Book:Feet of Clay

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Feet of Clay
Cover art by Josh Kirby
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date June 1996
ISBN 0575059001
Pages 288
Main characters Carrot Ironfoundersson, Cheery Littlebottom, Angua von Überwald, Samuel Vimes, Dorfl, Dragon King of Arms
Series Watch Series
Annotations View
All data relates to the first UK edition.


A Discworld Whodunnit

Who's murdering harmless old men? Who's poisoning the Patrician?

As autumn fogs hold Ankh-Morpork in their grip, the City Watch have to track down a murderer who can't be seen.

Maybe the golems know something - but the solemn men of clay, who work all day and night and are never any trouble to anyone, have started to commit suicide...

It's not as if the Watch hasn't got problems of its own. There's a werewolf suffering from Pre-Lunar Tension. Corporal Nobbs is hobnobbing with the nobs, and there's something really strange about the new dwarf recruit, especially his earrings and eyeshadow.

Who can you trust when there are mobs on the streets and plotters in the dark and all the clues point the wrong way?

In the gloom of the night, Watch Commander Sir Samuel Vimes finds that the truth might not be out there at all.

It may be in amongst the words in the head.

A chilling tale of poison and pottery.


Josh Kirby's cover features a golem emerging through the fog with a cleaver in his hand. The watchmen on the Right are Detritus, Angua and Cheery/Cheri. The Death of Rats and Wee Mad Arthur are collecting dead rats.


Main Characters

Minor Characters

Cameos and Mentions





"It's the actual bread he personally wielded at the Battle of Koom Valley, killing fifty*seven trolls" - one of the frequent 57 references in TP's work.

The golems expressly build Meshugeh to be King over them, and load his head with so many conflicting and mutually opposed chems that he goes psychotic.

Given the interestingly Jewish names and personalities that Terry ascribes to the golems - they even scribe onto their chalkboards with a very Hebraic script - this evokes the struggles described in the Books of Samuel and Kings in the Bible. The people of Israel, having won their land and being at the pinnacle of their strength after rule by a generally wise and God-fearing succession of Judges, fall into sin with the Almighty by deciding what they really want is a King. This is despite God being opposed to the idea - there is only one King over Israel, and it's Me - and warning His people it will all end in tears.

In 1 Samuel chapter 8, the story unfolds itself. Samuel, prophet and last Judge over Israel, relays God's annoyance with his people and warns them not to try for wrath. He advises them that God will meet them halfway - they can have their King if God chooses the candidate. And then he lists an onerous set of commandments defining the King's relationship with his people and the people's duties to the King - these are on a par with the dozens of chems pushed into the head of the golem-king.

Samuel's last words as Judge are "And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you on that day."

The golem-king Meshugeh causes similar sorrow to his people before being destroyed...



Adapted by Stephen Briggs into a stage play in 2015.

Murder in Ankh-Morpork is an adaptation consisting mainly of the plot of Men at Arms combining additional plot elements from Guards! Guards! and Feet of Clay. Dramatised by Stephen Briggs 2020.


First Edition Cover by Josh Kirby
Book Proof
Paperback 2004
Audio Cassette
Audio CD
Cover by Michael Sabanosh
Cover by Michael Sabanosh-paperback
US Cover
Paperback 2012
Collectors Library Edition
Paperback 2023

External Links

Feet of Clay Annotations - The Annotated Pratchett File

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