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Guards! Guards! [Library Binding]

Terry Pratchett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 9 2008
The eighth Discworld novel — After this, dragons will never be the same again!

This is where the dragons went. They lie . . . not dead, not asleep, but . . . dormant. And although the space they occupy isn’t like normal space, nevertheless they are packed in tightly. They could put you in mind of a can of sardines, if you thought sardines were huge and scaly. And presumably, somewhere, there’s a key . . .
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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"'This is one of Pratchett's best books. Hilarious and highly recommended'" The Times "'Pratchett is at the peak of his powers; it's hard to think of any humorist writing in Britain today who can match him...A masterful ear for dialogue, a keen eye for the ridiculous and a real feel for language'" Time Out "'The best humorous English author since P.G. Wodehouse'" Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

This is where the dragons went. They lie...not dead, not asleep, but...dormant. And although the space they occupy isn't like normal space, nevertheless they are packed in tightly. They could put you in mind of a can of sardines, if you thought sardines were huge and scaly. And presumably, somewhere, there's a key...

Guards! Guards! is the eighth Discworld novel - and after this, dragons will never be the same again! --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC ! Jan. 24 2007
Format:Paperback
"Guards ! Guards !" is the eighth book in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series and is the first to focus on Sam Vimes and Ankh-Morpork's City Guard. Although the City Guard was once a fine and noble profession, it has fallen by the wayside in recent years. Once, there had been hundreds of members : as the book opens, the City's Night Watch is staffed only by Sam, Sergeant Fred Colon and Corporal Nobby Nobbs. Like the Night Watch itself, Sam has also fallen on hard times. Having started drinking to forget (it was possibly something to do with a woman), he now drinks to forget the drinking. Despite his faults, though, he's a likeable cynic who has a well-developed sense of fair play and identifies with the underdog.

Things start turning around for Sam and the Watch in "Guards ! Guards !". The force sees a dramatic rise in numbers with the arrival of Carrot Ironfoundersson. Orphaned as a baby, Carrot had been taken in by the dwarfs and raised in a gold mine. Until shortly before he left home, he didn't realise he was human - he'd always thought he was just tall for his species. His adoptive father decides it's best for Carrot to spend some time with other humans and 'manages' to secure a position for him in the Ankh-Morpork City Guard. Carrot, on his arrival, is viewed with some amazement : an actual, honest volunteer. He takes things very literally (as dwarfs tend to do), is very innocent (he wouldn't know what to do with a seamstress if one fell into his lap) and a lot of the humour comes from his utter confusion.

The problem for Sam and the Night Watch is presented by the Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren. Well, actually, the problem is its mysterious (and big-headed) Supreme Grand Master, an ambitious and manipulative individual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knee-slapping humor and solid adventure. Perfect May 25 2003
Format:Paperback
The Ankh-Morpork Night Watch is a disgrace, its lack of talent offset only by the Patrician's distain for normal police work, relying as he does on the self-interest of the thieve's guild to keep crime under control. From alcoholic Captain Vines on down, the Watch exists but doesn't really act. When an occult band comes up with the idea of summoning dragons to change the Ankh-Morpork leadership, the Night Watch is the last place anyone would look for a hero. Which is lucky because what they get isn't a hero--exactly.
Author Terry Pratchett keeps the laughs coming in this Discworld-set adventure. Captain Vines, a recurring character in the series, is well developed as a sympathetic and interesting character. The romantic element adds to the humor and to the story as well.
Combining knee-slapping humor with a solid adventure is often difficult, but Pratchett manages without breaking a sweat. Fans of the DiscWorld series will definitely want to add this one to their must-read selection. GUARDS! GUARDS! is also a great place to start reading Pratchett novels as it introduces many of the important characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The people united can never be ignited! Dec 31 2002
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Discworld really doesn't get any better or funnier than this. For the first time in the series, we get an extended up-close view of life in the remarkable city of Anhk-Morpork. We are introduced to such wonderful characters as Captain Vimes of the City Watch and his singular subordinates Nobby, Colon, and the giant dwarf (adopted) Carrot; the formidable Lady Ramkin; and Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler. The remarkable fashion in which the Patrician Lord Vetinari runs the city is explained in some detail, we begin to really get to know the Librarian of Unseen University (who was of course turned into an orangutan some type back as a result of a magical accident), and Pratchett gives us a basic rundown on the theory of L-Space under which all libraries work and are magically connected.
Everyone knows that dragons do not exist, not the type of giant mythical creatures who fly around breathing fire all over the place. Thus, it comes as something of a surprise to people when Anhk-Morpork begins experiencing incidents of the body-melting variety; such a perpetrator can only be dismissed for so long as a giant wading bird, however. It seems that a group of unimportant have-nots has been wooed into a secret society bent on teaching the haves a lesson or two by magically summoning a dragon to carry out their wishes. Naturally, things get out of hand, and the dragon finds a way to establish permanent residence in reality. Declaring himself king of the city, preparations are made to turn over treasure and begin sacrificing maidens.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett's Evolving Characters April 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a review of the entire "Watch" series, not just GUARDS! GUARDS!, which is the first novel of the series and the first Pratchett book I ever read. In the first two, GUARDS! GUARDS! and MEN AT ARMS, Sam Vimes meets and marries the Dragon Lady, Sibyl Ramkin, and we get the most loving satire of a formidable upper-class old maid that I've ever read. Their romance is as unlikely and as touching as the one between Death and Miss Flitworth in REAPER MAN.
I loved the affirmative action developments in the second book, though the dragon plot in the first one seems almost superfluous compared to the evolution of Vimes' character from the time we meet him drunk in the gutter to the changes Sybil helps bring about -- and we read the subsequent Watch novels in wonder as Sam goes on to become a reluctant knight, then a duke and an expectant dad. Equally fascinating are Angua the werewolf and Cheery Littlebottom the dwarf, two of the new "men" at arms whom we get to know better in each book. Even Carrot, who is usually too good to be interesting, starts to develop some fascinating flaws in THE FIFTH ELEPHANT.
That's the joy of the Watch novels, as well as the Witch and Death ones, and a few one-shot protagonists like Teppic in PYRAMIDS. Here are people who change and evolve, in other words, people who come alive. (Even Death does -- wonderfully.) Although the password scene at the beginning of GUARDS! GUARDS! is one of Pratchett's funniest, there is none of the sneering and lampooning that make the Rincewind stories tedious. I am ever so glad that this was the first Pratchett book I read; had it been one of the Rincewind stories, chances are I'd never have gone back to the PRA's on the bookstore shelves.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Good audio-book.
This is one of my all time favourite books. I wanted the audio version to share with my kids on long car trips. (Discworld is a wonderful panacea against frustration at rush hour. Read more
Published 27 days ago by A E Bruce
4.0 out of 5 stars The Guards are one of my favourite disc world plot lines
The Guards are one of my favourite disc world plot lines, and this is their introduction, but don't start here, you have 7 books to read first.. cheater
Published 3 months ago by Rob Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Great introduction to The Discworld. This book kicks off the Night Watch story-arc of The Discworld series, rated by many to be the best of the lot.
Published 15 months ago by Dan
4.0 out of 5 stars Inexhaustible wit and imagination
It is a constant amazement that Terry Pratchett possesses a seemingly inexhaustible wit and imagination, and in this eighth installment in his Discworld series, that wit and... Read more
Published on June 5 2012 by Lorina Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the series so far!
I've enjoyed all of the first eight Discworld books, but I enjoyed this one the best. Pratchett does a masterful job of weaving the main characters (human and not) together and... Read more
Published on March 25 2002 by M. R. Pachankis
5.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett at his best
The reason, I think, that Pratchett has managed to keep Discworld viable after over two dozen novels while other series seem to fade after four or five is that Pratchett... Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2002 by Blake Petit
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st time reader
Terry Pratchet rocks! After reading (and collecting) every one of David and Leigh Eddings'books (that I am aware of) I was looking for an author that would come close to their... Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2002 by Jon
5.0 out of 5 stars More Pratchett hilarity
I read the Colour of Magic a long time ago, and while it was funny, I didn't really appreciate it. I haven't really had the chance to go back and read more Pratchett until I... Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2002 by David Roy
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
This book is one of the funny discworld series. Terry Prachett is a writing genius and his imagination knows no bounds. Read more
Published on Dec 24 2001 by Ben Schapiro
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