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Guards! Guards! Mass Market Paperback

4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062225758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062225757
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #601,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 picked up the City Watch trilogy at the local library. Guards Guards! is the first book to feature the Watch, and it is a great introduction to them.
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.
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