Book Review

Thief of Time | Book Review

Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH’, the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry.

― Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time

Story Snapshot

A boy with uncanny abilities joins up with an old man who can talk his way out of anything to stop the world from ending. They are also joined by death’s grandaughter (who also happens to be a schoolteacher) and a non-human entity with a vicious love of chocolate. Throughout the course of the story time stops for all mankind, death reunites with his old comrades (the four horsemen + Ronnie) and children are taught algebra at the tender age of 7.

First Thoughts

This book is flipping fantastic! Some books are intellectually enjoyable. Some are aesthetically enjoyable. And some are just…fun and you don’t have to try to like it at all. It was zany, quirky, weird, philosophical, witty and absolutely and ridiculously fun to read.

The premise is intriguing to being with. What would it look like if you could store and manipulate time?

Philosophical Questions it Explores

  • Time itself and what that means.
  • What makes a person a person?
  • Could there be a chocolate so delicious it could even cause death?
  • What would it be like for a non-human alien lifeform to become human for the first time?
  • The personification of ideas and abstract concepts like time, death, chaos etc.

Pros

Characters that weren’t easy to figure out, had nothing in common with me, yet were simultaneously relatable.

A plot that was twisty and full of surprises…rather like a pretzel.

The writing pulled you forward and never dragged. Some stories meander and wander. This one was one of the ticking time-bomb stories where you know something big is going to happen and you’re just waiting for that climax the entire time. Each chapter kept building it up higher and higher and tugging you along to the conclusion.

Susan- I think she is one of my new favorite characters. She was analytical and stubborn, with rough edges but a deeply hidden kindness.

A zany, yet well-thought out world. The fantasy elements were random and bizarre, but the author never contradicts himself which is really all that matters.

The prose was hilarious and poetic at the same time. I loved reading all of Pratchetts little quips and snarky comments in the annotations.

Cons

For some people the story might be a little far out. Rather like a overly zealous disco song. But if that’s your sort of thing it’s not really a con now is it?

One of the characters changes at the end. I didn’t like this and thought it didn’t make sense. Essentially there are these twins and they become one person in the end (don’t ask how it won’t make sense unless you read it and I don’t want to give away too many things).

Final Thoughts

Wow! I can’t wait to read more of Terry Pratchett’s books. I am officially a fan now. (Not the kind you use to cool down a room, but the “I’m-tearing-my-eyes-out-waiting-for-the-next-book” kind.)

Which of Terry Pratchett’s books should I read next? Any recommendations?

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