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Theatre of Cruelty

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A murder has been committed: a street entertainer, found apparently battered to death with a very small blunt object, on him bite marks from a very small crocodile. Investigating the incident in his typically direct manner, Carrot Ironfoundersson discovers the truth...


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A murder has been committed: a street entertainer, found apparently battered to death with a very small blunt object, on him bite marks from a very small crocodile. Investigating the incident in his typically direct manner, Carrot Ironfoundersson discovers the truth...

30 review for Theatre of Cruelty

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    Interesting. I never would have known about this if not for goodreads. A short story set in Discworld that I never knew about before. Here's a link to the full text. Reproduced with Pratchett's permission. http://www.lspace.org/books/toc/toc-e... It's very short. But it's fun to see a new piece of the character development that takes place after Guards Guards and before Men at Arms. Also, it helps if you know what a Punch and Judy show is.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Punch and Judy on the Discworld. This is a very short and very early Discworld story, first published in 1993 and you can get this for free online. Carrot is still a Constable. Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs have found a murder victim and after ruling out suicide (barely) they engage in some sleuth work that could only be accomplished by Fred and Nobby. Carrot comes in to save the day and does some smooth detective work by coming up with a very unusual witness to the crime. Pratchetts signature humor is Punch and Judy on the Discworld. This is a very short and very early Discworld story, first published in 1993 and you can get this for free online. Carrot is still a Constable. Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs have found a murder victim and after ruling out suicide (barely) they engage in some sleuth work that could only be accomplished by Fred and Nobby. Carrot comes in to save the day and does some smooth detective work by coming up with a very unusual witness to the crime. Pratchett’s signature humor is on full display, fans will enjoy this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    Guards! Guards! is my favourite Discworld book and this short story reminded me of that. In only a couple of pages you'll get: Corporal Carrot solving a suspicious death in an Anhk-Morpork alley; Vimes and Nobbs make an appearance, of course; DEATH helps the law too. Oh, and there are gnomes. I love the Night Watch characters.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    It was a fine summer morning, the kind to make a man happy to be alive. And probably the man would have been happier to be alive. He was, in fact, dead. It would be hard to be deader without special training. Brilliant deduction "What do we do now, Nobby?" "Arrest the suspect, Sarge," said Corporal Nobbs, saluting smartly. "Suspect, Nobby?" "Him," said Nobby, prodding the corpse with his boot. "I call it highly suspicious, being dead like that. He's been drinking, too. We could do him for being dead It was a fine summer morning, the kind to make a man happy to be alive. And probably the man would have been happier to be alive. He was, in fact, dead. It would be hard to be deader without special training. Brilliant deduction "What do we do now, Nobby?" "Arrest the suspect, Sarge," said Corporal Nobbs, saluting smartly. "Suspect, Nobby?" "Him," said Nobby, prodding the corpse with his boot. "I call it highly suspicious, being dead like that. He's been drinking, too. We could do him for being dead and disorderly." Colon scratched his head. Arresting the corpse offered, of course, certain advantages. But... An alternative to Punch and Judy "We thought we could start a people's co-operative," said the leading gnome. "You know... experimental drama, street theatre, that sort of thing. Not hitting each other with sticks..." A kaleidoscopic view of the colorful Discworld characters. Enjoy!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Perfect length for a cuppa. Super short, a couple extra chapters about the Watch, slotting in between the Watch books as something that happens. Gave me a little giggle.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    I spotted a review for this on Goodreads. It is a mere snippet of a story running to four pages. I tracked it down thanks to a link from one of the reviews. This is typical Pratchett. Funny and knowing without being too up itself. It features a cameo from DEATH too, what is not to like? A little knowledge of Punch and Judy would be useful in understanding this.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I was born in the seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare and grew up with a knowledge of Punch & Judy, so this short essay of 1000+ words was poignant to me. It is included in Terry Pratchett's book, "A Blink of the Screen," which is where I found it, and includes a very funny introduction, that added to my reading pleasure.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Theatre of Cruelty (Discworld #14.5; City Watch #1.5), Terry Pratchett

  9. 4 out of 5

    YouKneeK

    This is a short story set in the Discworld universe, featuring some of the characters from the Watch subseries. When I say short, I mean miniscule at about 4 pages. It can be read for free from here: http://www.lspace.org/books/toc/toc-e... A dead body is found, and Carrot attempts to figure out who murdered him. The first part of this story is cute and I was enjoying it, but the ending didnt make the slightest bit of sense to me. It was obviously a joke about a TV show, but I didnt know which This is a short story set in the Discworld universe, featuring some of the characters from the Watch subseries. When I say short, I mean miniscule at about 4 pages. It can be read for free from here: http://www.lspace.org/books/toc/toc-e... A dead body is found, and Carrot attempts to figure out who murdered him. The first part of this story is cute and I was enjoying it, but the ending didn’t make the slightest bit of sense to me. It was obviously a joke about a TV show, but I didn’t know which one. I read some reviews to figure out what I’d missed, and it turns out it was a reference to a show that I only vaguely remember hearing the name of, have never seen, and have no desire to see. But I’m sure it’s probably funny if you have any clue what it’s referencing. If anybody reads the short story and is just as confused as I was, or if they have no intention of reading it and just want to laugh at my ignorance about popular (I guess?) TV shows, this is what it was about: (view spoiler)[Punch and Judy. (hide spoiler)]

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This is a very short story, published online, and free. In the CITY WATCH sub series of DISCWORLD, it falls directly after Guards! Guards! Basically, it's a parody on the Punch and Judy Show, but with gnomes rather than puppets. Carrot solves the mystery, with a little help from Death. Recommended reading for Disworld "City Watch" fans, but otherwise, nothing special, and rather silly. You can find it here at L Space: http://www.lspace.org/books/toc/toc-e...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Priya

    A very short story where Corporal Carrot solves a mysterious death.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meep

    It's too short to fairly rate. Full of character, a fun little Punch and Judy spoof starring the indomitable Carrot.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    Only just found this short story. And it was free on the internet as Pratchett didnt want it in print anywhere but was happy for people to download it for free to enjoy. Only just found this short story. And it was free on the internet as Pratchett didn’t want it in print anywhere but was happy for people to download it for free to enjoy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    K

    A short story from 1993 that's available free online here. It's basically a commentary on Punch & Judy shows. If you are unfamiliar w/ them, you can read about it here. You can also watch one of the shows here That the violence of Punch & Judy shows was seen as children's entertainment can be shocking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Korling

    Read it here: http://www.lspace.org/books/toc/toc-e... "This online version of the story is made available on the Net by kind indulgence of the author, who reserves all reproduction and other rights to the story. In his own words: "I don't want to see it in distributed print anywhere but don't mind people downloading it for their own enjoyment.""

  16. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    Short and sweet ... Carrot and Death talking is just amazing!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alatea

    I don't remember if I have ever read a "book" that fast. It was fun, though, but I kinda felt like it was only introduction to something bigger. I know, I know - it's not. But it could be :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nick Rowley

    I actually own this in the WH Smith Bookshelf magazine version, so pleased. :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Cihodariu

    A very short story which serves as a build-up to the next volume in the Discworld series, Men at Arms. It's a funny account of the daily activities of the city guard. Carrot, the huge dude who believed he was a dwarf until his adoptive dwarf parents had to embarrassedly usher him out, is a delight as always. He is so oblivious that he even has the most awkward conversation ever with Death, while investigating a crime.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Available online at lspace.org

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Fun little story with several moments of humor. I just felt it ended a bit too soon.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Very short story set on the Discworld, a brief visit with an investigation by the Nights Watch. Very short story set on the Discworld, a brief visit with an investigation by the Night’s Watch.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Silly little story. Pretty fun and I enjoy seeing Carrot in action.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I happened across this short story by chance when reading up on some Terry Pratchett stories. Theatre of Cruelty (Pratchett's first Discworld short story) first appeared in a shortened form in W.H. Smith's free magazine 'Bookcase' in the July/August 1993 edition, but was later published in its full form in 'The Wizards of ODD: Comic Tales of Fantas, Edited by Peter Haining. The story is based upon Corporal Carrot solving a suspicious death in an Anhk-Morpork alley; Vimes and Nobbs make a small I happened across this short story by chance when reading up on some Terry Pratchett stories. Theatre of Cruelty (Pratchett's first Discworld short story) first appeared in a shortened form in W.H. Smith's free magazine 'Bookcase' in the July/August 1993 edition, but was later published in its full form in 'The Wizards of ODD: Comic Tales of Fantas, Edited by Peter Haining. The story is based upon Corporal Carrot solving a suspicious death in an Anhk-Morpork alley; Vimes and Nobbs make a small appearance. DEATH also makes a small appearance helping the Carrott in his investigation. It is a well written short story, very funny and holds a great parody to Punch and Judy, with gnomes rather than puppets. I would highly recommend this short story!!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    Available in the book A Blink of the Screen, a short Discworld story concerning the death of a Punch & Judy Puppeteer. It features Carrot and Vimes and it just helps the novels make sense: something has to happen in between killing Dragons and the assassination attempts. [First read: 26th June, 2015. Second read: 28th December, 2017.] Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Shop | Etsy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Octavia Cade

    Captain Carrot is one of my favourite Discworld characters, sitting comfortably up there with Granny Weatherwax and Vimes, and I can't tell you how much I would have liked this to be a full-length novel. Carrot and his simple, linear thinking is always so entertaining, especially as I'm convinced that underneath he knows precisely what he's doing. Alas, this little story is only a few pages long. Possibly too short for what it is, but still very entertaining.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zac C.C

    Interesting... Nobb and Colon's detective work (sausage strangling, multiple animal attack, e.t.c) was quite funny. Death as a witness was great, and seems carrot-like. If only he was more cooperative.My second DW short story (Death & what comes next) but I preferred DWCN. Both short story's feature Death, is that a reference to that all our stories are short and feature death? Just kidding, nothing to deep in here! Too many acronyms for one review! (TMAOR)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura Birks

    As with all the Pratchett stories I've read this one was a lot of fun if extremely short. Death makes an appearance, and his being interviewed by Constable/Corporal Carrot is perhaps the best part of the story. Definitely worth the read, you can find it online here http://www.lspace.org/books/toc/toc-e...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

    A very short story, but a good one. Found it through Patrick Rothfuss's review (Thanks, Pat!), which basically says all you need to know. I LOVE Pratchett's work. That's it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    A delightful short story of the Night Watch. Honestly it gets 5 stats mainly for the conversation between DEATH and Carrot, but the rest of it is also pretty funny (though it helps if you have an idea of what a Punch and Judy show is). Even if you don't buy love The Discworld you might as well read it since it is only 4 pages long.

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