My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Thud! is exactly what I needed. A battle between two metaphorical magical creatures with only a stalwart human police chief in the middle? Yes! Thud! moved immediately at the top of my list of best Pratchett books. It’s smartly written, of course, but it’s also a voice for understanding and calm in a world that seems constantly on the verge of spinning out of control–with or without an ancient evil to nudge the spin into motion.
Thud! is a Discworld story focused on the hard-working, faithful and true Commander Vimes of the City Watch. I haven’t read all of his arc, but the book finds him wealthy, married, and with a young son he dotes on. And yet he has to deal, personally, with the increasing demands of Ankh-Morpork and his beliefs of what a copper should be. Meanwhile the city is tense with the upcoming reenactment of the ancient fight between dwarves and trolls–and the city, and Vimes–is right in the middle.
One lovely side-plot involves a vampire who aspires to join the squad, and the werewolf who must tolerate her, another ancient blood feud that they both just have to overcome because this is the City Watch, not a circus, damnit! I particularly fell in love with werewolf Angua, and think she really deserves a scratch behind the ears.
Pratchett has a knack for social commentary disguised as silliness, and this shines through in Thud! the same way it worked so well in Going Postal. It is an endearing read, a joy for the reader and, apparently, the writer. I can’t recommend it enough.