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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 keyGUARDS GUARDS is the eighth Discworld novel and after this dragons will never be the same again

10 thoughts on “Guards Guards

  1. says:

    I've been re reading some of the older Pratchett novels Partly because I simply enjoy them Partly because they help keep me sane in an increasingly infuriating world And partly because they are comfortable to me The literary euivalent of a security blanket But I'll be honest I'm also reading them so I can postpone reading the final Pratchett novel that came out a little while ago It will be hard for me to read that knowing that afterwards there will be no new Pratchett to read Ever This is the book that introduces Vimes perhaps my favorite Discworld character And that's saying something given the number of books in the series and the number of truly delightful characters That said on re reading this I was surprised to see where Vimes got his start The Vimes in this first book is a good character but it's not the character I grew to love It's pretty obvious that Pratchett was planning on him being a Discworld version of the down on his luck gumshoe detective Hard drinking and bitter More stubborn than cleverDon't get me wrong Vimes is a good character in this book but he's not particularly noteworthy Carrot and the Patrician shine As a writer it's interesting for me to see how Pratchett started here with a functional but not stellar character who he then changed rather abruptly into one of my favorites in the whole series It's nice for me to see that Pratchett didn't have it all planned out ahead of time and that he was in fact just making it all up as he went along

  2. says:

    How To Read Terry Pratchett's Discworld Novels1 Skip the first two books in the series This is crucial If you read these first you will be rightly annoyed by their just barely okayness and spend the rest of your life muttering about how overrated he is Terry Pratchett wrote these two books Then all of a sudden he started writing really really well I don't know what happened Maybe he sold his soul My own theory is that his long suffering wife waited as patiently as she could for him to pull himself together as a writer; and then after she proofread his second novel something in her snapped and she thwapped him in the head with the book in uestion You're better than this damn it she shouted Now get in there and write something good And he did2 Start with the first book in one of the subseries' The Discworld books all take place on the same planet but they involve different groups of peopleThe witches my favoritesThe Night Watch my also favoritesDeath granted he's not a group but he does have a familyThe wizardsOkay there are standalones like Small Gods And in a way all the Discworld books are standalones Except for the first two because the first one ends on a cliffhanger Like I said skip them until you've read some of the really good ones and then brace yourself and read them purely for continuity purposes I started with the 23rd book in the series Carpe Jugulum and was perfectly fine other than a tendency to preach the gospel of Discworld Is Flippin' Amazing And You Have To Read These Books which I'm trying to get under controlBut it's a lot of fun to follow the threads To start for instance with Eual Rites which introduces you to both the witches and the wizards This isn't Hogwarts and those most definitely are not the same thing in Discworld Then you can go on to Wyrd Sisters and Witches Abroad and fall absolutely in love with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg I fully intend to be Granny Weatherwax when I grow up right down to the goat farm and the ability to terrify people just by saying Good morning Watch this spaceOr you can start with Guards Guards and be introduced to the men of the Night Watch Just bear in mind that I'm first in line if Captain Vimes becomes available so keep your inevitable crush on him to yourselfI posted approximately 17000 updates while I reread this book all uotable uotes That's not even all the bits I wanted to post but Goodreads has a strict word count limit on updates because Goodreads h̶a̶t̶e̶s̶ ̶m̶e̶ knows how I getYou can get a perfectly good sense of whether or not you'll enjoy Guards Guards by perusing said updates You will enjoy it if you already enjoy fantasy; you will very likely enjoy it even if you don't generally enjoy fantasy because the humor characterization and dialogue are ridiculously goodHave a good time And remember – hands off Vimes He's mine

  3. says:

    What I love most about Pratchett's books is that under a thin layer of funny footnotes peppered pun heavy parody lies the core of deep seriousness rooted in the uite sobering understanding of the shallow pettiness of human mundanity fueled by jealousy bile spite and closemindedness There was a thoughtful pause in the conversation as the assembled Brethren mentally divided the universe into the deserving and the undeserving and put themselves on the appropriate side In the end the only thing that makes it possible to wake up in the morning is just a slight deviation from this depressing state of affairs that leads to the understanding and a bit of dignity and doing what's right even when that's not uite expected Because someone has to uphold what's right Because someone needs to swim against the current He shrugged They're just people he said They're just doing what people do Sir This is one of my favorite Discworld books and one of the best starting points for the Discworld newbies It is the first book in the subcycle focusing on the City Watch of Ankh Morpork the Pearl of Cities¹ on the Disc; the book that really takes a look into the inner workings of this crowded dirty and despicable and yet lovably tenacious urban metropolis¹ Ankh Morpork Pearl of cities This is not a completely accurate description of course — it was not round and shiny — but even its worst enemies would agree that if you had to liken Ankh Morpork to anything then it might as well be a piece of rubbish covered with the diseased secretions of a dying mollusc In Pratchett's tradition of deconstructing the tropes this one has its kings and tyrants and secret societies and dragons and maidens and heroes and heirs with birthmarks and magical swords as well as million to one chances except that things tend to not work out as planned And all of it is woven into a neat tight plot that carries us through the dry humor and slapstick and sad seriousness to the unexpected depth as you allow the cogs and wheels of your brain turn contemplating Pratchett's intentions If there was anything that depressed him than his own cynicism it was that uite often it still wasn't as cynical as real life I am a Sam Vimes girl through and through And this book is our introduction to our cynical antihero uncompromising grumpy and terrifyingly soberknurd 'knurd' as in complete and utter opposite to drunk beyond simple sobriety Ankh Morpork copper with the unsettling tendency to ask uncomfortable uestions when others would much rather he didn't This is the beginning of the Vimes we all know and love the evolution from the down in the gutter pessimistic drunk brung low by a woman¹ the city itself that is to the eually pessimistic servant not of the King or the Patrician but the law a thorn in the side of so many not so uncorrupt but uite respectably upstanding Ankh citizens¹ The city wasa wasa wasa wossname Thing Woman That's what it was Woman Roaring ancient centuries old Strung you along let you fall in thingy love then kicked you inna inna thingy Thingy in your mouth Tongue Tonsils Teeth That's what it she did She wasa thing you know lady dog Puppy Hen Bitch And then you hated her and and just when you thought you'd got her it out of your whatever then she opened her great booming rotten heart to you caught you off bal bal bal thing Ance Yeah Thassit Never knew where where you stood Lay Only one thing you were sure of you couldn't let her go Because because she was yours all you had even in her gutters Reduced to almost nothingness by the corruption in the city spending his time in the gutter literally laughed at by everyone except his two colleagues the thick but amiable Fred Colon and a disgrace to human race aka Nobby Nobbs Vimes gets a bit of a wake up call when the Watch gets its newest recruit Lance Constable Carrot Ironfoundersson a not too bright but earnest 6 foot 6 inches dwarf¹ he's adopted okay? armed with a Book of Laws and Ordinances of Ankh Morpork and a decidedly non magical sword¹ People who are rather than six feet tall and nearly as broad across the shoulders often have uneventful journeys People jump out at them from behind rocks then say things like Oh Sorry I thought you were someone else And when the city is facing danger Vimes bit by bit begins to think about it as HIS city After all 'Things like that shouldn't be allowed to happen Not in my city' And once Vimes sets his single minded nature to accomplish something occasionally aided by the Librarian¹ who is a peanut loving orangutan and the imposing figure of Lady Sybil Ramkin who breeds swamp dragons in her spare time there is little that can stop him¹ The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are 1 Silence; 2 Books must be returned no later than the date last shown; and 3 Do not interfere with the nature of causality The threat to Ankh Morpork is real and uite substantial view spoiler It's a metaphor of human bloody existence a dragon And if that wasn't bad enough it's also a bloody great hot flying thing hide spoiler

  4. says:

    „Hey officer may you please not help me Stay away don´t investigate please we´ll do traditional good old fashioned lynch justice with far fewer victims and collateral damages Not necessary to call reinforcement No stop my insurance doesn´t cover police incompetence reinduced destruction“There are certain stereotypes surrounding police military and manly militia all to take with a grain of rice but in many aspects true especially if a lack of government funding missing selection procedures and escalating crime lead to a mixture or cynic weird up to just evil racist law enforcement agencies Here comes the City Watch series circling around Captain Vimes a patchwork rug of crime thriller and hard boiled detective protagonist characteristics who goes through one of the longest character transformations similar to Tiffany Aching I am at the moment not really a friend of thrillers and the crime genre but readers strongly invested in such literature might find much innuendos and connotations view spoiler Carrot Ironfoundersson brings fresh wind and blows away the nihilistic pessimism with his enthusiastic love for justice How he reanimates the bumming dysfunctional grey area guards and combines his carrot and stick policy with wisdom gives Ank Morpork hope for the dawn of a new age hide spoiler

  5. says:

    This is my favorite Discworld bookI submit that the best way to rate a Discworld book is with a smile meter As you read imagine that there is a meter whose arrow jumps when you smile moves further right when you chuckle and spikes into the red eleven when you laugh out loudPratchett’s 1989 Discworld novel his 8th in the series and 1st of the City Watch sub series made me smile all the way through the book chuckle freuently and laugh out loud two or three timesSet in Ankh Morpork inspired by Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar? the City Watch is composed of those night watchmen who call out at midnight that “All’s well” and who would not want to catch anyone or run after someone too fast to avoid ruining the evening with an arrest That is until six foot six dwarf foundling Carrot joins the force as a lance constableThis novel also features dragons described as only Sir Terry could Long thought extinct the draco nobilis was just somewhere else until a group of hooded and cowled miscreants steal a book from the Library and YES the left turn Clyde Orangutan Librarian is featured – perhaps my second favorite Discworld character and summon one back to Ankh Morpork Things do not go as planned and the rest is Pratchett magicAs my esteemed reviewer colleague Nataliya noted in her excellent review the best part of Pratchett’s writing is that he depicts realistic human failings in a comic setting that softens the blow of the all too real criticism in a playful way The Discworld is a lot of fun but it is also a comedic examination of humanity and civilization and it takes a master of Pratchett’s genius talent to pull it off successfullyA MUST read for Discword fans and would actually be a great introduction to the series for any reader 2019 I've read them all and this still my favorite

  6. says:

    Reading Terry Pratchett’s “Guards Guards” was a joy for me I don’t know why it took me so long to read a Discworld book I’m a bit ashamed I am a sucker for English humor always have been The good news is that I now have 40 Discworld books to read Honest reveal I think I resisted because people said he was better than Douglas Adams and that rubbed me the wrong way My view after reading one book they are clearly in the same class and while I still like Adams better that might be because I’m a bigger Science Fiction fan than Fantasy In any case it doesn’t matter both are hilarious and talented They both have layered humor and sneak in some wonderful insights on lifePratchett dedicated this book to PalaceCity GuardsPatrols noting that no one ever asks them if they want to rush into a room one at a time to attack the hero It’s this trope that the story is build upon It’s the eighth book in the Discworld series and was published in 1989 Pratchett deftly takes on all sorts of humor; sarcasm burlesue hyperbolic juvenile dark etc etc He pokes at the Fantasy genre breaks writing walls and displays crafty crafty wit Like Adams it’s largely non stop through the entire story but somehow the story still moves along with great pace There are uotable uotes on nearly every page But I didn’t just enjoy the humor I enjoyed the fun story and I enjoyed Pratchett’s musing on evil government and life in general The only thing Pratchett keeps sacred is books and libraries all else is fair game for biting sarcasmI think you at least need to be a passing fantasy reader to appreciate his books and you must be tolerant of some occasional silliness but if you pass those two simple hurdles I can’t imagine not enjoying this book A fun and entertaining romp through a twisted fantasy world that will make you laugh but stealthily remind you of the underdog’s plight against the ridiculous rules of the well ruling class Ahem

  7. says:

    At the time of writing Terry Pratchett passed away about a week ago Beside making me sad the news also triggered a sudden urge to read a Discworld book which needed to be satisfied immediately I haven't read any Terry Pratchett books for years I have always liked them but there are just so many books in the world and you know how it is one thing led to another and somehow they didn't lead back to Sir Terry In the meantime I have been reading many inferior “flavor of the month” books like The Martian I have been doing myself a disservice really Guards Guards is one of the most popular Discworld books and I have not read it this makes it the ideal candidate for a reentry into this uniue and wonderful series Anyway it is nice to be back in Ankh Morpork the most chaotic city in fantasy fiction At the most basic level Guards Guards is Pratchett’s take on the police procedural but his imagination is too immense to constrain the book to just a single genre parody so there is much to this book than just the City Watch Ankh Morpork’s feeble excuse for a police force The Watch mean are happily doing a crappy job which basically involve ringing bells at certain times of the night to announce that all is well in the city It takes the arrival of an extremely honest and straight laced human orphan raised by dwarves to remind the Watchmen what they are supposed to be; and a huge dragon summoned from another dimension burning up the citizens and half the city to spur them into action Art by SharksDenOne reason I only read Terry Pratchett occasionally is that I personally prefer books where humour is a minor element of the story rather than placed at the front and centre After reading Guards Guards I have to admit this is my misconception of what Pratchett was doing with the Discworld series after the first few straightforward fantasy parody books The humour takes centre stage but underneath – not even far underneath – Pratchett was using Discworld as a mirror to explore lampoon and critiue our world with its many ills and injustice Certainly Guards Guards explores the theme of the policemen’s duty and honor against personal safety and interest what makes a good cop and a bad cop so to speak He also skewers the masses’ tendency to blindly accept whoever has the biggest gun or fire breathing talent These and other serious issues are explored without ever missing a humorous beat The book is a laugh fest from beginning to end I don’t think there is a single page that did not make me at least chuckle I actually laughed out loud several times my favorite joke involves the phrase “Bjorn Stronginthearm is my uncle” which highlights the bizarreness of the British phrase “Bob’s your uncle” Also the patrician’s uestioning of dragons’ penchant for sleeping on a huge pile of gold instead of a comfy mattress is brilliant Don’t worry I have not spoiled the book for you I am barely scratching the surface of the many ingenious satires jokes and witticisms to be found in this book Captain Vimes no idea who the artist is sorryThe characterization of the protagonists and antagonists is also very strong Captain Vimes is silly and funny yet flawed sympathetic honorable and extremely likable I am not surprised he one of Pratchett’s most beloved characters The formidable Patrician Vetinari is another extremely vivid and lively creation in a TV adaptation of another Discworld book he is perfectly portrayed by Charles Dance so you can imagine the dry wit and suavity of the man His method of escaping from captivity in a dungeon is pure evil genius Guards Guards is effortlessly a five star book and if I may leave you with a uote from this book that works perfectly even out of context “The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication”The irony is that there is not one cliché in this book unless you count the ones that Pratchett turned on their headsRIP Sir Terry you were the best Credit celticwrenNote Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Might Be The Highest Form of Literature on the Planet by Brandon Sanderson

  8. says:

    First of all my site has the videos that go with this here's the lite versionMy Terry Pratchett Experience ™ is remarkably similar to my Month Python Experience™ Fun and funny but really best done in small doses Say 15 minute doses if I’m watching longer if I’m reading It turns out I haven’t read GuardsGuards before although I thought I had uite possibly it is because I had not uite possibly it’s because I had and forgot but you’d think I’d remember the dragons For future reference it’s the one where the adopted dwarf Carrot goes to the big city of Ankh Morpork and joins the Night Watch in hopes of Becoming a Man Night Watch captain Sam Vines spends most of his days and nights in an alcoholic stupor but the antics of Carrot in Enforcing Law and Order soon force Vines into involvement Meanwhile a secret society the Elucidated Bethren of the Ebon Night has decided to summon a dragon intending on overthrowing the Patrician Lord Vetinari and replacing him with an old fashioned monarchy Some of the Brothers are uite sure they are being held down and need a monarchy to make things right“I get oppressed all the time” said Brother Doorkeeper “Mister Critchley where I work he oppresses me morning noon and night shouting at me and everything And the woman in the vegetable shop she oppresses me all the time” Like Monty Python Pratchett specializes in absurdity in mocking our perceptions definitions and expectation Clever and funny; a little bit of social commentary with an edge both are particularly skilled in word games“‘But you’re my kind’ said Carrot desperately ‘In a manner of speaking yes’ said his father ‘In another manner of speaking which is a rather precise and accurate manner of speaking no'”Which puts me in mind of another famous sketch based on you know meaning and such“I wish to complain about this parrot I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutiue“What’s wrong with it?”“It’s dead”“No no; it’s resting” It is funny but when it’s all clever wordplay–mocking villains in their thick dark cowls and the general populace for being sheep and Carrot for being So Earnest and Lady Sybil for being such a hearty large Englishwoman and the only one who is really clever is the Patrician–well it’s a bit hard to empathize And honestly rather tiringThen there’s the Librarian an orangutan who runs the greatest library in the world He’s trying to make Constable Carrot understand a serious crime has been committed“‘Ook“‘A book has been taken A book has been taken? You summoned the Watch’ Carrot drew himself up proudly ‘because someone’s taken a book? You think that’s worse than murder?’The librarian gave him the kind of look other people would reserve for people who said things like ‘What’s so bad about genocide?’”Which pretty much reminds me of the Albatross sketch Both use the device of the straight man for maximum sillinessThe Albatross at Intermission At the end of the day certainly fun There’s certainly messages and social commentary that elevate it above simple romps but it tends to be applied with heavy emphasis Like Python best enjoyed in short sketches Don’t worry I’ll show myself outOn the way to the Ministry of Silly Walks

  9. says:

    Noble dragonsNoble dragons don't have friends The nearest they can get to the idea is an enemy who is still alive c

  10. says:

    Dragons and kings and cross dressing night watch What can go wrong?Meet Terry Pratchett who can turn anything and I mean anything on its head On this re read what I remember to be a less funny book than the Watch novels that came after it suddenly becomes a rich and nostalgic ride including dwarf bread or in this case CAKE Decent law abiding folk versus the deeply corrupt populace And don't just ask Mr Cut Me Own Throat He's suspiciousI love all the tropes and the way Pratchett deals with them The whole novel is tongue in cheek and it's a slight bit delightful IMHO than all the rest of the novels that came before it Indeed it's this one that sets the tone for all the rest And so the transformation of Ankh Morpork commences Upping this by a star