Review: Men at Arms (Discworld Book 17 of 53ish)

Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett

Men at Arms is the second book in the City Watch subseries of Discworld.  I liked this one better than the first book, Guards! Guards!.  The story held my interest much better, and I enjoyed the characters more.  Of course, it had a lot of the same characters as the first book, but I thought this one focused on more interesting characters.  I like Carrot quite a bit, and we see a lot of him in this book.  There are also two new members of the Watch, Cuddy the Dwarf and Detritus (don’t salute!) the Troll, and I really enjoyed both of them.


We saw less of Captain Vimes in this book, and that may actually be one of the reasons I enjoyed it more.  So far he’s been a pretty morose character, quick to sink into despair and self-pity.  He’s often off sulking (or in an alcoholic stupor) while everybody else is doing all the real work.  He cares, I’ll give him that, but I prefer reading about characters like Carrot who care more effectively and less self-destructively.  Carrot is a bit too perfect, actually, but I don’t mind because he’s fun to read about.  Most of the Discworld characters are pretty over-the-top anyway, in one way or another, so he fits right in. 


I’m giving this 3.5 stars on BookLikes and rounding it up to 4 stars on Goodreads because I enjoyed it enough that I thought it deserved more than 3 stars.


Most of these last two books have been read with this distracting view in the background, either from this angle (my hotel room balcony) or from a much lower angle directly on the beach. :)  


Discworld makes for great beach reading material.  It’s light and funny, but the stories never really absorb me in such a way that I have to force myself to put the book down so I can do vacation-y stuff.  That’s why I read two of them in a row this week instead of breaking them up more like I usually do.  Since I fly home tomorrow and my swimsuit is drying off for the last time before getting packed, I’m going to move on to some non-Discworld material next.


It’s been a long time since I’ve taken an actual go-away-and-do-something-fun vacation, since I’m usually traveling for business often enough that staying home on vacation sounds like more fun.  I had a great time, and miraculously managed to avoid getting any sunburn despite spending so much time in the sun.  (I'm very pale and burn easily.)  I’m ready to get home now, though.  I want to see the cat, curl up on my own furniture with my fridge stocked with my own drinks and food, and take a shower in water that doesn’t smell like sulfur. :)  I always feel this way by the end of a trip, no matter how much fun I have – ready to get back to the comforts of home, even if the comforts of home don’t include such a gorgeous view!