The Truth is the 25th Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett. And no matter how many times I read this book, it never ceases to amuse me. Pratchett is a scathing political satirist who cleverly combines the reality of our world with the intelligently designed fantasy world of his. The fact that the Discworld is flat and is perched on the backs of four enormous elephants that stand on a giant turtle which swims in space, is sometimes entirely irrelevant when we get lost in the elaborately woven stories taking place on it. Although Discworld’s main city Anhk-Morpork is overrun with wizards, dwarfs, vampires, trolls and werewolves, we still find the characters relatable to real people. We see the reality we usually fail to see in our own world through the stories of Pratchett. And they are usually bottomless pits of humour and sarcasm.
The Truth by Terry Pratchett – Review
The Truth is about Ankh-Morpork’s first daily newspaper. William de Worde has a one-sheet, hand-engraved newsletter running. He is proud of it and always gets its facts right and the ‘impressive’ circulation of six copies, at five dollars a copy is a humble living a scribe can make in the city. But almost accidentally he ends up setting up the first newspaper on Discworld after he runs into the new printing press of the dwarfs. It is called the Anhk-Morpork Times which is a misprint of the originally intended Anhk-Morpork Items. Bad spelling and the lack of ‘sophistication’ on the dwarfs part contribute to the comical wordplay seen throughout the book. The “Truth Shall Make Ye Fret” is the motto of the publication, although it was supposed to be less point blank and crude.
When William de Worde pushes his print run-up, hires staff and halves the price of his paper, he not only gains circulation but also enemies who very much like to see him dead. An attempted right-wing coup, racist backlash and serious political issues run in the background churning the plot thick and arresting. Public’s lack of interest in affairs of the state, rivalry and proper investigative journalism are highlighted, converging the truths of the world we live in and the city of Anhk-Morpork. While the Anhk-Morpork Times tries to report on the issues that matter, its tabloid rival, Ankh-Morpork Inquirer takes a different approach by carrying out stories about a man-eating goldfish. The Truth speaks more truth of the nature of news, politics and the society of our everyday world than real life narrations. It is a glimpse into our own world and selves accompanied by uniquely crafted irreverent humour. Truth Shall Make You Free or Truth Shall Make Ye Fret.