book review: guards! guards!

A friend gave me Guards! Guards! for my birthday. Thanks! It’s the first Discworld novel about Vimes, the first of the Watch novels, and as such it kind of bugged me. I like my Commander Vimes to be in charge of things, an established kind of guy. This starts with him a drunk in a tavern and not being the competent guy I like. Now on some level it’s nice to see where he started, but other than that the whole thing didn’t really turn my crank. There were dragons though. And the familiar Guardsmen, and adventure and million to one chances and it was funny and I liked it fine, but it seemed to lack some of the incisiveness that the later Discworld novels have. The ones about interesting issues.

Maybe that’s my problem: I can’t hang this one on a hook like “The Journalism One” or “The Christmas One” or “The Religion One” or “The China One” or whatever. This is just “The First One About the Watch.” Fit in a box, Discworld books!

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