• Guards! Guards!

  • Discworld, Book 8
  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Nigel Planer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,350 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

If you find yourself ruminating on questions like "Where have all the dragons gone?" then this is the story for you. Explore the crazy, creepy land called Discworld, where you'll discover that the dragons aren't asleep or dead - they're dormant, packed in like huge, scaly sardines. Join in the search for the key to their closed-in, comatose world in this eighth fantastical Discworld novel.

Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

©1989 Terry and Lyn Pratchett (P)1995 ISIS Publishing Ltd

What listeners say about Guards! Guards!

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A continuous joy

There are very few books that deserve to be revised. Guards Guards, the first of the Night Watch Discworld novels is one of these few. With the classic performance of Nigel Planer it felt like bounching into an old and beloved friend with whom one has lost contact many years ago. Planer's voice and the late Sir Terry Pratchett's "serious" humour still makes an excellent escape from the rush and turmoil of everyday life. This audiobook is a golden oldie to be revisited every once and again.

10 people found this helpful

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What great fun !

Where does Guards! Guards! rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is definitely one of the better books. It rolls along with the occasional laugh out loud segment and frequent guffaws.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Its hard not to like all the characters. Pratchett develops his characters as if they were real people. I do like Sam Vimes though. He's an interesting mix of the alcoholic veteran and the suddenly energetic action hero - surprising himself as much as the reader.

What does Nigel Planer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Inflection, accents and delivery pace all bring the characters to life and the events are vested with excitement you might not discover just reading it yourself. There are very few readers I think I'd trust with a Discworld book and Nigel is great.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not especially. This is a light tale that gallops along exuding fun, humour and wrapped around a cracking good story.

Any additional comments?

Yes. As much as I admire Nigel Planer, I do wish the voice he used for Sam Vimes had suited the character a little better. The voice is a little nasal and somewhat dull. Vimes is many things but he's certainly not stupid.

4 people found this helpful

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Absolutely phenomenal writing

Loved the descriptions. Amazing humor that makes me burst out laughing on regular bases. Narator nails the presentation.

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Soon to be removed from store

Pratchett was a comedic genius. Monty Python-esk, joyful, witty, human and hope giving.

Unfortunately, the producers have begun replacing the original recordings. See "Hogfarther" for e.g.

Nigel Planer was hand picked by Pratchett because his narration truly captures the british serious yet silly humor. To replace this with a childrens fairy tale grade narrator is a crime upon art.

Get them while you can.

2 people found this helpful

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One of the best

Typical of all the Disk World books the story is engaging and funny and insightful. Nigel Planer is perfect for me with this story.

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Totally worth the credit despite the short length

I don’t know what everyone is talking about, I thought the sound quality was fine. But I have spent the past 10 years listening to bootlegs of concerts, so maybe I am skewed.

Either way, great story. Love Pratchett.

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so funny I had to stop driving

Terry Pratchett takes you into an absurd fantasy world that makes you laugh and snicker the whole way through. it does a beautiful job of not taking itself too seriously, while still having you on the edge of your seat.

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Phenomenal. Discworld at its best

Very inventive story with lots of narrative threads. The characters are all phenomenal and a ton of fun. Terry Pratchett really struck gold with this one

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8 stars

My first Diskworld book. my dad got it for me cause it had dragons on the cover, and I was grumpy that he had gotten me the 8th book in a series instead of the 1st.
I'm so happy I was wrong.

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Ape 🦧

The best voice for an orangutan you will ever hear. a review requires at least 15 words

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  • mollyeyre
  • 07-08-13

Eminently Re-readable

I love the characters in Terry Pratchett's books, Lady Sybil is wonderful - I imagine her like a ship in full sail, although each of the Discworld novels follow on from eachother, they are equally brilliant as 'stand alone' stories. I do feel strongly that Terry Pratchett is a brilliant man, and that his humour is intelligent and pokes fun at the stupidities of our human race!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Ger
  • 12-16-15

absolute classic

brilliantly introduced into the night watch story line and the brilliantly cynic Sam vimes!!! classic

9 people found this helpful

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  • Billybreitling
  • 12-04-15

Fabulous!

Beautifully written, brilliantly read with real character infused by Nigel Planer. Absolutely Hilarious. Only let down but rubbishy sound quality of old "audiobooks - when are we going to get cd quality?

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 09-08-12

Good, but not the best of the series

Guards! Guards! is one of the earlier discworld books and is the first time we are introduced to the City Watch making it their first in that line of books set in the discworld.

This is a fantastic story and it is well read, however the truth is that Planer is not as good at the unabridged recordings as Briggs and as a result I have lowered my score.

There is also the fact that as this is an early Guards book its just not as fleshed out as some of its sequels and as a result I cant really give it five stars because doing so would cheapen the five star novels from later on in the series.

If you love Discworld you will love this (I did), however while listening to it just remember that there is far better to come

12 people found this helpful

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  • Nina
  • 07-24-16

Hilarious town tales are some of Prachett's best!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Another great book from Sir Terry Prachett full of humour and sarcasm worth spending a credit for! "Guards! Guards!" gives you a "what's going to happen next?!" feeling through the whole story and so much more. This book shows the author's humour at its best through the events, names of the main characters and a liberal sprinkling of twists.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Guards! Guards!?

The dragon of course! Yes, there are dragons "stuck like sardines" who creep into the Disc...

Which character – as performed by Nigel Planer – was your favourite?

Nigel Planer gives another great performance and choosing one character performed by him doesn't do the justice. Imitating all the different guards in the story and giving them their own personalities is an art in its own, elevating this to a great audio book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This book breaks the stereotypes as no other and shows the hidden simplicity of happiness in the human nature. This especially shines through in Carrot's actions - one of the guards. His story wound through the events of the book show Prachett's unique style and his compassion to the world and its people.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Nim
  • 12-01-15

Excellent despite not loving Terry Pratchett

I never thought that I would say this about a Terry Pratchett book, it was very amazing! I really loved it,I think I got onto the wrong foot with Terry Pratchett, but I could never get into his books then my brother made me listen to this one and I loved it, I couldn't put it down and have loved the entire series, really worth a read whether you are a Terry Pratchett fan or not.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Robin
  • 05-05-20

Hilarious. Brilliant. Timeless.

I've been working my way through the Terry Pratchett 'Discworld' audiobooks and this is by far my favourite story as of yet. Nigel Planer is equally the perfect narrator - humorous, creative and a conjurer of so many vital, vivid characters. Give it a listen!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Andy Mactosh
  • 11-03-15

one of my favourites

you can't hold a better mirror to our world. oh and it has a bloody great big dragon in it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ms Inga Ryan
  • 12-02-13

Happy listening

Where does Guards! Guards! rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of Terry Pratchett's disc world greats.

What other book might you compare Guards! Guards! to, and why?

Well there is about 3 other books in the disc world colletion that centre's around the the night watch.

What aspect of Nigel Planer’s performance might you have changed?

There are parts where the gap between words is too long or short where it has been cut.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

any part about Knobby knobs.

Any additional comments?

Read all the disc world colletion.

3 people found this helpful

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  • mentally unbalanced
  • 08-11-16

The story of the Watch begins here.

Excellent book. Sam Vimes and the watch are my favourite thread in the Discworld universe, acting as a good satire and showing of Pratchett's ability to write a mystery/thriller. This is a good book to chose to get into reading Discworld. Men at Arms coninues the story of the Watch and Sam Vimes.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Alan M Kohn
  • 06-15-17

Captain Vimes vs the dragon

a great way to hear the story of Captain Vimes and the men of the nightwatch saving their city from the dragon

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gastronomix
  • 05-15-20

Huge Pratchett fans, but this needs re-recording

I'll start by saying we're massive Pratchett fans and own all the books; we've recently started getting the audiobooks as something to listen to with the family and as an alternative way of experiencing the stories. Unfortunately, the quality of both the narration and audio itself varies greatly from book to book and the only way to be sure of what you're getting is to listen to the whole thing. In this case, while the sound quality is mostly fine, listening to Nigel Planer is absolutely excruciating. I'm aware of who he is, I've seen him in so many things all the way back to The Young Ones, but the Pratchett books are being massacred by him and are so far from his best work. Stephen Briggs & Michael Fenton Stevens have both done really good jobs on quite a number of the books, and it would be a wise idea to get someone in to re-record all the one narrated by Planer (and there are many). Overall I would not recommend, which is a real shame as the book is a joy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Button
  • 08-17-19

Neil and Co

fantastic story and fantastic reading by Nigel Planer, he puts all the humor of the book into the Characters

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-25-19

A great read and a great listen.

Nigel Palner is perfect for Terry Pratchets disc world books. You can even hear 'Neil' from the Young Ones.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-22

Shoddy recording

I’m used to these recordings being old, but this one was something shocking. Lines repeated, “chapters” cut out randomly, and scenes were missing their ends

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  • Stephen Grocott
  • 12-29-21

Another Pratchett classic with amazing narration

Typical quirky, provocative, thoughtful humour that sneaks up on you, makes you laugh and makes you think. Nigel Planer’s narration is astounding. couldn’t ask for better. His range of accents and tones is remarkable, and he matches then to the character phenomenally well.

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  • Bungy
  • 12-25-21

One of my favourite Sir Pterry books.

Has everything a story could wish - romance, magic, dragons, lost kings, redemption, small valiant warriors facing million-to-one odds...

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  • Susan
  • 09-24-21

Love Pratchett

Re-read of a favourite book. Always fun, I love getting new puns when listening to an audio.

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  • Julie Holmes
  • 08-06-21

Marvellous stuff

Loved it. Having read the book many times it was a joy to hear Nigel Planer’s reading of this wonderful story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-06-21

I've read it over 100 times

And I still love every bit if it, and I still keep finding a new thought, a new hidden meaning somewhere between the lines. I looove the entire series about the Night Watch.