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The Truth

(Discworld #25)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  9,388 ratings  ·  536 reviews

The denizens of Ankh-Morpork fancy they've seen just about everything. But then comes the Ankh-Morpork Times, struggling scribe William de Worde's upper-crust, newsletter turned Discworld's first paper of record.

An ethical joulnalist, de Worde has a proclivity for investigating stories -- a nasty habit that soon creates powerful enemies eager to stop his presses. And what

Kindle Edition, 372 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins ebooks (first published November 2000)
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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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
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,
One of the best Pratchett I've ever read. A bonus star for the Watch's appearances. ...more
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 spre
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ma
“A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”

Welcome to the investigative journalism a la Discworld!

“In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds.”
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
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical, funny
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. ...more
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
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 w
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 brillia ...more
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
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, eve
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
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on."

The previous stand-alone Discworld installment was a dozen books ago, and The Truth, second in the Industrial Revolution sub-series, was apparently the break from routine Pratchett needed, because I have absolutely no notes: it's —ing excellent.

A rumour spreads that dwarfs have figured out how to turn lead into gold... in truth, they've invented movable type, and such a printing press makes its way to Ankh-Morpork, which g
Mary Catelli
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy, humor
In which dwarfs find a way to turn lead into gold. . . .

You create a printing press.

When they accidentally collide with William de Worde and break the engraving plate he used to send copies of his news to various foreign powers, they set it and produce more letters. And one things leads to another, with "Ankh-Morpork tImes" being a typo for "Items." And they start to sell the paper.

This involves the granddaughter of the original engraver getting hired by William, a dog, the other lodgers at Will
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, uno-yellow
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.”
Wiebke (1book1review)
This was so much better than I remembered. Also pretty sure I missed half the details when reading it the first time. This is such a great example of a book reaching its readers on various levels of their understanding without losing any of the enjoyment for the story.
This is also one I can recommend reading if you have never read a Discworld novel before.
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. ...more
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads, fantasy, humor
The city of Ankh-Morpork is a vast multicultural and multispecies metropolis with a strong economy and police force, so what happens when Discworld’s biggest city gets a newspaper? The twenty-fifth installment of Terry Pratchett’s fantasy-humor series, The Truth once more finds the flat world taking another step into an Industrial Revolution while a conspiracy looks led Ankh-Morpork into the future by looking back.

William de Worde, scion of one of Ankh-Morpork’s oldest families, is a scribe maki
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 v
The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret.

Reading Terry Pratchett always gives me this warm feeling but also a feeling where I want to go out and be a better person and do better, and this book was no exception. My favorite thing about Terry Pratchett is that he has so much social and political commentary and is brimming with anger about so many things that society does, but he is also fair and understanding about it. It’s a gentle kind of mockery that feels like he’s poking fun at himself, the type where
Ms Stef
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pratchett
I have always enjoyed Mr. Pratchett writing and plan on rereading all of the Discworld novels again and again. The truth is a good start for those new to the Discworld and just want to have a peek into what this alternative world is about.
William de Worde doesn't mean to start a newspaper he just happens to be at the right place and time for things to fall into sync. Now how can he share his passion for the truth with the Ankh-Morpork public and still keep alive?
The Truth tackles some heavy, d
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor
I found this book slow at times, but Prachett's humor always wins in the end. In this farce, he pokes fun at the press and the legal business. William De Worde, a son of wealth, parts ways with his father and starts a newsletter, which grows into a daily paper. Striving to provide "The Truth", he finds himself caught up in findout out that really happened to the Patrician, who is being framed for theft and assault, in order to find a new ruler for Ankh-Morpork. Working in parallel and sometimes ...more
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books in the Discworld series.
In this book Ankh-Morpork gets its first newspaper.
This book was about William de Word, the creator of Ankh-Morpak Times. It had a great story line, with people trying to get rid of Lord Vetinari again (who has small roles in the Discworld books but very vital to the story line). This book also had the best villain “- -ing” Mr. Tulip.
Enjoyable and frequent LOL moments
Corrie Eavenson
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another brilliant, entertaining, and imaginative read! Just what I've come to expect and appreciate from Terry Pratchett. Sometimes, though, I'd trade some of the humor for a bit more back story. ...more
Christina Stind
"If it was in the paper, it was news. If it was news it went in the paper, and if it was in the paper it was news. And it was the truth." (p. 134).
When Terry Pratchett is at his best, he takes something from the real world and puts it in the Discworld universe and watches what happens. In this book, it's journalism, free press and the news that are the subject of his scrutiny - and also how people in charge cope with these. This is a very succesful installment in the Discworld series since the
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Because nothing has to be true for ever. Just for long enough, to tell you the truth."

This sentence did stay for me for the larger part of my life and coming back to it always is a personal bitter sweet memory.

Most of "The Truth" is more on the light, funny side of Pratchett's Discworld novels. The first newspaper is introduced with all the benefits and problems of journalism and the realization that what people ought to know is not the same as what people want to know and would pay for.
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my third visit to Discworld, Terry Pratchett's charming creation, and I must say I enjoyed it very much. We meet William de Worde, a Lord who is rejecting his Lordship, and earns money writing a newsletter to the upper set of people about goings on. One day a rumor reaches his ears about Dwarfs turning lead into gold and goes to investigate. Instead he find a printing press. Soon he has a staff in the form of Sacharissa Crisplock, fellow reporter, a vampire engraver named Otto and a news ...more
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
I sort of had forgotten how involved Vetinari is in these City Books... not, like, directly, but how much they revolve around plots surrounding and involving him.

Anyway -

A good commentary on the free press, and it was kinda fun to watch Vimes try to come to grips with the changing Times. :>

Oh - one of my favorite parts was when Otto recognizes that William "wasn't raised nice", but he tries to be a better person. He doesn't always succeed, but he tries, and that counts for a lot.
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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, i

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; Industrial Revolution, #1)

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