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Men at Arms Mass Market Paperback – May 27, 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (May 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061092193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061092190
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Another wild romp through Discworld! Corporal Carrot, a young dwarf, is newly in charge of the recruits guarding Ankh-Morpork. Edward, the 37th Lord d'Eath, has just discovered that Ankh-Morpork, kingless for generations, has a sovereign ruler, who must be convinced that he is, in fact, the King. The fate of Ankh-Morpork rides on a young man's courage, an ancient sword's magic, and a three-legged poodle's bladder. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In his latest effort, Pratchett skewers the hard-boiled detective novel as effectively as he's satired fantasy fiction all these years. Set on Discworld, there are a few more gargoyles and exploding dragons than Sam Spade ever had to deal with. But there's a trail of corpses and a hero named Carrot determined to track down the killer. His partners-the token dwarf, troll and werewolf on the police force-must overcome discrimination as well as the occasional rampaging orangutan. Although Men at Arms isn't as consistently funny as his earlier novels, the dialogue is hilarious, and Pratchett's take on affirmative action is a whole lot of fun. There's not a lot of rational narrative cause-and-effect here, but it doesn't really matter. As usual, Pratchett provides enough bad-tempered clowns, bloodthirsty trolls and dogs with low self-esteem to keep readers entertained.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on March 1, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the Discworld novel wherein Captain Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork's Night Watch retires and gets married, the Night Watch itself becomes an equal species organization, and Gaspode the Talking Dog falls in love with new recruit, Angua, the werewolf. She has just joined the Night Watch under the Equal Species Act, along with Detritus the Troll and Cuddy the Dwarf.

No wonder Sam, who is a bit of a male chauvinist speciesist is going to retire.

Not since Stephen King's "It" have clowns gotten such bad press as in "Men at Arms." They seem to be the saddest creatures on Discworld. One of them, Beano is murdered and ends up playing 'Knock Knock - Who's There?' with Death, who is trying to develop a sense of humor.

Humor will never be the strong suite of a hooded, seven-foot skeleton with glowing blue eyes, but Death does get in one inadvertently funny line. He tells Beano to think of his newly deceased state as being 'DIMENSIONALLY DISADVANTAGED.'

Meanwhile back in the world of the living and undead, Captain Sam Vimes and his command investigate the circumstances of Beano's death. Sam is also under orders from his wife-to-be to find a missing swamp dragon, which is likely to explode if it comes under stress.

When a large hole is blown in the headquarters of the Assassin's Guild, Sam has a pretty good notion of what caused the explosion. What he really wants to know is whether this latest calamity has something to do the Beano's death. After all, the Assassins are right next door to the Guild of Fools and Clowns.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By bensmomma on September 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wonder if Discworld fans ever feel like they are in on a big happy secret, that people who think "fantasy" genre novels are beneath them aren't entitled to know.
I guess I used to be one of those naysayers. My inherent interest level in dragons and trolls is not that high. But "Men at Arms," the first Pratchett novel I've ever read, is the funniest most entertaining read I've had in years, in ANY genre.
My only problem now is that I want to go right out and read the other 20+ novels ASAP, but fear I will lose my job because I am reading them under my desk at the office, and lose my husband because I wake him up laughing so hard while reading in bed.
BTW if you want a real treat, try this (or other Pratchetts) on audio CD/cassette/download. The fellow doing the reading (Nigel Planer?) is a riot. Plus, if you listen in your car on the way to work, you can keep your job and your spouse.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on February 17, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of all Pratchett's brilliantly drawn characters, Samuel Vimes stands unique in providing a realistic role model for the rest of us. He's honest, forthright, deeply suspicious of aristocracy, and best of all, despises the idea of kings. The last is important here, for someone wishes the return of the Ankh-Morpork monarchy. And Sam Vimes' remote ancestor, Old Stoneface, executed the last one.
Edward d'Eath [how does PTerry come up with these names?!], an impoverished aristocrat, seeks fulfillment of his destiny by restoring the monarchy. Recruiting fellow lords to his cause proves difficult. It's been a long time since the last king, and the Patrician runs the city with commendable, if frightening, efficiency. So Edward embarks on a solitary campaign.
Pratchett's inventive mind takes us from the "fantasy" genre into the murder mystery domain. Murder isn't a common event on the Discworld, and its occurrence here creates an intensity of feeling rarely evoked by Pratchett's works. Vimes is particularly irritated by such abhorrent events as murder. Assassination is bad enough, although carefully regulated by its Guild. For Vimes, murder is too arbitrary. It reflects the one aspect of society he resents the most, the exercise of absolute power. He's affronted both as a copper and a man.
Partly inspired by Corporal Carrot, Vimes is no longer content having the Watch "let things lie anymore". Forces that used to push a drunken Vimes into the gutter are forces he now resists, even struggles to overcome. It's an inspiring read watching Pratchett give Vimes a new sense of dedication. Vimes has always sought justice, and his recent rise in society and the Watch has given him fresh impetus, and clout, to gain it. However, first he must survive.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've decided he's too good and too prolific for me to write a brand new review every single time I read one of his books. Discworld currently has 34 titles and every one of them will probably knock your socks off. His mind bubbles and flashes like a boiling pot of electric eels, and I simply can't get enough of his writing.

A reviewer has compared him to Geoffrey Chaucer. He reminds me more of Douglas Adams, or perhaps S Morgenstern. Great company, isn't it? He's an extremely skillful and imaginative writer, damn funny, clever and observant to boot. He's also very easy to read. A master of characterization, and if there's anything else you like about reading that I didn't mention here, assume I simply forgot. He's awesome.

Another reviewer mentioned Jonathan Swift and PG Wodehouse. Why such hallowed company? Because Pratchett belongs there! Truly, I'm enjoying my quest to read every book in the series. You should do the same, and begin your quest at the library because he's got to be there. He's awesome!

Yet another reviewer said Jerome K Jerome meets Lord of the Rings. Yeah, that works too.

Why do we, as reviewers, compare authors to other authors? Because it's easier than thinking. In the case of Terry Pratchett, it's probably because we'd otherwise wind up quoting the guy. He's so unique that we just don't know how else to cope with his greatness. Even this paragraph sounds like foamy drool raving, doesn't it? That's how all readers react to Pratchett. Reviewers simply don't have the good sense to keep it to themselves.

I could call his writing fantasy, but I could likewise call what Douglas Adams wrote science fiction. In both cases, I wouldn't be wrong, but I'd be neglecting so much and just totally missing the point.
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