Guards! Guards! Paperback – Dec 23 1998
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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
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!See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
The book hits the ground running with wonderful take-off on the idea of pass-phrases to get into a building. I couldn't stop laughing, especially because my wife and I have a running joke similar to this from something she read on USENET. Pratchett takes it about 10 steps further, though, and he does it with flair. Pratchett then continues the hilarity, even when he's making some good points on the human condition (like the human ability to do horrible things to each other). Just when things start to seem a little slow, he'll let loose with another bit of either silliness or wit, such as a Clint Eastwood riff that's simply wonderful.
As many people have said already, this is a book about those characters in most other novels who's job it is to die or be bonked on the head at the hands of the hero. This book celebrates them, gives them a personality and a reason for being other than to be cannon fodder. This time, instead of being just the downtrodden, they are also the heroes.
Vimes is an interesting character, a man who starts out as a man who totally despises what he has become. He loses himself in drink because, as head of the City Watch, he's nothing. He gets no respect from anybody (not even his men), and he doesn't have anything to really live for.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Excellent in every respect! Excellent vendor, would happily shop with again, excellent Pratchett as always!Published 15 months ago by JHW
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 morePublished 22 months ago by A E Bruce
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.. cheaterPublished on July 11 2014 by Rob Edwards
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 on July 23 2013 by Dan
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 morePublished on June 5 2012 by Lorina Stephens
"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. Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2007 by Craobh Rua
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 morePublished on March 25 2002 by M. R. Pachankis
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 morePublished on Feb. 4 2002 by Blake Petit