- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (July 31, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061020648
- ISBN-13: 978-0061020643
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 428 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,034,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Guards! Guards! Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2001
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"'Pratchett has a masterful ear for dialogue, a keen eye for the ridiculous and a real feel for language'" * Time Out * "'This is one of Pratchett's best books. Hilarious and highly recommended'" * The Times * --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
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...).
Top customer reviews
I read the entire sequence centered on Death (and his extended family) first, since my introduction to the world of the Disc was the movie version of _Hogfather_.
I bought the first one, _Mort_, just to see if I would like it. I liked it well enough; I bought the next two books in the series on the Death story-arc. A quarter of the way through the second book, I bought the final two books of the arc.
I neared the end of one of those books and I bought the first three books from the "Guards" story-arc. At this point, I have only read one of those books, the first _Guards, Guards_. I was pleased, since I have to admit that I was a bit worried about the continuity of quality between story-arcs. Was I just interested in the character of Death, or did I like the world as a whole?
It turns out that I like the world as a whole, and this is a huge strength of Pratchett. I want to learn about all the inhabitants and read all the stories, no matter how tangential. I don't usually keep many books in my wish list, but it is now filled up with Discworld books. He builds a world like Vonnegut did. There are many familiar elements of the world we inhabit but there is the magic element that rips from genre fiction: what Vonnegut did with science-fiction, Pratchett does with fantasy elements.
There are a couple of things about the series generally that I really enjoyed. The first is what you try to develop as a writer, a unique voice. I've been struggling on finding the right word to really describe what I would characterize as Pratchett's voice. It is arch and tongue-in-cheek and just fun if you've read enough. He's a post-modern Tolkien, but that's a little off.
Secondly, he is funny, and he's not afraid to go for the easy joke. There are puns-galore, if you like that sort of thing. I happen to. There is one very memorable one that he just sort of sneaks in during _Soul Music_. He takes the reader 90% of the way to the pay-off but allows the slow dawning to set on the reader, so that a bad pun feels like it was done masterfully. Which it is, it really is.
If I had to make a critique of the books in the series that I have read so far is that I have read them too fast. My wife often tells me to slow down and enjoy the books you like, but I seldom listen to her. I should have here. There have been a couple of times that I enjoying the ride so much, I didn't even bother to remember what I had just read. I had to go and reread the last 50 pages of _Guards, Guards_ because of this. I enjoyed it too much.
Otherwise, this is an unqualified recommendation for the Discworld books. Spend some time there, you won't regret it.
Descriptions of Corporal Vimes' epic drunk times in ditches are really funny, especially if you can relate. The introduction to the peculiar nature of library space-time is brilliantly accurate - I have experienced this myself! It's very easy to get lost in library surrealities (of course this was before the era of e-books and e-libraries....not sure how the vortices and loops of bookshelf magic would work there.....)
The sidelining and manipulation of police and various organs of society in Ankh-Morpork are funny as well as sly social commentary. Pratchett also manages to totally spoof secret societies; the slimy and obsequious, yet sadistic and ambitious nature of the civil service (via Lupine Wonse); and the whole idea of heroism and justice (from the earnest literalness of Carrot to the unsung effectiveness of Vimes). A book I thoroughly enjoyed for its rollicking tale, and because it made me laugh, as well as - sometimes - think about the absurdities of governance. Oh, did I mention the farting dragon? Priceless.
Most recent customer reviews
I love the Terry Pratchett humor, so tongue-in-cheek. I liked the ideas of trans-dimensional travel, a bad sorcerer trying to steal a dragon, tiny dragons...Read more
The action is great and the fun rolls on.
Really one of the best!