Title: Thief of Time
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page Count/Review Word Count: 322
Thief of Time is an interesting one, because I’m well aware of the fact that I ought to like it – however, I just can’t honestly say that I did. Sure, it was well written and well edited, but the story itself just failed to resonate with me. It felt a little too much like a filler novel, something that Pratchett wrote for the sake of it, rather than because it adds serious value to the rest of the Discworld series as a whole.
Loosely speaking, the story line follows the Monks of History, who store time and “pump it from the places where it’s wasted (like underwater – how much time does a codfish need?) to places like cities, where there’s never enough time”. It’s a good idea, and the execution was alright, but I just didn’t think much of the characters.
The protagonists are Lu Tze and his apprentice, Lobsang Ludd, who are attempting to build the Disc’s first fully accurate clock. The only problem is, if they succeed then time will stop, and nobody’s got time for that. Unfortunately, like I said, the characters are unmemorable at best, and I personally found it pretty difficult to relate to them. Perhaps it’s my own fault – after all, Pratchett’s characterisation is usually so good that my expectations were high, and on this occasion, they just weren’t met.
All of this said, it’s still a decent enough read, which is why I still gave it a seven – at times, it’s laugh out loud funny, and it is at least enjoyable to experience Pratchett playing around with time. It’s hard to nail time down as a concept, and I’ve read a lot of books where the authors have done a pretty bad job of it. Pratchett’s up there with the best of them, though.