One thing I am is stubborn. Another thing I is reluctant to leave anything unfinished, no matter how long it takes me. So after more than a year (has it really been that long? and is that really so surprising?), I am returning to my Pratchett Project. In my first pass, I read enough of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books to find some I can’t stand, some that are okay, and some I love. I was hoping for more of that last case when I picked up Thief of Time.
At first, it seemed typical of the ones I do like. It has a witty opening. It brings back characters I like: Death himself, the Death of Rats, Susan, the History Monks, and the Sweeper. Among the typically numerous new characters, there are two young heros, the tempus savant, Lobsang Ludd, and the brilliant clockmaker, Jeremy Clockson.
By the middle of the book, events are complicating nicely. There are jokes about the importance of never accosting an unarmed old monk. There are crazy technologies, like the spindles that the monks use to wind up excess time from one place and spin out to others, also known as Procrastinators. Best of all, there are some really neat speculations about the nature of Time.
Finally, all the forces get brought together in the one place where they will duke it out, and plot has to happen. The book turns into one big car chase, in typically frenetic Discworld style, and it sort of falls apart. Disappointing. And I liked it towards the middle, which makes it even more disappointing. But that’s okay, because I’m stubborn.