SPOILERS Thief of Time Discussion *Spoilers*

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Tonyblack

Super Moderator
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Jul 25, 2008
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#1
**Warning**

This thread is for discussing Thief Of Time in some depth. If you haven’t read the book then read on at your own risk – or, better still, go and read the book and join in the fun.

For those of us that are going to join in the discussion, here are a few guidelines:

Please feel free to make comparisons to other Discworld books, making sure you identify the book and the passage you are referring to. Others may not be as familiar with the book you are referencing, so think before you post.

Sometimes we’ll need to agree to disagree – only Terry knows for sure what he was thinking when he wrote the books and individuals members may have widely different interpretations – so try to keep the discussion friendly.

We may be discussing a book that you don’t much care for – don’t be put off joining in the discussion. If you didn’t care for the book, then that in itself is a good topic for discussion.

Please note: there is no time limit to this discussion. Please feel free to add to it at any time - especially if you've just read the book.

And finally:

Please endeavour to keep the discussion on topic. If necessary I will step in and steer it back to the original topic – so no digressions please!

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Thief Of Time by Terry Pratchett
Originally published 2001



Introduction

Lobsang Ludd and Jeremy Clockson have more in common that you might think – they are the same person! But while one is determined to build a glass clock that will end the world, the other is determined to destroy it.

So with the help of Miss Susan, Lu Tze and a renegade Auditor can Lobsang save the world? Will the ‘Five’ Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride again? And just how good a weapon is chocolate?
--------------------------------------------

I’ve always liked this book. There are several threads to it that all come together nicely at the end and make for a really exciting story. Terry uses the Auditors in this book to further explore what it is to be human with hilarious results. It’s great to see Lu Tze in such a large role in this story and to learn more about him and his ‘Way’. And seeing how Susan has progressed in life from governess in Hogfather to schoolteacher extraordinaire in this book is also well worth exploring.

But what did you think of it?
 
Aug 29, 2008
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Bridgwater Somerset
#2
Some interesting scientific ideas behind this book I think....

It delves into what time is, is time fixed and thus predictable... are all lives preordained or is self determination real.

Is time infinitely devisable or is there a unit of time that is indivisible as appears it to be in the book?

Alternate realities and alternate Universes?

Alternate you?

We may never know.....

This book opens a can of worms ( and maybe wormholes :laugh: ) about the true nature of time and space and self determinatin.
 
Oct 1, 2009
4,143
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Boston, MA USA
#3
One of the best

Thief of time was the first DW book I read. Probably not the best introduction, since it helped to be familiar with some of the characters (like Nobs and Colon). Then again, if I had started with "The Color of Magic" I probably never would have continued.

For my dollar, TOT is the best of the "non-series" books (Small Gods, Pyramids, Monstrous Regiment). You might classify it as part of the Death series, but Death and Susan are not the main characters here.

I just like it because 1) Lu Tze is such a great character, 2) The story has a great combination of character development and ideas; 3) It has Susan and Death in large roles. And it gives the the Auditors a much bigger role than past books.

If there's anything that's a detractor here, it's the 'reunion of the five horseman' sub-plot, and the inrdonate amount of bandwidth devoted to Soak. I guess it gives Death something to do, but it's not completely necessary.

Jeff in Boston
 
#5
Sorry about double posting.

Anyways. About the auditors. They are experianceing human-ness for the first time and fit right in. But they never learnt right or wrong or irrationality so the humans (weeel kinda humans) win. But they picked up on stupid rather quick. Stupid verging on idiotic. This was the intro. My grand theory will be revieled soon.
 
#7
I just bought it again... today at Borders. Thankfully, they won't have UA until tomorrow so I am safe from the cost until I actually will have the money LOL.

I really liked the book the first time I read it which was almost 7 years ago, and The Light Fantastic, and The Colour of Magic. But, I didn't "Get Into" Terry's books until I was messed up and truly in need of his style of help. I imagine he must think we are all just a mess of really deranged people to find him such a source of psycholigical help. I needed his books like some kind of drug in a serious way. I was so ready to off meself, that once I got a "hit" of Terry I became so hooked it was actually not funny, in a strange way.

I adore him and now that he has problems, I am willing to not bother him at a fan con since his memory is going I just don't want to burden him with my "healing" just knowing that he is a large part of my better mental health is enough. I hope he still gets into his Carnivorous plant collection.

Oh and if anyone can come up with a way I can send a letter to that Jack-arse reporter who did that rotten article about him, let me know. I have visual problems and having someone clean and MOVE things I would probably get really bitchy.
 

Dotsie

Sergeant-at-Arms
Jul 28, 2008
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#8
I quite like the book, it was definitely better on second reading. The first time I read it I wasn't overly impressed. I did like the auditors as humans bit, but I thought the little old men pushing brooms joke went on a bit. The Way of Mrs Cosmopilite was a stroke of genius though, as were the procrastinators.
 

Tonyblack

Super Moderator
City Watch
Jul 25, 2008
28,930
170
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Cardiff, Wales
#11
:oops: Sorry, I'm not online much lately and have been neglecting this thread a bit.
 
#12
bikkit said:
Sorry about double posting.

Anyways. About the auditors. They are experianceing human-ness for the first time and fit right in. But they never learnt right or wrong or irrationality so the humans (weeel kinda humans) win. But they picked up on stupid rather quick. Stupid verging on idiotic. This was the intro. My grand theory will be revieled soon.
The Auditors are a HOOT! They remind me of the Galaxy Quest characters.

I love Myria, love her sooo much. She was so graceful about how she decided to die. Absolutely perfect, and her distraction signs are a spot of brilliance.

They certainly did pick up on Stupid very quickly except for Myria, she is soooo good at being "Interested" in being human. Susan's reaction to the Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans was Hilarious. Was laughing even harder by that point.

Susan really seemed to come in to her own in this book.

I Still love the Monks, sweepers and all... sometimes you have to be beaten over the head with an idea for it to sink in.
 

Dotsie

Sergeant-at-Arms
Jul 28, 2008
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#14
Tonyblack said:
What did you all think of Susan in this one? :)
Didn't really like her o_O She was just a bit too... smug for my liking. The whole "I'll do whatever I like & be a right old bossy britches, thank you very much" attitude. Stopping time to go through someone else's things? Dodgy behaviour indeed.
 

Jan Van Quirm

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Nov 7, 2008
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#15
Sorry I haven't been in here - too much happening to cope with in a nutshell except for the odd 'breakout' rant here and there... :oops:

Bikkit *huggles and superhumanly resists taking a big bite* I adore the Abbot and he's a real story all on his own isn't he? It said somewhere along the way that he never got the hang of avoiding re-incarnation didn't it? So presumably Lu-Tse has, yet he still holds the Abbot in high esteem - perhaps that's because actually the Abbot's doing things the right way around and starting from scratch every 80 years or whatever. Somehow I think this is the right way to approach 'immortality' (or a measure thereof) 'cos although his memory carries over OK each time, his world view has to be compromised once a century at least and this is what enables him to re-examine the bases of the History Monks sum of knowledge or power and helps him grasp the 'quantum' side of it, which even Lu-Tse doesn't fully understand although he can blag his through most of it as a field operative - will come back to that later ;)

Galaxy Quest - sort of yes. :p There's Men in Black in there too - when Lu tells Lobsang it'll be the last robe (and broom) he'll ever need...? With the auditors I think the squiddy aliens in GQ are far too nice and impressionable to be compared with the psychopathic bean-counters, although that serene belief in GQ's cast 'saving' them is there with the kind of absolute faith in what must be. For the auditors and that creepy serenity I'm more reminded of the nasssty aliens in Mars Attack? :laugh: Stay with me a moment! ;) I'm thinking of the one who disguised themselves as the very strange femme fatale who did for Martin Short in the White House? Specifically for Myria at first I think - that gliding instead of walking and the dreamy but awkward manipulative intent? Spot on for me anyway :twisted:

Rule Number One was stretched but I liked the way that Lu always countered each challenge to debunk his reputation but still keep that little niggling faith in him being Historyman! - here to right time and tide and keep the future on track and the past in its place :laugh:

And back to movies and field operatives - loved, loved, loved Qu as Q in the "pay attention Tse" moment with the wind-up procrastinators! :laugh:
 

Jan Van Quirm

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Nov 7, 2008
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#17
*Nods* Myria's great and I love the last bit when Death comes for her and proves she really did make it as a human.

I'm past hating the auditors with this book 'cos Terry just shows them for they are - dead-end dead-heads who want everyone and everything in neat bland little boxes. I've worked for them and they're too real and too ridiculous for words so no pity whatsoever wasted on them - Myria wasn't one at all in the end. :twisted:
 
#18
I'd be an auditor just to die by chocolate... can't think of any better way to go! :twisted:

I hate auditors too but I think that is entirely the point.

I love the twist regarding Ronnie Soak.

Yes I found Susan a bit annoying in this but I have to say she was better than in Hogfather. And at the end she seemed to soften - especially as she has a new 'friend' - would love another book with them.


I see what you mean with the Auditors being a bit like the Aliens in GQ but their meaner cousins! ( 1000 HUGS to the person who mentioned this, one of my favourite films!)

I haven't finished it but I have read it only a few months ago and I know what happens.

I would also
LOVE to have a book involving the Abbot!

One word for you all...

BIKKIT!
 
Jul 25, 2008
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Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.
#19
bikkit said:
Sorry about double posting.

Anyways. About the auditors. They are experianceing human-ness for the first time and fit right in. But they never learnt right or wrong or irrationality so the humans (weeel kinda humans) win. But they picked up on stupid rather quick. Stupid verging on idiotic. This was the intro. My grand theory will be revieled soon.
Well, Bikkit, you said people were ignoring you, so though I agree that this is one of Pratchett's best, I'm going to have to "nit-pick" at your post.

The Auditors who incarnate could hardly be said to "fit right in" to humanity. When the first six appear to supervise Myria, they don't understand that the body has to breathe, and make a myriad of mistakes because they haven't the vaguest understanding of even the physical nature of humanity, let alone the psychological complexities of humanity.

And it's not that they are "irrational" but rather that they are disembodied intelligences who are completely rational unattached to the complexities of life and humanity. It's not that they are stupid, so much, as that they have never encountered as part of their nature the complexities which being human requires--emotions, conventions, politeness (to name only a few) are completely new to them.
 

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