In these wildly eccentric adventures, Britain's best-selling living novelist mines a rich seam of comic fantasy that takes us to the Edge -- and beyond.
This was until Carrot joined. Carrot is a human who was raised by dwarves, thus he considers himself a dwarf. He's the ultimate innocent, but yet he has a way of getting people to listen to him and follow him. By the time of Jingo, he's been raised to Captain (no comic book jokes, please). This all happened in the first City Watch book, Guards Guards. In subsequent books, the Watch has grown almost exponentially. It now has over 50 members, with more joining all the time. In fact, Jingo jokes a couple of times about how Vimes, the commander of the Watch, doesn't know that somebody's joined. It's very common for him to say "Who's that?" and be told that he signed the paperwork.
Jingo involves an island that has suddenly appeared between Ankh-Morpork and the land of Klatch. Klatch is based on the Arab countries of our world, and there are quite a few jokes about how something that was supposedly invented in Ankh-Morpork has been used in Klatch for years. The people of Ankh-Morpork have a lot of the same stereotypes of Klatchians as exist in the real world about Arabs as well. Pratchett goes to great lengths to show just how stupid this is.Read more ›
Those of us who were around when Maggie (excuse me, Baroness Thatcher) launched her little homage to the 19th century in the Falklands/Malvinas will probably enjoy "Jingo" a little more than others I suspect, but the book itself rings true on so many different levels that it transcends such a particular interpretation. This is Pratchett on the subject of nationalism, militarism and racism with Sam Vimes as usual cast in the role of ironic observer and moral center.
I actually liked seeing Vetinari out and about more, and it's clear that this novel marks the beginning of a more three-D presence in the Discworld universe for both Sergeant Colon and the ambiguously human Corporal Nobbs. Leonard of Quirm needs more work though. Once you got the initial conceit, he became tiresome quite quickly.
Captain Carrot, Sergeant Angua and Corporal Detritus do their usual sterling service. I had hoped for more from Constable Visit-the-Infidel-With-Explanatory-Pamphlets given that the conflict between Klatch and Ankh-Morpork was partly a religious one, but you can't have everything.
Perhaps my favorite things in the novel were the face-off between the city nobles and Vimes, the Demon Pocket Organizer, and Vimes' precise and beautifully-articulated exposition of the differences between soldiers and policemen. Vimes, I suspect is an old-fashioned copper who believes in justice, rather than merely protecting and serving the law. Too bad the LAPD doesn't read Terry Pratchett.