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MEN AT ARMS (DISCWORLD NOVEL) [Hardcover]

TERRY PRATCHETT
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal isn't the same as important July 14 2006
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Men at Arms reunites us with the stalwart defenders of our beloved Ankh-Morpork: the Night Watch. Along the way we also meet up with some of the Discworld's most distinctive secondary characters (including Foul Ole Ron and Big Fido), get a glimpse of affirmative action Ankh-Morpork-style, discover the identity of the rightful king (if Ankh-Morpork still had a king, which it doesn't, which isn't the fault of the shady characters in this book trying to replace the Patrician with the aforementioned heir to the throne, who doesn't want the job anyway), converse once more with Gaspode the talking dog, and - if that's not enough - make ready for the wedding of the year between Captain Samuel Vimes of the Night Watch and Lady Sybil Ramkin, proprietor of the Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons and the richest woman in Ankh-Morpork. Captain Vimes is in fact retiring from the Watch, but his retirement involves much more than the traditional gift watch presentation from his men. A washed-up aristocrat named Edward D'eath takes it upon himself to restore the long-lost monarchy, a circumstance that can only come about over the Patrician's dead body. Even clowns aren't safe from this deadly conspiracy.

The trouble begins with an explosion and robbery at the Guild of Assassins. Someone has stolen nothing less than the only "gonne" on Discworld, and a series of murders shock the town. OK, nothing's really going to shock the people of Ankh-Morpork, but the fact that people keep turning up full of holes where guts should be definitely stirs up the Watchmen. The Patrician is also less than happy about things, so he makes sure the Watch gets to the bottom of things by forbidding Captain Vimes to investigate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
"Men at Arms" is the fifteenth novel in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series and the second to focus on Sam Vimes and Ankh-Morpork's City Guard. Although its reputation may have raised very slightly, having rescused the City from a large and angry dragon, it's still not the fine and noble profession it once was.

Sam is the Captain of the Night Watch, though he is on the verge of retiring and will soon marry Lady Ramkin, the noted dragon-fancier. It isn't entirely clear, however, whether or not he's entirely happy about either the retirement or his impending life of marital bliss. It's fair to say he's not your typical hero : he hates the Undead (some of my best friends are werewolves), Assassins (a perfectly respectable profession) and - in keeping with an old family tradition - Kings (not an ideal musketeer then). Sam's also trying to quit drinking and has taken up smoking cigars to soften the blow.

The Night Watch has had a couple of new recruits since "Guards! Guards!" - largely at the insistence if the Patrician, the city's ruler. The recruits - Lance-Constables Cuddy (a dwarf), Detritus (a troll) and Angua (a woman, for most of the month) - have been selected to reflect Ankh-Morpork's `ethnic makeup'. Although Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs are Sam's most experienced officers, the most capable is Carrot. Although born human, Carrot was raised as a dwarf and is an incredibly innocent character - he still hasn't figured out what seamstresses do for a living. He has, however, figured out how Ankh-Morpork works and has stopped trying to arrest the President of the Thieves Guild. The trouble begins when Edward d'Eath suspects that Carrot may be the rightful king of Ankh-Morpork.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carrot comes into his own! Feb. 25 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is one my favorite and, I believe, one of the best of Pratchett's Discworld Series. I can say it in one word: Carrot! He is one of my favorite heroes on the Discworld (only Rincewind and Nanny Ogg compare with Death a close third). As usual, Carrot comes through with flying colors. There are just so many interesting things in this book: the plot about the "gonne," Leonard de Quirm (and the way he acts with the Patrician), Cuddy the dwarf and Detritus the troll, the silly guildsand their ridiculous presidents, Carrot and Angua, I could just go on.
Especially good was the troll-dwarf issue, the way they had to work together to interview the guilds without making complete fools of themselves and just basically get along. Also, it is funny how intelligent trolls get in low temperatures.
The plot alos makes for a nice mystery story. Pratchett really worked on this one. We start out with a 4-man watch and end up with one over 60 people! The Watch really grows up and will add many laughs to future stories. One of the best: a must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first one! Jan. 4 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As can be seen from my review of it, I thought Guards Guards! was a marvelously funny book, and a great homage to the guards in most movies and books who have a very thankless job. Men at Arms, though, surpasses even that.
First of all, the ranks of the City Watch are expanded, with Detritus -DON'T SALUTE, the Troll, Cuddy, the Dwarf, and Angua, a woman who's not all she appears to be. Dwarves and Trolls don't get along, which provides the meat to some very funny scenes between Detritus and Cuddy, including a great scene where Cuddy is teaching Detritus how to count. There are even more jokes in this one then there were in Guards Guards (or at least, I laughed at more of them).
Captain Vimes is retiring in a few days, which doesn't give the watch much time to figure out who's responsible for all the strange murders happening. Never fear, though, Corporal Carrot is here! The character development in this book makes this so much more than just a funny fantasy. Vimes is really starting to second guess his life. Carrot is maturing greatly, even if he still is plain, simple Carrot. Even Nobbs and Colon grow as characters.
In Vimes, you see a character agonizing over who he is and what he is becoming. He's not sure he wants to live the life that's staring him in the face. Yet he's still the take-charge guy he became in the first book. He's the emotional centre of the book and while he's not always involved, his presence is always being felt.
All of this sounds dreadfully serious, but it's wrapped in a plot that goes from one hilarious event to another. There were three or four straight pages where I couldn't stop laughing as I read, and every other page had a treat (I just managed to stifle the laughter in order to not disturb my wife's sleep).
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect
A perfect mix of hard boiled pulp detective and the wry humour and clever imagination that makes discworld so wonderful.
Published 2 months ago by Michael Howie
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Great book, just as good as Guards Guards! and enough to convince me to read the rest of the Discworld series, assuming I live that long :)

For anyone that doesn't know... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dan
4.0 out of 5 stars The Watch at it again
In this Discworld instalment we return to The Watch, Captain Vimes, Corporal Carrot, and a host of other familiar and new characters. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Lorina Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta love that Corporal Carrot
I love Pratchett. I love the all the stories of the Watch and along with NIght Watch this is my favourite about them all. Before Cuddy dies and with the twist on Carrot being King.
Published 19 months ago by just a little opinion of my own'
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice and necessary
Meet Carrot, Angua, Vimes and the other watchmen in their debut performance as they leap into the Discworld. Read more
Published on June 11 2002 by S. Hameed
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS THE GREATEST BOOK!...
This is the greatest Discworld book there is!...You have to read it!... (it has that special touch only Terry Pratchett can do...)
Published on April 6 2002 by =)
5.0 out of 5 stars Imense Intellectually Satirical Book
Although "Men at Arms" is a highly entertaining and humourous police story, it also deal with several social issue in an intellectually satirical way. Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2001 by Anh Nguyen
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another wonderful book by Pterry!
Okay. As a quick synopsis, the Ankh-Morpork City Guard (Night Watch) are having to deal with a very new and very, very nasty weapon. Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2001 by RenegadeLegacy
5.0 out of 5 stars another great book by Terry Pratchett
I have read every Terry Pratchett book in the Disc book series. This is one of my favorities. I recommend this book and the entire series if you like strange and unusual worlds... Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2001 by C. Perkins
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