The Truth Discussion **Spoilers**

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Postby swreader » Tue May 03, 2011 9:22 pm

rockershovel wrote:I'd say that Slant is really a sort of alter-ego for Vimes. .


Well, actually you don't mean "alter-ego" . Lobsang & Jeremy are alter egos. Alter egos, if you check definitions, means sharing the same qualities, a trusted frieind. The word you meant is anthesis - meaning the direct opposite. It would be perfectly correct to say that Slant and Vimes, while both deal with the law, have antithetical views of the nature & purpose of the law.
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed May 04, 2011 6:05 am

I was really struck by the great characters in this book. There are some old friends and some new ones too - some of which we are destined to meet again. But one of the biggest characters is the city itself. When Pin and Tulip arrive we, the readers already know that they are up against the city, never mind the Watch or Vetinari.

But secondary characters such as Harry King and Otto are a real joy. I wanted to see more of them. :D

Pin and Tulip are a bit odd in that they are horrible people and yet they are soooo good. I find myself really liking Mr Tulip towards the end and that doesn't make a lot of sense. The way Terry deals with their afterlives is marvellous.
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Postby rockershovel » Wed May 04, 2011 6:59 pm

swreader wrote:
rockershovel wrote:I'd say that Slant is really a sort of alter-ego for Vimes. .


Well, actually you don't mean "alter-ego" . Lobsang & Jeremy are alter egos. Alter egos, if you check definitions, means sharing the same qualities, a trusted frieind. The word you meant is anthesis - meaning the direct opposite. It would be perfectly correct to say that Slant and Vimes, while both deal with the law, have antithetical views of the nature & purpose of the law.


I'm not entirely sure about "antithesis". Vimes and Slant are both creatures of the law, manifestations of its various possible forms and natures.
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed May 04, 2011 7:53 pm

Slant is a law whore. :lol: He'll work for anyone who can pay enough. Vimes is the opposite of that. He'll use the law for anyone regardless of money.
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Postby swreader » Thu May 05, 2011 1:21 am

I am intrigued by the little we know of Mr. Tulip's history--his belief in the potato, which sounds to me like a 3 or 4 year old's misunderstanding of what was being said -- and apparently in a church. For some reason it feels Russian to me, or perhaps Borogravian. Certainly, as DEATH says, he believes devoutly, but he doesn't know what or who he believes in. And of the two murderers, he is so much more fascinating, I think. Where and how did he acquire his extensive, specialized art knowledge? But, he is capable of being really sorry for what he'd done in this life.

I think Terry makes him comic in that he's always managing to purchase something that isn't a real drug (even though Slab, etc. are easily available) but he gets chalk or sugar of something. I wonder what it is he's trying to forget?

But I love the way Terry handles them in the end. Tulip as happy woodworm munching away through the honest-to-gods antique desk--"a woodworm checked its way contently through the ancient timber. Reincarnation Enjoys a joke as much as the next philosophical hypothesis. As it chewed, the woodworm thought: This is --ing good wood!" While the potato--with a startling resemblance to someone we know will, in spite of his efforts to avoid his fate---fry!
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Postby rockershovel » Thu May 05, 2011 7:21 am

Tonyblack wrote:Slant is a law whore. :lol: He'll work for anyone who can pay enough. Vimes is the opposite of that. He'll use the law for anyone regardless of money.


that's essentially my point. But, both believe totally in the law, whilst applying it in diametrically opposed directions.


interesting comment about Mr Tulip's potato-worship sounding Russian. I wouldn't have thought of that but I can see the point.
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu May 05, 2011 7:36 am

The whole episode (what we know of it) of a young Tulip and the rest of his village hiding in a church and listening out for soldiers reminds me of a clip of a Russian movie I once saw about a group of nazis rounding up Russian villagers accused of hiding partisans, putting them in a church and setting fire to it. One young lad managed to escape, but was made to watch what happened. I can imagine something similar happening to Tulip.

The potato was the staple diet and an overheard remark by a youngster that 'we'll be ok as long as we have potatoes' could explain his philosophy. But all that is speculation. :)
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Postby dennykay » Thu May 05, 2011 7:41 am

Moist von Lipwig was member of the plain potato church, wasn't he?
I DETECT...MALIGNITY.
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Postby ChristianBecker » Thu May 05, 2011 7:10 pm

The Truth was the first Pratchett I bought as a hardcover. Money well spent, even though I think it is over a year that I last read it.

As most (all?) of the people who already posted, I found the duo Tulip/Pin very enjoying, especially the depth added to them (mostly Tulip) later by the little glimpse we got of tulips background and his firm belief in a root vegetable.

The book achieves to show in a humorous yet precise way all that I dislike about journalism (or rather what passes for journalism, the Inquirer is a good example).
On with their heads! I'm the clown prince of fools
if you don't get the joke it's your loss
Love and laughter you see are the new currency
'cause greed's coinage is not worth a toss

Exile yourself to the unforgiving continent of Wraeclast!
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Postby swreader » Sat May 07, 2011 4:18 am

None of us has talked about William and Sacharissa yet, although they are surely at least part of the main focus of the story. I find William an interesting character--one who grows and develops in the course of the novel. He has struggled (just as Otto does) to throw off his "nature" as it was instilled in him by his father. But, as Otto's picture shows--for most of the book, he has his father looking over his shoulder. That is, he is reacting, I think, in part because he knows his father would disapprove of his being in business. Worse yet--he's associating with all sort of species and treating them (or trying to) as equals or, in some cases, employees.

I think that his growth into a complete individual comes only when he realizes that his father is not perfect, not even all that bright. Lord de Worde sees only what he wants to see--and justifies his actions with "I had the best interests of the city at heart, you know." And William rightly rejects this justification which has used by every privileged class (nobility, powerful "captains of industry" politicians, governments, etc.).

William dramatically tries to buy himself free (like a dwarf), but his actions would have failed but for the arrival of Otto. His father has "henchmen" who take care of the dirty work so his hands are clean., and William would have simply "disappeared." But William's actions have commanded the loyalty of his employees Otto, who has recognized the very real danger William has unknowingly put himself in, rescues him by disposing of his father's henchmen and then completely vanquishes Lord de Worde by upholding William's opinion of him. He merely plants a kiss on the brow, not a bite on the neck.

To some extent, William becomes his father. He is no longer hesitant about using his considerable understanding and knowledge of the working of government and the power of the press. But he has a completely different philosophy of what his responsibilities are--to find and print the truth.

Terry leaves unanswered the question of what is the difference between The Truth and Journalism. It only has to be true til tomorrow for journalism--and that brings William and Sacharissa together. One assumes that they marry (from Going Postal).

It seems to me that Terry has, in this book (and those that follow) gained better control of comic satire, even though he has some holes in his plot structure. For example, Goodmountain and Borrodony want to get married, and they've been working to get enough money to buy each other, so they can return home and start a mine together. But, at the end, the dwarfs, the vampire, the troll and the humans seem to be a continuing part of the Ankh-Morpork Times.
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Postby raisindot » Sat May 07, 2011 8:04 pm

Responding to SWreader without quoting.

William does become like his father in many ways. He uses the de Worde arrogance and class superiority in his conversations with Vimes, and he follows the de Worde policy of protecting the family honor, even if doing so lets the guilty go free.

The difference is, he knows that these are character flaws but is resolved to make amends by using his status as editor of the Times to chase down wrongdoing.

And I don't think it's a plot flaw that the dwarfes remain with the Times at the end. The last events of the book only take place within a day or so after the conspiracy is revealed, so it's not likely that the Dwarfs are in that much of a rush to pick up and go. Indeed, it may even be possible that the success of the Times in its power to reveal corruption may have convinced them to hold on for awhile.

The only plot point I find a little bit hard to believe is that you never hear of the Enquirer again in any future book. Just because Dibbler is no longer its chief fabricator doesn't mean that someone else couldn't have taken over in that role--AM is full of liars and blowhards. Even with the conspiracy revealed, the high powers in the city who control the Enquirer's purse strings would still want it to succeed so it could put the Times out of business. That in future books the Times remains the city's foremost paper rather belies the lack of interest the AM reading public was having in it with the far more entertaining Enquirer as the newspaper alternative.
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Postby swreader » Sun May 08, 2011 4:40 am

Granted Raisindot, that one reference to the dwarfs going home (and presumably all of them, not just Goodmountain and Boddony) is the only indication that's ever made. Time frames in Discworld are rather elastic--but I rather suspect that they've changed their plans--perhaps possibly married (Goodmountain and Boddony) in AM-- because The Times shows up with no indication of change of personnel in Going Postal or in Monstrous Regiment.

The point is, it seems to me, not that Terry is particularly interested in whether or not any of the staff of The Times get married. The point of that discussion is twofold. First, it gives William an understanding of a different perception of parent/child relationships, and thus allows him to buy himself free from his father. That idea, I think has more to do with the plot, than with a point Terry wants us to stop and think about.

More significantly, I think that Terry is reminding us that we (like William) are a bit inclined to consider the idea of bride price or dowry somewhat weird. But the dwarf system takes into account the particular nature of dwarf life, and means that they inevitably have long "engagements" as they work to pay each other off. Further, it recognizes the effort and money parents put into raising children, and treats it as an obligation of the child. Now that's not a common idea among most humans, I think. But the child who has, in some sense, paid back his or her parents, is truly a person and no longer a child. And this idea is not crucial to the plot so much as just a point to think about in judging human relationships.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun May 08, 2011 6:07 am

Just because we don't hear about the Enquirer in the future doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Indeed, it seems to appeal to a certain type of person who isn't really interested in the 'truth' and find the Enquirer-type stories more interesting. I suspect that there are a whole bunch of newspapers opened in A-M following the success of The Times. We just don't hear about them.

The dwarfs strike me as being the archetypal immigrant - they move to A-M to make their fortune with the intention of one day going back home, but will probably settle down in A-M and bring their families too.

Part of the point of the book is to draw attention to the almost casual bigotry used by people who don't bother to find the truth about people, they just condemn them as 'those people' coming over here and taking our jobs with they weird traditions etc.

I think it's incredibly farsighted of Vetinari that he has an open door policy to immigration. People might not like it, but there's little denying that it's incredible good for the city. It's made the city the powerful place it is. Compare it to the city that Vimes goes back to in Night Watch. I guess it's like the New York of Discworld.
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Postby pandasthumb » Sun May 08, 2011 7:36 am

dennykay wrote:Moist von Lipwig was member of the plain potato church, wasn't he?


Yes, that sounds right to me.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun May 08, 2011 8:13 am

Indeed, I'd forgotten about that until dennykay mentioned it. It kind of destroys my theory of an overheard misunderstanding. Which is a shame because it makes a lot more sense and explains why Death hasn't heard of such a belief. :?
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