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The Big ReadGuards! Guards!

Terry Pratchett

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Corgi Books

Published : 1989

Copyright : Terry & Lyn Pratchett 1989

ISBN-10 : PB 0-552-13462-7
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-552-13462-0

Publisher's Write-Up

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...

Guards! Guards! is the eighth Discworld novel - and after this, dragons will never be the same again.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (310301) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This is the eighth Discworld outing and introduces the men of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. We meet them with only three members of the Watch, shortly after the passing of Gaskin. How he met his demise we do not know but it has thoroughly disheartened the remaining Watchmen.

In charge is Captain Vimes, a man who when sober is so sober as to be knurd, as a result of which he needs a couple of drinks just to become sober. However, he is unable to stop at just a couple, and at the beginning could be described as having a drink problem.

His second in command is Sergeant Colon, whose breastplate is one of those feats of engineering designed to give the wearer the appearance of having impressive pectoral muscles and a six pack, but all it actually does is hold in his gut like a jelly in a mould.

Last, and not least is Corporal Nobby Nobbs, described as a rodent of a man who has been docked wages for bringing humankind into disrepute.

A new recruit is Lance Corporal Carrot, who was brought up as a dwarf but is very tall with broad shoulders and has a liking for polishing his armour; he is also trying to memorise an elderly volume of the Laws and Ordinances of Ankh-Morpork.

The gentlemen of the Watch are neither respected nor feared, but when a dragon appears, destroying both persons and property, and then disappears again, the Watch do their best to investigate. This involves dressing inconspicuously and getting drunk while trying to listen for information, and when they by accident enter the Shades and are being threatened, their would be assailants are char broiled by the dragon.

I have to say that after the Witches, the Watch are probably my favourite of Pratchetts creations. They make me laugh, Sherlock Holmes they are not, but they are stubborn and in a strange way, organised. This is always going to lead to greater things for them.

This first outing is where Captain Vimes meets his lady love, Sybil Ramkin, tireless campaigner on behalf of Swamp Dragons, (small, smelly and dangerous when they explode). When the dragon causes mass hysteria in the City and a mob go to destroy the dragons living with Sybil, Vimes rises to the role of gentleman protector...

A streak of green fire blasted out of the back of the shed, passed a foot over the head of the mob and burned a charred rosette in the woodwork over the door. Then came a voice that was a honeyed purr of sheer deadly menace.
"This is Lord Mountjoy Quickfang Winterforth IV, the hottest dragon in the city. It could burn your head clean off." Captain Vimes limped forward from the shadows. A small and extremely frightened golden dragon was clamped firmly under one arm. His other hand held it by the tail.
The rioters watched it, hypnotised.
"Now, I know what you're thinking", Vimes went on, softly,
"you're wondering, after all this excitement, has it got enough flame left? And, y'know, I ain't so sure myself…"
He leaned forward, sighting between the dragon's ears, and his voice buzzed like a knife blade:
"What you've got to ask yourself is: Am I feeling lucky?"
They swayed backward as he advanced.
"Well," he said, "Are you feeling lucky?"

Sheer brilliance.
Chrissi (31st March 2001)

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