“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Your grace.”
“I know that one,” said Vimes. “Who watches the watchmen? Me, Mr. Pessimal.”
“Ah, but who watches you, your grace?” said the inspector, with a brief smile.
“I do that, too. All the time,” said Vimes. “Believe me.”
Thud! continues the tradition of the City Watch series digging into bigotry and racism. There’s the feud of centuries between the dwarfs and trolls on the anniversary of the long ago battle of Koom valley which no one remembers for sure who first attacked who. But does it really matter? They hate each other. They’ve always hated each other.
At the same time, Vimes’ watch has been adding more and more diverse officers over the books. Now, he finally has to accept one he never accepted: Sally the Vampire. She’s an interesting character, but in particularly, it’s really interesting to read her interactions with Angua. It’s the same tension of centuries on a much smaller, more personal scale.
Overall, it’s the little details of the world that really make this story. It’s not as funny as the early Discworld books, but it’s a lot more solid. There’s a reason people suggest that you start with the City Watch books, Thud! in particular.
With that, there’s only one more in the City Watch subseries: Snuff. It’s bittersweet. I’m looking forward to it… but I don’t really want them to end.
So it goes.
“Would a minute have mattered? No, probably not, although his young son appeared to have a very accurate internal clock. Possibly even 2 minutes would be okay. Three minutes, even. You could go to five minutes, perhaps. But that was just it. If you could go for five minutes, then you’d go to ten, then half an hour, a couple of hours…and not see your son all evening. So that was that. Six o’clock, prompt. Every day. Read to young Sam. No excuses. He’d promised himself that. No excuses. No excuses at all. Once you had a good excuse, you opened the door to bad excuses.”
With a 16 month old little boy at home, the scenes where Vimes (et at) moves heaven and earth to make sure he’s back at precisely 6pm to read to his 18 month old son are pretty awesome.