Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby shegallivants » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:49 am

I just reread this today...and ooh- how they've grown since this book! It's so delicious, I felt almost triumphant when I was reading, grinning happily to myself, thinking "You're going to go up (kicking and screaming a little) in the world, Sam Vimes. Lady Sybil, you're going to have a little Sam and conquer the fat market and the hearts of dwarfish opera fans for AM! The self-financed traffic department's coming, Colon/Nobbs!, etc. :D" Was it just me being a little manic? Does anyone else get this same rush of glee (like with Vimes's ducal ascension over all those noble tools)? It just reminded me again of how much I love this series, and how well-crafted these characters are, to inspire such loyalty.
Balter n. To dance gracelessly, without particular art or skill *but perhaps with some enjoyment.
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:20 pm

Maybe not the same reason for glee, but I do enjoy seeing the seeds of later books and themes where they first appear.
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby NineTenthsMadness » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:13 pm

Having read "Men at Arms" first some ten, fifteen years before having a go at Men At Arms, it took some getting used to the first time I went through it, and though I have reread it many times by now, I still think it kind of stands out in an odd sort of way, at least regarding the other Sam Vimes books. Somehow, Sam doesn't seem to do much in this one, and is more of a plaything to the overall plot. The Dragon is a really strong villainous monster here, while other watch books are more about humans being at the center of the crime, although there is a strong human villainous character here as well. Also, to be honest, in an age where we know that Dolphins rape and monkeys and apes both rape and go to war with one another, and penguins, of all things, also engage in such things, I don't quite agree with the "humans are the real monsters" message any more.

However, like in many cases, I don't waste much time thinking about things I don't like, which just goes to show how much I do like this book. It may not be my favourite, but it is the start of Sam Vimes' and Sybil's journey, and what a journey it has been...
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:47 am

NineTenthsMadness wrote:Somehow, Sam doesn't seem to do much in this one, and is more of a plaything to the overall plot. The Dragon is a really strong villainous monster here, while other watch books are more about humans being at the center of the crime, although there is a strong human villainous character here as well.


The Vimes books are not just police procedurals; they are partly in the genre of noir detective stories in which human society is dark and crime-filled, there are no perfect heroes, and success is never complete. G!G! is closest to the pattern with the drunken policeman in a dispirited Watch who still tries, in fits and starts, to serve the City. Vimes does make a difference. He rescues Sybil and saves her innocent swamp dragons from being destroyed by a mob. He also stops the villain from calling up yet another dragon to fight the first.

According to the theory in How To Summon Dragons, the qualities of the dragon are based on the qualities of the human who summons it. The author of that book is said to have been a fairly decent human, though lacking in self-knowledge and forethought, yet his dragon killed him. The dragon the villain summoned had the darkest qualities of the villain. The conclusion is that all ordinary humans contain within them the elements of a rather nasty dragon, a very noir message. (Twoflower's dragon in TLF was positively sweet by comparison, which fits with what we know about Twoflower.)

On the other hand, if we take the position that the author of HTSD was wrong in that theory as well, the dragon becomes generic, which indicates that all female noble dragons are probably like that (again, except Twoflower's, though it wasn't around long enough for us to see it respond under differing circumstances). Lady Sybil said it behaved like a typical female dragon, more possessive and aggressive than the males.

In either interpretation, I feel that the unexpectedly semi-romantic ending is wholly appropriate, demonstrating the better aspects of humanity and adding a note of hope to counter the noir darkness of early-series Ankh-Morpork.
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby Herry » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:35 pm

I've been having trouble finding the traditional Corgi edition of this book. Most bookstores have now switched to the newer editions of the Discworld novels and I'm increasingly frustrated by the difficulty with finding good copies of the Corgi editions online. To date I've got two versions of the new edition and one of the old but in poor condition.

Can you recommend anywhere to purchase the Corgi editions in mint condition, including of Guards! Guards!?
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:49 pm

Hi Herry - welcome to the site!

Here is a copy at Awesome Book, and there are a few here on eBay.
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby Herry » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:58 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby SirColour » Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:52 am

Here, figure other... Terry Pratchett people might be interested. Started doing an analysis of Guards! Guards!, specifically: presentation of Vimes. You know, language techniques, some notes on narrative, so on. On part 1, if you are interested I might post them here. Guards!, probably... not my favourite book, but in my eyes one of the first where Discworld became Discworld. Oh, and Vimes started existing, always good.

Seems a bit tactless to have my first post link to a site of my own, but ah well.
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:57 pm

Welcome to the site! :D
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby Penfold » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:44 pm

Hellooo and welcome from me to. :D
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:50 pm

By the way, Mark of "Mark Reads" is currently reading Guards! Guards!.

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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby Penfold » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:29 pm

And he's already lost it a few times. :lol:
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:41 pm

I've read this book countless times and have only just realised that Terry never refers to the dragon as "he". Errol is mentioned as a male, but the "king" is the only male pronoun given to the dragon. And despite all that, it's still an amazing reveal when we find out the truth at the end of the book. My admiration for Terry's writing increases the more I read his books. :)
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:50 pm

In GG, we have three similar characters, all small of body:
Errol, ugly-cute, smelly
Nobby, ugly, unwashed, and, with foreknowledge that he does have girlfriends, possibly ugly-cute
Brother Dunnykin, whom we don't actually see but who is smelly and has severe halitosis. He also is of very humble origins and insists that he might have the blood of kings, which is true, he might.

Halitosis is often referred to as "dragonbreath". Dunnykin is the closest humanoid analog of Errol.

Dunnykin is attacked by a crocodile, a dragonish creature, and may or may not have been well enough to return to the Brethren in time to be flamed. He is referred to as 'poor old Dunnykin' which may hint that he is crippled. He is not referred to by name in the last meeting.

Errol seems to be attacked but is uninjured and eventually courts and wins the dragon ex-Queen of A-M.

Nobby is looked upon kindly by Lady Sybil, who nevertheless (whew) SPOILERS ends up with the skinny, not well-washed, and tall-but-shorter-than-she-is Captain Vimes. Vimes is not described as handsome but Pete Postlethwaite could be described as homely-cute and he's the original image Sir pTerry had. Nobby, with the rest of the Watch, are attacked by the dragon but not injured. Nobby also has humble origins (despite the hints of a possible noble connection via the ring, the necklaces and the tiara). Nevertheless, Nobby doesn't marry any of his girlfriends on page (so far); he does SPOILERS most recently find himself courting a non-homo-sapiens-human female.

Does this add up to anything? Different shadings of similar characters let an author play with the possibilities. It also makes me wince at the passing thought that perhaps at one point Sir pTerry considered having Nobby marry into the nobility. Or back into the nobility, if we can believe Dragon's charts. Would Dragon falsify his own work? If he would, could any of it then be trusted? I think false genealogies are a worse crime than nonexistent ones.
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Re: Guards! Guards! Discussion Group *Spoilers*

Postby RathDarkblade » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:54 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Hi Herry - welcome to the site!

Here is a copy at Awesome Book, and there are a few here on eBay.


Oh. :( One of these is a 1st edition, signed by Pterry, and the owner wants £199.99.

Would anyone pay this for "Guards! Guards!"?

If so, I have a 2nd edition Agatha Christie somewhere... ;)
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