Guards! Guards! (and a bit of whining)
I’m writing this from a pretty unlikely place – at the doctor’s office, while sitting on a way too small windowsill and listening to the low buzz of conversations going on all around me. Most things people discuss here revolve around health, doctors and broken bones (it’s an orthopedic hospital) – and I really don’t want to be listening to them. My appointment was for 4 pm, and it is now exactly 8.23 pm. I was a punctual sucker, but when the patient list was posted, I found I was no. 17 (usually my lucky number, and I would bear it all so much better if the doctor told me I don’t need to get surgery. But that is the very definition of vain hope) – and now we’re only up to patient no. 6. This is turning out to be quite the Friday evening and I don’t even have the energy to go off in a rant about the level of healthcare available to us here. It’s shameful, humiliating and potentially lethal, and I doubt improvements are on the way.
But enough about this; if the title is anything to go by, we should be off to the magical land of Terry Pratchett. Guards! Guards! is about “(…) the palace guard, the city guard or the patrol. Whatever the name, their purpose in any work of historical fantasy is identical: it is, around about chapter 3 or 10 minutes into the play, to ruch to the room, attach the hero one at a time…and be slaughtered. No-one ever asks them if they wanted to. This is a book dedicated to those men.” And since it’s dedicated to them, they turn out, of course, to be the heroes, saving Ankh-Morpork from a scheming subordinate of Lord Vetinari’s and the dragon he summoned. All good fun – as I’m sure the book was too – but somehow made better by the comic. Perhaps I shouldn’t say better since I didn’t actually read the book, but I liked the dimension the comic gave it, I loved the visuals and I want that little swamp dragon for a pet. Now – would the book have made me say that? I doubt it.
I wish there were more comic book adaptations (and if there are, someone please tell me 😀 ), because this one is definitely worth your time.