Pratchett tackles racism and nested hatred with this book, and I applauded for his quick humor and thought of what comes to the matter. He is so right about how silly it all is, that we divide people through visual markers, and consider us as us and others as them. That we will do all in our power to keep it such and continue the mutually destructive existence. Considering recent events, the question our hero, Vimes, asks, “Who watches the watchers,” is important. The power police officers hold over justice, peace, and lives are enormous, and their actions matter. They can make a difference in our society. They can advance that justice is served and use dialogue between two disagreeing counterparts to pursue fairness or at least civic peace if nothing else is possible. All this Pratchett has woven into Thud! and I love that part. He is so right about i
Yet, I can see all of this in the book and feel a little bit disappointed. The story is one-sided, through the dwarfs’ perspective. I get it why it is so (the murder and what it entails), but portraying one race as an evil instigator (read scared) and the other doing the right thing seems odd to me. Once again, I get the need for innocence, but their part at the rising tension is brushed off too quickly. Also, Vimes, as the savior of the day, shows that dwarfs and trolls need saving from their blindness. Okay, there are dwarf and troll actors in the story who facilitate peace and pursue it actively, but they are easy to miss when getting caught with Vimes’ aura. For the sake of argument, let’s ignore all that and think it was written because of the story, and it was. I still find the story problematic. From a technical perspective, it was all over the place, and the conclusion was messy. Real-world events are messy too, but for me, the ending had a lot of explaining and not as much concluding. I’m not sure if the ending was hurried or something along those lines, but I wasn’t fully satisfied with it. I loved how the racial differences were answered. That is not it. It is just that the loose ends which were tied at the end felt not as sound as the strong start. Too convenient, might be the right word I’m looking for.
I didn’t have this similar experience when I read the book the first time around. I loved the story, Vimes, and the conflict between dwarfs and trolls and how it was portrayed. And I still do on some level, but for some reason, I couldn’t get past the imbalance between dwarfs and trolls. Maybe it is deliberate as power dynamics are skewed in our world. There is no going around that. And they continue being skewed until we address them.
To be honest, I’m perplexed with Thud! Part of me wants to argue with the book, and the other side is saying, but look at this and this and this, that speaks entirely another story. Maybe I have to accept this book will never satisfy me completely, but at least it made me have to reconsider what I think and feel.
Thank you for reading and have a clear day ❤
P.S. I love the fact that as a side story, there is this same confused existence between Angua and Sally, werewolf and a vampire, as with the dwarfs and trolls. That is the icing on the cake.
Also, Nobby and Tawnee made me smile and a lot. So did the subplot about A.E. Pessimal. Vimes can really read and turn a man. Also, the mini-story about the Dis-Organiser was excellent.
Where’s My Cow? book and Vimes’ relationship with his son was so sweet and beautiful. The soul of the book.
As you see, I left a lot of good out of my review—the reasons to read this book. I was too caught with my confusion.