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Guards! Guards!

Guards! Guards!  - Terry Pratchett 2009 Jsnuary 1
2014 August 16

In his first Watch book Pratchett introduces the old school noir police officer. Sam Vimes most notable characteristic at the outset is how much he drinks, and how the opened bottles are always present in his desk drawer, but he never remembers buying them. there is a dame, of course, but she's notable not for her looks, but for her good works. Sybil breeds the little dragons that people keep as pets for lighting fires.

The Night Watch is a minimal force: Vimes, Colon, Nobbs, and the new volunteer from the dwarves, Carrot. They aren't particularly competent, but no one expects them to do anything except walk the streets each night, saying "all's well" on the hour.

Interesting note: Carrot memorizes the lawbook of Anhk-Morpork, many of the laws within date to the 1500 and 1600s. Not a lot of "century of the fruitbat" stuff here. This is a medievilish fantasy setting: the weapons are halberds, pikes, morningstars, bows. By the end Pratchett has brought the Watch into more-or-less modern policing.

I'm having an insanely good time reading through the Discworld in arcs, rather than the more random order I read them in first. Now that I know all the characters it is much more fun to go back and see how the Watch as an institution and as characters have evolved. I'm still laughing at all the jokes I got the first time, but I'm also enjoying the grand changes over time. The early books were mostly about a bunch of guys, and then there are a few female characters, and then there are characters who aren't human, and the ecosystem keeps revealing more and more the closer one looks.