Guards! Guards! (City Watch, #1) (Discworld, #8)

by Terry Pratchett

Stephen Briggs (Illustrator) and Graham Higgins (Illustrator)

4.18 of 5 stars 11 ratings • 3 reviews • 24 shelved
Book cover for Guards! Guards!

Bookhype may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Full disclosure.

Guards! Guards! (City Watch, #1) (Discworld, #8)

by Terry Pratchett

Stephen Briggs (Illustrator) and Graham Higgins (Illustrator)

4.18 of 5 stars 11 ratings • 3 reviews • 24 shelved
This is the story of mysterious night-time prowling in Ankh-Morpork, the greatest city of Discworld: someone is turning the citizens into something resembling small charcoal biscuits.
  • ISBN10 0575064854
  • ISBN13 9780575064850
  • Publish Date 22 May 1997 (first published 9 November 1989)
  • Publish Status Out of Print
  • Out of Print 14 December 2007
  • Publish Country GB
  • Imprint Gollancz
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 288
  • Language English

Reviews

Avatar for remo

remo 5 of 5 stars
Esta fue la primera novela que leí de Terry Pratchett. Tuve suerte, porque es la número 8 del Mundodisco, y si uno tiene la tentación de empezar por una de las dos primeras, probablemente se lleve un chasco. Sir Terry Pratchett empezó a brillar en el número tres.
El argumento es lo de menos. TP te lleva a donde quiere y te cuenta lo que le apetece. Esta novela es la primera de la serie de la Guardia. Hay más series dentro de Mundodisco: Las Brujas, la Muerte (que siempre habla en Versalitas), los Magos (con Rincewind) y la Revolución Industrial, además de los maravillosos libros de la Ciencia de Mundodisco. En esta imagen de aquí se puede ver un orden sugerido de lecctura de todas las series:

Cada serie tiene su evolución, y a mí me gustan todas. (tal vez la de los Guardias sea mi favorita. Sam Vines, jefe de la Guardia nocturna, intenta hacer bien su trabajo y no servir a otro amo que la Ley, en un cuerpo de guardias que ha conocido tiempos más gloriosos. Todo cambia cuando los enanos de las montañas le envían a Zanahoria (así llamado por la forma de su cuerpo, de amplios hombros y delgada cintura), un enano de metro noventa y cinco (es adoptado), que viene con un libro de las leyes de Ankh-Morpork, ciudad donde transcurre toda la acción, y una espada.
La magia de los libros de TP no está en la historia, que también. Está en los abundantísimos momentos de lucidez y de crítica sarcástica e incontenible del mundo en que vivimos y la sociedad que nos hemos creado. Tod libro de Sir TP tiene al menos cincuenta o sesenta frases dignas de entrar en una antología de citas de humor. Y además son divertidos, y además son entretenidos. Y además están muy bien escritos, y los personajes principales son incluso desarrollados y ese puede uno identificar con ellos (cuando no directamente admirarlos).
En resumen, de las mejores series literarias que se hayan escrito. Muy, muy, muy imprescindible.

Avatar for whitney

Plot:


I liked the plot, the idea of a dragon overtaking a community was very interesting to me and held my attention throughout.

Characters:


I loved the characters, especially Vimes and Carrot. Carrot's naiveté,  sense of taking things literally and by the book kept me smiling. As for Vimes, he was on the straight and narrow and reminded me of Barty Crouch from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I also really liked his romantic relationship with Sybil Ramkin. It was a quirky courting that worked and look forward to seeing where it heads.

Pacing


I'm not going to lie, it was slow going. The first half was a slog, but I preserved because I could tell it was going somewhere. I was later rewarded but I wished that had happened sooner.

Final Thoughts:


While I wasn't in love with Guards! Guards! the Discworld series has potential and enjoyed the character development. In the end, I'd definitely give the second book in this series a try.

This review was originally posted on First Impressions Reviews

Avatar for knowledgelost

The Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night is a secret organisation that plans to overthrow the Patrician and install a king of their choosing; a puppet under the control of the Supreme Grand Master. Using a stolen magic book to summon a dragon on the people of Ankh-Morpork, the plan is to slay the dragon, rid the city of its tyranny and have their hero take the throne.

Guards! Guards! attempts to parody Hard-Boiled and Noir novels with elements of police procedurals but there is one thing that really doesn’t match this style. Guards! Guards! is writing in third person with an omniscient and reliable narrator, this really seems weird since the style of novel it is trying to parody is often first person and unreliable. I’m not sure if it is the fact that all Terry Pratchett novels are written in the same style but it really didn’t help me connect with the novel, let alone notice most of the parodies.

This is a simple quest plot, The Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night obviously want to take over the throne but there are a few other plotlines that are on a quest for power. Wonse (The secretary to the Patrician) had power; he could make commands and have them carried out and he quite enjoyed that. Now he has lost this power, he wants it back. The Patrician wishes to hold onto his power as the ruining king, ultimately his calm demeanour is what aids him through the tyranny.

One thing I thought was difficult about this book was the language; while this novel uses modern language there is a lot of in world slang that took a while to get used to. There was an incident where a character got intoxicated and the words started being misspelt for emphasises. This can be effective but you don’t find out this is due to his intoxication till you read through some of his gibberish. Sometimes the language can be effective like when Death speaks, he only uses capital letters and when the dragons are speaking they use italics. Overall it just took so much to get used to. If you are a reader of the Discworld series, this might not seem too difficult but for an outsider like me it really affected my enjoyment of this novel.

This novel wasn’t broken into chapters; it’s just three hundred plus pages of continuous story. I’m not really sure the reason behind this, but the only way the novel switches between the plot and subplot are paragraph breaks. I’m not saying it is necessarily a bad thing but when you want to put the book down, I think it makes it hard to find a decent stopping place.

I’ve been very vocal about my struggle to connect with fantasy novels; I discovered I do enjoy the urban fantasy/noir blends (The Dresden Files, Bobby Dollar series) so I thought maybe this would be similar. Sure this book was funny and some of the parodies worked really well but it missed any crime element to really work for me. To make a good fantasy/noir blended novel, I think it needs to be a lot darker, with some cynical elements; it doesn’t necessarily need a crime but a quest that will cause an inner struggle within the protagonist will help.

If someone has a suggestion for a decent fantasy novel with some noir elements to it, please let me know. Guards! Guards! is a very funny fantasy novel; this is the second Discworld novel I’ve read and while I did enjoy them, I felt like the both lacked something. I guess I much prefer darker stories; this is just light entertainment and sometimes you need that, but it’s not a series I plan to read in its entirety.

This review originally appeared on my blog; http://literary-exploration.com/2013/05/16/book-review-guards-guards/