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Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8)
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Guards! Guards! (Discworld #8)

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  74,505 ratings  ·  1,322 reviews
Here there be dragons . . . and the denizens of Ankh-Morpork wish one huge firebreather would return from whence it came. Long believed extinct, a superb specimen of draco nobilis ("noble dragon" for those who don't understand italics) has appeared in Discworld's greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path,...more
Paperback, 355 pages
Published July 31st 2001 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1989)
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Night Watch by Terry PratchettGoing Postal by Terry PratchettSmall Gods by Terry PratchettGuards! Guards! by Terry PratchettHogfather by Terry Pratchett
The Best of Discworld!
4th out of 49 books — 642 voters
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanA Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
Books that Make you Laugh
21st out of 2,176 books — 3,140 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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What I love most about Pratchett's books is that under a thin layer of funny footnotes-peppered pun-heavy parody lies the core of deep seriousness rooted in the quite sobering understanding of the shallow pettiness of human mundanity fueled by jealousy, bile, spite, and closemindedness.
"There was a thoughtful pause in the conversation as the assembled Brethren mentally divided the universe into the deserving and the undeserving, and put themselves on the appropriate side."
In the end, the only t...more
Killer Rabbit
Which Guards! Guards! character are you?
Here's a short quiz to help you find out:

1) A fire breathing dragon approaches. You...
a. Draw your sword.
b. Scan the area to see if any books are in danger.
c. Assign someone to deal with the problem.
d. Give it a pat on the head.
e. Suddenly remember pressing business elsewhere.
f. WAIT.

2) Obeying the law is...
a. Facilitated by reading The Laws And Ordinances of The Cities of Ankh And Morpork.
b. Returning a book by its due date.
c. Why you bother to make them....more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3* of five

The Book Description: Here there be dragons . . . and the denizens of Ankh-Morpork wish one huge firebreather would return from whence it came. Long believed extinct, a superb specimen of draco nobilis ("noble dragon" for those who don't understand italics) has appeared in Discworld's greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path, in rather short order it is crowned King (it is a noble dragon, after all . . .).

Jun 22, 2009 Ashley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bibliophiles, anglophiles, thingy
(4.5 stars, really.)

Perfectly structured, from beginning to end. Mean without being nasty, funny without being stupid. Insightful without being preachy. Terry Pratchett has a gift for lovingly pointing out the stupidities of the human condition.

This particular one is quite delightful. It's got dragons, a man named Carrot, and a group of three men who make up the city law enforcement, inept and lovable guardians of the backwards and corrupted joyful logic of the city called Ankh-Morpork.

Let me...more
A giant dwarf named Carrot (I couldn't help picturing a large, muscle-bound Oompa Loompa...) joins the Night Watch and promptly rocks the boat by arresting a thief. Apparently, arresting thieves is against the law in Discworld.

Then a dragon becomes King, and things really start getting silly.

I'm reading the books in order of publication, and this one is, so far, the most hysterical story in the series. The inclusion of a crazy cat dragon lady, and the following lines - Someone out there was abou...more
Deborah Markus
How To Read Terry Pratchett's Discworld Novels

1. Skip the first two books in the series. This is crucial. If you read these first, you will be rightly annoyed by their just-barely-okayness, and spend the rest of your life muttering about how overrated he is.

Terry Pratchett wrote these two books. Then all of a sudden he started writing really, really well. I don't know what happened. Maybe he sold his soul. My own theory is that his long-suffering wife waited as patiently as she could for him to...more
Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!

The debut outing of Sam Vimes, Carrot Ironfoundersson, Fred Colon, Nobby Nobbs, Sybil Ramkin, Detritus and Cutmeownthroat Dibbler,and what a barnstorming adventure it is. At this stage The Watch are a down and out bunch of losers who prefer to hide in the dark than doing any policing, led by the now legendary Sam Vimes who you'll find face down in the gutter drinking his misery away. And there are plots afoot in the city of Ankh-Morpork, plots to overthrow the Pat...more
Jan 05, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all Discworld fans
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: all pratchett's previous books
"Guards! Guards!"
Based on the original line up and moral background of the guards in question, you would be forgiven for thinking that the shout of "Guards! Guards!" across the rooftops of Ankh Morpork would be shouted in the sense of "Watch out the guards are coming, hide the beer and any other portable victuals and keep that Burleigh and Stronginthearm out of sight lest they nick it". Rather than the more usual "help me please Mr Officer-of-the-law as something untoward is afoot."

This is the f...more
Terry Pratchett is a comic genius. In this first installment of the "Watch" series in his Discworld (a world not quite entirely unlike our own), we meet Captain Vimes of the Ankh Morpork Night Watch and a selection of his fine men as they face down a fire-breathing dragon with kingly aspirations.

This book has more one-liners than a joke book ("The people united can never be ignited!"), and is significantly funnier. Terry Pratchett also works his genius with situational irony: Nothing prepares a...more
I've read Pratchett's entire City Watch Series (books listed below, in order). The series gets 4 solid stars, but this book gets almost 5. Such fun! Danger, suspense, action, relationship, character-development, humor, punnery, and plenty of satire. Plus, a little romance and a few dragons.

Guards Guards is the first book in the Discworld sub-series, where we meet Sam Vimes. In this book, we see him progress from boozing loser to protector of the people, champion of the city, dragon-slayer and ov...more
In late 2007, Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

I was very young at the time but I still remember it happening because one of my cousins is a huge fan of Sir Terry. It was devastating to her. Now, almost 7 years later, it is devastating to me too.

Alzheimer's is a serious issue on my father's side of the family. We usually go to the family cemetery on Memorial Day weekend with some of my older great aunts and uncles. Some of them I'll admit I don't know very well, but I sti...more
Jan 03, 2009 Bill rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone over 15 who needs a good time
Recommended to Bill by: My sister
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I feel like such a curmudgeon rating this three stars. There are times in my life where I think I would have appreciated it a lot more, times when I binged on Douglas Adams and Tom Holt and Robert Aspirin and Piers Anthony. I think I was twelve.
This is actually more sophisticated than I'm giving it credit for, but the human themes are buried under so many layers of pun and goofy character development that they don't get a lot of air. The footnotes! The puns! The wacky anachronisms! And then a ti...more
This is a fine example of what I call "Middle Pratchett:" Terry has found his idiom, and he is busy exploring this great big world he has created and discovering what kind of folks live within. This book details the origins of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, one of Pratchett's favorite themes to return to. Vimes has to be considered one of the great anti-heroes of literature, and here he has all his flaws on display. We also get a wonderful insight into how Vetinari's mind works. For Pratchett fans...more
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,...more
Steven Harbin
The city of Ankh-Morpork is the setting for this Discworld novel, the 8th in the overall series to be published, and the 1st of what I call the "Guards" sub series. Some have termed them the Ankh-Morpork City Watch ( ) sub series. Whatever one wishes to call them, these are some of the best of the Discworld books.
This one starts out with the Night Watch down and almost out for the count. There are only three members left, after one more of their compatri...more
One of the dangers of reading Discworld books, of course, is that you may never stop. Much like potato chips, it's hard to just have one and then move on to something else, especially - and this may strike some of you as a bit odd - when you've already read them.

There are people who never re-read books, and don't see the point in doing so. "You already know the ending," they might say, "and you know how the story goes. What's the point in reading it again?" I never, ever understood that. I mean,...more
Olga Godim
This introduction to the City Watch theme on Discworld is a great novel. I loved it.
The story is simple – on the surface. The City Watch of Ankh-Morpork is a pitiful trio, commanded by a drunkard Sam Vimes. Their main occupation each night is walking the streets, ringing bells, and shouting that all is well. And running to the crime scenes slow enough to let the culprits escape. No use in risking their lives, right?
The city functions perfectly well without them, until a dragon comes to terrorize...more
William Thomas
When Chris Farley died, I clipped the newspaper articles on him and kept them for years in a folder that moved with me from house to house and apartment to apartment. I was shocked, honestly, and sad. I loved his movies. Judge all you want, i still do. And hearing the testimonials about what a sweet young man he was made me even more depressed. For all my love of the low-down and dirty, seedy, perverse and disgusting in art and literature, I love to laugh more than anything else.

Now, Terry Prat...more
Ksenia Anske
Okay, so this is the best dragon book ever. For adults. Well, for those of us who think we are adults, who hope we are adults, but are really little kids in adult suits. I thought all the previous Discworld novels were funny. I was so wrong. This book left me in fits of giggles. At times I laughed so hard that I couldn't laugh anymore and just whimpered, and almost peed my pants once. Okay, twice. Okay, I don't remember how many times. Anyway. People told me that one of their favorites in the Di...more
The Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night is a secret organisation that plans to overthrow the Patrician and install a king of their choosing; a puppet under the control of the Supreme Grand Master. Using a stolen magic book to summon a dragon on the people of Ankh-Morpork, the plan is to slay the dragon, rid the city of its tyranny and have their hero take the throne.

Guards! Guards! attempts to parody Hard-Boiled and Noir novels with elements of police procedural...more
I've always been afraid I wouldn't like Pratchett, but this was a delight, a nearly perfect blend of fantasy and comedy. It's laugh-out-loud funny, it's suspenseful, and it has great characters.

I had heard that this novel was a good introduction to Discworld, even though it's listed as #8, and certainly I was comfortable with the setting and the characters. I look forward to more - although surely this must be one of the best of the books.
Benjamin Wallace
I've always been vaguely aware of the Discworld books but didn't start reading them until recently which is my loss. I've only read this and the Colour of Magic but it's quickly becoming one of my favorite series. Only 31ish books left to go.
This is the first book in the discworld series that features the city watch. This is a classic Terry Pratchett book that is a very funny and humorous reads. If you are in to the discworld series then this is a must read.
Well, well, well. I wonder if the chance of this review turning out to be all right is a million-to-one. In that case... Oh, who am I kidding!

Did you know that Sir Terry Pratchett has his own cathedral where he summons interesting stories, intriguing characters, slithering plots, and quite a bit of laughs that he can surprisingly control and cage in the form of Discworld books? Then again, Discworld devotees know this already.

If I were given a chance (whatever the odds) to change the title of th...more
Si era straubriacato, ecco. Perché un mondo tutto distorto e sbagliato, come uno specchio deformante, tornava a fuoco soltanto se lo si guardava attraverso il fondo di una bottiglia.

A cosa può servire una Guardia Cittadina in una città in cui le gilde di ladri, mercanti, assassini, mendicanti e maghi rispettivamente rubano, mercanteggiano, uccidono, mendicano e incantano in maniera perfettamente equilibrata, coordinati dal genio logistico del Patrizio? E’ presto detto: assolutamente a nulla. A m...more
I'd tried to read Guards! Guards! at least a couple times in the past, and flagged out in just about the same spot each time, perhaps around the halfway mark. It almost happened this time, too! I can't pinpoint anything that sticks out as a weakness, and certainly nothing that irritated my sometimes over-enthusiastic sensibilities. The only thing I can think of is that, maybe, it lacked something gripping, something powerful.

That powerful something, powerful in both an in-book literal (not to gi...more
Margaret Taylor
The first time I started reading this book, I didn’t get it. I gave up in disgust when I got to the point where the Librarian was an orangutan. Real fantasy wasn’t supposed to be absurd! It was supposed to have magic spells in it!

Only the efforts of many friends singing Terry Pratchett’s praises finally convinced me to pick it up again. Now I realize the guy is freaking brilliant. Discworld still doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the fantasy isn’t the point, it’s the characters.

Guards! Guards! is...more
Sandy Ferguson
What an awesome book!
In Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett creates a new legend in Discworld, of Sam Vines and the nightwatch of Ankh-Morpork, a new breed of heroes! All they want is a pay-rise, and a new kettle!
I learned so much in this book, how there is hope for the human condition, and how it is found in unexpected places, true heroes will emerge, warts and all, and we will cheer them on, wandering at the same time, did he just steal my drink?
I practically laughed from start to finish with thi...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
New Pizza Shop in Ankh-Morpork! 6 66 Sep 23, 2014 05:45AM  
Chronological Order of Vimes 11 43 Jun 06, 2014 04:35AM  
Why does America have boring covers... 25 320 May 31, 2014 03:52AM  
Enigmata: Guards! Guards! discussion 1 3 Apr 08, 2014 06:12AM  
how to read this series 12 72 Mar 19, 2014 02:48AM  
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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) Night Watch (Discworld, #29) Small Gods (Discworld, #13)

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