Guards! Guards!

Monday, September 14, 2020


Guards! Guards!
Terry Pratchett, 1989

Premise: The introduction of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. The men of the Night Watch (all three of them, plus a new recruit) mostly muddle along unnoticed and unheeded until a dragon unexpectedly appears in the city.

In a search for some reading that would feel worth my time but not take too much brain power, I recently decided to re-read the Discworld books about the Watch. 

This first volume is good, but not as polished as later ones. Some jokes or side comments feel a bit dated. The characters are sort of sketches of who they become later. Carrot in particular is more of a by-the-book simpleton than the straightforward, good-hearted person he is later. Vimes and The Patrician are closer to later portrayals but both lack nuance. 

There’s a strong subplot starring the Librarian. I thought the rest was fine, but I didn’t love it... although then I happened to read a tumblr post which made some excellent observations about the parallels between Sybil and the dragon. Interesting stuff. 

I like this book fine, but I remember liking the later ones much more. 

3 Stars - A Good Book

(And yes, there’s a bit of a weird vibe right now to be consuming any media starring law enforcement, even in a fantasy setting. But the Watch books overall are heavily critical of bias and corruption, and Pratchett, and by extension, Vimes, is thoroughly against anyone who would oppress others or harm the innocent.) 


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