Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review of Terry Pratchett's "Guards, Guards"

Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8) Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The city of Ankh-Morpork is the setting for this Discworld novel, the 8th in the overall series to be published, and the 1st of what I call the "Guards" sub series. Some have termed them the Ankh-Morpork City Watch ( ) sub series. Whatever one wishes to call them, these are some of the best of the Discworld books.
This one starts out with the Night Watch down and almost out for the count. There are only three members left, after one more of their compatriots has died in the line of duty. Their leader, Sam Vimes is a dispirited drunk, the other two members, Corporal Fred Colon and "Nobby" Nobbs are not what would be termed model policemen at this stage of their careers. When they go out into the night, they seem more afraid of the criminals that the criminals are of them. They are soon joined by a new recruit, a 6'6" Dwarf (adopted) named Carrot Ironfoundersson. Ironfoundersson is an idealist who believes that the Watch is still respected and important in the fight against crime and disorder in Ankh-Morpork. He's a literalist who has been raised by a culture that has a hard time understanding statements such as "show him the ropes" an example of which occurs in the book in an incident following a barroom brawl.
While the Watch is coming to terms with its new member, a group is secretly plotting to overthrow the Patrician Lord Havelock Vetinari who runs Ankh-Morpork and institute the return of a King, who they hope to them be able to control. Their proposed method of bringing dragons back into the Discworld turns out to have more problems that they originally anticipate.
A very good read, I recommend it even to those who don't usually read fantasy if they like satire and hard boiled humor. At times Pratchett seems a mix of Joseph Wambaugh and P. G. Wodehouse when writing these Guard books.

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Hamilcar Barca said...

i've read abouta dozen DiscWorld books now, and Guards! Guards! is still my favorite.

Steven R. Harbin aka coachhollywood67 said...

Hi Hamilcar,
For me it's a tie between "Guards, Guards" and "Witches Abroad".

Hamilcar Barca said...

interestingly, the friend who introduced me to the Discworld series, also likes the "Witches" books best. the only one of those i've read so far is Equal Rites, which i found to be okay, but not spectacular.

Steven R. Harbin aka coachhollywood67 said...

"Equal Rites" is the first of the Witches books, "Wyrd Sisters" is next, then "Witches Abroad". I found they got better as they went along...