Men at Arms (Discworld, #15)
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Men at Arms (Discworld #15)

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  38,101 ratings  ·  661 reviews
A Young Dwarf's Dream

Corporal Carrot has been promoted! He's now in charge of the new recruits guarding Ankh-Morpork, Discworld's greatest city, from Barbarian Tribes, Miscellaneous Marauders, unlicensed Thieves, and such. It's a big job, particularly for an adopted dwarf.

But an even bigger job awaits. An ancient document has just revealed that Ankh-Morpork, ruled for deca...more
Paperback, 377 pages
Published May 27th 2003 by HarperPrism (first published 1993)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreMe Talk Pretty One Day by David SedarisThe Princess Bride by William Goldman
Best Humorous Books
260th out of 2,457 books — 4,809 voters
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeA Midsummer Night's Dream by William ShakespeareThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferCatch-22 by Joseph Heller
Best Lighthearted Literature
25th out of 196 books — 213 voters

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Community Reviews

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“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell w...more
Vimes smiled. Someone was trying to kill him, and that made him feel more alive than he had done in days.
And they were also slightly less intelligent than he was. This is a quality you should always pray for in your would-be murderer.

Murders are rare in Ankh-Morpork. Suicides and assassinations...well, they're a dime a dozen, but genuine murders are pretty darned rare. But DEATH has been busier than usual lately, and it's up to Carrot and Vimes of the Night Watch to figure out what the heck is g...more
Brandon Sanderson
(This review is from 2006.)

All right, the short of it is I really liked the book. The long of it is, I’m very annoyed at Terry.

Those of you who have been following things here know that I just sold the Alcatraz books to Scholastic. They’re essentially humorous fantasy—evil librarians running the world and all that. I wrote them because I was a little frustrated at the market. I could find funny books (Snicket) and I could find books with good worldbuilding (Pullman) and I could find books with c...more
Sarah Sammis
Men at Arms is the second book I've read for the Beach Blanket Bonanza. My husband (whom I originally introduced to Pratchett's books) has been selecting the best of the Discworld books for me to read and I have been enjoying these reading "assignments" thoroughly.

Men at Arms is the next in the "Night Watch" group of books. Vimes is on the eve of his retirement from the watch and about to get married. Meanwhile, bodies are showing up in Ankh-Morpork and a new weapon has been stolen. Carrot and a...more
2013 July 4

Pratchett can wright a novel about integration and politics and gun control that keeps one amused and engrossed and thoroughly engaged the whole time. I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I was finished I purchased the next Discworld book I hadn't yet read, Interesting Times, to start immediately.

And as many Pratchett books as I have read and loved at this point, I still find it hard to say why they're so great. There is always plot, often more than enough for several books. In this c...more
Men at Arms is Terry Pratchett's fifteenth ...woah, really? This is the fifteenth Discwordld book? And I'm not even HALFWAY done with the series yet? And he's still writing them? That's AWESOME!

Anyway, in Men at Arms returns to the metropolis of Ank-Morpork, specifically the Night Watch charged with preventing suicides, such as suicide by strolling through the wrong part of town or saying the wrong thing to any of its inhabitants. Captain Samuel Vimes is relegated mostly a B-story for most of th...more
Olga Godim
This novel was a joy to read. The second in the Watch sub-series, it is as much a fantasy as a mystery. People often die in Ankh-Morpork, mostly from suicide (walking along some of the city streets after dark is definitely suicidal), but now a series of murders have been committed. Sam Vimes, the Captain of the Night Watch, starts the investigation, and various complications spring in his way with predictable regularity.
The plot of this novel is just a pencil sketch, a colorless collection of e...more
Steven Harbin
I'm probably biased, but I'm come to love everything I've read so far by Terry Pratchett, so perhaps my 5 stars should be taken with the proverbial "grain of salt". Still, I enjoyed this one immensely. The Discworld books sometimes have series within the overall series that follow a group of characters. This book is the 2nd in what I call the "Guards" series, following the Night Watch of Ankh-Morpork which is led by Sam Vimes.
After the events of Guards! Guards! the Watch is being expanded, both...more
So, does it take wiping tears off one's face to know if a book you've just finished was worth the read? And I'm not talking tears of laughter, though Men at Arms is so wonderful at attacking one with a sense of humour oscillating from the brilliant puns and ingenious word-play to the outright outrageous fun, often taking a traditional comedy gag and turning it on its back. And then tickling it senseless.

Add to that, a brilliant humanistic (in the broader sense of course, as This reader is very...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was my second Pratchett novel, and it was a very fine read, quite hilarious. It’s the second book of his City Watch novels. I think I will read some more of these before branching out into the rest of Discworld.

I loved the new characters - the dwarfs and trolls and the dogs.
Suranjana Hoque
Aug 23, 2013 Suranjana Hoque rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ananya Rubayat, Tajwar Hoque, Pramiti Anasuya Alam, Pranab Kairy
Recommended to Suranjana by: হাঁটুপানির জলদস্যু
Shelves: favorites
Those who read this will smile lots. :)
I liked this one even more than Guards! Guards!, partly because the plot is a little more interesting (there's something of a mystery), and partly because knowing the characters makes their appearances that much more fun. I think what I admire most about Pratchett is his respect for his characters. He never mocks or humiliates them. Even the villains have some dignity, and the humor of the book isn't at the expense of others.

Again, he surprises me with his depth and consideration of some really...more
Oct 07, 2012 Lizzie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lizzie by: borrowed from Evan.
This, friends, is a 2.5-star book, that I am rounding up. I could round it down. But let me tell you about my feelings! Because ratings, as always, are to me a method of achieving inner peace with my book.

Reasons this book deserves two stars:

- It... isn't very good! As a novel. The structural wisps involving the villain Edward were confusing instead of intriguing, and somehow heavyhanded at the same time since you see where it's going -- you just can't identify the gob of plot he left there on...more
An assassin works behind the scenes to restore Anhk Morpork to the glory days of kings. The most reasonable way to do this is, of course, with an inventive new weapon in one hand. Only one thing stands in his way… the city watch. With each step this criminal takes the more the watch needs to learn to work together to find him. This is hard when the watch has recently turned unprejudiced, due to the Patricians decree. Trolls, dwarfs, men, and women are all forced to work to work together. Only Co...more
I like all the various Discworld series - the witches, the DEATH books, the wizards* - but I have the biggest soft spot for the Nightwatch (i.e. the series of books about Ankh-Morpork's policemen). I just love the characters. This Nightwatch book was interesting because, as an earlier book, a lot of pivotal things happened - Vimes got married (then promoted), the first non-humans joined the watch - Angua (werewolf), Detrius (troll) and Cuddy (dwarf). I finally found out why Carrot is (probably)...more
Corporal Carrot is more than he seems…..or is he??? This loveable six foot tall dwarf is a part of the Watchmen in Discworld, along with a troll, a werewolf and many other characters. There is also the possibility that he is royalty. This is the quest of Edward d’Eath, a member of the Assassin’s Guild, to discover the truth.
In the true Terry Pratchett manner though, there is so much more to the story. This magician with phrases and words weaves many story lines into one story so they totally ma...more
Jan 12, 2009 Bill rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoyed Guards! Guards!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
**edited 01/02/14

Men at Arms, the first(ish) book in Pratchett's City Watch subseries, makes for a wonderful introduction to the characters and world of Discworld. Admittedly, it's comparitively weak in some respects; like so many other series I've encountered, it suffers from "first book syndrome": weaker characterization, more predictable plot, and less elegant language. However, once you read it, you can get into the good stuff with an almost complete background of the characters. It can also...more
Bookworm Smith
The Night Watch is changing. Their leader is leaving. They are recruiting on an equal opportunity basis - Dwarves, Trolls, even Women can apply! They are even seriously attempting to solve a crime! What has the Discworld come to?!

What I like about series books is that you get to be re-introduced to beloved characters you met in previous stories. You get another chance to learn and connect with these characters, to gain a better understanding of them, to spend some quality time with them. This co...more
Sep 18, 2010 DayDreamer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to DayDreamer by: Savina Dimitrova
Quotes. Spoiler-tagged just in case they're spoilery. I'm terrible at seeing what is and what isn't a spoiler.

(view spoiler)...more
Rebecca Huston
A very wry look at the world of technology, bigotry, and politics as seen through the eyes of Terry Pratchett. This one involves the Night Watch, and the forthcoming (forced) retirement of Sam Vimes as he prepares to marry Lady Sybil. He doesn't want to leave the Watch, but politics are pushing him to it, and he's hating it. Especially the high society that he's being forced into. That's making all sorts of conflict, especially as Corporal Carrot is trying to integrate three new members of the W...more
Geert Daelemans
Tightly packed humour with a great story-line

Captain Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Guard is about to be married to Lady Sybil Ramkin, an incredibly rich woman who is totally into Dragons. Because Lady Ramkin finds the current job of her fiancé too dangerous -clearly forgetting that being blown to smithereens by a sick dragon is not commonly known as a 'safe' job opportunity- Captain Vimes decides to retire and dedicate his life to Dragons and other so-called 'nobilities'. Subsequently, a...more
I absolutely loved it, even more than Guards! Guards!, my previous Discworld novel. I love the men of the Night Watch, from the soon-to-be-a-civilian Vimes, to Cuddy the dwarf (authentic), Detritus the troll ("don't salute!"), etc, etc, without forgetting one of my favourite characters, Carrot, the strangely charismatic, sort-of naïve man (but a dwarf in spirit). Really, I've been having so much fun reading the adventures of the Night Watch. First, the books are incredibly funny. Secondly, they...more
The British humor continues as any next installment from Jasper Fforde is absent from the literary scene.

Sometimes people just automatically defer to others. It's as if before any tangible assessment can be made about the merit of an individual they automatically fall into a category of a 'leader'.

Here we go with Corporal Carrot - a 6 foot tall dwarf (he was adopted, but in all aspects raised a dwarf: even a dwarves don't dispute this) of the Night Watch in the fair city of Ankh-Morpork. Killing...more
It's hard mixing multiple genres together. Sometimes you get a headache inducing dissonance of clashing notes, sometimes a deafening blare of too much noise, occasionally a harmony working together. And sometimes you'll get the trumpets playing piano* so that the violins can play forte, which leads to some pretty confused trumpet players. Pratchett's Discworld novels easily blend humor and fantasy together, but the addition of social commentary doesn't always work as well.

In Men at Arms the prim...more
Raymond Ford
Second book to my Discworld introduction - choosing to focus for the moment on the officers of the Watch. Men at Arms was certainly more of a mystery who-done-it story. But it has the same great cast of characters along with a few new additions. We are also introduced to some of the inner workings of Ankh-Morpork and their guilds. Fun story all around. And... poor swamp dragons - they can't help it, can they? :)
Having enjoyed many of Pratchett's books featuring the Wyrd Sisters (three witches), reading the books featuring the City Watch seemed a logical next move. To that end, I started with "Men at Arms."

In this outing, Pratchett introduces the semi-medieval community of Ankh-Morpork to the concept of firearms. The Watch are investigating an unauthorized murder (the Assassins Guild has a license ...) committed with a weapon never previously seen -- the "gonne."

During the course of the investigation, r...more
HOW HAVE I NEVER READ THIS TILL NOW?!? Somehow this gem slipped through my net, but in a way it made this week feel a little like Christmas -- a Discworld novel I've never read! Starring Carrot and Vimes and Detritus and Angua and all of my faves from the good ol' Watch. FINALLY I've filled in the blank re: the beginning of Angua and Carrot's relationship, and how Detritus joined the Watch. And boy, was this a fun little ride. A bit more readable -- in a purely fast-paced, pulls-you-in-from-page...more
This is the second time I've read this-- maybe the third. It's comfortable and funny. My major complaint is that Lady Sybil has been silenced, going from a strong, practical and warmhearted voice to that of a (warmhearted and well bred) nagging wife. The first read through I was disappointed in the lack of Sam Vimes, and slightly annoyed that Carrot got so much text. This read though, I enjoyed Carrot's part. This is his story, and one of the only times he is more than a rather thin (Strong, Han...more
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La Stamberga dei ...: Uomini d'arme di Terry Pratchett 1 9 May 29, 2013 11:20AM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN: 9875661570 3 28 Dec 02, 2011 10:31PM  
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,...more
More about Terry Pratchett...
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1) Mort (Discworld, #4) Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8) Night Watch (Discworld, #29)

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“Cats will amusingly tolerate humans only until someone comes up with a tin opener that can be operated with a paw.” 169 likes
“Something Vimes had learned as a young guard drifted up from memory. If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you're going to die. So they'll talk. They'll gloat.

They'll watch you squirm. They'll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar.

So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.”
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