WOSSNAME -- NOVEMBER 2000 - Part 2
- Part 2 - continued
4) APATITE THE TROLL reviews THE TRUTH
(c) Michael Jones 2000 (Discworld and characters copyright Terry and Lyn
CASE FILE #7682 - The Case of the Murderous City Boss
Well, it all started off when dis human, William de Worde, got in with
'dese dwarves. The dwarves were runnin' a new machine that made lots of
paper with writin' on it. William de Worde was writin' a letter of news,
but den what he put in it made lots of people mad. Mister Vimes, he put
William de Worde under special survay...surv...watching, but then William
wrote some fings that made Mister Vimes mad too. My cousin Rocky, he was
workin' with Mr. de Worde as security, and he said that there were all
sorts of people tryin' to kill him. Then the Patrician tried to kill
someone, and two people came to Ankh-Morpork and tried to kill LOTS of
people, and then all hell really broke loose.
Someone wrote it all down, though. Even when the fire started. It usually
is der fing that happens in Ankh-Morpork.
END OF CASE FILE #7682
The long awaited latest Discworld novel has hit the shelves, and it is a
first in a number of ways. It is the first Discworld novel to enjoy a
simultaneous international release, which means that by the time this
edition of WOSSNAME hits your inboxes, most people around the world will at
least have seen it on the shelves. It is the 25th Discworld novel, the
silver biblio-versary, and so comes complete with a funky silver banner on
the cover. And it is also the first Discworld novel in several releases to
introduce to a new set of characters.
For all fans of the Discworld series, this novel is an absolute must read.
Let me make no mistake. While the previous few novels have been slightly
disappointing, and in places lacking in the formula that made the earlier
novels (such as Reaper Man, Men At Arms, and Feet of Clay) so enjoyable,
this new effort takes the essence of the Discworld - sophisticated humour,
fiendishly clever satire, characters that are projected from the page
straight into the hind brain - tips it with platinum and rams it straight
into your imagination.
As Apatite so deftly explained, "The Truth" introduces us to new
characters, the main and most interesting one being William de Worde, the
self-exiled scion of the Lords de Worde and proprietor of a tiny business,
"Thynges Written Downe". As most of you will have read either the Updated
Discworld Companion or the publicity for "The Truth" (or at least the
inside cover and the first couple of pages of the book, or you're not
really _trying_...) you will know that William de Worde is the author of a
Letter of News. This Letter of News is one that is sent to the notables of
the Disc - Lady Margolotta of Uberwald, King Verence II of Lancre, and the
Seriph of Al Khali, as well as many others. William lives a comfortable
life devoid of fulfillment, until rumour catches up with him. The rumour
that the Dwarves can turn Lead into Gold...
There are a number of things that make "The Truth" possibly the best
Discworld novel ever. For a start, it strikes a balance that previous
Discworld books have lacked. Books introducing new characters invariably
lacked depth, jumping on the "laugh" pedal until it broke. The "sequel"
books, on the other hand, usually went in gung-ho on the character
development, at the expense of humour and spontaneity. "The Truth" is the
first Discworld book that combines the two with such a successful formula.
"The Truth" introduces us to a wide array of new characters - not just the
main characters, but the side characters as well; and even manages to makes
old characters new, such as the Watch. In the course of the book, the
character we see developing most of all is the city itself; previous
changes made to Ankh Morpork are gathered in this book and fitted together
the way they should be.
Previous Discworld books have tended to use the plot as merely a device for
showing off the characters and trotting out jokes. There have been
exceptions, of course, and this is one of the best. In "The Truth", the
plot is an integral part of the story, it's intricacies bringing the
characters together and serving to make the novel so much more riveting
than some of the previous incarnations. And it is also funny. Very, very
funny. Nearly every second line contained some kind of joke or humorous
situation, and this reviewer knows that he managed to miss half of them. To
get the full effect of the humour from this book, you'll have to read it at
least twice. Look out for the Harpsichord scene - one of my favourites.
Without spoiling the plot, I'd like to mention two new characters that have
appeared in this book. Parodies of characters from both our own world of
movies, as well as a mark of respect to another author (points for guessing
who), Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip are two of the most fun, most interesting, most
funny, and most freakish villains I have ever seen in a Discworld novel.
Remember Teatime? Worse than him. Pin and Tulip steal any passage of the
book they are in (before selling it or trying to inhale it). Certainly I'd
advise against giving this book to younger children to read because of the
sheer level of violence and bemused horror these two manage to bring to
this novel. "The Truth" manages to wend it's way right into the very center
of the imagination, and I found that, with the intervention of Pin, Tulip,
and the other new characters, I was glued to this book to the very last
pages, and found the ending both powerful, and disturbing.
If this book has a fault (and, like Granny Weatherwax, I contrive to
suggest that this is only a theoretical possibility) it tends to fall into
the same trap that the previous few Discworld novels have, by trotting out
old characters merely to show that they exist. Perhaps the Discworld is
getting crowded! Admittedly, this novel does so with much less frequency
than previous novels, but in one scene in particular, the Patrician's
dialogue is so out of character that it becomes obvious that Pratchett is
simply trying to create a link between this novel and previous novels set
To conclude, if you are a Discworld fan, this book is a must-read. It
cannot be missed. It brings the full force of the Discworld magic back into
action with a flash of octarine that even Ridcully would be proud of. And
if you're not a Discworld fan, read it anyway, because there's a damn good
chance it might convince you. Watch out for the many, many references to
the world of print (and other) media and journalism - the worst part about
this novel is the sheer volume of hidden and obscure references that I KNOW
I've missed (and no new Annotated Pratchett File to help me, either!)
Hope you enjoy reading "The Truth". The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret...
Complexity of Plot ***** 5 Clubs-With-Nails-In
You'll have to read this many times, and you STILL won't get it all...
Humour ***** 5 Clubs-With-Nails-In
I tried to fault it, but I couldn't - it's utterly hilarious. Just the
presence of Pin and Tulip ensures a Five CWNI rating...
Hidden References **** 4 Clubs-With-Nails-In
I've given it a Four CWNI rating because, although I'm sure there are
hundreds of references to the world of print media and journalism, most of
them are quite obscure - they're there, I know they're there, I just don't
Minor/New Characters ***** 5 Clubs-With-Nails-In
No faulting them. Not a single boring or unnecessary character in this
book. Some character only have one line and still manage to be hilarious...
Old Characters ****. 4.5 Clubs-With-Nails-In
Why a four and a half? Some of the Patrician's dialogue was a bit
stilted...but I can't fault the rest, the old characters who were back were
shown in a different light and still managed to come up trumps.
Overall ***** 5 Clubs-With-Nails-In
I can't fault this book. I honestly think it's the best Discworld book I've
ever read. If it doesn't quite rate Five Clubs With Nails In, it at least
rates Four Clubs With Nails In and a small Plank With Nails In.
5) FROM THE DESK OF THE PATRICIAN
- HOGSWATCH CORRESPONDENCE
(c) Michael Jones 2000 (Discworld and characters
copyright Terry and Lyn Pratchett)
To: Lord Vetinari, Patrician
My Lord Patrician,
It is with respect I write to you this Hogswatch Season. May I bring the
following matters to your attention.
1) With respect I request that you limit the number of engagements that
myself and my wife are invited to during this Hogswatch season. Hogswatch
is traditionally a busy time for the Watch, and I seem to once again have
misplaced my ceremonial Ducal outfit.
2) Once more, the Watch finds itself short staffed. Hogswatch is a time for
drinking, revelling, and as a result, a general time of unlawfulness all
around. Have you considered our request for extra staff?
Your faithful servant,
From the Oblong Office
To: His Grace the Duke of Ankh, Commander of the Watch
With respect to your request for further staff, it has come to my attention
that a member of your staff, Corporal C. W. St. J. Nobbs, has pioneered the
practice of a "Funeral Rota"; funerals of nominated relatives not taken by
Golems, Gargoyles, the undead, and others who do not have relatives, are
being divided up amongst other men (etc.) of the Watch. Thus far, it
appears that Corporal C. W. St. J. Nobbs has accepted the lion's share of
these funerals, and Mr. Garwell of the Guild of Embalmers and Allied
Trades, also the caretaker of the Ankh Morpork City Graveyard, has twice
had to chase down corpses that have attempted to run away from the
graveyard when Mr. Nobbs is present. I trust you will rectify the situation.
[Memo: Drumknott, please add His Grace Vimes and Lady Ramkin to
my invitation list to the Guild of Assassin's and Guild
of Thieves' Hogswatch Balls.]
Your Grace Patrician,
I am writing to offer a complaint regarding the actions of the Watch on
this 22nd Day of Ember. Last night, as part of my annual Hogswatch
Festivities, I had retained Mr. Horace Kipe, of Chitterling Street, in his
annual Hogfather costume. While on their usual rounds, Constable Visit of
the Ankh-Morpork City Watch and his companion intervened in the usual
display and began preaching his unholy Omnian religion.
On the complaints of parents, our security (consisting of Mr. Laggard
"Knife" Jackard and Edifice the Troll) attempted to discourage Constable
Visit and his partner Corporal C. W. St. J. Nobbs. The resulting brawl
resulted in losses due to the evacuation of parents and children, and
extensive damage to my premises, in particular when the Stupid Well Armed
Troll team were called in to calm the situation.
I trust you will take the appropriate action.
Your faithful servant,
J. H. Bellingham.
To: Lord Vetinari, Patrician
My Lord Patrician,
With regard to recent events concerning the department store Bellinghams
and members of my Watch, may I clarify the following points.
1) We were in pursuit of Mr. Horace Kipe, also known as Horace
"Guts'n'Tripe" Kipe, after discovering his wife and children and their
alleged wounds as a result of an alleged assault by an allegedly
intoxicated Horace Kipe.
2) Mr. Horace Kipe was seen in disguise as the Hogfather, with several
children on his lap which, considering the above point, we considered an
unwise action on the behalf of Mr. J. H. Bellingham.
3) On attempting to intervene and speak to Mr. Horace Kipe, constable Visit
was shouted at by Mr. Bellingham, who was heard by my watchmen to say "Get
the Omnian b*****d, get security down here."
4) Mr. Laggard "Knife" Jackard, and Edifice the Troll are currently under
investigation by the Cable Street Particulars with regards to possible
connections with the Breccia and Chrysoprase the Troll.
5) Mr. J. H. Bellingham is also currently under investigation but common
sense suggests that someone who is idiot enough to let a drunk
wife-and-child beater dress up as the Hogfather and sit kids on their lap
is already guilty of terminal stupidity.
[Memo: Drumknott, remind me of this when Mr. Kipe appears
before me this afternoon. And arrange for the new development
application for the next Temple of Om to be approved. I
believe there is a vacant lot next to Bellinghams.]
Dogs in This SIty coNTInu to bE treATED pOrLY. HOgsWaTCh is A tIMe tHAT foR
MEny iNvOLvs drINkiNg aND REveLING. FOr pupPYs, IT ofFEN mEENs BEIng THRone
iN the ANK tHe DAy aFTEr HOGswATChdaY, WHIch iS QUitE PaNeFul. PLeaSE
CONSiDEr MAKEIng WuFFLes a HApy DoG by TAkiNg oN soME fREndS foR hiM. A DOg
is FOR eVa, not jUST uNTiL the fOOd gEtS EXpeNsIv.
A DoG LUvER
[Memo: Drumknott, have the kitchen put the standard pork bones
out for Foul Ole Ron and his companion. And dispose of this
letter appropriately. It's a little too damp to burn.]
668 Elm Street
The Fresh Start Club
Your Grace Lord Vetinari,
I believe that you are aware of our organisation. As you are well aware,
the Undead and differently alive of this city are a vital, or perhaps I
should say, non vital, component of this wonderful city of ours. In
previous years, our Hogswatch soirees have been small affairs. This year,
however, through the sterling efforts of one of our newest patrons, Mr.
Slant, we have been able to hire one of the main function rooms in the
Ankh-Morpork Opera House. We are expecting approximately 200 members of
differently vital status, as well as a representation from the Lawyer's
Guild, which is, as you know, one of the more influential guilds in the city.
Would you honour us with your attendance?
Mr. Reginald Shoe
[Memo: Drumknott, must I really attend, do you think?]
[I believe it would be prudent, my Lord.]
[Very well. Send the standard letter of acceptance.
And add His Grace Vimes and Lady Ramkin to this invitation
list as well.]
From the Desk of the Archchancellor
My Lord Patrician,
It has become the news of rumour that plans to reintroduce property tax on
Sator Square and that part of the city known as Unreal Estate are currently
on the agenda of yours and the Council of Lords. This rumour was featured
most recently in the Ankh Morpork Times. I take this opportunity to remind
you that such policies have been mooted before by previous Patricians, with
little success. Often, having a large Dragon roost on the city during
Hogswatch festivities makes Patricians unpopular.
Also, I believe you are still considering the proposal that all Wizards be
accorded an automatic invitation to all City functions as a mark of respect
for our standing within Ankh-Morpork?
Mustrum Ridcully the Brown, Mage of the Seventh Level, Archchancellor
From the Oblong Office
To: Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully
Plans to reintroduce tax to your extensive holdings in this city are not
currently on the agenda of our council, as we certainly understand that
habitation by foul creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions often offends.
Your proposal regarding the attendance of wizards at all city functions has
been considered but, following strenuous objections from the Guild of
Caterers, it is with regret I must announce that we cannot pursue it further.
I hope this finds you and your faculty in good health.
[Memo: Drumknott, make an appointment for Mr de Worde to see me.]
The Temple of Blind Io
Your Grace Vetinari,
As you know, Hogswatch is a time of great religious significance for all
Gods of the Disc. It is also a time of great drinking and revelling. This
year, the Guild of Priests, Sacerdotes, and Occult Intermediaries will be
holding their annual Hogswatch Ball in the function room of the Dysk
Theatre. Many of the city's dignitaries, including The Archchancellor of
the Unseen University, will be present. I look forward to your RSVP.
Yours in the grace of Io,
High Priest Hughnon Ridcully.
[Memo: Drumknott, what are Commander Vimes' opinions towards
religion? - Vetinari]
[*sigh* I'll add him to the invitation list
presently, Your Grace.]
Guild of Fools and Joculators and College of Clowns
To: His Grace Lord Vetinari, Patrician
Last night I awoke to, marry, a terrible rumpus, to discover twelve dragons
flaming, eleven fools a-capering, ten Lords a-plotting, nine Seamstresses
a-... well ... just nine seamstresses, eight thieves a-stealing, seven
assassins inhuming, six watchmen running, five dwarves and trolls, four
banshees haunting, three witches cursing, two conjurors, and a wizard from
the university. In my courtyard.
How are you planning to deal with this, Nuncle?
[Memo: Is this some kind of joke, Drumknott?]
[I believe this is quite likely, Your Grace.]
The Ankh Morpork Times
At The Sign of the Bucket
From The Desk of the Editor
Your Grace, My Lord Vetinari,
I am awaiting your Hogswatch Address to the people of Ankh-Morpork. Our
schedule is quite busy at the moment, and it is becoming increasingly hard
to maintain space in the Times for your words. I also wonder if you could
have a word to His Grace Commander Samuel Vimes. At the recent criminal
investigation of the alleged fracas between the Hogfather at Bellinghams'
Store, and Constable Visit of the Watch, several watchmen were heard to
threaten our staff. In particular, I remember vividly threats concerning
the imminent change in location of both my note book and my iconographer's
tripod, to a part of the anatomy that would certainly be hard pressed to
accommodate such equipment.
I look forward to receiving your reply.
William de Worde,
Editor, Ankh-Morpork Times
[Memo: Drumknott, make an appointment for Commander Vimes' to see
me after all. And add Mr de Worde to all of my current
6) A WORD FROM OUR NEW STAFF WRITER
I'd just like to take the opportunity to say hello. As a new staff writer
for Wossname, I hope to be contributing regularly to this wonderful
repository of Discworld information *grin*. My areas of speciality are the
later Discworld novels, in particular the Witches and Watch novels. My
favourites? Lords and Ladies, Men At Arms, Feet of Clay, Maskerade, Carpe
Jugulum, and The Truth. My main interest is the literary side of the
Discworld - these books, as well as being extremely funny, are often also
quite ingenious in their parodies of our own world. My alter ego in the
Discworld is Apatite the Troll, a member of the Ankh Morpork City Watch's
Stupid Well Armed Troll (SWAT) Team. You'll see him popping up in my
reviews. Any opinions expressed in my writings (in particular my reviews)
are wholly my own. I'll do my best not to hijack WOSSNAME! Ideas for
articles, comments on those you have read, or abuse because you disagree
with my reviews, can be directed to sistermick@.... Thanks
-- Michael Jones
7) KLATCHIAN FOREIGN LEGION WEBRING
The Klatchian Foreign Legion Webring has recently started.
A Webring, in case you don't know, is a group of Web sites
that share a common interest or theme, and have links to one another so
that by following the link, you travel all the way "around the ring",
visiting each site in turn. In the case of the Legion's Webring, the sites
are those of groups like the North American Discworld Society, the Guild of
Fans and Disciples and the Bugarup University Students' Guild, as well as any
other Web site with an emphasis on regional Pratchett fandom, at anything
from the local level up to the continental level. To visit the Webring, or
to add your site to it, just visit
WOSSNAME is available in all its glory on the World-Wide Web at:
with a more basic text-only version at:
Copyright (c) 2000 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]