The Quotable Pratchett: Feet of Clay

No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away

With the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett and the publication of The Shepherd’s Crown, I embarked on an epic re-reading of all 41 official Discworld novels, with the goal of finishing by 31 December, 2016.

Famous for its wit and wisdom, the series offers countless quotable quotes on a variety of subjects. The quotes I share should not be considered the whole of Sir Terry’s excellent prose; indeed, they are the tasty appetizers to a succulent, nourishing meal.

About Feet of Clay

Feet of Clay coverThis is the 19th Discworld novel and the 3rd in the Watch series.

As the Watch struggles with diversification, they must also deal with an unusual uprising and a cunningly devised plot against the Patrician. Something’s going on with the Golems, and could it be that Nobby Nobbs (the man who’s status as human had to be notarized) is actual nobility? And, like a bad penny, someone’s gotten it into their head that Ankh-Morpork would be better off with a king. In other words, a typical Monday on the Disc.

Dealing with concepts such as the nature and foundations of law, the ideas of freedom and responsibility, and the very concept of life, Feet of Clay lives up to the high standard we’ve come to expect from Terry Pratchett.

The Goodreads Blurb:

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 that only serve to muck up an investigation. The anger of a fearful populace is already being dangerously channeled toward the city’s small community of golems — the mindless, absurdlyindustrious creatures of baked clay who can occasionally be found toiling in the city’s factories. And certain highly placed personages are using the unrest as an excuse to resurrect a monarchy — which would be bad enough even if the “king” they were grooming wasn’t as empty-headed as your typical animated pottery.

To the Quotes!

Discworld Librarian

The  Librarian as he appears in The Discworld Companion, illustrated by Paul Kidby

People healed. Books didn’t

There’s some mythical creature called ‘overtime,’ only no one’s even seen it’s footprints.

Rumor is information distilled so finely that it can filter through everything. It does not need doors and windows – sometimes it doesn’t even need people. It can exist free and wild, running from ear to ear without ever touching lips.

It seemed to be a chronic disease. It was as if even the most intelligent person has this little blank spot in their heads where someone had written “Kings. What a good idea.” Whoever had created humanity had left in a major design flaw. It was its tendency to bend at the knees.

It had all been a long time ago. It didn’t matter what a bunch of deranged romantics thought. Facts were facts.

They were men who felt that The Time Had Come. Regimes can survive barbarian hordes, crazed terrorists, and hooded secret societies, but they’re in real trouble when prosperous and anonymous men sit around a big table and think thoughts like that.

It worked like a machine. That was fine except for the occasional people who got caught in the wheels.

There were two signs of a good alchemist: the Athletic and the Intellectual. A good alchemist of the first sort was someone who could leap over a bench and be on the far side of a safely think wall in three seconds, and a good alchemist of the second sort was someone would knew exactly when to do this.

Thousands of years ago the old empire had enforced the Pax Morporkia, which had said to the world: “Do not fight, or we will kill you.” The Pax had arisen again, but this time it said, “If you fight, we’ll call in you mortgages. And, incidentally, that’s my pike you’re pointing at me. I paid for that shield you’re holding. And take my helmet off when you speak to me, you horrible little debtor.”

There were no public health laws in Ankh-Morpork. It would be like installing smoke detectors in Hell.

Cows, in Sergeant Colon’s book, should go “moo.” Every child knew that. They shouldn’t go “mur-r-r-r-r-m!” like some kind of undersea monster and spray you with spit.

. . .

Previous: Maskerade    |     Next: Hogfather

The Complete List


Comments are closed.

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: