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Feet of Clay

(Discworld #19)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  63,970 ratings  ·  1,447 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 quitetroubling. All Vimes has are some tracks of white clay and more of those bothersome "clue" things

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Kindle Edition, 405 pages
Published (first published June 1996)
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  63,970 ratings  ·  1,447 reviews


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Patrick
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion, this is the book where Pratchett *really* hits his stride in terms of the city watch books. The characters are established, the setting is solid, and Pratchett is solidly in control of his craft here.

As I said before (or at least meant to say) the second book about the city watch was twice as good as the first. Similarly, this book is twice as good as the second one. Putting it solidly in the familiar A+ quality book that comprises easily half of Pratchett's work.

Of personal
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Joan Opyr
Sep 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Lyn
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This may be the funniest Discworld novel.

And definitely one of the best.

Terry Pratchett, ever the clever turn of phrase artist, is here in rare form. This is literally chock full of puns, clichés, similes, metaphors and enough droll word play to make Nabokov choke a chicken. His easy, almost swaggering virtuosity makes this a fun read; I was literally reading the story, but waiting for and expecting his next verbal tickle.

It is as though when he got to this one, his 19th Discworld novel first
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Jokoloyo
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was my FIRST EVER read of Terry Pratchett works. I put 5 star rating because this book introduced me to a wonderful universe and a great author.

characters Discworld Watch Lineup by Ligeias-Ghost from Deviant Art

I highly recommend to read editions that have illustrations of coat-of-arms that appeared in the story. At my first read from a library book, it was a hardcover Gollancz edition with the coat-of-arms illustrations before the story began. Let's just say the coat-of-arms have significant
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Bradley
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-shelf
I really enjoy the City Watch novels because every character is a hoot. Vimes is off the hooch, Nobby is about to be crowned king, and there are truly mysterious murders going on. And attempted murders. Of Vetinari, no less.

This is one of those super-solid Discworld novels. Pratchett has his thing going on, full tilt. Discrimination is explored on a much broader basis than ever before and just imagine... GOLEMS! So everywhere that NO ONE NOTICES them. Solution?

Revolution. Of a sort. If you're
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Trish
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This 19th Discworld novel is, once again, a small masterpiece. Yes, I‘m aware I sound like a broken record but it seems all of the novels have and keep this level of quality. It‘s something to behold.

This time, we are back in Ankh-Morpork, following Sam Vimes and the City Watch while they are trying to solve a few puzzling murders. It doesn‘t help that Vimes is a man of honour which means he‘ll keep his promise to his wife that he won‘t drink.
But the City Watch, now seriously enlargened and
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David Sarkies
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love satire
Recommended to David by: A number of friends
Shelves: comedy
The butcher, the baker ...
23 March 2015

A part of me, upon learning of Sir Terry's death, thought that it was only fitting to make the next book that I read a Discworld novel; which turned out to be this one. I won't say anything about Sir Terry here as I have already written a blog post on his passing and instead will just speak about this book. In fact, it turned out that so far this was one of the best discworld novels that I have read (and that is saying something since there are quite a few
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Melindam
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is fascinating to read the Ankh-Morpork City watch books in order and see how the Watch and the characters develop through the novels.

And here's looking at you Sherlock...

“Samuel Vimes dreamed about Clues. He had a jaundiced view of Clues. He instinctively distrusted them. They got in the way. And 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
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Richard
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, fantasy
8.5/10

Another great entry into the Discworld series overall and makes it hard for me not to think I made an error not starting the Watch sub-series as my first foray into Discworld. The 3 novels I’ve read in this sub-series have probably all been better than the other Discworld books I’ve read previously (maybe exclude “Going Postal” in that). It may be that I have a better affinity with crime driven stories so I can get on board with the plot quicker but I just think it might have something to
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Pavle
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastika
Uvek kad počnem da čitam Pračeta kako bi me razveselio, završim tužniji nego pre. Ovaj pasus je dobar primer zašto:

“For Cockbill Street was where people lived who were worse than poor, because they didn’t know how poor they were. If you asked them they would probably say something like ‘mustn’t grumble’ or ‘there’s far worse off than us’ or ‘we’ve always kept uz heads above water and we don’t owe nobody nowt.’
He could here his granny speaking. ‘No one’s too poor to buy soap.’ Of course, many
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Kaethe Douglas
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
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Lindsay
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fantasy
Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2018.

Back to the Watch sub-series and the introduction of Cheery Littlebottom to the force, the new Watch alchemist/forensics corporal and female dwarf. Just in time for a case that needs lots of forensics support, involving odd sorts of clay, golems and poison.

This has always been one of my favorite of the Watch series, introducing Cheery Littlebottom and Dorfl and even Wee Mad Arthur (who gets a retcon much later in the series
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Cynthia Egbert
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-and-read
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 ...more
José
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reseña en español: click aquí.
Mis otras reseñas de Mundodisco.

English review soon. This is the Spanish edition of Feet of Clay

Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Power, control, deception, life, police.

This was an excellent audiobook - I think that Nigel Planer did another fantastic job narrating the story.

Feet of Clay felt a lot more More (if that makes sense?) in that everything felt fully developed, and the characters had more depth than in the previous books. I feel like I actually know the characters, and I honestly love Vimes and his pettiness.
Olga Godim
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
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
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YouKneeK
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feet of Clay is the third book in the Watch subseries of Discworld. It’s also the Guards book that I’ve enjoyed the most so far. In fact, it may even have given my previous favorite Discworld book, Wyrd Sisters, some competition.

I was worried at first that this book would rehash old ground with the “let’s get ourselves a puppet king” thing. There’s a bit of that, and it’s an important aspect of the story, but it doesn’t overpower the story and it has a more amusing twist than in previous books.
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Ashley
Awwwwww. I didn't expect to feel so heartwarmed over a Discworld book, but damn if this book didn't me feel all fuzzy inside. I'm just such a sucker for stories about, well, what this book is about. SPOILERSSS.

So this is a City Watch book, and that means several things: Captain Samuel Vimes doing good deeds and being very grouchy about it, Carrot being overly literal and good at his job while everyone likes him with no effort on his part whatsoever, and the other members of the Watch being also
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Tanya
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discworld
A werewolf with pre-lunar tension.
A dwarf with attitude.
And a golem who's begun to think for itself.


This book was just delightful, cemented the City Watch as my favorite Discworld subseries, and marked the first novel where I wasn't only riding along for the chuckles and veiled social commentary, but where I was really and truly invested in the murder mystery Pratchett spun. Well, a mystery of a different kind—Commander Vimes isn't only determined to find out whodunit, but howdunit too, and we
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Toby
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vampires, golems, female dwarfs, multiculturalism, CSI, slavery, another attempt to overthrow Vetinari, regicide, democracy, it all comes together to create one of the great Discworld novels, not least because it stars Sam Vimes and the rest of his motley group of Ankh-Morpork watchmen.
Bee
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just love the Vimes books. I think it's my all time favourite series. I laugh every damn time, and some of these I've reread many times over the decades. and they just say good
Chris Boulton
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to confess that originally this wasn't one of my favourites out of 'The Watch' books.. just didn't seem to click like the others did but this time round, I really enjoyed it. Maybe writing these wee reviews made me appreciate it a bit more because I knew I would have to write something about it afterwards!

There's a bit of this, towards the end, that made me think..

'The thought occurs, sir, that if Commander Vimes did not exist you would have had to invent him.'
'You know, Drumknott, I
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Winonah
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
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 ...more
Gauri
Could someone explain Pratchett's rhetorical message regarding race to me?

This book takes place in a fictional city called Ankh-Morpork, a medieval version of a bustling, culturally-diverse city, similar to London or New York City. Vimes is similar to a police chief, a sergeant, who employs a group of individuals in the force just as diverse as the city. Among the races are dwarfs, trolls, vampires, werewolves, zombies, and much more. What concerns me is that Vimes, either in this book, or the
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Michael Campbell
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time a Discworld book was even better than I remembered upon a second reading. This book is filled with a pleasant mix of intelligent thoughtful humor and groan worthy puns and wordplay.

The characters really hit their stride in this novel, and The Watch finds a perfect rhythm. I found the plot somewhat lacking, even though I really like the golems as an interesting tool for Pratchett's cynical symbolism.

This book just didn't hit me quite as hard as the previous installation,
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K.A. Ashcomb
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been going through an awful time lately, and rereading Feet of Clay has helped me get through it. The beauty of Discworld novels is that while they feel light and entertaining, there is something deep bubbling underneath. Like with Feet of Clay, Pratchett asked questions like Kings! What to do with them? Why do we want them? Do they magically make things better? Or is it the fact that we can push all our worries to them? And blame? That is just scratching the surface. Pratchett asks ...more
Meep
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book. There's humour, some great plays on words, an assorted bunch or interesting characters, murders and if you look beyond the laughter some sharp insights into racism, gender, slavery, social-class, religion, responsibility.
Pratchett saw the world very clearly but hid that behind jokes. He even mocked his own writing:

The tincture of night began to diffuse the soup of the afternoon.

Lord Vetinari considered the sentence, and found it good. He liked 'tincture' particularly. Tincture.
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Linda
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, audio
I think the City Watch Discworld books have my favorite set of characters.
Wiebke (1book1review)
I loved it. I had forgotten so many things that were implemented in this book that laid down further the basis of the Watch and its characters. The writing just had me glued to the pages and it was really hard to put it down.
Kathleen
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this City Watch / Night Watch sub-series of Discworld. Newly knighted Sir Samuel Vimes (and his bleeping "imp"), Lord Vetinari, and the whole multi-species gang of street patrollers. Here's Carrot Ironfoundersson leading Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs into the Shades.
http://graffitihead.deviantart.com/ar...
(artist Graffitihead)


Sometimes, the tone gets a bit teachy / preachy, and some puns have me rolling my eyes, but still, jolly good stuff, with lots of satire, and parallels to current
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32,937 followers
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,
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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)
“Just because someone's a member of an ethnic minority doesn't mean they're not a nasty small-minded little jerk.” 340 likes
“WORDS IN THE HEART CANNOT BE TAKEN.” 196 likes
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