First off, please remember to vote in the June selection poll. Voting closes tomorrow at noon EST.
Anyway, I finished reading Guards! Guards! over the weekend, and I suspect I have a developed a mild case of Pratchett fatigue.
This is the fourth Discworld novel that I've read in the past month or so, the others being Soul Music, Witches Abroad, and Mort. Aside from these, I've also previously read The Color of Magic and Wyrd Sisters. I think that Pratchett's style is just wearing thin at this point. Which means my somewhat "meh" reaction to this book is less a reflection upon its quality and more an indication that I just need to be reading something different right now.
There were certainly plenty of funny bits--I think that even the subpar Pratchetts have many moments of brilliance, and as I've already said, I'm not inclined to think that this is a subpar one. I especially liked the scenes with Errol and almost anything involving the Librarian or the Patrician. (The Patrician's dungeon was a highlight for me. Hee!) The throwaway Beowulf reference also merited a chortle.
I'm also beginning to wonder if I'm just going to like the Watch books somewhat less than the Death books or the Granny Weatherwax books. The humor in Guards! Guards! struck me as particularly male at times. Did anyone else get this impression? I don't think this quality was off-putting so much as distancing. I'm even reluctant to say "distancing," because I've always liked to think I've had no problem relating to traditionally male narratives, but perhaps this is less true than I thought it was. Anyway, I do think this quality may have been one reason I wasn't particularly emotionally engaged by the characters or plot.
At any rate, I think I'll probably give the Discworld novels a nice long break before moving on to another one. That said, I don't think there's any doubt I'll come back to them eventually!
I definitely like the Death books the most, and I always enjoy Death's cameos in the other Discworld novels. As far as Granny Weatherwax, I adored Wyrd Sisters for its spin on Macbeth and Hamlet but was somewhat less charmed by Witches Abroad. I actually think Witches Abroad and Guards! Guards! are alike in how their central premise is the subversion of a fairytale convention: the princess marrying the prince to the lost king killing the dragon. Whereas Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters, especially the former, bring something from very much outside the world of heroic fantasy into Discworld--namely, rock music and Shakespeare. I haven't read enough of other Pratchetts to know how they would split on this particular categorization.
I really wasn't a fan of The Colour of Magic and I suspect I won't ever care for the Unseen University strand as much.
Small-unit camaraderie sounds like something I'd enjoy, though unfortunately the only thing that my brain can offer as an example are the SW X-Wing tie-in novels, which are a very specific sort of fluff pleasure for me. Somehow that wasn't what I took away from Guards! Guards!, possibly because we so often see Vimes working solo or with Lady Ramkin. Can you think of any non-Pratchetts that are examples of this kind of story?