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The Truth

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Truth (2000) Terry Pratchett (Discworld)

William de Worde spread the word around Discworld.

(T)he rumor came to the ears of William de Worde, and in a sense it stopped there, because he dutifully wrote it down.

It was his job. Lady Margolotta of Uberwald sent him five dollars a month to do it. The Dowager Duchess of Quirm also sent him five dollars. So did King Verence of Lancre, and a few other Ramtop notables. So did the Seriph of Al-Khali, although in this case the payment was half a cartload of figs, twice a year.

When a group of dwarfs bring a printing press to town, everything changes.

One of the things that struck me when rereading this story, is how timeless Terry Pratchett’s observations are.

He knew about concerned citizens. Wherever they were, they all spoke the same private language, where “traditional values” meant “hang someone.”

William wondered why he always disliked people who said “no offense meant.” Maybe it was because they found it easier to say “no offense meant” than actually to refrain from giving offense.

Character assassination. What a wonderful idea. Ordinary assassination only works once, but this one works every day.

“Apparently he wants a return to the values and traditions that made the city great, sir.”

“Does he know what those values and traditions were?” said Vimes, aghast.

“‘ Man Stolen by Demons,’” he said. “This refers to Mr. Ronnie ‘Trust Me’ Begholder, known to owe Chrysoprase the troll more than two thousand dollars, last seen buying a very fast horse?”

“Well?”

“Where do the demons fit in?”

“Well, he could’ve been stolen by demons,” said Dibbler. “It could happen to anybody.”

“What you mean, then, is that there is no evidence that he wasn’t stolen by demons?”

“That way people can make up their own minds,” said Dibbler. “That’s what Mr. Carney says. People should be allowed to choose, he said.”

“To choose what’s true?”

Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8.5/10, eBook, Fantasy, Reread
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