, at least. Sometimes I take it off the self to read the story of Vimes against the vampire Dragon King of Arms of the Ankh-Morpork Royal College of Heralds. I always seem to forget that the Dragon is in this one because he’s really not the point.

Other times, I search this bo...more
Winonah
This is one of Pratchett's books that gained him the reputation for straying from science fiction into literature. Most of the depth escaped me when I first read it 12 or so years ago, both because I was younger and because it was the first Discworld book I read. After years of feeling that popular fiction was too shallow and most of the classics were too difficult, a friend encouraged me to read this. I expected a YA book with cleverer pop culture references. Within two pages, though, it was cl...more
Ann
I really enjoyed Pratchett's Death series, but the Night Watch series is even better. These are real police procedurals which follow all the conventions of the genre, except that some of the characters are human, some dwarf, some troll, some werewolf, some vampire, and each and every one is a fully realized and believable character. There's danger, happiness, sadness, intrigue, and throughout all, Pratchett's own brand of humor. Witness this passage: "He shook his head sadly. 'The trouble is, yo...more
Sam
Another humourous foray into the Discworld where we find that while assassinations are acceptable, outright murder is not. Here we follow Commander Vimes and his Watch team as they follow the trail of an unusual murderer who may not even be alive let alone human. On top of this Vimes has to balance the delicate situations of the Patrician not being on top form, one of his team discovering his heraldric ancestery, a werewold with pre-luna tensions and a new alchemist dwarf on his team, all with h...more
Kurtbg
What did I learn in this 19th book in the discworld series by Terry Pratchett? I'm not so sure. Maybe some political stuff - but the main reason is to be entertained by the absurd characters and their absurb problems. There's the Dwarf-troll historical enmity, a vampire with a passion for heraldry, a straight-arrow heir to the throne hidden within the citywatch with a lycan girlfriend, the ruler of Ankh-morpork is being poisioned, and there's a problem with golems committing suicide.

Wastrel
A gorgeously-crafted though perhaps slightly over-ambitious entry in the series - not the absolute peak, but certainly a classic. Here, Pratchett takes on a complex, mystery-based plot, and makes it very funny along the way, but the soul of the book is the character work given to the Watch officers (even Sergeant Colon). The Watch novels are probably neither the deepest nor the funniest of Pratchett's books, but they are favourites for so many people precisely because of the fantastic strength i...more
John
This has everything you've come to expect from a Terry Pratchett Discworld book: great plot and character development, humor and world play. This story centers around murder mystery, a plot to kill Lord Vetinari and golems, whether they are just mindless machines or sentient beings. Sir Sam Vimes, Commander of the Watch, is in charge of the investigation. Like all of the Discworld books, this one is enjoyable on so many levels and you can read it as simply a humorous murder mystery or a deep pol...more
Cygny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trent
CSI: Ankh-Morpork, that is to say the Watch storyline of the Discworld series, continues in Feet of clay and once again there’s more socio-political philosophy than you can shake a stick at. Marxism, feminism, you name it, Pratchett’s got it, though fortunately they are presented in a much more palatable and enjoyable manner than my professors could ever impart such information, but I’ll get into that more later.

To start off, I found this iteration of the Watch’s story to adhere much more stri...more
Melissa Proffitt
On the surface, Feet of Clay is typical of Pratchett's novels in the post-Moving Pictures, pre-Night Watch era--the books where Pratchett moved away from straight parody to humorous fiction with a dash of philosophy. On a deeper level, it's a story about free will that I dare call profound.

Yet another group of supposedly civic-minded "representatives" of the people want to replace Vetinari with a puppet king (in this case, absurdly, Nobby Nobbs); at the same time, the golems of Ankh-Morpork, de...more
Fantasy Literature
Feet of Clay: Golems, vampires, and succession

The City Watch is growing, and its new members bring new skills and talents to help stop crime in Ankh-Morpork. Angua, a werewolf, can trace criminals by their smell, while Detritus, a troll, interrogates suspects by “screaming angrily at people until they give in.” Cheery Longbottom is Vimes’ newest recruit, an alchemist, and perhaps the only dwarf in Ankh-Morpork who does not enjoy rowdiness. The criminals had better be careful.

In fact, the Watch h...more
Nikki
Some time ago, there was a study reported about Alzheimer's disease. The researchers had looked at the autobiographies a group of elderly nuns had written many years before, when they entered the convent. Their conclusion was that the nuns who had written dull, pedestrian autobiographies were the ones who developed Alzheimer's, and those whose writings were more creative did not. I imagine this very small study has been discredited by now, and if not, it would only take the reading of one book b...more
Maria705
In many books, there are conflicts with sexism. In this book, Cheery Littlebottom is a dwarf, and female dwarves aren't allowed to show their gender. Meaning, most dwarves find it unacceptable for female dwarves to wear feminine clothing or makeup in public. Since all dwarves, regardless of gender, grow beards, this gives the outsider the impression that all dwarves are male. Humans recognize gender by clothing and facial features, so if a human saw a dwarf with a beard wearing the chain mail th...more
Sho
Aug 27, 2011 Sho rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sho by: Mum
Shelves: discworld, fantasy, humour
The watch again - yaay - this time with the addition of dwarves, female, as well as the usual crowd.

Feet of Clay is the usual mixture of chaos and lovely writing, phrases that can really make you stop. This bit, for instance when Sergeant Colon is running away from... something

The street was full of animals, milling around uncertiainly. When animals are in a state of uncertainty they get nervous, and the street was already, as it were, paved with anxiety.


So, what is Feet of Clay about? As usual...more
Maria
The city watch series is my favorite in Terry Pratchett's disc world, and this entry holds up nicely to its companions. The watch series always contains the most acute political and social satire in the Pratchett universe, since it follows the work of policemen in a corrupt and festering city.

The reason the watch books work so well is that Pratchett manages to make every person likable -- from the scheming Lord Vetinari to the petty, unhygienic Nobby Nobbs. That keeps both the books and the rea...more
Stuart
I wouldn't say I'm a huge Terry Pratchett fan, and I've never read any other Discworld books, but this was a pretty delightful read and I would recommend it to someone looking for a smarter than average but still relatively lightweight entertainment. The characters are fun and well drawn, the situations they find themselves in funny and poignant at the same time, particularly in regards to their relationships and the self-discoveries of the golem at the center of the story. Left me wanting more...more
Nivedita
Samuel Vimes ranting about Clues :
--

The real world was far too real to have neat little hints. It was full of too many things. It wasn't by eliminating the impossible that you got the truth, however improbable; it was by the much harder process of eliminating the possibilities.

He distrusted the kind of person who'd take one look at another man and say in a lordly voice to his companion, "Ah, my dear sir, I can tell you nothing except that he is a left-handed stonemason who has spent some years i...more
P. Aaron Potter
When a series reaches the length and weight of Pratchett's Discworld series, it begins to beg the question: where's the beef? Which of the titles in the series are the best, which ones can be safely passed over, and which ones stand out from the crowd, for good or ill?

It's a tough fight, with many worthy contenders, but I'm going to say this is the book that convinced me that Pratchett was no longer writing fantasy, nor humor, bbut Literature, with a capital "L."

I don't know if it's his very b...more
Kathleen
I think this just read the guards books plan of mine is going to work out. I love atheist golems, interesting poisonings, plotting nobility, and plodding coppers.

Very funny, would recommend, but just to be clear, don't try to read the series from the start. Go with the Guards and you can't go wrong.
John
Picking up right where Jonathan Swift left off, Terry Pratchett enchants readers once again with another novel of the Discworld, a fantasy land with many uncomfortable similarities to Earth in regard to the politics, prejudices, and narrow-mindedness of its people. Like Swift, Pratchett brilliantly skewers popular convention and manages to locate the absurd in just about everything imaginable. FEET OF CLAY is the first comedic fantasy police procedural I've ever read, and, unlike most novels wri...more
Rebecca Huston
Oh I had plenty of fun with this one! In a nutshell, the Vimes family past is revealed, Golems, murder, the College of Heralds of Ankh-Morpork, someone tries to kill Lord Vetinari, and Nobby finds out that he just might be an Earl. Not to mention the ongoing romance between Angua and Carrot, as well as the latest recruit to the City Watch, a dwarf by the name of Cheeri Littlebottom. Plenty of thoughtful moments leaven out the mayhem, and some of Pratchett's best is tucked away here and there. Ov...more
Richard Stueber
There are no wizards or witches in this novel (and I miss them). Lord Havelock Vetinari, Patrician (read Dictator) of Ank-Morpork is being slowly poisoned and Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the City Watch is on the job, but getting nowhere fast.
The golems of the city have killed people and are otherwise running amok destroying themselves. The are just animated clay and are not really alive but are just supposed to follow the orders of their Masters. Because they have no personality they are just...more
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Feet of Clay 5 105 Oct 23, 2012 09:57PM  
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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,...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)

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“Just because someone's a member of an ethnic minority doesn't mean they're not a nasty small-minded little jerk.” 180 likes
“WORDS IN THE HEART CANNOT BE TAKEN.” 104 likes
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