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Thief of Time

Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
Series: Discworld, Book 26, Discworld: Death, Book 5
Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1,831 ratings)

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Summary

Time is a resource. Everyone knows it has to be managed. And on the Discworld that is the job of the Monks of History, who 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 the construction of the world's first truly accurate clock starts a race against, well, time for Lu Tze and his apprentice, Lobsang Ludd. Because it will stop time. And that will only be the start of everyone's problems.

Thief of Time comes complete with a full supporting cast of heroes, villains, yetis, martial artists, and Ronnie, the fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse (who left before they became famous).

©2003 Terry and Lynn Pratchett (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant -

clever and funny and compassionate and makes one's world somehow less cruel and stupid.
God bless Sir Saint Terry. I have been an enthusiastic fan since I stumbled upon his 2nd book. He is the only author I bought in hard back in my lowly paid years. Little cash versus a wait - no contest.
Anyhow and however, in print this had been one of my lower rated diskworld novels. As an audiobook it is in my top3.
Stephen Briggs narration is clear and perfectly paced. The characters are "just right" for my imagination and well demarkated but unobtrusively so.

10 people found this helpful

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Excellent narration of one of my favourite books

Would you listen to Thief of Time again? Why?

Thief of Time has brilliant pacing and keeps your attention throughout. I enjoy sharing time with the monk Lu-Tze and it's always nice to hear more about Death and Susan. Along with the Auditors, Jeremy and the forgotten Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, there is a great cast to gel with throughout this book.

The plot revolves around the Auditors wanting to bring order to the universe in their own crazy way and contains a healthy amount of reflection of real-world culture in a humorous and fantasy style. Stephen Briggs is an excellent narrator and clearly has a strong bond with the Discworld universe which allows him to bring a fun and enthusiastic portrayal of the story to the audio book.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good read - brilliant listen -again and again.

I love Terry Pratchett and have eagerly awaited and bought his books since his first paperback publication.

Thought this was one of his better books and thoroughly enjoyed the reading but was astonished at how I got something different from the audiobook. In fact I got much more.

Looking back getting this was a mistake because my spending on audiobooks then escalated.

Stephen Briggs is an excellent Pratchett narrator and wish he could redo some of the previously recorded books. Nigel Planer was very good but the technology has improved noticeably. (plus I prefer S Briggs - his voice characterisation is closer to the characters in my imagination.

4 people found this helpful

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time flies listening to this book

Would you listen to Thief of Time again? Why?

It's been a little while since picking a discworld book and I'm so glad a picked this one. It's full off Terry pratchetts literal way of seeing the world. If you like the story's with death and Susan then you should love this one.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dh
  • 31-10-12

Awesome

My favourite TP book, great themes and caricatures throughout. I love this book and have read it several times. Wanted to start again soon as I had finished it. Will definitely get my monies worth on this one.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Make time for this one!

It's hard to keep reviewing Terry Pratchett's work because the same compliments apply again and again! He really was one of the greatest writers of our age.

A brilliant story. Wonderful characters - clearly a great imagination is at work here, and woven through the whole thing is humour, wit, satire, a astute observation of the human condition, and a passion for ridiculing pomposity and stupidity.

Absolutely brilliant - highly recommended

2 people found this helpful

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Perfectly Pratchett!

Thief Of Time by Terry Pratchett – A Discworld Novel

Hello to all my readers. I must apologise by the way for my somewhat inconsistent review schedule as of late. I’m hoping to keep things a bit more frequent in the near future. Now I’m on something of a fantasy kick personally at the moment so I thought I’d return to Sir Terry Pratchett once again.

I’ve been listening to Thief Of Time so why not discuss it for a review? A simplified version of the plot is as follows: Time is a resource. It always has been and it has to be managed. On the Discworld that is the job of The Monks Of History who store it and move it to places where it could be used. But there’s a problem. The Auditors – think of them as celestial bureaucrats...INCREDIBLY officious bureaucrats – have commissioned the world’s first truly accurate clock and if it strikes the hour...it will stop all of reality. And that’s just the start of the problem!

Much like my review of Mort from not too long ago, much more goes on in this story than I describe here. There’s Death’s granddaughter Susan – who Pratchett himself described as a Goth Mary Poppins – as well as the return of Death himself, a perfectly Discworld take on Frankenstein, the use of luxury chocolate as ammunition and more side-splitting asides and comments than you can shake a stick at! Although I should make it clear that this is considerably later in the series. Thief Of Time was number 26 in the series as opposed to Mort as number 4. It is also the fifth book in the series to either focus on or have Death as an important side character.

Pratchett’s writing is just as wonderful as ever, getting more than a few grins and hearty laughs out of myself. He still knew how to sprinkle in those comments that made you think occasionally in-between his trademark humour. But there have been some changes on the audio side.

The audiobooks are still produced by ISIS Audiobooks however things are MUCH MUCH clearer. This makes it considerably easier to hear all the comments and jokes throughout the novel. It almost definitely helped that this particular audiobook was produced much later – I believe at some point during the late 2000s. The narrator is also different. This audiobook along with the other later Discworld books and various assorted compendiums was narrated by a Mr Stephen Briggs. According to what I can find out Stephen is something of a Discworld superfan given that he has adapted several books in the series for theatre productions and has been involved in several Discworld related projects.

His narration is rather enjoyable. His tone of voice certainly suits audiobooks and he’s very skilled at altering his voice to suit the attitude of the characters in the moment. His Susan is note perfect in my opinion as well as his ‘depiction’ of The Auditors. However there is one thing he does which may prove a problem for other listeners. He seems to choose an accent which either suits a specific character or group of characters. This ordinarily isn’t a problem and the vast majority of accents in the book aren’t a problem. However the main character Lobsang Ludd is part of the order of The History Monks. These History Monks with a few exceptions are all given comedic attempts at Asian accents.

These accents aren’t intended to be problematic and in my opinion they reach a good balance in most cases but it is very much something that can only be judged on a listener by listener basis. I only noticed due to the fact that every so often he occasionally over- emphasises the accent at which point it becomes awkward but that only occurs during a few points in the audiobook and his intention is clearly to just tell the story in a comedic way that suits the writing. Personally I believe he passes with flying colours but not everyone will feel the same.

Overall I loved this audiobook. Sir Terry was tapping into a pure seam of creativity and Mr Briggs succeeded admirably in narrating the madness that is Discworld. If you want a good laugh and you’ve listened to the rest of the Death stories? Or if you want an example of later Pratchett and you like jumping in blindfolded? Then listen to the story of the Thief Of Time! A truly gold star worthy story! But...you know what? I’m still not done with Sir Terry just yet. But this time he won’t be the sole author. I’m overdue to talk about Neil Gaiman anyway.

Sayonara!

Nephrite

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White Knowledge

Oh My God's...

I have read many of these books and reread them over and over. Truthfully there are still a few that have passed me by. This is one of those books. The delight I have had listening to this one. I know there's White references coming, I'm expecting them. But I miss one or two, only to have them Whack me between the eyes is such a....

Suffice it to say If I'm driving, I stop because of the laughing...

I recommend the first book to read, to get an inkling about White Knowledge is Moving Pictures. After all everyone knows Movie's. I recommend this one for the music buffs...

Enjoy.

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Laughed my way to work and back

Just on of the highlights was Stephen's narration of the auditors, which had me in tears, it was just so funny, he got them spot on. He really brought this book to life.

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An incredible tale.

I forget every time how much I love this story. It’s amazingly written by the late great Sir Terry Pratchett who is without a doubt one of the greatest novelists of our time.

SPOILERS:

The story is all about the apocalypse. The Auditors have a plan which involves freezing everyone in time and preventing the unpredictability of the humans from continuing. To do this they need a special clock built so they hire a young clocksmith called Jeremy Clockson.
Death figures out what they are doing but cannot intervene. He sends his granddaughter, Susan, to help save the world whilst he and the horseman ride out. Lobsang Lud is made into an apprentice of Lu-Tze of the history monks to continue his training. Lobsang and Lu-Tze, along with the other history monks, discover what’s happening and rush to help.

Such a great tale that I hope you enjoy as much as I. 🙂

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  • Roanna
  • 24-05-16

Highly Recommended

I've listened to this so many times and though I adore the story itself, the narration is excellent and really brings it alive. I would highly recommend this!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christy
  • 25-03-13

Light and fun

A very pleasant book to listen to while getting some exercise. Although apparently laughing while running is not a good idea. I almost fell off the treadmill.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-07-19

never forget rule 1!

just love it, one of the best books in what might be one of the best book series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dinesha gamage
  • 22-12-16

Loved it!

I found both the story and the narration was brilliant! Hilarious. I couldn't put it down.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Siri
  • 26-10-14

One of my faverits.

I realy love this one. it has susen, death, and Time. realy good book and you should giv it a chans.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Luc
  • 09-05-14

Problematic characterisations disappoint

Any additional comments?

This is one of my all time favourite Discworld books, and I've listened to Stephen Briggs and Tony Robinson read Pterry's books since for a long time. I was hesitant going into an audio version of 'Thief of Time', because so many of the gags are visual, but they mostly worked, which is great. What doesn't work is Briggs' corny and hackneyed "oriental" accents for the History Monks. When I first started listening, I was dismayed that I was listening to a Micky Rooney-esque yellow-face interpretation of these characters. To add insult to injury, Briggs doesn't seem able to maintain the atrociously bad accent, dropping in and out of various levels of awfulness. It was just plain sad and disappointing, and I don't know whether it was Briggs' decision, his director, or whose, but I spent most of the recording wishing it would stop. Bad. Just Bad.