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Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Guards! Guards! (1989)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld (8), Discworld: City Watch (1)

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The story is simple: someone used a stolen magical book and summoned a dragon and now they can't get rid of it. The only ones who stand against it are Captain Vimes and his men. The story is simple enough, but I have to think really, really hard to find characters as great as these. I thought I liked Rincewind and his Luggage (and I do), but Vimes, Nobby, Carrot and Colon left me speechless. I cried at times, then laughed as crazy (do not read this book in public!), and it left me feeling wonderfully calm, happy and fulfilled.
Beautiful book. ( )
  Aneris | Apr 22, 2017 |
This is a humorous fantasy novel about how the captain of the Ank-Morpork’s Night Watch and his rag-tag policeman save the city from a fire breathing dragon. However, the dragon isn’t the worst of the criminals in the city. Part of the Discworld series of books, first in the City Watch books.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Mar 2, 2017 |
On the day that Sam Vimes wakes up in a gutter with a terrible hangover, the day after burying an old colleague, he imagines things can’t get much worse. He’s middle-aged, drunk most of the time, and has never progressed beyond being Captain of the Night Watch. Not that he’s ever really wanted to. He isn’t good with authority and the Watch suits him fine, as it does his two colleagues: Sergeant Colon, whose night shifts prevent him from ever having to meet his wife; and Corporal Nobbs, who is basically the Discworld equivalent of Baldrick. But Sam Vimes’s life is about to change. The Watch’s new recruit, a dwarf from the Ramtop Mountains called Carrot Ironfoundersson, turns out not to measure down to expectations: he’s actually six foot six and is a dwarf only by adoption, as well as being fanatically well-informed on Ankh-Morpork’s laws and ferociously determined to enforce them. Oh; and someone’s summoned up a dragon...

For the rest of the review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2017/01/24/guards-guards/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Jan 26, 2017 |
Entertaining good stuff.

Pratchett manages to make almost every sentence funny. There was more plotting to the book than I expected, and was therefore pleasantly surprised. Even though the Watch guards don't really develop throughout the book, the characters are dynamic and funny enough to keep reading. What made reading this great was the eye for detail and atmosphere, adding up to a vibrant, idiotic city that bursts with life and death and a whole lot of stupidity, but also heart.
  bartt95 | Jan 15, 2017 |
Here I go, launching myself into Phase Two of my intermittent, partial re-read of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. Last year I made my way through the Death books, which were every bit as great as I remembered them. This year, I'm moving on to the City Watch books, and this first volume, if anything, is even better than I remembered. (Although the difference may be just because I remembered liking the Death books better in the first place.)

Guards! Guards! was the eighth Discworld book to be published, and it's clear that, by this point, Pratchett has thoroughly hit his stride. It has pretty much everything you expect from him: An engaging, interesting plot. Humor that, while it's not constantly laugh-out-loud funny (although it certainly has its moments), is clever and witty and does fun things with language. Good, vivid characters. A sense of narrative self-awareness that Pratchett does some very entertaining things with, and a willingness to play around with and subvert familiar tropes in some really nifty ways. (In this case, said tropes include both standard fantasy elements, such as dragons and heroes and the Return of the Rightful King, and gritty cop story elements, starting with a burned-out alcoholic police captain.) Also some sharp commentary on politics and human nature that manages to be both cynical (often in ways that really hit home right about now) and yet oddly uplifting.

In other words, it's great stuff, as usual, and well worth the re-read, especially as it'd probably been nearly 20 years since I'd last read it, so I'd forgotten most of the details. And even more especially because one of the details I'd forgotten was our first introduction to Sam Vimes, one of Pratchett's best and most iconic characters. Vimes is also the character who undergoes the most significant changes over the course of the series, and it was actually a bit of a shock to look back at where he started, knowing where he's going to end up. Heck, that alone probably would have made it worth revisiting. And if it weren't, seeing the first introduction of the redoubtable Sybil Ramkin probably would be, not least because it gave me the chance to marvel anew at Pratchett's wonderful, welcome decision to write a large, earthy, practical, unfeminine woman in a narrative role almost universally played by boring conventional beauties. ( )
  bragan | Jan 14, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pratchett, Terryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersen, DougCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pieretti, AntonellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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They may be called the Palace Guard, the City Guard, or the Patrol. Whatever the name, their purpose in any work of heroic fantasy is identical: it is, round about Chapter Three (or ten minutes into the film) to rush into the room, attack the hero one at a time, and be slaughtered. No-one ever asks them if they wanted to.

This book is dedicated to those fine men.
And also to Mike Harrison, Mary Gentle, Neil Gaiman and all the others who assisted with and laughed at the idea of L-space; too bad we never used Schrodinger's Paperback . . .
First words
This is where the dragons went.
"Have another drink, not-Corporal Nobby?" said Sergeant Colon unsteadily. "I do not mind if I do, not-Sgt Colon," said Nobby.

-- The joys of working undercover (Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!)

This audio book has been produced under the auspices of the Ulverscroft Foundation, a registered UK charity which helps visually impaired people.

For more information, or if you wish to make a donation or a legacy, please contact: Ulverscroft Foundation, The Green, Bradgate Road, Anstey, Leicestershire LE7 7FU Tel: 0116 236 1595 email: foundation@ulverscroft.co.uk Website: www.foundation.ulverscroft.com
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Copies of this work with the ISBNs 0575063025, 0575070714 and 3442545331 may be Graphic Novel versions. Changing the Title of your copy to reflect this may facilitate correct combination with other Graphic Novel versions of the work.
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Book description
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...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061020648, Mass Market Paperback)

Here there be dragons...and the denizens of Ankh-Morpork wish one huge firebreather would return from whence it came. Long believed extinct, a superb specimen of draco nobilis ("noble dragon" for those who don't understand italics) has appeared in Discworld's greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path, in rather short order it is crowned King (it is a noble dragon, after all...).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:14 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Here there be dragons . . . and the denizens of Ankh-Morpork wish one huge firebreather would return from whence it came. Long believed extinct, a superb specimen of draco nobilis ("noble dragon" for those who don't understand italics) has appeared in Discworld's greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path, in rather short order it is crowned King (it is a noble dragon, after all . . .). Meanwhile, back at Unseen University, an ancient and long-forgotten volume -- The Summoning of Dragons -- is missing from the Library's shelves. To the rescue come Captain Vimes, Constable Carrot, and the rest of the Night Watch who, along with other brave citizens, risk everything, including a good roasting, to dethrone the flying monarch and restore order to Ankh-Morpork (before it's burned to a crisp). A rare tale, well done as only Terry Pratchett can.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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