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Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
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Guards! Guards! (1989)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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

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English (143)  Spanish (3)  Polish (2)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (153)
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Say you’re tired of the tyrant ruling your city and you’d rather go back to the good old days when kings ruled the world. The drawback? The City of Ankh-Morpork hasn’t had a king in centuries, so where do you find one? I mean, sure there’s probably someone out there who was given a special sword, handed down through generations, who is distantly related to the last ruling family. There has to be something really special to draw him out, to prove to the City that he is the one true king. You know just the way: kings slay dragons, so you’ll summon a dragon. What could possibly go wrong?
Pratchett’s Discworld series can be split into various sub-series, which is why every single Discworld fan will have a different opinion on where new readers should start the series. As the first book featuring the City Watch, Guards! Guards! is often cited as a good starting point. Here we meet Captain Vimes of the Night Watch for the first time, begrudgingly trying to become sober so he can solve this ruddy dragon problem, because no one, not even a dragon, goes and destroys half the City and gets away with it. The rest of the Night Watch is made up of two rank and file men and one new recruit: a six and a half foot tall dwarf (he was adopted by dwarves) who takes thing very seriously and very literally. Vimes consults the indomitable Lady Sybil Ramkin who raises swamp dragons.
If you enjoy tales of dragons and heirs to the throne, detective stories, political intrigue, or humorous fantasy, then you will find something to enjoy in this book. This may be the 8th Discworld novel, but as stated earlier, you definitely do not need to have read any of the previous books to enjoy this one, so what are you waiting for? ( )
1 vote Jessiqa | Aug 7, 2018 |
The first of the City Watch sub-series, this volume introduces Vimes and Carrot and expands on Nobby and Colon, the latter more positively than in subsequent Watch books. Also, the Patrician, Vetinari, gets featured development. The Librarian is also a contributor. In some ways Guards! Guards! is a turning point in the series where more time is spent getting into the characters and less on dealing with the fabulous aspects of the plot, but it still hasn't achieve the supple elegance of [Going Postal]. Despite the positive resolution, this is also one of the darkest of the Discworld books. ( )
  quondame | Jul 11, 2018 |
[b: Guards! Guards!|116295|Guards! Guards! The Play|Stephen Briggs|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1353573648s/116295.jpg|18659768] came highly recommended to me by any number of people. Any time I mentioned reading Discworld it seemed there was someone to pop up and mention their undying love of Sam Vimes. Most notable was probably my dear friend calling him her "Grumpy sandal husband." Well. On at least two of those counts she was very much correct. There is always some consternation when picking up a much beloved book that you won't like it, that somehow it just can't live up to the hype.

[b: Guards! Guards!|116295|Guards! Guards! The Play|Stephen Briggs|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1353573648s/116295.jpg|18659768] did live up to the hype. And then some.

It's no wonder people find the earlier Discworld books a bit difficult to get through. Once you pick this one up you're seeing fully why this series is so loved.

[b: Guards! Guards!|116295|Guards! Guards! The Play|Stephen Briggs|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1353573648s/116295.jpg|18659768] is the first introduction to the Watch. We have Sam Vimes, the drunken, sandal wearing, grumpy Captain of the Guard. Sergeant Colon, the spherical right-hand man. Carrot, the human-who-thinks-he's-a-dwarf new recruit. And Nobby, who is, well. Nobby. What hope do they have against the summoning of a dragon to Ankh-Morpork? Defeating a dragon, saving the city? It's a million to one chance, but with a swamp dragon breeder on their side, it just might work.

[b: Guards! Guards!|116295|Guards! Guards! The Play|Stephen Briggs|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1353573648s/116295.jpg|18659768] is a hilarious book. It draws upon the noir sensibilities, fantasy tropes, and the now well-established world Pratchett created for maximum silliness coached in razor sharp insight into the human mind. The dwarf jokes were fairly great after [b: Wyrd Sisters|233664|Wyrd Sisters The Play|Terry Pratchett|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1388363090s/233664.jpg|17589683], and a nice send up to some of Tolkien's creations. It was an extremely fun read, and I was sad to finish it as quickly as I did. Here's hoping the rest of the Watch books, once I get to them, are all just as great.

So long as Sam Vimes is there, I can't see them not being a blast. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
This book has leapt straight to my top 5 selection of books.

With his trademark humor and set in Ankh-Morpork of Discworld, this is the introduction to Sam Vimes, as well as a story about how a dragon was once crowned King of the city. It is not just about Sam Vimes, however-it briefly touches on the lives of all the guards in the watch, including an adventure taken on by The Librarian. It will have you in stitches and biting your nails at turns (although mostly in stitches).

It's also an Important Book, one that touches, like all Pratchett novels, on undeniable life truths. But those are a woven in as a natural part of the story so artfully that you might just miss them. It isn't heavy on them, however.

It is a good read for a sunny or rainy day. ( )
  m_mozeleski | May 13, 2018 |
Very light, fun read. ( )
  gabarito | May 13, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (22 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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Dedication
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.
Quotations
"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!)
FROM A STICKER ON THE INSIDE OF THE BACK COVER OF THE ISIS AUDIO BOOK CASE:

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...
Haiku summary

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 11 descriptions

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