Men at Arms (Discworld Series #15) [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 decades by Disorganized crime, has a ...

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Men at Arms (Discworld Series #15)

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Overview

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 decades by Disorganized crime, has a secret sovereign! And his name is Carrott...

And so begins the most awesome epic encounter of all time, or at least all afternoon, in which the fate of a city—indeed of the universe itself!—depends on a young man's courage, an ancient sword's magic, and a three-legged poodle's bladder.

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 and unlicensed thieves. It's a big job--but an even bigger job awaits when an ancient document reveals that Ankh-Morpork has a secret sovereign. HC: HarperPrism.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his latest effort, Pratchett skewers the hard-boiled detective novel as effectively as he's satired fantasy fiction all these years. Set on Discworld, there are a few more gargoyles and exploding dragons than Sam Spade ever had to deal with. But there's a trail of corpses and a hero named Carrot determined to track down the killer. His partners-the token dwarf, troll and werewolf on the police force-must overcome discrimination as well as the occasional rampaging orangutan. Although Men at Arms isn't as consistently funny as his earlier novels, the dialogue is hilarious, and Pratchett's take on affirmative action is a whole lot of fun. There's not a lot of rational narrative cause-and-effect here, but it doesn't really matter. As usual, Pratchett provides enough bad-tempered clowns, bloodthirsty trolls and dogs with low self-esteem to keep readers entertained. (Mar.)
Roland Green
The umpteenth Discworld novel introduces Captain Vines, who is about to leave the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork. The ensuing efforts to replace him are quite as zany, as devoid of conventional plot, as rich in displays of offbeat imagination, and as satirical (particularly of affirmative action and the hard-boiled detective thriller) as we have come to expect from Pratchett. Although not an outstanding Discworld novel and absolutely not the place to start with Pratchett's best-known creation, "Men at Arms" upholds Pratchett's reputation as a master of humorous fantasy and is good, highly recommendable fun for those who have already acquired a taste for Discworld.
Kirkus Reviews
In Pratchett's latest Discworld fantasy romp (Lords and Ladies, p. 1068), Captain Vimes of Ankh-Morpork's City Watch is retiring in order to marry the city's richest lady and become a Gentleman. The Watch, you see, thanks to affirmative action, has been forced to hire both dwarfs and trolls—they loathe each other—and even women (actually, a she-werewolf). But before he goes, Vimes, with Corporal Carrot—he's probably the lost heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork—and Gaspode the talking dog must solve a series of horrible murders involving a strange explosive device, meddling Assassins, and the doddering denizens of the Unseen University.

An about average installment in this always entertaining, sometimes hysterically funny series.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061804717
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: Discworld Series , #15
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 49,490
  • File size: 732 KB

Meet the Author

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is one of the world's most popular authors. His acclaimed novels are bestsellers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. In January 2009, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Pratchett a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry lives in England.

Biography

Welcome to a magical world populated by the usual fantasy fare: elves and ogres, wizards and witches, dwarves and trolls. But wait—is that witch wielding a frying pan rather than a broomstick? Has that wizard just clumsily tumbled off the edge of the world? And what is with the dwarf they call Carrot, who just so happens to stand six-foot six-inches tall? Why, this is not the usual fantasy fare at all—this is Terry Pratchett's delightfully twisted Discworld!

Beloved British writer Pratchett first jump-started his career while working as a journalist for Bucks Free Press during the '60s. As luck would have it, one of his assignments was an interview with Peter Bander van Duren, a representative of a small press called Colin Smythe Limited. Pratchett took advantage of his meeting with Bander van Duren to pitch a weird story about a battle set in the pile of a frayed carpet. Bander van Duren bit, and in 1971 Pratchett's very first novel, The Carpet People, was published, setting the tone for a career characterized by wacky flights of fancy and sly humor.

Pratchett's take on fantasy fiction is quite unlike that of anyone else working in the genre. The kinds of sword-and-dragon tales popularized by fellow Brits like J.R.R. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis have traditionally been characterized by their extreme self-seriousness. However, Pratchett has retooled Middle Earth and Narnia with gleeful goofiness, using his Discworld as a means to poke fun at fantasy. As Pratchett explained to Locus Magazine, "Discworld started as an antidote to bad fantasy, because there was a big explosion of fantasy in the late '70s, an awful lot of it was highly derivative, and people weren't bringing new things to it."

In 1983, Pratchett unveiled Discworld with The Color of Magic. Since then, he has added installments to the absurdly hilarious saga at the average rate of one book per year. Influenced by moderately current affairs, he has often used the series to subtly satirize aspects of the real world; the results have inspired critics to rapturous praise. ("The most breathtaking display of comic invention since PG Wodehouse," raved The Times of London.) He occasionally ventures outside the series with standalone novels like the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, a sci fi adventure sequence for young readers, or Good Omens, his bestselling collaboration with graphic novelist Neil Gaiman.

Sadly, in 2008 fans received the devastating news that Pratchett had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. He has described his own reaction as "fairly philosophical" and says he plans to continue writing so long as he is able.

Good To Know

Pratchett's bestselling young adult novel Only You Can Save Mankind was adapted for the British stage as a critically acclaimed musical in 2004.

Discworld is not just the subject of a bestselling series of novels. It has also inspired a series of computer games in which players play the role of the hapless wizard Rincewind.

A few fun outtakes from our interview with Pratchett:

"I became a journalist at 17. A few hours later I saw my first dead body, which was somewhat…colourful. That's when I learned you can go on throwing up after you run out of things to throw up."

"The only superstition I have is that I must start a new book on the same day that I finish the last one, even if it's just a few notes in a file. I dread not having work in progress.

"I grow as many of our vegetables as I can, because my granddad was a professional gardener and it's in the blood. Grew really good chilies this year.

"I'm not really good at fun-to-know, human interest stuff. We're not ‘celebrities', whose life itself is a performance. Good or bad or ugly, we are our words. They're what people meet.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Terence David John Pratchett
    2. Hometown:
      Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 28, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
    1. Education:
      Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Corporal Carrot, Ankh-Morpork City Guard (Night Watch), sat down in his nightshirt, took up his pencil, sucked the end for a moment, and then wrote:

"Dearest Mume and Dad,
Well here is another fine Turnup for the Books, for I have been made Corporal!! It means another Five Dollars a month plus also I have a new jerkin with, two stripes upon it as well. And a new copper badge! It is a Great responsibility!! This is all because we have got new recruits because the Patrician who, as I have formerly vouchsafed is the ruler of the city, has agreed the Watch must reflect the ethnic makeup of the City-"

Carrot paused for a moment and stared out of the small dusty bedroom window at the early evening sunlight sidling across the river. Then he bent over the paper again.

"-- which I do not Fully understand but must have something to do with the dwarf Grabpot Thundergust's Cosmetic Factory. Also, Captain Vimes of who I have often written to you of is, leaving the Watch to get married and Become a Fine Gentleman and, I'm sure we wish him All the Best, he taught me All I Know apart, from the things I taught myself. We are clubbing together to get him a Surprise Present, I thought one of those new Watches that don't need demons to make them go and we could inscribe on the back something like 'A Watch from, your Old Freinds in the Watch', this is a pune or Play on Words. We do not know who will be the new Captain, Sgt. Colon says he will Resign if it's him, Cpl. Nobbs -- "

Carrot stared out of the window again. His big honest forehead wrinkled with effort as he tried to think of something positive to sayabout Corporal Nobbs.

"-- is more suited in his current Roll, and I have not been in the Watch long enough. So we shall just have to wait and See --"

It began, as many things do, with a death. And a burial, on a spring morning, with mist on the ground so thick that it poured into the grave and the coffin was lowered into cloud.

A small greyish mongrel, host to so many assorted doggy diseases that it was surrounded by a cloud of dust, watched impassively from the mound of earth.

Various elderly female relatives cried. But Edward d'Eath didn't cry, for three reasons. He was the eldest son, the thirty-seventh Lord d'Eath, and it was Not Done for a d'Eath to cry; he was-just, the diploma still had the crackle in it -- an Assassin, and Assassins didn't cry at a death, otherwise they'd never be stopping; and he was angry. In fact, he was enraged.

Enraged at having to borrow money for this poor funeral. Enraged at the weather, at this common cemetery, at the way the background noise of the city didn't change in any way, even on such an occasion as this. Enraged at history. It was never meant to be like this.

It shouldn't have been like this.

He looked across the river to the brooding bulk of the Palace, and his anger screwed itself up and became a lens.

Edward had been sent to the Assassins' Guild because they had the best school for those whose social rank is rather higher than their intelligence. If he'd been trained as a Fool, he'd have invented satire and made dangerous jokes about the Patrician. If he'd been trained as a Thief,* he'd have broken into the Palace and stolen something very valuable from the Patrician.

However ... he'd been sent to the Assassins . . .

That afternoon he sold what remained of the d'Eath estates, and enrolled again at the Guild school.

For the post-graduate course.

He got full marks, the first person in the history of the Guild ever to do so. His seniors described him as a man to watch-and, because there was something about him that made even Assassins uneasy, preferably from a Iong way away.

In the cemetery the solitary gravedigger filled in the hole that was the last resting place of d'Eath senior.

He became aware of what seemed to be thoughts in his head. They went something like this:

*But no gentleman would dream of being trained as a Thief

Any chance of a bone? No, no, sorry, bad taste there, forget I mentioned it. You've got beef sandwiches in your wossname, lunchbox thingy, though. Why not give one to the nice little doggy over there?

The man leaned on his shovel and looked around.

The grey mongrel was watching him intently.

It said, "Woof?"

It took Edward d'Eath five months to find what he was looking for. The search was hampered by the fact that he did not know what he was looking for, only that he'd know it when he found it. Edward was a great believer in Destiny. Such people often are.

The Guild library was one of the largest in the city. In certain specialized areas it was the largest. These areas mainly had to do with the regrettable brevity of human life and the means of bringing it about.

Edward spent a lot of time there, often at the top of a ladder, often surrounded by dust.

He read every known work on armaments. He didn't know what he was looking for and he found it in a note in the margin of an otherwise very dull and inaccurate treatise on the ballistics of crossbows. He copied it out, carefully.

Edward spent a lot of time among history books as well. The Assassins' Guild was an association of gentlemen of breeding, and people like that regard the whole of recorded history as a kind of stock book. There were a great many books in the ...

Men at Arms. Copyright © by Terry Pratchett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 87 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 88 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2011

    Terry Pratchett is a MASTER

    This book is a typical Terry Pratchett, funny, compelling, fun, and engaging. Pratchets cast is not only easy to relate to, but easy to befriend, and love. One can easily find themselves missing their favorite characters if away too long. I highly recommend anything written by Sir Terry Pratchett, and Men at Arms does not dissapoint. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good book if you want something a little different

    Where to start... For those that have read any of the discworld books, it is Samuel Vimes story. For those that have not read any of the discworld books, the story follows a policeman in his attempts to find a murderer in the city of Ankh-Morpark. The reason for this is, that in the city of Ankh-Morpark, no one is ever murdered; they are 'inhumed' by assassins, or commit suicide by making rock jokes in a Troll area of the city, or they commit suicide by making a dwarf joke when one happens to be present...

    Pratchett takes this simple concept and, like all of his works, flips it on his head.

    A good book to start reading Pratchett, but not the best. For that, I recommend "Monstrous Regiment", a stand alone story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2000

    The Best Discworld Novel

    This is my favorite DiscWorld Novel ever! Words can not discribe this book. It is filled with many colorfull characters from other his other novels such as; Carrot, Noppy, C.O.T. Dippler, and Gaspode The Wonder Dog. I really do not know how Terry does it; he can be so funny. All and all you must read this book, or better yet listen to the audio book. Negil Planer's voices are the icing on the cake. True Story!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Loved it!

    I like all the Vimes books, but this one was especially good and fun. Thanks Terry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    !

    Plot to revive the Anck-Morpork monarchy by means that only the rightful heir can resist

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  • Posted May 18, 2012

    A must-read.

    This book shows the beginnings of the new Night Watch. We get to see a lot of character development among a lot of the major players on Discworld. I wish I could write a book that was half as good as this one is. Mr. Pratchett has his satire dialed in just right, and delivers the laughs along with the moral warnings. Mr. Pratchett has created a perfect world for escapism fantasy. I highly recommend you read this, and all other Discworld books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2003

    Um... I'm not very good at this

    I agree with the first reviewer: this is Terry Pratchett's best book. It's even better if you have read the other Discworld books about the Watch, but it's great on its own too. Read it and see for yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2000

    Great

    This is the best of the novels that he has written. Witty and funny I couldn't, stop laughing.

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