Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book Review - Jingo (JS)

Jingo: A Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett
Having read recently books about death, war, violence etc, I decided that I needed to read something a bit more light hearted. Although I have read and reread this book many times before, I decided another visit to the Disc World was long overdue, and anyway, reading one of these books is a good way to get a space to yourself on a tram, as sniggering soon causes an empty space to form around you. So I chose this one, a book about war.
This is the description:
DISCWORLD GOES TO WAR, WITH ARMIES OF SARDINES, WARRIORS, FISHERMEN, SQUID AND AT LEAST ONE VERY CAMP FOLLOWER. As two armies march, Commander Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch faces unpleasant foes who are out to get him... and that's just the people on his side. The enemy might be even worse.
As I have mentioned before when reviewing the disc world novels, Vimes, Is my favourite character. There is something about him that I always enjoy reading, he is sarcastic, cynical and hates authority, so as you can see there is not much not to like about him. 
In this book, Ankh Morpork faces the possibility of war, a mysterious island has appeared and the city wishes to claim it as their own. Unfortunately Al-Khali, capital of Klatch, Ankh Morpork's old adversary, also wants it. So despite the Patrician pointing out to the cities Ruling council, that they have no standing army, it seems that nothing will stop a war.
Things are made worse by an attack on a diplomatic mission sent by Klatch, and conspiracy theories abound. Soon Sam Vimes is caught between staying and defending Ankh Morpork or finding out the truth.
Yes I know that dosen’t sound like the funniest thing that you have read, but trust me this is war Discworld style. Prachett as ever takes our history and understandings of things and turns them on their head, the one arrow assassination attempt will remind you of something for a start.
Vimes in this book is trying not to go along with the war propaganda, he does not want to be classed as racist and believe the worst of the enemy: It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me?
Vetinari is as sneaky as ever in this novel and the description of him in Klatch with Colon and Nobby is just brilliant. I defy people not to laugh as they read about the donkey and the image of Nobby in womens clothes!
All the old favourites of the Watch is here, Carrot, Angua, Reg the Zombie and it is great to see the change in the troll Detritus when the temperature drops in the desert. There is also a good new character in 71- hour Ahmed, and no I will not explain his name. There is also a clever sub plot where Vimes is given the opportunity to hear what would have happened if he had not acted as a policeman and given chase.
So this is a book about war, but a different one, a book that I would encourage everyone to read, even if they were new to the Discworld. Yes I know that I am prejudiced, I already know this book and like it, and some people may have looked at say 'the Colour of Magic' and thought this was not a series for them. Trust me, these books have moved on a lot from that novel, so I would really recommend that you give the Discworld a go.
10 out of 10