I’m a Discworld fan but have never done a complete read of all the books, and so my experience has been a bit chaotic in reading these. I picked this up on a trip randomly and just got around to it a few months later, so another entry in my piecemeal approach to Pratchett’s work. Often times my big grand plans like that end up coming face to face with reality (and the monetary cost of buying 40 books), but sometimes the slow and steady approach (and using the library) might be better. Feet of Clay does require you to have a base of Discworld knowledge, as all the characters here have pre-existing relationships and a lot of backstory. Again, I haven’t read all of these but if you popped in here and didn’t know about Vimes working his way up to Commander of the Watch, or even what the Watch was, you’d have a hard time. As it was, I enjoyed this since I read Going Postal last year and also have been reading these books since I was a kid.
Feet of Clay is both a murder mystery and an attempted murder mystery, along with thought-provoking exploration into what makes a person, poverty and class, stereotypes and racism, and why people would engage in dehumanizing slavery. I found the struggles of the golems to be really moving and Pratchett’s exploration of the different reasons people react negatively to them and find their potential human status challenging to be extremely insightful. The reasons behind the murders and the attempted murder of Vetinari come together for a satisfying conclusion. I don’t think I need to outline why Pratchett is a great humorous writer considering his body of work and well-deserved reputation. I do give this three stars just because I felt like it was a little long and overly winding, and I found myself rushing through some sections to get closer to the ending. I’m probably never going to revisit this, whereas I re-read Going Postal and Hogfather again every few years, but this was a solid book.
Warnings for: child death, racism/speciesism, murder, poisoning, slavery