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This year, I'm re-reading the Discworld City Watch books. I'm now at the sixth book (Discworld #29), "Night Watch".
I bought the hardcover version when it came out in 2002 I remember it as sad and as capturing the real reasons why we resist authority, even when we know we'll lose. For me, it marks when the Discworld books really became serious about politics and power. It's an odd book. Vimes travels back in time to an uprising in an earlier Ankh-Morpork. The events seem to be broadly similar to the doomed Paris Commune of 1871.
I have the original hardcover in front of me now. I'm re-reading it for the first time in seventeen years.
I hesitated to re-read this as it's one of my favourite Terry Pratchett books (the only rival being "I Shall Wear Midnight", the book where Tiffany Aching grows up) but I think that, with all the crap going on in the UK at the moment, it's time to read this again and share in the anger and courage that Terry Pratchett gifts Vimes with.
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I loved this collection. I recently wrote a review for a book, complaining that all the characters did was argue with one another. The characters in this book argue on nearly every page, yet it was somehow still fascinating. Apparently it's the quality of the arguing that matters. A really interesting book that explores many topics such as parenting, politics, marriage, friendship, and jobs.
I'll admit, it took me a little while to get into this. I really didn't like Mo's character to start. She just irritated me with her constant negativity and complaining. By the end, I could deal with her a little better, but it was all of the other characters (especially Lois) that really made this book for me. I just fell in love with those characters and wanted to follow their journeys through this crazy world.
...textured, complex, filled with bursts of intense flavour that nevertheless catch you by surprise, easy to eat, satisfying but still leaving you wanting more.
Here's an example of one of the surprises.
Mr Hopkins, a museum curator, has been murdered using one of his exhibits as the murder weapon. He is so annoyed by the damage caused to the exhibit by being used in this way that he refuses to acknowledge his own demise even with DEATH standing next to him. When he finally accepts his own incorporeality, he complains to death, saying:
"This really is most uncalled-for. Couldn't you have arranged a less awkward time?
ONLY BY CONSULTING WITH YOUR MURDERER
It all seems very badly organised. I wish to make a complaint. I pay my taxes, after all.
I AM DEATH, NOT TAXES. I TURN UP ONLY ONCE."
The shade of Mr Hopkins began to fade.
"It's simply that I've always tried to plan ahead in a sensible way...
I'VE FOUND THE BEST APPROACH IS TO TAKE LIFE AS IT COMES
That seems very irresponsible...
IT'S ALWAYS WORKED FOR ME"
This small slice of fruitcake is so rich it's worthy of Bettys Tea Shop in Harrogate. It deserves to be savoured, perhaps with a good slice of Wensleydale and a cafeterier of coffee. It certainly made my morning better.