The Quotable Pratchett: Thud!

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 Thud!

This is the 34th Discworld novel and the 7th in the City Watch series.

thud-coverWar and Peace. Diversity. Art and the War on Drugs. The Importance of Reading. These are just a few things weighing heavy on Sam Vimes and the City Watch these days.

Koom Valley Day looms large, with dwarfs and trolls ready for some over-enthusiastic “reenactment.” Of course, it doesn’t help matters that deep-down grag Hamcrusher’s been murdered (seemingly by a troll, of course) or that the next Diamond King of Trolls is rumored to be hiding out in Ankh-Morpork.

Fred and Nobby try to stay out of trouble (and work), only to discover an important work of Art has been stolen – and it may hold the key to a secret a thousand years old.

Oh, and there’s a “powerful, quasidemonic thing of pure vengeance” on the loose.

Be careful where you strike your match, because things are rather explosive.

5 stars

The Goodreads Blurb:

Koom Valley? That was where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls. It was far away. It was a long time ago.

But if he doesn’t solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office.

With his beloved Watch crumbling around him and war-drums sounding, he must unravel every clue, outwit every assassin and brave any darkness to find the solution. And darkness is following him.

Oh . . . and at six o’clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, he must go home to read ‘Where’s My Cow?’, with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy.

There are some things you have to do.

To the Quotes!

Discworld Librarian

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

Zat’s freedom for you, said Otto, No-vun said it was nice.

Make them laugh, and they’re not afraid.

But when the dwarf bars and the troll bars emptied out in the evening, hell went for a stroll with its sleeves rolled up.

Find out why the world is not as you thought it was. Assemble the facts, digest the information, consider the implications. Then go postal. But with precision.

No excuses. No excuses at all. Once you had a good excuse, you opened the door to bad excuses.

Destroying a book is worse than murder to a deep-downer.

Light not only ruined your vision, it blinded you. You stared into the dark until it blinked. You stared it down.

Lengths of wood painted in black and yellow stripes and mounted on trestles were not barricades, not to anyone who’d been behind a real one, which was built of rubbish and furniture and barrels and fear and bowel-knotting defiance.

Coffee was only a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to your slightly older self.

A wise ruler things twice before directing violence against someone because he does not approve of what they say.

Some of us think that darkness isn’t a depth, it’s a state of mind.


Why bother with a cunning plan when a simple one will do?

Shoes, men, coffins; never accept the first one you see.

Ye gods, it was so much better when there were just four of us up against that bloody great dragon, Vimes thought as they walked on. Of course, we nearly got burned alive a few times, but at least it wasn’t complicated. It was a damned great dragon. You could see it coming. It didn’t get political on you.

The nose is also the only organ that can see backwards in time.

The trouble was, the trolls up in the plaza probably weren’t bad trolls, and the dwarfs down in the square probably weren’t bad dwarfs, either. People who probably weren’t bad could kill you.

Vimes could never get a handle on politics, which was full of traps for honest men.

To see the light is to be blinded. Do you not know that in the darkness, the eyes open wider?

…he talked about history and destiny and all the other words that always got trotted out to put a gloss on slaughter.  It was heady stuff, except that brains weren’t involved.

Who knows what old evil exists in the deep darkness under the mountains?  There’s no darkness like it.

. . .

Previous: Going Postal | Next: Wintersmith

The Complete List

GNU Terry Pratchett

Comments are closed.

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: