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Jingo: Stage Adaptation (Modern Plays) Paperback – April 15, 2005
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Terry Pratchett is a phenomenon unto himself. Never read a Discworld book? The closest comparison might be Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with its uniquely British sense of the absurd, and side-splitting, smart humor. Jingo is the 20th of Pratchett's Discworld novels, and the fourth to feature the City Guard of Ankh-Morpork. As Jingo begins, an island suddenly rises between Ankh-Morpork and Al-Khali, capital of Klatch. Both cities claim it. Lord Vetinari, the Patrician, has failed to convince the Ruling Council that force is a bad idea, despite reminding them that they have no army, and "I believe one of those is generally considered vital to the successful prosecution of a war." Samuel Vimes, Commander of the City Watch, has to find out who shot the Klatchian envoy, Prince Khufurah, and set fire to their embassy, before war breaks out.
Pratchett's characters are both sympathetic and outrageously entertaining, from Captain Carrot, who always finds the best in people and puts it to work playing football, to Sergeant Colon and his sidekick, Corporal Nobbs, who have "an ability to get out of their depth on a wet pavement." Then there is the mysterious D'reg, 71-hour Ahmed. What is his part in all this, and why 71 hours? Anyone who doesn't mind laughing themselves silly at the idiocy of people in general and governments in particular will enjoy Jingo. --Nona Vero --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From School Library Journal
YA-Jingo, the twentieth Discworld novel to be published in the United States, is a worthy addition to the series. It's a quiet night. Maybe too quiet. Solid Jackson and his son are fishing the waters between Ankh-Morpork and Al-Khali when their boat runs aground. To their amazement, an iron chicken rises out of the water, followed shortly by the island of Leshp. Solid Jackson immediately claims the island as Ankh-Morpork territory. There's only one problem. Greasy Arif and his son are also fishing for Curious Squid, and Arif swears that the island belongs to Al-Khali. Both cities are determined to annex it. By jingo, this means war. Ankh-Morpork is outgunned and out-manned but the city's nobles don't plan to let that stop them from carrying on the noble traditions of chivalry and showing those Klatchians what's what. This book is just as funny, clever, and unpredictable as the previous titles. Pratchett fans will not be disappointed, and new readers will not be confused. Jingo expands upon the lives of characters from titles in the series, but readers don't need to be familiar with them to enjoy this one. It's fast-paced, with lots of twists and turns, unexpected events, and football.
Susan Salpini, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
In "Jingo" we get to see our old friends from the watch show some surprising sides: Nobby as feminist is especially fun. And once again Sam Vimes tries to make sense of a world where sometimes the crimes are so big you can't arrest everyone involved. Or can you?
I miss, miss, miss him.
+Sam Vimes and Co. return, with some of their quirks intact.
+Variety of scene
~No real character development/surprises
--The book was disjointed. Scenes an characters did not flow as well as I've been used to with Mr. Pratchett
--Humor was sacrificed for heavy-handed moralizing.
--Sometimes characters acted out of character to better drive the narrative.
--The book took itself SO seriously, it felt like a chore to finish.
Go ahead and read this, if you're the completionist sort, but don't bother rushing. Read the other Diskworld books first and save this for moments when anything will do.
Jingo was written in 1997, when Pratchett was hitting his stride with the Disc and the world was less medieval and more Victorian. By this point, Pratchett was pulling in the real world and bringing it to wonderful parody by showing the hypocrisies inherent in the actions we take. He's able to ameliorate this by the fantasy tropes that the world is set in, but they are no less true because they take place on a flat world supported by four elephants on the back of a giant space turtle.
Jingo looks at the nature of conflict and self-definition and nationalism - who are we and what we do we stand for? The precipitating event is that an island rises in the circle sea, and is claimed by two competing powers, Ankh-Morpork and the city of Al-Khali.
There is palace intrigue, some derring-do, and lessons learned. In the end, we learn that those we go to war with are just like you and I, but perhaps it is the ones that lead us to war that we should be most wary of. Reading it felt odd, as if it was a response to the drumbeats that lead the Anglo countries to war in 2003, but it was written years in advance. It just goes to show that the will to power is universal, the only shame is that there was no Sam Vimes in Baghdad, ready to save the day.
That said, I put this in the lower third of Pratchett's Discworld books. As I've mentioned elsewhere, not everything can be "Small Gods." And even a slow Discworld book makes for a great night's reading. But this one never quite gelled for me in a narrative or pacing sense.
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