Guards! Guards!

Guards! Guards!

Book - 1989
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Welcome to Guards Guards , the eighth book in Terry Pratchett's legendary Discworld series.Long believed extinct, a superb specimen of draco nobilis (noble dragon for those who don't understand italics) has appeared in Discworld's greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path, in rather short order it is crowned King (it is a noble dragon, after all...). How did it get there? How is the Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night involved? Can the Ankh-Morpork City Watch restore order - and the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork to power?Magic, mayhem, and a marauding dragon...who could ask for anything more?
Publisher: London : V. Gollancz, 1989
ISBN: 9780061020643
0061020648
9780575046061
0575046066
Characteristics: 288 p. ; 24 cm

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a
aimiller
Jun 28, 2017

What a delightful book! The writing is so distinctive, and unlike the previous Discworld book I read (Maskarade) this one makes me want to go on and really read more of these books. (Any recommendations on which one 'comes next'- I know there's an 'order' and an "Order," but y'know... help a kid out!) There were a couple moments where I literally laughed out loud, very hard, and I'm always down for that, plus there's always the nice little moments where Pratchett sneaks in some Human Wisdom that are very lovely. I definitely want to spend more time in this world!

c
CosmicEnergy
Apr 04, 2017

Best of Discworld. Right here. No contest. The twists and intricate plot combined with Pratchett's seemingly infinite wit guarantee a good read.

b
busy2016
Jun 05, 2016

Excellent! This is the 1st book with Sam Vimes and it is great! This shows the pitiful beginnings of the Night Watch in Ankh-Morpork, and how they could only get better. Sam starts out as a drunk and hesitant officer of the law. There is an addition to the Night Watch of Carrot - an adopted 6-foot (non) dwarf who is so honest and hard working that you can't help but enjoy everyone else's reaction. This book is a great foundation for the rest of the series. Love it!

FindingJane May 01, 2016

As yet another foray into Mr. Pratchett’s Anhk-Morpork, this one deals with the Watch, a system of guards that has been whittled away almost to nothing by Lord Vetinari, that sly, shrewd manipulator of people. Long ago, Vetinari decided that if crime had to exist (and he’d come to the conclusion that it could never be eradicated completely), then it should be regulated by the criminals instead of the cops. That way, the lawmen wouldn’t be forced to work so hard to accomplish so little.

With crime now being taxed and subject to rules and regulations, the criminals do a much more efficient job at policing themselves than the constabulary ever did. The Watch has therefore been reduced to a sinecure, one in which the three men left in it mostly drink themselves stupid, walk idly down the streets, call out the hours, take their sweet time when brawls break out and don’t run too quickly to catch runaway criminals.

So Mr. Pratchett throws a wrench in this flawed but working system. There are malcontents. (Here’s where you get the real humor in this book, with some of the funniest dialogue about a board meeting that you’ll ever read.) There always are grumblers, no matter how well a country is run. They have decided to stage a revolution. There will be a hero, a coronation, a long-lost king (who’ll do as he’s told) and everyone will get what’s coming to him. Oh yes, there’s a dragon.

And this is where things get interesting. Mr. Pratchett’s novel isn’t so much humorous as a satirical lampoon, one that pokes fun at the criminal justice system, the whimsical notions of time and space that humans only imperfectly understand, the notion of insurrection and the very idea of the hero’s quest as commonly laid out in books by Tolkien or Mallory.

There are so many different ideas winding their way through this novel which is one of Mr. Pratchett’s best in the series. There is magic but no wizards. There is a dragon but no lovely maidens for it to eat. There is a hero, but—well, what happens to him is best left for the reader to learn.

Mr. Pratchett proves himself the master of slyness, misdirecting the reader with his version of the shell game. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen—surprise! surprise!

Whether you’re a Pratchett fan or not, this book will show you just what the master was capable of when he was at the top of his game.

b
booksmile
Oct 18, 2015

My favorite and funniest Discworld book so far! (I've read a dozen of them?)

s
sfogs
Jul 12, 2014

A good laugh~!!

forbesrachel Aug 05, 2013

On the one side you have the cult members, whose conversations and rationalizations are meant to be unintelligent and yet are. And on the other side you have the night watch, a bunch of underachievers. The cult does what they think a cult does, and the watch avoids what they think the watch does. Into this is thrown Carrot, the only one who has the intention to be a proper guard that fights crime, except Ankh-Morpork doesn't want this. The thing is, he is quite naive. All of this makes for a terribly funny setup. There are many more references to our own world than normal: quotes, detective and police stories, and even a save the dragons campaign. The impossibilities of the dragon body are looked at seriously, and the possible ones are disadvantaged and need to be saved. All-in-all, this makes for the authors best book yet

a
AfrikanCanadian
Apr 27, 2013

Though a well-written and insightful satire, this book was just too silly for me : I prefer silliness to be balanced with some measure of sobriëty. For those who like unmeasured (and often biting) humour, this book will do the trick!

neko Aug 22, 2009

Be a Guard in the Night Watch. The City of Ankh-Morpork awaits. Come to the big city and meet dwarves, trolls, mobs, and humans of more descriptions than you thought possible. Yes! here you get it all.

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busy2016
Jun 05, 2016

From Sam Vimes: "I was never an officer of the city, or an officer of the king, or an officer of the Patrician. I was an officer of the law. It might have been corrupt and bent, but it was the law."

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