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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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,106158382 (4.19)475
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)
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» See also 475 mentions

English (148)  Spanish (3)  Polish (2)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (158)
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
This was one of the better Diskworld books I've read so far, and I liked all the earlier ones, as well! I've come to think of Terry Pratchett as a good palate cleanser between other books. These books are short, fun to read, and generally very entertaining. I like the writing style and play with words that he has his characters accidentally play out and really enjoy the constant use of the "anti-hero" and "everyday man" (and woman) that populate his world. ( )
  Mactastik | Sep 4, 2019 |
Fun play on fantasy stereotypes. Funny and well built enough to continue to read the series. ( )
  kinwolf | Aug 10, 2019 |
vimes is my favourite of the character sets, and it's interesting to come back and see him here still in formation. His state of ignorance about past kings was particularly bemusing. ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
Great book! I finally see what the big deal is with Discworld. ( )
  ptrsdwski | Jul 16, 2019 |
I have finished re-reading this and loved it. This first installment of the Watch series gives us wonderful characters. Samuel Vimes is the most complicated and fleshed out character that Pratchett ever wrote - I suspect he identified with him the most. He is a cop to the core, but needs Carrot and Lady Ramkin to remind him of what truly matters - and he never forgets it again.

I love Carrot, with his honest emthusiasm, tendency to take things literally, and an uncanny ability to inspire people to listen to him. Lady Ramkin is precious; so is Errol, the puppy-like tiny swamp dragon who turns himself into a fearless challenger. I loved the swamp dragons, their digestive problems, and that they explode when excited... better be careful, and don’t let them eat the kettle.

Verinari is another of my favorites: “never build a dungeon you would not like to spend the night in”. Man has foresight. Nobby and Colon provide great comic relief, and Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler tries to peddle some sausages of questionable origin... a full cast comedy that provides much fun commentary and situational humor.

We also have a straightforward plot with some unexpected twists, one of the better ones on Discworld. A great read.

Originally I disdained this book and gave it three stars. All I can think of that I must have been going through the period when I suffered from terrible headaches - because clearly this is a great book and the problem was with my head. ( )
  Gezemice | Mar 8, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)

» 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!)
The dragon—the dragon—was peering down interestedly over the guttering. Its face alone was taller than a man. Its eyes were the size of very large eyes, colored a smoldering red and filled with an intelligence that had nothing to do with human beings. It was far older, for one thing. It was an intelligence that had already been long basted in guile and marinated in cunning by the time a group of almost-monkeys were wondering whether standing on two legs was a good career move. It wasn’t an intelligence that had any truck with, or even understood, the arts of diplomacy.
"When you really need them the most," he said, "million-to-one chances always crop up. Well-known fact."
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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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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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