Jingo: A Novel of Discworld

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It isn't much of an island that rises up one moonless night from the depths of the Circle Sea—just a few square miles of silt and some old ruins. Unfortunately, the historically disputed lump of land called Leshp is once again floating directly between Ankh-Morpork and the city of Al-Khali on the coast of Klatch—which is spark enough to ignite that glorious international pastime called "war." Pressed into patriotic service, Commander Sam Vimes thinks he should be leading his loyal watchmen, female watchdwarf, and lady werewolf into battle against local malefactors rather than against uncomfortably well-armed strangers in the Klatchian desert. But war is, after all, simply the greatest of all crimes—and it's Sir Samuel's sworn duty to seek out criminal masterminds wherever they may be hiding and lock them away before they can do any real damage . . . even the ones on his side.



Terry Pratchett is a phenomenon unto himself. Never read a Discworld book? The closest comparison might be Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with its uniquely British sense of the absurd, and side-splitting, smart humor. Jingo is the 20th of Pratchett's Discworld novels, and the fourth to feature the City Guard of Ankh-Morpork. As Jingo begins, an island suddenly rises between Ankh-Morpork and Al-Khali, capital of Klatch. Both cities claim it. Lord Vetinari, the Patrician, has failed to convince the Ruling Council that force is a bad idea, despite reminding them that they have no army, and "I believe one of those is generally considered vital to the successful prosecution of a war." Samuel Vimes, Commander of the City Watch, has to find out who shot the Klatchian envoy, Prince Khufurah, and set fire to their embassy, before war breaks out.

Pratchett's characters are both sympathetic and outrageously entertaining, from Captain Carrot, who always finds the best in people and puts it to work playing football, to Sergeant Colon and his sidekick, Corporal Nobbs, who have "an ability to get out of their depth on a wet pavement." Then there is the mysterious D'reg, 71-hour Ahmed. What is his part in all this, and why 71 hours? Anyone who doesn't mind laughing themselves silly at the idiocy of people in general and governments in particular will enjoy Jingo. --Nona Vero

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