The City Watch books

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The City Watch books

Postby Beyond Birthday » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:02 pm

Hey, I'm a little new to Terry Pratchett books and, since so far I've only read some of the 'The City Watch' series I thought that my first topic should be about that. So far I've read

1.) THUD!: the first Pratchett novel I read and also my favorite. I get the feeling the title was originally supposed to be "Awesome Stuff Happens". Aside from Vimes I'd say Angua got the most attention here. Also Carrot's reaction to dwarf technology is just plain funny.

2.) Night Watch: the second one I read and also my second favorite. Vimes kind of reminds me of Roy Mustang meets a more pragmatic version of Batman here. While the whole time travel plot has been done before Terry somehow still manages to make it sound fresh.

3.) Guards! Guards!: The one I'm currently reading and enjoying the least amount (but only because the other two were so awesome). Vimes is a slightly different character here but that's to be expected. I didn't like how most of the book was revealed in the first twenty pages and even though I get that it deconstructs the idiocy of "guy slays dragon and becomes king" plot it still makes all of Ankh-Morpork seem as dumb as Bobby Hill. Although I guess part of that comes from general apathy and forgetting what life used to be like under Winder and Snapcase. I still really enjoy this book, though, despite what it may seem like.

There seems to be a "Rising from the ashes" theme with this series, as both the Watch as well as the entire city become more and more powerful and cunning with every book. What's also interesting is how the Ankh-Morpork of Night Watch (that is past Ankh-Morpork) is more like the Ankh-Morpork of THUD! in that the citizens are a lot more cunning in general, as opposed to the more opulent-acting Ankh-Morpork of Guards! Guards!

What do you think? Is there anything I forgot to mention or did I completely miss the point anywhere?
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Postby DaveC » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:09 pm

Welcome to the site Beyond Birthday!

Intersting analysis. Are you planning to read the rest of the Watch books next and then the rest of Discworld? Do you have an order in mind?

I am still on my first go-round of reading them and I think the differnce in Ankh Morpork between books is just due to the evolution of Terry's writing style.

I haven't read Thud yet, I am still on Monstrous Regiment in the reading order so I can't comment on that.
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Hi

Postby An Auditor » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:26 pm

Hello and welcome 'Beyond Birthday' hope you enjoy the site.

To quote DaveC, 'interesting analysis'.

All the watch books are ruddy good and Guards Guards stood out as one of my personal bests.
You get to meet my all time fave character too (Errol the swamp dragon) :D

Give em time, like a good wine and all that. . . . . :D
I also am slighty jealous that you have a WHOLE world of wonders to discover yet.

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Postby Beyond Birthday » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:26 pm

Thanks DaveC.

I do plan to read the rest of the Watch books, going from Guards! Guards! to the second one onwards. I don't think I'll read all of Discworld simply because it's little daunting to catch up on twenty-five plus years' worth of material. I do, however, plan to also read the Death books and whatever standalone catches my fancy.

I agree, Ankh-Morpork's changes are mostly due to Pratchett's developing writing style. It's still fun to point these things out as if they were on purpose, though.

On a more geeky note I've been buying the 25th anniversary versions of Pratchett's books and I notice that the text in Guards! Guards! is a might smaller.

On a slightly less geeky note how come Angua is about to eat some guy in the Going Postal movie trailer? I know that it's implied and (hopefully) it isn't like that in the actual movie. If it is like that then, well, I call character derailment.
Last edited by Beyond Birthday on Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Beyond Birthday » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:32 pm

To An Auditor:

Speaking of characters have you noticed that we never really hear Carrot's inner thoughts? Kind of like Luffy from One Piece. Maybe it's because he's (usually) upfront about what he thinks.
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:34 pm

Hi there Beyond Birthday! :D

Guards! Guards! is of course where it all started and the characters have changed somewhat - in some cases considerably.

As to A-M being dumb - well I'd say they were just being human. It's amazing what people will go for because it seems like a good idea at the time. It's like all the people here in the US who voted the Tea Party candidate because they were for (apparently) less government interference. These are the same people who will wonder why they aren't getting social security any more. :roll:
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Postby Beyond Birthday » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:41 pm

To Tonyblack:

I get that it's partly because it seemed like a good idea. To be honest, I think most of Ankh-Morpork runs on a combination of genre savvy (since that's just how Discworld works) and functional stupidity. Functional stupidty being what Nobby has...well, that and street smarts. Or maybe it's all genre savvy and my point of view is all wrong. Maybe if they knew that Vimes was the main character things would've gone differently.
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Postby Beyond Birthday » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:55 pm

Also I should probably mention that the cover of THUD! probably won't attract new readers. The first time I saw the cover at the back of Good Omens (didn't finish Good Omens yet) as an ad I thought "Huh, must be some kind of political commentary. Probably has nothing to do with the fantasy genre." I only read it because I recognized it at my local book store, read the plot description on the back, and thought "Oh, wait..."

The cover isn't bad, mind you, just saying it won't attract new readers.
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Postby pip » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:06 pm

Beyond Birthday wrote:Also I should probably mention that the cover of THUD! probably won't attract new readers. The first time I saw the cover at the back of Good Omens (didn't finish Good Omens yet) as an ad I thought "Huh, must be some kind of political commentary. Probably has nothing to do with the fantasy genre." I only read it because I recognized it at my local book store, read the plot description on the back, and thought "Oh, wait..."

The cover isn't bad, mind you, just saying it won't attract new readers.


with the evolution of the books they have moved away from fantasy in many respects and are a commentary on this world (roundworld (read a few more and this will make sense)) so in a sense the book is a political commentary.

Gaurds Gaurds is a great book but if you started with Thud and night watch its hard to take that step back.

I agree with you on the rising from the ashes interpretation and this is why gaurds gaurds works. This is the gutter they and particularly vimes rise from. It lays the groundwork for the rest.
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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:08 pm

Do you mean the chessboard one?

DOn't see it as any more off putting than some of the others
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Postby Beyond Birthday » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 pm

To Pip:

Yeah, but I assumed it would just be the author talking about about politics. Kind of like a book written by a former presidential candidate.

Yes, it is hard to take that step back. I knew that before I even started it. I 'do' still like it, however.

It is a little weird seeing someone as awesome as Vimes in the gutter. But then that ended up being the point and it definitely works.

To Doughnut Jimmy:

No, the 25th anniversary cover with the Watchman about to be hit on the head. The chessboard one actually makes it out to be fantasy-meets-murder-mystery, which is much closer to what the book is about. That and social commentary.
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Postby pip » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:37 pm

Beyond Birthday wrote:To Pip:

Yeah, but I assumed it would just be the author talking about about politics. Kind of like a book written by a former presidential candidate.

Yes, it is hard to take that step back. I knew that before I even started it. I 'do' still like it, however.

It is a little weird seeing someone as awesome as Vimes in the gutter. But then that ended up being the point and it definitely works.

To Doughnut Jimmy:

No, the 25th anniversary cover with the Watchman about to be hit on the head. The chessboard one actually makes it out to be fantasy-meets-murder-mystery, which is much closer to what the book is about. That and social commentary.


I get the cover now. The original Paul Kidby cover is a lot better than the American one (this goes for most of the books.)

Vimes rise from the gutter is one of my favourite things in literature not just the discworld.

I've found myself re reading the watch books more than any of the others
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Postby Beyond Birthday » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:59 pm

Everything Vimes does is awesome, which is partly why he reminds me of Batman. He also doesn't drink, again, just like Batman. Reminds me of Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist, too, to the point where I imagine Roy's english voice as Vimes'.

What I wanna know is why there hasn't been a Watch movie yet. We get a few cameos here and there but that's it.

Am I gushing too much? I find I either complain or gush about things too often.
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Postby pip » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:08 pm

Beyond Birthday wrote:Everything Vimes does is awesome, which is partly why he reminds me of Batman. He also doesn't drink, again, just like Batman. Reminds me of Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist, too, to the point where I imagine Roy's english voice as Vimes'.

What I wanna know is why there hasn't been a Watch movie yet. We get a few cameos here and there but that's it.

Am I gushing too much? I find I either complain or gush about things too often.


I'd love to see it done . Vimes and his internal demons would be fun on the screen.

Not enough gushing yet

Up it 40 % and we'll review :lol:
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Postby Beyond Birthday » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:12 pm

Maybe you can help: in the Going Postal trailer you see Angua about to attack someone and (it's implied) she eats a guy. Can you explain that? I know that trailers always lie so I hope this is just manipulative editing. If not then wow character derailment.
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