TheTruth

The twenty-fifth novel in the Discworld Series

 UK hbk: Doubleday, 2 November 2000 (0-385-60102-6)
Book proof: 370 copies released in June, of which 200 were signed by Terry for special presentation purposes – to mark the appearance of the 25th Discworld novel – unsigned copies are therefore the marginally rarer items.
The spine blocking on the first of the first printings (intended only for export to the Antipodes and South Africa), has a different typeface, similar to that used on exported printings of The Fifth Elephant, and to that on the ‘first’ edition sold in the UK, which is closer to the artwork on the dustjacket. As with The Fifth Elephant, this was not deliberate policy, merely a later refinement in the design.
Somehow copies were also sent out to Eymundsson in Iceland in August, and were immediately released to local booksellers and put on sale, to be pounced on with glee by local fans. The date for Transworld’s release of copies to ‘the Rest of the World’ was mid-September, while the on-sale date airside and internationally was 1st October. (In Britain the publication date is unaffected by overseas release dates.)
Discworld: The Industrial Revolution Collection (hbk, cover engraving by Joe McLaren): Doubleday, 20 October 2016 (978-0-857-52417-1)

Pbk: Corgi, 1 November 2001 (0-552-14768-0)
Black/gold B-format: Corgi, 2008 (978-0-552-15424-6)
B-format, with modified Kirby design, Corgi, 10 October 2013 (978-0-552-16763-5)

Bookclub: BCA, March 2001 (CN3286)

Large print: Charnwood/Thorpe, ?September 2003 (0-7089-4963-0)

USA hbk: HarperCollins, jacket design Chipp Kidd, November 2000 (0-380-97895-4)
Bookproof: quantity unknown

USA pbk: HarperTorch, October 2001 (0-380-81819-1)
Library hbk of pbk: Turtleback (0-613-57290-4)
Premium pbk: Harper, 2014 (978-0-06-230736-1)

Bookclub: BCA Science Fiction Book Club (05824)

Bulgarian: Истината, trs. Vladimir Zarkov, Vuzev/Arhont-V November 2001 (954-422-069-0)

Chinese complex (Taiwan): Booklife, May 2014 (978-986-90149-2-2)

Czech: Pravda, trs. Jan Kantůrek, Talpress, 10,000 copies in ?January 2002 (80-7197-191-X)

Dutch hbk: De Waarheid, trs. Venugopalan Ittekot (presud. of Roord Groot), Uitgeverij M (De Boekerij) jacket illus. by Paul Kidby, November 2002 (90-225-3401-4)
pbk: Uitgeverij M (De Boekerij) cover illus. by Josh Kirby, November 2002 (90-225-3384-0)
pbk reissue: Mynx, July 2009 (978-90-8968-115-7)

Estonian: Tõde, trs. Allan Eichenbaum, jacket illus. Hillar Mets, Varrak, April 2007 (978-9985-3-1400-5)

Finnish: Totuuden Torvi, trs. Mika Kivimäki, Karisto, October 2009 (978-951-23-5132-9)

French: La Vérité, trs. Patrick Couton, L’Atalante, March 2005 (2-84172-299-6)
Pbk: Pocket, April 2010 (978-2-266-20290-9)
Pbk with Marc Simonetti cover: Pocket, June 2011 (978-2-266-21205-2)

German: Die volle Wahrheit, trs. Andreas Brandhorst, Manhattan, July 2001 (3-442-54518-8)
Pbk. Goldmann, April 2003 (3-442-45406-9)

Hungarian: Az Igazság, trs. Csaba Járdán, Delta Vision, 10 September 2013 (978-615-5314-68-1)

Polish: Prawda, trs.Piotr W. Cholewa, Prószyński i S-ka, 2007 (978-83-7469-503-9)

Russian: Правда, trs. Nikolai Berdennikov and Aleksandr Zhikarentsev, Eksmo, 2008 (978-5-699-28087-2)

Serbian: Istina, trs. Nevena Andrić, Laguna, 1 October 2012 (978-86-521-1046-9)

Spanish: La Verdad, trs. Javier Calvo, Plaza y Janes, January 2009 (978-84-01-33698-0)
Pbk: Debols!llo, October 2010 (978-84-9908-316-2)

Ukrainian: Old Lion [contracted but not yet published]

 

Background illustration © and by courtesy of Marc Simonetti

 

Reviews

Twenty-five novels into the Discworld series, and Terry Pratchett’s imagination shows no signs of flagging. On the contrary, The Truth is an unmitigated delight and very, very funny …. Pratchett has suggested that experience has not made him a better writer but a more skilled one and this is most evident in the plotting. Since he abandoned chapters some years ago, he has opted for a structure that is more akin to cinema, with its fades and cross-cutting. This allows him to bind the threads of his plot into a taut linear narrative over which he exercises precise control. This is where the Pratchett wannabes go wrong. They tend to start off hectically and accelerate to frantic in the apparent belief that breathless speed is intrinsically funny. Pratchett, on the other hand, understands narrative tension. The pace is compelling but he never lets his tale descend into narrative farce. He also has a neat trick of co-opting stereotypes and giving them just enough of a twist to make them stand out on their own. …
Twenty-five novels in 17 years is a prodigious achievement which, inevitably, invites comparison with P.G.Wodehouse. But Wodehouse, for all his greatness, only had about two stories. Pratchett uses his world to try his hand at different genres – horror, thriller, road movie, etc. – and though Discworld novels do not carry anything so crass as a message, they often have a point. Small Gods, for example was about the power of faith. Jingo concerned xenophobia. This novel asks questions about the tricky nature of truth, a slippery beast at the best of times but especially so in journalism. As the masthead of William’s paper has it: ‘The truth shall make ye fret’.     Peter Ingham in The Times, Play section

Pratchett’s witty reach is even longer than usual here, from Pulp Fiction to His Girl Friday. Readers who’ve never visited the Discworld before may find themselves laughing out loud, even as they cheer on the good guys, while longtime fans are sure to call this Pratchett’s best one yet.       Publishers Weekly

Much as I enjoyed The Truth, honesty nonetheless compels me to admit that the novel didn’t seem quite as zippy or fresh as most of the Discworld books (though still offering more entertainment per page than anything this side of Wodehouse). But [Terry Pratchett] doesn’t just spew out jokes and puns (photographs as ‘prints of darkness’): He implicitly defends a liberal humanism, one that loathes bigotry, jingoism, easy answers and any kind of zealotry. (The staff of Hugglestones–William de Worde’s old school—‘prized keenness, believing that in sufficient quantities it could take the place of lesser attributes like intelligence, foresight and training.’) At the close of The Truth, he also speaks up plainly for political and cultural diversity: ‘Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.’ Pratchett seems a man, as well as a writer, one can admire.
As it happens, a dozen of his more learned admirers contribute essays to Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature, edited by Andrew M. Butler, Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn (The Science Fiction Foundation, 22 Addington Road, Reading, RG1 5PT, England; $20 paperback, which includes shipping costs). Besides the editors, contributors include John Clute, writing on the structure of Pratchett’s comedy; Cherith Baldry analyzing the children’s books; Karen Sayer on the novels about Granny Weatherwax and her sister witches; Nickianne Moody on Death (who always speaks in capitals); Penelope Hill on the Unseen University; and Matthew Hills on Discworld’s geography. There’s also a useful bibliography of primary and secondary texts. In short, this is a good and intelligent book, a resolutely serious companion to the authoritative, matey and much funnier Discworld Companion, by Pratchett himself and Stephen Briggs.      Michael Dirda, in The Washington Post, Book World

Background illustration © and by courtesy of Marc Simonetti