Jingo (Discworld, #21)

By Terry Pratchett

Rating: 5 stars

There’s xenophobia in the air in Ankh-Morpork, and the old warmongers are dusting down their swords; it’s up to Commander Vimes of the Watch to sort things out. It’s been many years since I last read Jingo, and, to be honest, it’s depressing just how relevant it still feels. PTerry was far too prescient with this one, his Ankh-Morpork of this period feels very much like post-brexit Britain, but alas, we don’t have a Sir Samuel or a Lord Vetinari to swoop to our aid.

However, despite all that, PTerry never forgets the story, first and foremost. This is a great fun book, overflowing with wit and humour. It’s really the first time we get to spend some time with Lord Vetinari, and, I think, our introduction to Leonard of Quirm. Vimes is filled with the righteous anger that, well, makes him Vimes and Death makes his obligatory cameo. There’s also the Disorganizer, the Disc’s answer to a smartphone, with added confusion about universes, which I sort of love. It’s the constant cheerfulness of the thing, just trying to do its best in a world where people just don’t read the manual!.

I guess the constant freshness of the book is a reminder that war will probably always be with us. As long as there are people like Prince Cadram and Lord Rust and people willing to line up behind them and march for a nebulous thing like a flag, we’ll have conflict and ignorance. But I hope there will also be the Vetinaris, working quietly in the background to smooth things over and correct misunderstandings before they turn into something bigger.

Book details

Publisher: Corgi
Year of publication: 1997

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