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Guards! Guards! (1989)

por Terry Pratchett

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Discworld: City Watch (1), Discworld (8)

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13,984236408 (4.19)540
Welcome to Guards! Guards!, the eighth book in Terry Pratchett's legendary Discworld series. 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...). How did it get there? How is the Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night involved? Can the Ankh-Morpork City Watch restore order - and the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork to power? Magic, mayhem, and a marauding dragon...who could ask for anything more?… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porerinR, Shadegate, beatalmeidap, Katie.Ahmad, MrKusabi, biblioteca privada, PepBaen, Bloum, KatherineSundgren, HLRivers19
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This is the introduction of Vimes and the Watch. A dragon starts appearing in Ankh Morpork and Vimes, Colon, Nobby, and Carrot are on the case. Where does it come from and where does it go?

This is a fun story, exciting and full of adventure. I especially love the exploration of the University Library and L-space. Just enough romance to spice things up a tetch. ( )
  elorin | Feb 11, 2024 |
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
---

It’s a metaphor of human bloody existence, a dragon. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s also a bloody great hot flying thing.

WHAT'S GUARDS! GUARDS! ABOUT?
We start with a motley bunch of people who have been recruited by a mysterious figure to summon a dragon from another world—they don't know this initially, but the purpose is to take over the city of Ankh-Morpork for less-than-benevolent reasons.

Meanwhile, a tall and naive young man is informed by his father that he's not who he's always thought he was. In fact, he's been brought up by another species. Carrot had spent his whole life believing he was a dwarf like everyone he lived among, rather than a human. "It's a terrible thing to be nearly sixteen and the wrong species." Carrot has a hard time accepting this truth but does what his father tells him. He sets off for the city to become a member of the City Watch and will send his wages to his family. It's impossible (for me, at least) to read Carrot and not think of Buddy the Elf. I don't know if Ferrell and Favreau had this book in mind when they worked out the character—but they could've.

Like Buddy, Carrot doesn't understand the human world and its nuances. He's very literal, he's a hard worker, doesn't know how to be dishonest, and sees the world in black and white. So he goes about the business of the Watch like that—he's a one-man anti-crime crusade. Arresting people the rest of the watch doesn't have the energy to pursue—and those they've been told by the city leadership to leave alone.

His presence shakes up the Watch and awakens a sense of duty in them. So when they start finding traces of the dragon—and a corpse or two, this lethargic group gathers itself together and tries to save the city from the dragon, those behind it, and those who can't be bothered to care.

And a whole bunch of other things transpire, are said, and whatnot. But that's enough to get you started.

MORE THAN JOKES

“Down there,” he said, “are people who will follow any dragon, worship any god, ignore any iniquity. All out of a kind of humdrum, everyday badness. Not the really high, creative loathesomeness of the great sinners, but a sort of mass-produced darkness of the soul. Sin, you might say, without a trace of originality. They accept evil not because they say yes, but because they don’t say no. I’m sorry if this offends you,”

All good novelists will work in things that have nothing to do with the characters (directly), their development, or the plot to their books. Some sort of commentary on the world, an observation about humanity or a portion of it, etc. If you ask me, the more comedic novelists are better at it than others—it's probably that spoonful of sugar thing. That could just be my preference, I admit.

Some of the better moments in this book—at least some of the best sentences—come from moments like the above quotation. There's some cheap cynicism to be found in these lines—but there's some well-earned cynicism, too, in Pratchett's ideas about government, the people led by that government, and so on. But there's some great stuff on love and hope to be found in here, too. Pratchett's cup is half-full at least as often as it's half-empty.

The one-liners; the satire of Fantasy tropes, humanity in general; and the overall comedy of his world might be what he's known for—but at least here (and likely in general), Pratchett's observations of and commentaries on humanity are just as noteworthy.

THE LIBRARY/LIBRARIAN

The truth is that even big collections of ordinary books distort space, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned secondhand bookshop, one that looks as though they were designed by M. Escher on a bad day and has more stairways than storeys and those rows of shelves which end in little doors that are surely too small for a full-sized human to enter. The relevant equation is: Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.

I don't have the time to write the essay I want to write about the Librarian, the Library, what the Librarian did to save the day, and so on. But I really wish I did (besides, I'm pretty sure someone else has—several someone elses). It's not the—or a—main focus of the novel, but it really could be. Instead, I'll just note that the Librarian was a highlight for me, and I hope we get a lot more of him in the future.

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT GUARDS! GUARDS!?

“I mean, [the dragon] wouldn’t want us to go around killing its own kind, would it?”

“Well, sir, people do, sir,” said the guard sulkily.

“Ah, well,” said the captain. “That’s different.” He tapped the side of his helmet meaningfully. “That’s ’cos we’re intelligent.”

One of the things I like to ask when thinking of a comedic novel is, would it hold up if you took the jokes out and played it straight? It's hard to answer that for Guards! Guards! because of the satirical and ridiculous aspects of the novel. But...on the whole, yeah...it'd work. Thankfully, it's not a question we really need to spend too much time on because it's so funny that you don't notice parts of the story/plot/characters that might not work—and with the comedy this book is so successful it doesn't matter.

It took very little time for me to get invested in the story—maybe not the characters (as much as I enjoyed watching Carrot fumble through his new life), but the story and the storytelling carried me until the point that I started to see the various members of the City Watch as anything other than comedy delivery systems (although that's primarily what they were). I was entertained throughout, so much so that I didn't really spend much time thinking about comparing this to other Pratchett books or other Fantasy comedies I've read—I just wanted to have fun with this. Maybe I'll do the other stuff with later reads.

My journey to this book—and to giving Pratchett another chance—is pretty well documented. It's not that I disliked The Color of Magic or The Light Fantastic, but I didn't get the fuss over Pratchett after reading them. After reading Guards! Guards!? I think I get it. After reading less than a third of Guards! Guards!, I was pretty sure I got it, actually. I'm so relieved...I wondered what was wrong with me that I missed what everyone else saw in his work. There's this great combination of jokes, situational/character-based comedy, a skewed way of depicting the world that's honest and true while capturing the absurdities—and wonder—of the world. Pratchett respects the reader enough to not have to spell everything he's doing out for us, but not so much that he will avoid slapstick or bodily humor.

I'm sold. If you haven't gotten around to trying this mega-series (and surely there are like 5 of you reading this who haven't), stick your foot in. If you're unsure where to start, here's a great place.

I'll be back for more soon. ( )
  hcnewton | Jan 24, 2024 |
By this point in the Discworld series, Pratchett is really settling into his groove. The plots are more accessible than the earliest books, because they are less parodies of other works and more in the way of commentaries on various subjects. He has his pacing and comic voice settled on. From here on out, I have yet to read a Discword novel I didn't like. (Its nice that one doesn't have to read them in publication order for them to make sense or be enjoyable.) ( )
  Treebeard_404 | Jan 23, 2024 |
A group of not-very-effective city guards tries to handle the fallout from a dragon being summoned to terrorize their city. There were some funny bits but overall it didn't grab me. ( )
  yaj70 | Jan 22, 2024 |
A book club pick :)

“Never build a dungeon you wouldn’t be happy to spend the night in yourself.”


Why do I love Discworld books? Because they are laugh-out-loud funny. Because they are unexpected. Because they are clever and wise. Because they are cynical. Because they are humane.

This is the first Watch book, Captain Vimes and everyone are growing into the Watch we all know and love. (Yes, I have so far read the 3rd and 4th Watch books, because I am jumping around in Discworld. It’s fun.) What a hilarious process this is – and somehow, inspiring. Terry Pratchett loves his characters, every single one of them. (I am of the opinion that every city should have a Carrot, a dwarfish war yodel included.)

In Guards! Guards!, Ankh-Morpork has a dragon problem. By the way, in case you want to summon a dragon and you have no idea what you’re doing: don’t.

“We never intended this,” he said weakly. “Honestly. No offence. We just wanted what was due to us.”
A skeletal hand patted him on the shoulder, not unkindly. And Death said, CONGRATULATIONS.”


Really, dragons are not fun at all. Unless they are Lady Ramkin’s swamp dragons. Lady Ramkin is quite awesome too.

The secret society trope is hilarious – until it isn’t, because it’s Pratchett we are talking about. “Give him the ones in which the flows of venom and vindictiveness were dammed up behind thin walls of ineptitude and low-grade paranoia.” The destined king trope (with some lovely, lovely nods to Tolkien) also gets some time in snarky spotlight. Pratchett wasn’t a royalist, I suppose… :)

I am left with a feeling of satisfaction that comes after reading a well-crafted, well-constructed, fun novel that is deeper than it seems. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (14 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Pratchett, Terryautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Aaranovitch, BenIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Andersen, DougArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Coulon, PatrickTraductionautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ittekot, VenugopalanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kaer, KristaToimetaja.autor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kantůrek, JanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kidby, PaulIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kirby, JoshArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kopp, ArminSprecherautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lindforss, PeterTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Macía Orío, CristinaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mets, HillarKujundaja.autor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Monn, ThomasSprecherautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pieretti, AntonellaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pieretti, AntonellaTraduttoreautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Planer, NigelNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Riera, ErnestTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Schwegler, RuthSprecherautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sohár, AnikóTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sweet, Darrell K.Artista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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They may be called the Palace Guard, the City Guard, or the Patrol. Whatever the name, their purpose in any work of heroic fantasy is identical: it is, round about Chapter Three (or ten minutes into the film) to rush into the room, attack the hero one at a time, and be slaughtered. No-one ever asks them if they wanted to.

This book is dedicated to those fine men.
And also to Mike Harrison, Mary Gentle, Neil Gaiman and all the others who assisted with and laughed at the idea of L-space; too bad we never used Schrodinger's Paperback . . .
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"Have another drink, not-Corporal Nobby?" said Sergeant Colon unsteadily. "I do not mind if I do, not-Sgt Colon," said Nobby.

-- The joys of working undercover (Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!)
The dragon—the dragon—was peering down interestedly over the guttering. Its face alone was taller than a man. Its eyes were the size of very large eyes, colored a smoldering red and filled with an intelligence that had nothing to do with human beings. It was far older, for one thing. It was an intelligence that had already been long basted in guile and marinated in cunning by the time a group of almost-monkeys were wondering whether standing on two legs was a good career move. It wasn’t an intelligence that had any truck with, or even understood, the arts of diplomacy.
"When you really need them the most," he said, "million-to-one chances always crop up. Well-known fact."
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Copies of this work with the ISBNs 0575063025, 0575070714 and 3442545331 may be Graphic Novel versions. Changing the Title of your copy to reflect this may facilitate correct combination with other Graphic Novel versions of the work.
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Welcome to Guards! Guards!, the eighth book in Terry Pratchett's legendary Discworld series. 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...). How did it get there? How is the Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night involved? Can the Ankh-Morpork City Watch restore order - and the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork to power? Magic, mayhem, and a marauding dragon...who could ask for anything more?

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