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.
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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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