The Truth: A Novel of Discworld

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A war of words and a battle for the truth in Terry Pratchett's bestselling Discworld® series

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 journalist, de Worde has a proclivity for investigating stories—a nasty habit that soon creates powerful enemies eager to stop his presses. And what better way than to start the Inquirer, a titillating (well, what else would it be?) tabloid that conveniently interchanges what's real for what sells.

But de Worde's got an inside line on the hot story concerning Ankh-Morpork's leading patrician, Lord Vetinari. The facts say Vetinari is guilty. But as William de Worde learns, facts don't always tell the whole story. There's that pesky little thing called . . . the truth.



The Truth, Pratchett's 25th Discworld novel, skewers the newspaper business. When printing comes to Ankh-Morpork, it "drag(s) the city kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat." Well, actually, out of the Century of the Fruitbat. As the Bursar remarks, if the era's almost over, it's high time they embraced its challenges.

William de Worde, well-meaning younger son of reactionary nobility, has been providing a monthly newsletter to the elite using engraving. Then he is struck (and seriously bruised) by the power of the press. The dwarves responsible convince William to expand his letter and the Ankh-Morpork Times is born. Soon William has a staff, including Sacharissa Cripslock, a genteel young lady with a knack for headline writing, and photographer Otto Chriek. Otto's vampirism causes difficulties: flash pictures cause him to crumble to dust and need reconstitution, and he must battle his desire for blood, particularly Sacharissa's. When Lord Vetinari is accused of attempted murder, the City Watch investigates the peculiar circumstances, but William wants to know what really happened. The odds for his survival drop as his questions multiply.

The Truth is satirical, British, and full of sly jokes. Although this cake doesn't rise quite as high as it did in previous volumes, even ordinary Pratchett is pretty darn good, and those who haven't read a Discworld novel before can start here and go on to that incredible backlist. --Nona Vero


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