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Men At Arms: (Discworld Novel 15) (Discworld Novels) Paperback – 1 Aug 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New Ed edition (1 Aug. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552153168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552153164
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 253,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he was the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Sir Terry Pratchett died on 12th March 2015

Photography © David Bird

Product Description

Review

"Funny, wise and mock heroic...The funniest and best crafted book I have read all year" (Sunday Express)

"Pratchett's most intriguing yet" (The Times)

"This has everything to recommend it...one of his most inventive" (Daily Telegraph)

"The great Terry Pratchett, whose wit is metaphysical, who creates an energetic and lively secondary world, who has a multifarious genius for strong parody ... who deals with death with startling originality. Who writes amazing sentences" (A.S. Byatt New York Times)

"Persistently amusing, good-hearted and shrewd" (The Sunday Times)

Book Description

The fifteenth Discworld novel.

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 2 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
"Men at Arms" is the fifteenth novel in Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series and the second to focus on Sam Vimes and Ankh-Morpork's City Guard. Although its reputation may have raised very slightly, having rescused the City from a large and angry dragon, it's still not the fine and noble profession it once was.

Sam is the Captain of the Night Watch, though he is on the verge of retiring and will soon marry Lady Ramkin, the noted dragon-fancier. It isn't entirely clear, however, whether or not he's entirely happy about either the retirement or his impending life of marital bliss. It's fair to say he's not your typical hero : he hates the Undead (some of my best friends are werewolves), Assassins (a perfectly respectable profession) and - in keeping with an old family tradition - Kings (not an ideal musketeer then). Sam's also trying to quit drinking and has taken up smoking cigars to soften the blow.

The Night Watch has had a couple of new recruits since "Guards! Guards!" - largely at the insistence if the Patrician, the city's ruler. The recruits - Lance-Constables Cuddy (a dwarf), Detritus (a troll) and Angua (a woman, for most of the month) - have been selected to reflect Ankh-Morpork's `ethnic makeup'. Although Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs are Sam's most experienced officers, the most capable is Carrot. Although born human, Carrot was raised as a dwarf and is an incredibly innocent character - he still hasn't figured out what seamstresses do for a living. He has, however, figured out how Ankh-Morpork works and has stopped trying to arrest the President of the Thieves Guild. The trouble begins when Edward d'Eath suspects that Carrot may be the rightful king of Ankh-Morpork.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Captain Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is retiring and getting married in a few days. But an explosion at the Assassins' Guild attracts his interest, and soon a trail of bodies is forming. The Guilds don't want his help, the Patrician has ordered him to lay off and his fellow Watch members seem more concerned about the new intake of ethnic minorities (Lance-Corporal Cuddy of the dwarfs and Lance-Corporal Detritus of the trolls) than the mystery. But somewhere in Ankh-Morpork a killer is on the loose with a very powerful new weapon...

Men at Arms is the second Discworld novel to focus on the City Watch, introduced in the classic Guards! Guards! As told in that volume, the City Watch saved the city from a marauding dragon and at the end of the book the Watch gained fresh resources from a grateful city government. However, it is still regarded as a joke, as Men at Arms makes clear.

Pratchett once again uses the cliches and ideas of police procedurals to generate humour and satire, although this volume is much more of a hard-bitten (in some cases, literally) mystery novel. Sam Vimes is portrayed as the cynical, weathered old cop doggedly pursuing his case in the face of all opposition, whilst Corporal Carrot is his enthusiastic young sidekick. Of course, that would be a bit too cheesy, so Pratchett subverts this idea earlier on and takes the story in a more interesting and original direction.

The city of Ankh-Morpork comes to life in this book more successfully than in any prior volume, to the extent that Pratchett's playwright and friend Stephen Briggs was able to use information in this book (and the prior ones) to map the city so everything tracked and made sense (the results can be found in the spin-off product, The Streets of Ankh-Morpork).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By McFrown on 12 July 2010
Format: Paperback
There is really nothing more that can be said about Pratchett. This, like every other one of his books that I have read, is a perfect mixture of drama, action, emotion and above all it's really bloody funny. The plot centres around the Disc-world's first firearm and the efforts of the Ankh-Morpork city watch, led by Sam Vimes, to capture and destroy it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't often re-read books, but having recently been slightly disappointed with the latest Discworld offering, I decided to treat myself to one of the old classics and make sure my opinion of it hadn't changed. I'm pleased to say that it's as good as I remembered.

n the early books, Terry Pratchett tended to focus on relatively crude (though very funny) parodies of fantasy tropes, and in the later ones, they become more stories about real life issues that happen to feature dwarves, and that valued plot over puns. This book falls right in the middle and does both aspects very well.

On the one hand, it's playing with that staple of fantasy novels - the long-lost king returning. Only this book questions whether that's necessarily a good thing, even if the suspected heir happens to be a good man.

On the other, it deals with real world themes of racial tension and positive discrimination in the police, using battles between dwarves and trolls to make the point. The parallels are neatly drawn, and the author makes his points clearly, without getting preachy.

The two main aspects are played out via a murder mystery involving a mysterious new weapon, and in-between are all sorts of side plots, clever points and amusing asides.

The plot is compelling, the humour is strong (both clever one liners and elaborate set pieces)and the characters are memorable.

I wouldn't count this as one of the very, very best Discworld books - I suspect that Pratchett really hits his high point a few books after this - but in some ways it's the epitome of a Discworld novel, so it's a great one to start with if you're new to the series (it's the 15th, but they don't have to be read in order)and well worth a re-read if you're an old fan.
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