by Terry Pratchett
Throughout history, there's always been a perfectly good reason to start a war. Never more so if it is over a 'strategic' piece of old rock in the middle of nowhere. It is after all every citizen's right to bear arms to defend what they consider to be their own. Even if it isn't. And in such pressing circumstances, you really shouldn't let small details like the absence of an army or indeed the money to finance one get in the way of a righteous fight with all the attendant benefits of out-and-out nationalism...
(This was a shared read, so I don't have detailed notes.)
The only Pratchett books I've read have been City Watch installations of the Discworld. They've also always been "shared" reads with Donald-- and they're good for that. I don't know how much I would enjoy Pratchett, if I were reading it silently to myself. I think Pratchett, like P.G. Wodehouse, is better read aloud-- and best of all when shared with another person of similar humor. (Wodehouse I could read alone, if I had to. Pratchett... I'm not so sure.)
This particular book was amusing, but not the best of the City Watch we've read so far. I found some of the social commentary/satire/whatever a little off-putting and heavy-handed, unfortunately. War, politics, and racism are not my favorite subjects for light, entertaining reading to begin with-- and even worse, some of the jokes felt repetitive.
I was disappointed that...
Um, SPOILER ALERT!!!!
...Ok, I was disappointed that we never saw a giant sea monster of some sort. (Super-sized squid? Enormous octopus? Something else of a terrifying, tentacly nature?) It definitely felt like things were headed that way, so it was a bit of a let-down when the island just peacefully sank back without anything more than a slightly noticeable wave.
Also, I found myself feeling sorry for Nobby. Poor guy.
(That's it for spoilers.)
...When that's what I remember most from the whole book, well, I guess you can tell it wasn't a favorite. There were plenty of amusing moments along the way, but as a whole, this wasn't quite as good as one would have hoped.