In the fourth part of The Truth, we learn more of Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip, and plots are hatched. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
I was off to a good start with The Truth, at least in terms of picking up on some of Pratchett’s ambiguities, the things he leaves unsaid in the book. I feel like I am not there with Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip. They both feel so exactly like a trope that I didn’t get the normal sense of parody or subversion that comes with Discworld characters. They are the short, skinny “brains” of the operation and the large, violent one, respectively. Well, Mr. Tulip has the added strangeness of his need to ingest every “drug” or “chemical” that has ever existed. As I said in a previous review, I want to know about these two, and I do think Pratchett pulls the curtain back here somewhat, giving us a better idea of where these two came from and what made them into the people they are now. It’s through the negotiating with Mr. Slant that Mr. Tulip’s impatience makes itself known, for example, and that’s a key trait of his. We are also introduced to Mr. Tulip’s angry interest in art, which is my FAVORITE. Like, I want to tour the Louvre with someone just like him. The closest thing I can compare this to is going to modern art exhibits with my friend Olivia, who despises modern art and has the most entertaining commentary about it. (There’s lots of yelling. She sometimes looks at a piece and just says, “NO,” then walks away.)
Anyway, it adds depth to him, though that depth is more comedic than anything else.
So… was Mr. Slant the person that the group that hates Vetinari used as their middleman? (Their “facilitator,” if I’m to use his words.) That whole conversation was confusing to me because no one outright said anything, which I understood in terms of a writing choice. Mr. Slant wanted to keep himself legally protected and detached from what he was arranging, so, unlike Mr. Tulip, he never would spell things out for anyone. But was this some other proposition, or was it related to the main plot of the book? I also gotta hand it to Mr. Slant: writing down the “story of [their] lives” as a form of protection was smart. (And handing copies of that to people he knew.) He’s washed his hands of the whole affair, hasn’t he?
See, I don’t quite know how to classify Cripslock because… is she a source? Seeing how William placates her rage by asking her to bring him tips for his newspaper took my mind straight to “reporter.” Granted, it is a vastly simplified version of a reporter, but she’s getting paid for bringing William news. He knows that he can stuff more news into his paper than simply one bit of gossip per month, and I imagine he’s also banking on the homeless folks under Misbegot Bridge to sell all the papers he gave them. Initially, this enterprise might release a paper twice a week, which is a huge progress for something that just started.
Oh gods, who else will William recruit??? There’s gotta be more people he can add to this enterprise, right?
The New Firm
Now, this was something that I hadn’t even considered as an element of this story: who did Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip work for? I had always assumed that they worked on their own, and then there were references to The Firm. Which is… just the two of them? Maybe? I wasn’t exactly sure of that point, but even if we assume that’s the case, I still assumed that we would only deal in whomever hired these two men in Ankh-Morpork. Mr. Pin refers to them as the “New Firm,” and lord, do they ever take precautions to hide their identities from everyone else, including Tulip and Pin. It’s an ingenious way to protect the group, and I’m also guessing that The Firm doesn’t operate this way.
This might just be a case of me misunderstanding a minor portion of the text, so I’m not too concerned with it. Maybe my brain is just done with words earlier than usual today. POINT BEING: I tried to see if there was any clue as to who these “concerned citizens” were, but I got nothing. I have no idea if there are any recognizable characters in the group or if they’re all strangers. WHO ARE THEY, Y’ALL?
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