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'This is the best Pratchett I've read' Sunday Telegraph
The Discworld is very much like our own - if our own were to consist of a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle, that is . . .
Time is a resource. Everyone knows it has to be managed. You mess with it at your peril. You can let it move fast or slowly but what you mustn't do is allow it to stop.
The Monks of History have the glamorous job of time management in the Discworld. They store it and pump it from the places where it's wasted (like the underwater - how much time does a codfish need?) to places like cities, where there's never enough time.
But with the construction of the world's first truly accurate clock starts a race against, well, time begins for History monk for Lu Tze and his suspiciously talented apprentice Lobsang Ludd.
Because a truly accurate clock will stop time.
And when time stands still, everything in human existence stops with it. Then, there really is no future.
The Discworld novels can be read in any order but Thief of Time is the fifth book in the Death series.
Here we go again! In the newest appealing installment of the Discworld series, Pratchett (The Truth) takes on religion, time and... kung-fu movies? The cast includes Death; Miss Susan, Death's granddaughter; Jeremy Clockson, a clockmaker; Lobsang, a novice monk; and Lu-Tze, a sweeper at the temple of the History Monks. When a mysterious lady asks Jeremy to make a clock that is perfectly timed (even to the last tick), trouble begins it seems that such a clock would have the power to stop time completely. There would be no yesterday, no tomorrow, no next minute; in fact, everything and everyone would stop in its tracks. It's up to Miss Susan, Lobsang and Lu-Tze to figure out who in the end has decided to build the dangerous clock and how to stop him before the world crashes to a halt. Along the way we learn Rule One: "Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man," which is a very good lesson to learn. We also find out that Lobsang has more in store for his future than to be an apprentice monk. The story includes a quick nod to James Bond flicks with Qu, the monk who supplies gadgets to Lu-Tze and Lobsang, and at the end of Time the four (no, make that five) horsemen of the Apocalypse get to ride out for a jaunt. You don't need to catch all the in-jokes to enjoy the fun.