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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on June 4, 2015
Pratchett can do no wrong!
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on July 4, 2014
I didn't know it was abridged.
won't buy used again.
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on March 15, 2002
Jingo is yet another book that takes place in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. It's the fourth book to feature the City Watch, which is the police force of Ankh-Morpork, a city on the Disc. It's also one of the best. The City Watch, in its initial incarnation, was an homage to those no-name soldiers, troopers and other various cannon-fodder that inhabit adventure and sci-fi movies. They're usually hapless, the hero runs right over them, and their survival rate is fairly low. Originally, it consisted of three people, Samuel Vimes, Nobby Nobs, and Sergeant Colon.
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. He portrays the actual Klatchians very well, with no actual stereotypes that I saw.
Anyway, both Ankh-Morpork and Klatch lay claim to this island, and thus talk of war begins. There's an attempt on the life of a Klatchian prince and other sorts of violence start to break out in the city. Samuel Vimes is trying to deal with all of this. He's a simple cop who just wants to solve crimes, but sometimes the crimes are too big for one man to solve. Events start to spiral out of control and Vimes and some of his troops find themselves in Klatch trying to stop things before the war gets out of hand.
There are so many wonderful characters in these City Watch books, and this one even adds some more. The main new character is 71-hour Ahmed, a Klatchian who's more than what he seems. Vimes has to deal with him a lot, and while he starts out seeming stereotypical, but he eventually develops into a well-rounded character. There's Reg Shoe, who I understand is introduced in a non-City Watch book, but becomes a member of the Watch in this book. He's a zombie. Then there are the regulars, such as Carrot, Detritus (a troll), Constable Visit, Colon, Nobs, the Patrician (who, uncharacteristically, takes an active role in events after he's deposed from power), and finally Vimes himself. There are just too many of them to describe them all, but they all have their hilarious moments.
Vimes is who the books are essentially about, and he gets the most character development. He used to be a drunk who barely got by, and didn't have to do anything in his job. He wasn't required to, because nobody gave the Watch any respect anyway. Carrot gave him a sense of duty, though, and he's progressed well since then. Jingo continues this progression, as he tries to stop the madness. Vimes is always an interesting person to read about. He's not a violent man, and he's trapped in a violent circumstance. Watching him get out of it is very entertaining.
Discworld is known for it's humour, and this is a very funny book. Pratchett usually cloaks his philosophical points in the laughs. This book isn't quite as funny as the previous ones, though, and the philosophy sticks out even more in this one because of it. It basically points out the pointlessness of mindless militarism, nationalism and patriotism. The closest thing it is a parody of is the Falklands conflict, with a war over a worthless piece of land that nobody in their right mind would want anyway. Along the way, though, many jokes are cracked. The best thing about the City Watch books is that the humour seems to come from within the characters, which makes for very zany, yet almost believable, events. That's why I prefer them.
This book is definitely worth a read. You could start with it, but I would suggest that you read the first three: Guards Guards, Men at Arms, and Feet of Clay. There is a progression of character that you will miss if you start with Jingo. But don't miss this one. It's a keeper.
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on March 3, 2002
Jingo ridicules war, and that's what it centers about, but in the process it ridicules (the usual) the city of Ankh-Morpork and it's solid river, the government, the people, foreingers and anything else that Terry just happened to be thinking of. (he can't help it i guess).
It's one of the best of his books i've ever read and i've read fourteen of them so far (with no plans of stopping). I'd read a recipe of bran muffins if Terry wrote it, that's how much of an established and devoted fan i am.
The humour is very hidden at times. My advice, don't start nodding your head off anytime or you'll miss most of the jokes. This guy is a master at the art of sophisticated, witty humour. And fart jokes too (he gets to that somewhere halfway through the book; poor Nobby and Colon. Imagine stuck at a "submersive" and "marine" vehicle under the ocean, with all there is to eat is cheese and (shudder) beans. And the container you're in is sealed. Yeah, the poor crew on board the ship thought it was a sea monster).
The characters are very believable, no matter how strange they are. I can actual feel pity for Vimes, the commander of the police Watch. Then there's Captain Carrot, the dwarf who's not so dwarf-ish. I think there's so much depth in this character because this guy just happens to understand EVERYTHING about people. And it's all through pure, innocent ignorance (sounds a bit strange). Terry wonders if three is some hidden intelligence beneath all that innocent stupidity. There must be, no one is that stupid. Well, if that's the case, no one can be that patient.
Anyway, there's many layers to this book. The most important one is it's a very, very funny and entertaining book. And it's so different from anything else you've read (other than discworld).
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on February 22, 2002
What can I say? I finished reading this book about a year ago and still pick it up again to read it. I absolutely adore this book. The character development is fantastic and we finally get to see Lord Vetinari on a much more *human* level. In some rather funny circumstances, as well.
Vimes is a pleasure to read about, as well. I love all AMCW (Ankh-Morpork City Watch, for the uneducated) books and am a huge fan of Mr. Pratchett.
I've read over the other reviews and am frankly rather surprised that people thought it was weaker than 'Feet of Clay.' I thought this was funnier and more attention-grabbing than 'Feet of Clay.' Overall, a good read and well worth the money.
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on January 6, 2002
It's been a while that I read the book, but thinking of the events that happened lately, I think that anyone who knows the story, knows also that it can happen in reality. A war between two countries and the intollerance against the others. As I had read the book I saw it as a very funny book, leaders making decisions that can and will go absolutely wrong, some poor guys who have to follow the orders and the intollerance against the others, normally living in peace next to each other. But then I didn't realize that someday it would happen in reality. We can only hope that there will be also a real Commander Vimes. In the book he was a strong person, showing that intollerance was a bad leader
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on October 5, 2001
I can not say much more than what has already been said, most of it right on as it is. I just find how relavant it is to the events of this fall.
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on September 29, 2001
I have read Jingo at least thrice so far, and picked it up again over summer. As I went through the usual riff-raff between Klatch and Ankh-Morpork, I couldn't help but throw back the whole story for the world's warring neighbors and the territories in between that cause the wars:
China-Taiwan-Taiwan (!)
China - Spratlys- Philippines
China - Spratlys - other SE Asian countries
England-France (of old)
etc. etc.
Just evaluating the possibility that the world's leaders could take a look at this book (better yet, read it!) makes my mouth water. The ridiculous behavior of the world's leaders becomes even more apparent when you compare it with the situations out of this book.
I recommend this book heartily to all readers of history, political science, international relations and most of all, to people who need a laugh now and then.
Mr. Pratchett, thank you for the great book.
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on September 9, 2001
While the main hero of the novel is Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, the story jumps from character to character, and from sub-plot to sub-plot, leaving the story somewhat fragmented. Ankh-Morpork and Klatch become involved in a dispute over ownership of the desolate island of Leshp which has risen from the sea. It is a typical story of countries spending vast amounts of their resources in a dispute over a relatively worthless piece of real estate, with various people pursuing their own agendas and feathering their own nests as they appeal to patriotism. With sailing ships, camels, a stolen (somewhat threadbare) flying carpet, and a submarine, the plot gets interesting. The story is humorous, but various dead bodies are left about the landscape.
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on August 21, 2001
Jingo is the fourth of the books about Commander Sam Vimes the too sober head of the City Nightwatch, Captain Carrot the heir to the throne and adopted dwarf, Corporal Nobby Nobbs who carries a note with him claiming that he is, in fact, a member of the human species, and Sgnt Colon who is, well, one of life's sargents. Joined by various trolls, dwarfs, and undead people they as policemen are out to stop crime, the crime of war. Hillarious like all of the Discworld Novels and a must have!
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