The town of Ankh-Morpork is in big trouble, and the City Watch is desperate for a few good men to protect it. But all they've got are the dwarves Corporal Carrot and Lance-constable Cuddy; the troll Lance-constable Detritus; Lance-constable Angua, who is believed to be a woman; and, worst of all, Corporal Nobbs, who has been disqualified from the human race for shoving!
These underdogs need all the help they can get, for they've been given only 24 hours to clean up the war-torn town.
(P) ISIS Publishing Ltd, 1996; Copyright © Terry and Lyn Pratchett, 1993; Cover Illustration © Josh Kirby
For the Pratchett fan - especially the City Watch books - this is another great story. It's the second Nigel Planer narration I've heard and I'm just not a huge fan. He's fine, but he's not Stephen Briggs and he has a tendency to voice many of his characters in a way that makes them sound a bit slow and dim witted.
I must endorse the comments of a previous reviewer that the production quality is truly awful - terrible sound quality and frequent jump cuts / continuity errors. It's bad enough I think Audible should clean it up or put it on permanent deep discount.
Fun Intelligent Hilarious
While Nigel Planer's normal narrator voice is quite alright, I honestly don't like the voices he gives the different characters. They more or less sound nasal and slightly stupid all of them, save for a few ones.
However, his narration pales in comparison to the audio editing, which is plagued by hissing background noise and sudden variations in sound levels.
Yes, without a doubt. But only because it's a Terry Pratchett story.
The book is lovely, Sam is a big man in my life after hearing about him. The watch is a place I would love to work if I had bin on Discworld.
Terry Pratchett was an amazing writer and Niger Planer is the perfect reader! I can't get enough of The Disc World!
I've stayed up way too late to hear the end of this story. Another excellent Terry Pratchett Discworld novel. I couldn't believe it when the main female character was shot 5 times at point blank range. I'd forgotten that fact from mythology.
A good read.
Several of the reviews below mention audio or production problems, so just want to say I downloaded this audiobook in April 2014 and didn't notice any such problems.
Good, fun Discworld book. I'll be listening to more of them.
The light, often witty, humour that helps breakup the serious tone typically present in the novels i enjoy.
Pratchett's other books, particularly those following the Guards.
Narration was entertaining, however the quality of recording was very poor. Some transitions appeared to be much too long, while others overlapped. Also at certain points it sounded as if sections had been recorded either at a much greater distance and/or with a different mic. Regardless of the actual cause, the effect was very jarring.
Buyer beware! This is not a criticism of the novel or the reader. It is the sound quality. The sound quality of this audiobook is dreadful. The sound is muffled, with constant background hissing and clicks. This must be the worst sound quality among all the books that I've purchased from Audible over the years.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
Who is the real heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork? Who has the power? This book is probably the most important of the Discworld books concerning the City Watch. While investigating the corruptive power of authority as well as the difference between real power and misguided power, Pratchett resurrects the old Ankh-Morpork Watch by helping Captain Sam Vimes to find his feet as chief-in-charge of this most-famous city's law-enforcement machine.
I enjoyed this story tremendously and heartily recommends it.
Nigel Planer did an outstanding job in reading it.
Be warned however, that the Planer-recordings seem all to be dubbed from tape format to digital format. At times the quality of the recording might not be completely what you might come to expect (especially in terms of variation in volume.) Yet, to me this was not a serious distraction.
I heartily recommend patrolling the streets - and sewers - of Ankh-Morpork with Captain Samuel Vimes and the City Watch. Just watch out for any "gonne" or you might be gone.
"An excellent reading of a very good book"
Listening to this rekindled all my love for the early days of the Watch and the guards. Although he's my favourite character, I rather like the fact that Vimes is off-stage for much of the time during this story, because it gives the rest of Pratchett's wonderful characters a chance to shine: Carrot and Angua, of course, but also Gaspode, Detritus, Cuddy, Nobby, Vetinari and even Colon.
Nigel Planer's reading is evocative and at times hilarious - he knows when to let the jokes speak for themselves and when to step up with a different voice.
I've read all the Discworld books, but this was the first one I'd listened to as an audiobook. I wasn't convinced I would enjoy the experience, but I'm now a complete convert.
"Great story, shame about the audio quality"
The story is a classic Pratchett discworld story. It's the second in the guards series and very enjoyable.
Unfortunately the audio quality of this recording is fairly low quality. It sounds as though someone put a heavily used tape recording in to a tape player then connected that to a computer with a poor quality cable and hit play and record at the same time.
Some sections are better than others, on occasion the Nigel Planer's voice drops almost to a background level, other times it's still there at the forefront but there's still background static.
Nigel Planer does a good job with the work, however I'm not convinced about some of the voices he's come up with and one or two of the more intelligent characters come off sounding as thick as two short planks.
If you're an audiophile then this probably isn't for you, if you're sat in a loud car on your commute to work then just crank the volume up a bit.
"Good book, same about the quality"
Considering just how popular these books are, and how any new one in the series is instantly on best seller chart of this website its a shame that the early books havent had a touch up to be honest.
The quality here is poor, the book is great, but overall you cant say that this is a well constucted book.
Planer does an ok job (however some of his accents are way off, Colon been the best example) and if like me you downloaded one of the later books first you will instantly compare him to Briggs and rerally there is not much to say about that other than Briggs wins hands down
"Get a casette instead"
Don't get this, it sounds so bad; unless you like continual hiss of course. Exelent novel but this audible transfer is unbelivably bad and sounds like a casette you'd pay £1 for at a jumble sale and still feel hard done by. I can't believe audible feel this product is on a par with their other products.
I love this book and am a huge fan of "The Watch" branch of Pratchett. The story is great but the audio quality is horrendous, i am willing to put up with the odd foible in a 10 hour audiobook but this was ridiculous. There is a constant hiss, and whole sections of the book sound as if they are being read underwater.
I spoke to audible about it and they asked for specific time codes of when it happens. I provided some of these but pointed out that anyone listening to it for five minutes would know it is poor quality. They have yet to give a formal response other than it could take some time. Very disappointing as this is one of my favorite Vimes books.
I am a huge fan of Terry Pratchett. This was one of my favourite books when I was younger and I had the abridged version on tape, brilliantly read by Tony Robinson, which I listened to over and over again. Managed to get 40 mins into the story in this version, not really enjoying it because of the poor choice in accents for the characters. Then however, Angua came into the story and I just couldn't listen any further. Planer gave her the voice of a stupid, dull man that might have just been passable for Nobby, but is just ridiculous for Angua, who is supposed to be clever, interesting and female. Planer just doesn't understand the personalities of any of the characters. I definitely won't buy another book narrated by Planer, I didn't think it was possible to make me not enjoy the discworld but he managed it.
"Great book very bad proformance"
Planer's voice is a sullen drone that had very little change in pitch or speed. If you want something to send you to sleep then this is the book to do it. If Briggs did this book I would have enjoyed it a lot more and would buy it again. Briggs and Pratchett are a great team. Thank heavens Briggs does all the new books.
The book is very good but I will not be buying any more recordings by Planer.
Having previously bought all the Terry Prachett's read by Stephen Briggs, I thought I would try those read by Nigel Planner. I was sadly disappointed by the comparison, Planner is not a patch on Briggs, the characters have little or no life and the humour seems flat.
I can only hope that at some time in the future all these will be re-recorded by Briggs.
"A classic mystery with fun characters"
Men at Arms was one of my first Discworld books and my introduction to the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, so I am a little biased when it comes to reviewing it. The story is nicely paced and laugh out loud funny in places, with a nice mystery at its core. It is also the Discworld's only encounter with conventional firearms, which is handled with Pratchett's signature fantasy whimsy with an undertone of healthy cynicism. Nigel Planer's performance does not detract from the story at all. If you're looking to get into Discworld, you could do worse than to start with this story.
"In love with Vimes."
This is glorious. Am even more in love with Vimes than I was last time I read the book. And such a luxury, being read to. Love it!
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