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Men at Arms (1993)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld: City Watch (2), Discworld (15)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,469121694 (4.23)281
A Young Dwarf's Dream Corporal Carrot has been promoted! He's now in charge of the new recruits guarding Ankh-Morpork, Discworld's greatest city, from Barbarian Tribes, Miscellaneous Marauders, unlicensed Thieves, and such. It's a big job, particularly for an adopted dwarf. But an even bigger job awaits. An ancient document has just revealed that Ankh-Morpork, ruled for decades by Disorganized crime, has a secret sovereign! And his name is Carrott... And so begins the most awesome epic encounter of all time, or at least all afternoon, in which the fate of a city-indeed of the universe itself!-depends on a young man's courage, an ancient sword's magic, and a three-legged poodle's bladder.… (more)
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» See also 281 mentions

English (115)  Spanish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (121)
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
Really good, but as an American in 2023, harder for me to read than [b:Guards! Guards!|64216|Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch, #1)|Terry Pratchett|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1431127356l/64216._SY75_.jpg|1128601]. The very concept of a world without guns is an almost-Edenic level of innocence, and to watch one get introduced into this world was not infrequently painful. Also, I feel like the Vimes/Carrot balance in this book was a little off. I would like a larger Vimes portion in the next one. ( )
1 vote localgayangel | Mar 5, 2024 |
Captain Vimes is getting married, but the Watch is faced with a terrible set of murders. Join Vimes, Carrot, Colon, and Nobby with a batch of new recruits to sleuth the cause of the killing spree.

I'm a fan of Carrot and I love re-watching him come into his own over the course of this novel. This is also where Detritus the troll joins the Night Watch and I have a soft spot for him. This is also where the debate (one of the debates) about royalty versus the Patrician occurs and the pros and cons thereof. ( )
  elorin | Mar 1, 2024 |
Oh man, I think this is one of my favourite Pratchett books! I mean, it's Night Watch, has amazing humour and commentary and contains some of the best characters (we have the likes of Carrot, Gaspode, Detritus, Angua, and even have a Discworld version of Da Vinci!). And we get to see a bit of the Day Watch and how they operate (maybe the Night Watch aren't quite as useless as we thought. Maybe. At least they have Carrot! Oh Carrot, you are too smart and sneaky sometimes) I loved getting some more insight into the guilds (apparently even the dogs have one!) and their messed up politics. Although given it's the Discworld and Ankh-Morpork it's really not that surprising. Definitely an entertaining read, although I would recommend you read Guards! Guards! first for the full impact ( )
1 vote TheAceOfPages | Dec 31, 2023 |
I'm continuing my adventures in Discworld, with the next Night Watch novel, Men at Arms. I loved Guards!Guards! (I read it twice in fact) and equally loved Men at Arms for its humor and charm and its cleverness. Plus, Pratchett's world-building is great. You just want to spend all your time in Ankh-Morpork. This is a sign of excellent fantasy.

In Men at Arms, The Night Watch has grown considerably because of the Patrician’s order to recruit members of different species so they are represented in the Watch. This not only brings us hilarious banter between the troll, Detritus, and the dwarf, Cuddy – two races that generally hate each other, even though neither could tell you why. It also brings us Angua, who most people think has been recruited to represent women in the Watch. Well… she does that, but she also happens to be a werewolf. Each character has his or her own story line that we follow throughout the book. Detritus and Cuddy in particular were my favorites.

The Guard are also bracing themselves for Captain Vimes’ imminent departure and retirement upon his wedding to Lady Ramkin (who we met in Guards!Guards!- remember the dragon tamer?), to happen in a matter of days from the novel’s opening. Captain Vimes is not so sure this is what he wants but this thought is not yet exactly formulated inside his mind.

That’s when the murders start. They seem random at first but the Guard – and especially Captain Vimes – realize that they might not be that random after all. Then they get acquainted (too closely, and dangerously so) with the mysterious “gonne” (HAHAHA). A thing that can control minds (and hands) and that can kill. The Patrician then tells Captain Vimes that he should, not under any circumstances, investigate the matter any further.

Plot-wise, this is a police procedural, complete with interrogating suspects, writing up police reports and figuring out whodunnit. Its funny but also a wise novel. Take for instance, one of my favorite characters, Carrot Ironfoundersson, Captain of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch police force. Bulging with muscles, this two metre (six-foot-six-inch) dwarf (adopted) remains honest, good-natured, and honourable despite the city's best efforts (particularly Vetinari's best efforts). It just seems like it is so hard to corrupt him and this makes his character so enduring. He is also the rightful heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork. After learning of his lineage in Men at Arms, he confides in Vetinari that he wants the people to obey the law because it's the law, not because "Captain Carrot is good at being obeyed", and that he is content with his job of ringing a bell and yelling that all's well "provided of course that all is well". Carrots humility is profound. If only our politicians would learn to be humble and desire to do what is right instead of giving in to greed and lust for power.oh well...

This book is humorous but its also profound. Pratchett has a way of talking about serious subjects (such as the quest for power) in a playful manner and I love him for it.




( )
1 vote ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
Guards, Guards! Was one of the first Discworld books that I thoroughly enjoyed, so it was fun to get back to the Nights Watch. This one felt grander and more mature compared to its predecessor and had a great deal more character development. It is pretty amazing how few words Pratchett needed to give us characters with actual character. Finally, as ever, narration by Nigel Planer was superb! ( )
1 vote bramboomen | Oct 18, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
Though dotted with good and bad jokes Men at Arms isn't as purely funny as some of the series' earlier installments. Racial prejudice and gun control elicit some uncomfortably close-to-the-bone satire, while the search for the killer and his weapon is almost too gripping. By all means, give Pratchett a try, though you might want to start with, say, The Color of Magic or Guards! Guards! These books can sometimes be hard to find, even in paperback, but they repay any effort expended. I keep my copies on the shelf next to P.G. Wodehouse and Donald Westlake.
added by Shortride | editThe Washington Post, Michael Dirda (pay site) (Apr 28, 1996)
 

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pieretti, AntonellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Planer, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabanosh, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, MikeAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Corporal Carrot, Ankh-Morpork City Guard (Night Watch), sat down in his nightshirt, took up his pencil, sucked the end for a moment, and then wrote: 'Dearest Mume and Dad, Well here is another fine Turnup for the Books, for I have been made Corporal!!
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Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A Young Dwarf's Dream Corporal Carrot has been promoted! He's now in charge of the new recruits guarding Ankh-Morpork, Discworld's greatest city, from Barbarian Tribes, Miscellaneous Marauders, unlicensed Thieves, and such. It's a big job, particularly for an adopted dwarf. But an even bigger job awaits. An ancient document has just revealed that Ankh-Morpork, ruled for decades by Disorganized crime, has a secret sovereign! And his name is Carrott... And so begins the most awesome epic encounter of all time, or at least all afternoon, in which the fate of a city-indeed of the universe itself!-depends on a young man's courage, an ancient sword's magic, and a three-legged poodle's bladder.

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