Guards! Guards! Discussion and spoilers here.

DiscussãoAll Things Discworldian - The Guild of Pratchett Fans

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Guards! Guards! Discussion and spoilers here.

Fev 23, 2021, 11:34 pm

Please feel free to add comments here whenever you read the book, or if you have read it and want to comment, please do.

I noticed tonight that the secret society fellas referred to the magical items as being worth dollars. Any known reason for that?

Fev 24, 2021, 11:04 am

Dollars are the currency in Discworld. Don't know why Pterry chose that, though.

Editado: Fev 24, 2021, 1:31 pm

>2 tardis: I think he wanted Ankh-Morpork to be as familiar as possible to his readers, and dollars are a traditional currency standard in both fantasylands and particular types of police and detective novels, but he also wanted to reflect and laugh at roundworld currency, especially the complicated and confusing historical English system (simultaneously satirising certain people's attachment to the pound sterling e.g. over the euro), so he used a system as complex as the historical English one but replaced pounds sterling with dollars.

So: guinea, dollar (not pound), shilling, sixpence, thrupenny bit, penny, halfpenny, farthing, and eventually in later books (especially Making Money) the mite and elim.

It's a combination of clever practical fictioneering and satire.

Fev 24, 2021, 6:21 pm

>2 tardis: & >3 spiralsheep: thank you. I guess it just threw me because I associate dollars with America, not Britain. I don't get out much. :)

Fev 24, 2021, 6:45 pm

>4 MrsLee: Well, Shakespeare mentions dollars a couple of times but I doubt if PTerry was thinking of that when the Ankh-Morpork dollar was created, probably more recent slang and fiction usages. :-)

Fev 25, 2021, 11:00 am

Link to the free and legal short story, Theatre of Cruelty, that fits between Guards and Men at Arms:

Fev 25, 2021, 11:53 am

>6 spiralsheep: Brilliant - thanks!

Fev 25, 2021, 12:11 pm

>7 tardis: You're welcome!

Someone might need to explain about Punch and Judy shows to the non-Brits though. :D

Fev 25, 2021, 12:54 pm

The word dollar is merely the English version of a type of Early Modern international-standard-coin. Earlier examples include the Dutch daalder (1.5 guilders), used by their East India Company as well as in the New Amsterdam colony (later: New York City), and the Maria Theresia Thaler, an Austrian/Bohemian coin with global reach that was also used in the early US. The denomination changed, but the word stuck around.

More info here.

Fev 27, 2021, 5:41 pm

I am realizing on this reread that a TV show can never capture the glory that is Pratchett. Almost every sentence carries puns, irony, sarcasm or subtleties of humor, yet it doesn't tire me.

I've forgotten to look for all the references to detective novels in this book. Caught the Sherlock Holmes one today though. "Once you've ruled out the impossible then whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth." Immediately followed by, "the curious incident of the orangutan in the night."

Fev 27, 2021, 7:56 pm

Is it a common British thing to give grapes to convalescent people? Pratchett makes reference to it, and I saw references to it in the TV shows Endeavor and Inspector Lewis. I think in California it is more likely to be oranges or apples, if anything, but grapes do make better sense, being easier to eat.

Fev 27, 2021, 10:32 pm

In the opening credits they state "inspired by..." because you're right, there's no way to do these books justice on TV. I'm going to have to work a reread in later this year.

Fev 28, 2021, 4:32 am

>11 MrsLee: Yes, it was traditional to give grapes to people in hospital in England, because they were considered a luxury fruit in addition to being relatively easy to eat and digest. It's also a traditional humorous trope for the giver to sit and eat the grapes themselves....

Mar 1, 2021, 7:27 pm

>13 spiralsheep: Thank you!

Mar 2, 2021, 4:18 am

>11 MrsLee: I didn't realise this wasn't a global/western thing?! Although like most traditions generally observed more in thought than practise.

Mar 7, 2021, 11:09 am

I forgot to make notes of the various detective movie and book references until I was about half way through. At that point I noticed reference to:
Sherlock Holmes: "Once you've ruled out the impossible then whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth." And "The Curious Incident of the Orangutan in the Night."
Dirty Harry
I'm sure there were more, but I get caught up in reading and forget to note them.

The genius of Pratchett isn't all the humor. The wonder is that in spite of it he writes a compelling story which pulls the reader along and gives them food for thought as they go. That in the midst of hilarity.

Mar 21, 2021, 2:42 pm

>11 MrsLee: It also pops up in the Adrian Mole diaries.

Abr 23, 2021, 3:18 pm

Aaah, so glad I've joined this group!

I have just finished my first re-read of Guards! Guards! since I originally purchased it 30 years ago. I really enjoyed it, but for very different reasons.

13 year old me mostly focused on Carrot and the Dragon, and found the whole bit with Vimes and Sybil's relationship a bit... unnecessary.
43 year old me thinks that Carrot is just a child and far too young to be drinking (LOL!), and that the Vimes and Sybil love story is beautiful.

I may have changed, but my enjoyment of the story (and all of the Discworld) has only gotten stronger.

Abr 24, 2021, 9:37 am

>18 Tane: I never was exposed to Pratchett until I was an adult with children of my own, but being a person who shies away from "Romance"* in any books, I very much appreciated the light touch Pratchett has with it.

I had forgotten so much about this story, that it introduced Carrot, how it all worked out with the dragon, etc.

*Only heavy-handed romance, having gone on a binge of Harlequin romances when I was about 16-17.

Abr 24, 2021, 5:40 pm

An audio adaptation of Guards! Guards! is currently streaming on BBC Radio.

Abr 27, 2021, 1:39 pm

>20 amanda4242: Oooh - thank you for the link!

Maio 7, 2021, 12:41 am

>20 amanda4242: Thank you, awesome!

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