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The Truth

(Discworld #25)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  50,782 ratings  ·  1,290 reviews
There's been a murder. Allegedly. William de Worde is the Discworld's first investigative journalist. He didn't mean to be - it was just an accident. But, as William fills his pages with reports of local club meetings and pictures of humorously shaped vegetables, dark forces high up in Ankh-Morpork's society are plotting to overthrow the city's ruler, Lord Vetinari.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 21st 2002 by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama (first published November 2000)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  50,782 ratings  ·  1,290 reviews

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Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I think I've only read this Pratchett novel once before, and on the re-read, I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

Don't get me wrong. The worst Terry Pratchett novel is still wonderfully enjoyable. And while I don't think this one is *the* best, it's *among* the best. Definitely on his A list.

As a bonus, I think this book would be more accessible to new readers, as most of the main characters are new, and the older characters are mostly there for support.

As I re-read all the Discworld novels,
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret.

So it says on the cover of the Ankh-Morpork Times. Printer’s error? Maybe. Maybe Terry Pratchett is up to his old tricks and this is a monster truck rally of Have-At-You!! intended to satirize journalism, government, free speech, and whatever else might get in the way.

In 1980 Sting, lead singer, songwriter and bass player for The Police sang this:

“Poets priests and politicians
Have words to thank for their positions
Words that scream for your submission
And no-one's
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The truth shall make ye free fret"

Despite their fear of that newfangled movable type, Ankh-Morpork has FINALLY gotten a newspaper!

Young William de Worde is quite surprised when his page full of "things written down" is suddenly incredibly popular with the citizenry, and publishing a newspaper becomes a rather terrifying, learn-as-you-go experience. Should he listen to the advice of others or go with his gut?

"Be careful. People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get
Aug 11, 2016 marked it as to-read
I was astonished just now to read the following passage from a recent Time article about Donald Trump:
Ask him about these struggles and the braggadocio fades to fatalism. “All I can do is tell the truth,” he says. “If that does it, that’s great. And if that doesn’t do it, that’s fine too.”
Mr. Trump, please call me as soon as possible. I have an idea. And I think you'll like it.
Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
3.5 stars

This was a fun book and a great introduction to William de Word, the creator of the newspaper of Ankh Morpork. He's a fun character and goes through excellent development.

Death makes a hilarious appearance and the Watch is scattered throughout. The Patrician also developed after approximately 26 books.

So, as always, I'd recommend this to fans of the Discworld series.
Deborah Markus
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a favorable bias toward the story of someone stumbling into the business of printed news. This story isn't exactly analogous to my own. I decided to start a magazine when the concept of magazines already existed. William de Worde managed to invent the newspaper without even trying. Terry Pratchett does a wonderful job of showing the form evolve in fast-motion.

He also gives ample stage time here to two of my favorite Discworld characters: Lord Vetinari and Commander Vimes. And of course,
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, fantasy, 2019-shelf

Ahhh, the start of the industrial revolution, as seen through the eyes of The News, Discworld style, and it's Ing fun. Ing right, I say! Ing stuff keeps bleeding through from our universe to Discworld and some might say the folk there JUST AREN'T READY for change and crap like this, but ING THAT.

Dibbler has his finger on the pulse of the time all right... even if it's bleeding cause he cut it. And Word? He's all right. The truth is, he's just getting caught up in the spirit of the Ing
One of the best Pratchett I've ever read. A bonus star for the Watch's appearances.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Truth is the second book in the Industrial Revolution subseries of Discworld. The first book had been Moving Pictures and was one of my least favorite, so I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

In this book, newspapers are introduced to Ankh-Morpork. Meanwhile, there’s a plot against Lord Vetinari (yes, another one!) to frame him for a crime. The story was funny and interesting, with some deeper commentary sandwiched within the silliness. I really liked the
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The 25th Discworld novel is one about the industrial revolution on the Disc.

William de Word doesn't want to live the way his family has for generations. Instead, he lives in Ankh-Morpork and got a job. While he pays his bills by writing letters to different people from different other places he comes across a few industrious (see what I did there? ;P) dwarves who have invented a rather advanced printing press. Thus the Ankh-Morpork Times is born. The problem is not that paper is now used to
Apr 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comedy
Reviewing Pratchett is always hard, I absolutely adore most of his books, and his literary cannon is huge. I have been reading all of the Discworld books in chronological order and have finally arrived at “The Truth,” the twenty-fifth book in the series. “The Truth” introduces the character of William de Worde, a young son of a noble who chooses not to follow in his father’s footsteps, rather attempting to make his own way in the world. Late one night the local rumor that Dwarves have found a ...more
A lot of your enjoyment of Terry Pratchett's DiscWorld series comes down to your awareness of the object of Pratchett's satire. In the case of "The Truth," it's the world of newspapers and journalism in general. Having a background in this, I found a lot of Pratchett's zingers and satire to be dead-on accurate in their humor and observation.

What I didn't find quite as spot-on was some of the twists and turns of the novel. For one thing, the identity of who is behind the elaborate conspiracy is
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, fantastical
The one in which Sir Terry foresaw the age of lying and calling it the (post-)truth and challenged the media to call fascist, racist scumbags on their hypocrisy, removing their power in the process. Well he got one part right, now it's your turn media and "news" outlets.
The press comes to Ankh-Morpork. Chaos, of course, ensues.

William de Worde, a ne'er do well noble who is ashamed of his noble heritage, has until now made his living by painstakingly collecting news and sending off a sort of newsletter to foreign peoples of import who are willing to pay him for it. Then some dwarfs roll into Ankh-Morpork with something called a printing press, and suddenly, what if they printed a bunch of them and sold them for like, fifty cents? And maybe hired some people to
An ultimately slight tale with a degree of laxness in the telling, but brought to life by passion and specificity - this is a novel about journalism, and clearly draws on Pratchett's experience in the field, both in its details and in its complex and unresolved ethical-political debates. The book also benefits from some of Pratchett's best villains, and is an enjoyable and frequently laugh-out-loud-funny read throughout.

Not one of my favourites, and the jaded reader may identify the flaws that
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You can read my review on my blog:
I really enjoy Discworld, but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did. It was easily 4.5 stars, and I might even raise it to 5 stars upon reflection (I’m rounding up for that reason now). Which really doesn’t make much sense, because I loved the first Industrial Revolution story in Moving Pictures. There’s just something about some sort of modern day technology being discovered on the Disc that’s wildly entertaining, and most of that probably comes back to Pratchett and his ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this about 15 years ago and quite enjoyed the satire and parody about "the truth" that's printed in newspapers (if it's published, it's ink-validated). It's about time for a re-read. Or maybe I'll buy the digital audiobook and listen to it, if the sound quality is good. This book comes after The Fifth Elephant in sequence, but could be read as a stand-alone.

This book includes some of my favorite characters — "people" I first met in Guards! Guards! —Lord Vetinari, Samuel Vimes, and several
Kaethe Douglas
April 3 2004
Jan 1 2012

Having read it twice, I feel like I should remember it better.


December 16, 2014

The Industrial Revolution series-within-a-series are all devoted to bringing the Discworld out of medieval European fantasy and into the modern world. This is the development of the printing press and newspapers. It is a romp on the theme of great newspaper romantic comedies, with the clever aristocratic publisher solving a mystery, dealing with politics, and getting the girl despite a certain
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Complete Discworld Reread

“An’ then…then I’m gonna get medieval on his arse.”

There were more pressing problems but this one intrigued Mr. Pin.

“How, exactly?” he said.

“I thought maybe a maypole,” said Mr. Tulip reflectively. “An’ then a display of country dancing, land tillage under the three-field system, several plagues, and if my –ing hand ain’t too tired the invention of the –ing horse collar”

You can always tell when my favorite author is on his ‘A’ Game and when he is off. When the
David Sarkies
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
Ankh-Morpork Gets a Newspaper
13 July 2017 - Perth

Okay, I'll admit that this story was better that some of the last few Discworld novels that I have read, but I'm still not hugely keen on continuing the series beyond the next one, which I believe is called The Thief of Time. While I'm sure there are people that absolutely adore everything that Pratchett has written, I'm one of those that sort of starts to get a little board with a series that seems to drag on for a little too long. Honestly,
Book Wyrm
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-a-tuin
This exploration of Journalism in the Discworld is perhaps the smoothest, most fitting and least cringe worthy of Pratchett's 'reference' books; he uses one bad pun and even that's hilarious.
Our throw away main hero, William de Worde, does feel a bit interchangable with his fellow disposable protagonists like Pyramids' Pteppic, 'that actor from Moving Pictures or 'that other bloke from Soul Music' (i.e tired of a stable life, want to express themselves, which somehow endangers the world and they
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tts-vs-jla
This is now up there with one of my favorite Discworld books. I loved the humor and the characters. I found it funny that the further along William got with the newspaper the more demanding and shouty he got.
If your familiar with Discworld this wont be anything new, its just another great Discworld book. If your not familiar with the Discworld, you really want to be.
If you print it people will believe it. Terry Pratchett has fun with media by giving Ankh-Morpork it's first newspaper. If it's in the paper it must be true, otherwise 'they' wouldn't print it, would they? Just who are "they" and what drives them? The power of the press grows as the city Patrician (ruler) is accused of attacking and bludgeoning his assistant.

If you're still a reader of newspapers in the age of internet there's nothing more telling about the power of the press then the automotive
Cora Tea Party Princess
I like it for the commentary on the media and the trust that people put in what they see in the news, but then there's also something about it that I just don't like and I can't put my finger on it.
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humor
Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2019.

The printing press has come to Ankh-Morpork and William de Worde is there from the beginning. He's been making a living writing a newsletter for a small group of nobles, but when he stumbles across the dwarfs who have brought movable type (and the wrath of the Guild of Scribes) to the city, they all quickly realize that the newsletter can go to many more people and be produced much more often. Thus the Ankh-Morpork Times is
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to TL by: Deborah Markus
Shelves: favorites
I went into this excited but a little nervous too... most satires either don't look interesting to me or I don't like it when alot of others love it. My sense of humor is a bit different sometimes haha.

Well, *points at my rating* happy to see this isn't the case :). Even though I didn't start at the beginning of Discworld, I wasn't confused and fell in love right away. A vibrant world that doesn't take itself seriously and plenty of laughs to go with the peril/drama when it happened.

Two of the
I enjoyed this, and I thought it had some great things to say about journalism, politics, etc. It ran a bit long for me, but, as with all of Terry Pratchett's work - I found lots of great quotes.

“When people say "clearly" something that means there's a huge crack in their argument and they know things aren't clear at all.”
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
You know how Goodreads has the Spoilers box you can check? I clearly need one for Full Of Despair Over The Future, And That Is Clearly Impacting This Book "Review." Honestly I'm surprised Goodreads doesn't already have something for this.

For the first time I became depressed while reading one of the Discworld books.

I don't mean a misty eyed "Terry Pratchett is dead, and there will never be another new Discworld book to surprise and delight me" sort of sadness. I'm talking about soul crushing
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I wish I knew what gets Sir Terry started on particular themes! Over the years Discworld has given opportunity to closely examine all sorts of themes important to the modern world:- In no particular order, Equal Rites examined women's rights, Maskerade examined the world of the performing arts, Pyramids totally parodied the traditional fantasy stereotype assassin, Moving Pictures took the p*** out of Hollywood until there was no joke left uncracked, Soul Music made an affectionate mockery of a ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Truth - Pratchett - 4 stars 1 11 Jun 23, 2018 10:09AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Truth by Terry Pratchett 2 27 Dec 31, 2014 02:44PM  
Should I read the rest of Discworld first? 19 651 Sep 29, 2013 01:44PM  

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Born Terence David John Pratchett, 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,

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 (Death, #1; Discworld, #4)
  • 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; Industrial Revolution, #1)
“There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty.
The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! Who's been pinching my beer?
And at the other end of the bar the world is full of the other type of person, who has a broken glass, or a glass that has been carelessly knocked over (usually by one of the people calling for a larger glass) or who had no glass at all, because he was at the back of the crowd and had failed to catch the barman's eye. ”
“Sometimes glass glitters more than diamonds because it has more to prove.” 713 likes
More quotes…