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Thief of Time

(Discworld #26)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  52,582 ratings  ·  1,311 reviews

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

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Kindle Edition, 437 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2001)
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Nancy there is a subtle kind of electricity between the two of them, its not written out in words so much, but you can almost feel it! i felt it while…morethere is a subtle kind of electricity between the two of them, its not written out in words so much, but you can almost feel it! i felt it while reading, especially when they are going thru the clock together.(less)
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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.
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
Aug 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Magrat Ajostiernos
Desgraciadamente me aburrió HORRORES todo el tema de los monjes y la historia de Lu-Tze, que ocupa buena parte de la novela, pero es que todo lo demás me encantó. Especialmente los divertidísimos Auditores, la siempre genial Susan y su inimitable abuelo, y por supuesto la aparición estelar de una de mis brujas preferidas.
Así que no sé muy bien que pensar de este libro, cosas muy guays y otras no tanto.
Lyn
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kwai Chang Caine and Master Kan sit meditating, sipping tea and discussing Terry Pratchett’s 2001 Discworld novel Thief of Time.

Master Kan: Please tell me, young Caine, what was your favorite part of Sir Pratchett’s book.

Caine: I liked it all, master, but I suppose I most liked the character Lobsang Ludd.

Master Kan: Why is that grasshopper?

Caine: Master, he was an apprentice to the great Lu-Tze, who was only a sweeper, and yet he was so much more, he traded his deserved greatness for a lowly pos
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Kaethe
3/26/2004
6/27/2014

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
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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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YouKneeK
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thief of Time is the fifth and final(!) book in the Death subseries of Discworld. I’ve always been a little iffy on this subseries, but I think this was my favorite of the five books. The general story is that an Auditor has commissioned a clockmaker, Jeremy, to make a special clock. What the Auditor doesn’t tell Jeremy is that this clock will supposedly have the power to stop time, bringing an end, or at least a permanent pause, to the Discworld.

Death didn’t actually get that much page time in
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Carolyn
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, fantasy
This is my first time reading this particular volume of Discworld. As usual it was a fun romp with some old friends and some inventive new characters and an innovative plot. However, I don't think it's going to be one of my favourites (there are so many to choose from) as it didn't seem as cohesive (if that is a world you can apply to a Discworld novel) as others in the series. It may not have helped that I read this slowly as my bedtime read. Maybe a re-read would help :)

Having said that, there
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Silvana
A tad bit more complicated in plots than the usual Death books but I quite enjoyed it still. The highlights would be the horseman of the apocalypse and baby abbot. Bikkit!
Melissa McShane
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fantasy, humor
This is one of my favorites because there's so much going on: Lobsang Ludd and Lu-Tze solving the mystery of the end of time; Susan Sto Helit being drawn back into her grandfather Death's world once more; the Auditors making another attempt to destroy humanity, but in so doing they come a little too close to being human themselves. There's even a romance, though Pratchett was frankly terrible at them, but this one is sweet--and happens entirely in the background.

A subtheme of this book is the id
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David Sarkies
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tempus Fugit
15 November 2017

It's funny because I was planning on making this the last of the Pratchett books that I would read only to discover that I really enjoyed it, which means that I might consider reading a few more just to continue to add them to the list of books that I have read. Okay, maybe I am going to be a little disappointed when I get the the next couple of books, but a part of me does want to read Going Postal because, well, a book with the title 'Going Postal' does grab my att
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Marita Arvaniti
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might just be the best pratchett book ever im calling it
Carla Estruch
La historia de amor más bonita jamás contada. Literalmente.

Reseña en Fábulas estelares.
Sara J. (kefuwa)
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of discworld, chocolates & the five, eh, four horsemen of the apocalypse
Recommended to Sara J. by: "random" library pick
What I thoroughly enjoyed:
1. Death
2. Susan
3. Scenes with the other Horsemen of Apoc
4. Chocolates
5. The last third or quarter of the book

My favourite bits are Susan as kindergarten teacher, any exchange among any of the Horsemen (hilarious) and the bits with chocolate. HAHA.

The above more than made up for the meandering first half-ish part of the book. And I couldn't (in the beginning) care less about the monks or Lu Tze until at least half way past the book (did a fair bit of dragging my eyes ac
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Toby
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
In many ways Thief of Time is the definitive work of the later Disc period, here is a book that blends pop culture, philosophy and the observation of society with humour, both dark and silly, to hold a mirror up to human behaviour, explaining why we do the things we do, pointing out how things can be done better and there's a stream of genuine goodness to counteract the inherent selfishness of the species that seems to provide cause for hope, at least in the mind of Pratchett, in the face of the ...more
Cory
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Matt
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor, 2016-reads
The rules of the universe are once again being bent to endanger life, but this time it is really Time itself that is being used as the weapon of choice. The 26th installment of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series finds many characters quite literally being a Thief of Time from certain points of view, yet only one can truly change history.

The Auditors of Reality attempt once again to organize the universe by getting rid of life by literally stopping everything by having a clockmaker construct the
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Tim
What to say, except that Mr. Pratchett took on an original subject for a story: time and building the ultimate clock, one that couldn't be more precise. But the downside is that once it's activated, it stops time. This has to be avoided at all costs, even if it means playing with different times / events / eras / ...

As is custom, there must also be humour, although on a whole I found a little less dominant compared to previous Discworld novels I've read, not in the least Reaper Man, for example,
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Claudiu
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Beth
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
...This actually worked for me. I mean, it has flaws: too much attention to niggling, irrelevant details; that overly aware tone to the narration; sections where style is prioritized over - well, everything, including story.

But I read this as a fairy tale, and it's a pretty compelling one. It's exciting, and a little weird, and doesn't have too much of the characters I consider gimmicks (though the Auditors, in a storyline entirely too drawn-out, definitely do their best to take Death's spot). T
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K.
3.5 stars.

This book is fun, but it's also kind of disjointed. There's an awful lot of stuff going on, and it takes a long time for all the plots to tie together. Still, it features Susan, and Susan being a teacher, and Susan is one of my favourite things about the Discworld.

The History Monks work better for me in theory than in execution - there's only so many times you can read reincarnation jokes where the Abbot yells "WANNA BIKKIT" in between spouting deep philosophical thoughts before it g
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AnnaG
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terry Pratchett was probably the greatest philosopher to ever live. From Wen the Perpetually Surprised to the martial arts of sna-fu and okidokdi to the Auditors trying to understand Art through measurement, Pratchett entertains, bewilders and enlightens.
Lydia
Abandoning at p. 173
Idk I'm just bored and life's too short.
Daphne
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readathon18
#readathon18 Ένα αστείο βιβλίο

The first book by Terry Pratchett I ever read, more than a decade ago. I remembered almost nothing and wanted to re-read it. I always struggle a bit to get into Pratchett's books at the beginning, because the plot feels too disjointed for me. But once I get into them, his books are amazing and that's why he's a joy to re-read. I want to try to read more of his books that I haven't read and re-read the ones I have but don't remember well.
Chip
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Oh, where are my manners? Do sit down. Pull up a small child.”

I loved this book. It is easily my favorite book of the DEATH series and that is saying something after my feelings towards Mort. I wish I could somehow go back and re-read this book for the first time. I wish that I was an interesting enough person to make everyone sit down and immediately start this series just to get to read this book for the first time.
“Jeremy tried to be an interesting person. The trouble was that he was the ki
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Kristen
Apr 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
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
K.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Narilka
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS, STAYS HAPPENED.

"What kind of philosophy is that?"

THE ONLY ONE THAT WORKS.


Thief of Time is the fifth and final book in the Death sub-series and the 26th Discworld book in published order. I think I have found my favorite Death book though it really features Susan more than Death himself. This is also a hard plot to summarize. I'll do my best.

The world is scheduled to end next Wednesday. Humanity is messy and the Auditors of Reality hate messy. It's time to tidy things up
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Rebecca Huston
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, discworld, series
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
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30,394 followers
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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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)
“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.” 9616 likes
“When in doubt, choose to live.” 393 likes
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