Friday, December 18, 2009

Top 60 Novels of 2000-2009 Countdown, No. 13

Thud by Terry Pratchett

I really like Commander Vimes. He's a self-made man, he's a realist, and he's as honest as he can be. He has a wonderful wife and a cute kid. He's a good detective as well as a copper. And he lives in Discworld, which is a great place to visit, even if its technology is stuck somewhere in the 18th century and bizarre things happen in the bottom of dwarf mines, like something entering Vimes' mind in an effort to wreak vengeance. This is among the most entertaining books I read this decade (all the more entertaining on the Stephen Briggs audiobook), because so many familiar characters mix with new ones (Vimes takes a vampire into the Watch, and she clashes immediately with Sergeant Angua. But the most endearing part is Vimes' perpetual struggle to get home to read "Where's My Cow" to his kid, and how it plays out in the novel is absolutely hilarious. Pratchett's theme of tolerance between dwarfs and trolls (as well as tolerance among all disparate peoples) plays out here delightfully. 

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