I have books that I reread (Georgette Heyer) and I have books that I own more than one copy (Jane Austen) but there is only one book in my collection that I have a paperback copy, an ebook copy and an audio copy. That book is Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett.
In honor of April Fool’s Day, I am going to share with you one of the funniest books I have ever read. Terry Pratchett is the king of humor! I giggle so much when I read the books that my husband has banned the books from our bed because I keep him awake with my laughter and shaking the bed with my body giggling. I love all Pratchett’s Discworld books but the Guards line is my favorite.
Guards! Guards! takes place in the fictitious city of Ank-Morkpork, a large city where all the crime is legalized and each branch of crime has their own guild that pays taxes and limits the number of crimes that can occur. For example, once you have been robbed the thief gives you a piece of paper that you can show to the next person who tries to rob you because you can only be robbed once a year.
The novel focuses on Sam Vimes, the Captain of the small group of men that form the Night Watch. Vimes has spent the last couple of years staring at the bottom of an alcohol bottle, ignoring what is going on in the city. That changes when Carrot, an adopted dwarf who is 6’4″ tall, joins the force and actually starts arresting people. To further complicate matters, a dragon (a mythical creature even in their world) has appeared, causing problems and taking over the city.
Sam Vimes is my favorite Discworld character, winner of a close competition since Discworld also has Death (who speaks in all caps), luggage (a vicious protector of owner and property) and Moist von Lipwig (the greatest con-man who ever lived). Vimes is a pragmatist in a world full of crazies, he has a deadpan sense of humor, and a strong love for his city and its citizens. “If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn’t as cynical as real life.”–Sam Vimes in Guards! Guards!
Terry Pratchett is the wittiest writer I have ever read and never deteriorates into cheap shots at others that some people use to be funny. Pratchett has a sparkling humor and an amazing grasp of human nature. If I am ever a quarter as funny as Terry Pratchett I will count myself a success and a riot. Read, Read, Read! (I can’t say that enough!)
Title: Guards! Guards!
Author: Terry Pratchett
Format: (paperback, hardbound, ebook): paperback, ebook, audio
Page Nos.: 384
Release Date: July 31, 2001
I highly recommend reading everything by Terry Pratchett, for those interested in reading the Watch series in order:
Men at Arms
Feet of Clay
The Fifth Elephant