A Mischief Of Magpies

If the Sun were the size of a beach ball then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and a Mischief of Magpies would be as small as a pea.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Book about Something

I have argued elsewhere that

We should be grateful that one of the nation's best-loved and most widely-read authors is able to act as the conscience for the nation.
Lo and behold, in his latest release Where's My Cow? Thud!, Pratchett prophetically raises one of the points which has recently, inexplicably, been presented as a dilemma. I say inexplicably, because there should be no ambiguity whatsoever.

Just to provide a bit of context for the following quotation, and I hope not creating too many spoilers, city watch commander Vimes is investigating the callous, religiously-motivated murder of a number of citizens - inhabitants of the city he loves. Furthermore, he has returned to the Watch House immediately following an attack on his home which threatened the life of his first-born son. He learns that a suspect from the same community as the attackers has been brought in, and may have important information. See any parallels? So what goes through Vimes' mind?

Beating up people in little rooms... he knew where that led. And if you did it for a good reason, you'd do it for a bad one. You couldn't say 'we're the good guys' and do bad guy things.
I have yet to read a more succinct or powerful refutation of all the recent mealy-mouthed justifications and euphemisms for torture than that final sentence. Thud! was published on October 1, 2005.


At 12:42 am, Blogger Paul said...

Terry Pratchett is one of the best writers working today. There is a huge amount of very intelligent comment in the Discworld books, especially the later ones.

I haven't read Thud! yet, but will be going out and getting it very soon.


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