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Summary

The town of Ankh-Morpork is in big trouble and the City Watch is desperate for a few good men to protect it. But all they've got are the dwarves Corporal Carrot and Lance-constable Cuddy, the troll Lance-constable Detritus, Lance-constable Angua, who is believed to be a woman and, worst of all, Corporal Nobbs, who has been disqualified from the human race for shoving! 

These underdogs need all the help they can get, for they've been given only 24 hours to clean up the war-torn town.

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

(P) ISIS Publishing Ltd, 1996; Copyright © Terry and Lyn Pratchett, 1993; Cover Illustration © Josh Kirby

What listeners say about Men at Arms

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible voices

Carrot, Angua, Gaspode (among others) sound like characters in a poor TV show for young children. All the other characters are also overacted and tend to sound either thick or very nasal and annoying.
Vetinari comes out... pompous ! I mean.... Vetinari !
It spoiled the experience for me and I loved (all) the book(s).

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent reading of a very good book

Listening to this rekindled all my love for the early days of the Watch and the guards. Although he's my favourite character, I rather like the fact that Vimes is off-stage for much of the time during this story, because it gives the rest of Pratchett's wonderful characters a chance to shine: Carrot and Angua, of course, but also Gaspode, Detritus, Cuddy, Nobby, Vetinari and even Colon.

Nigel Planer's reading is evocative and at times hilarious - he knows when to let the jokes speak for themselves and when to step up with a different voice.

I've read all the Discworld books, but this was the first one I'd listened to as an audiobook. I wasn't convinced I would enjoy the experience, but I'm now a complete convert.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Great story, shame about the audio quality

The story is a classic Pratchett discworld story. It's the second in the guards series and very enjoyable.

Unfortunately the audio quality of this recording is fairly low quality. It sounds as though someone put a heavily used tape recording in to a tape player then connected that to a computer with a poor quality cable and hit play and record at the same time.

Some sections are better than others, on occasion the Nigel Planer's voice drops almost to a background level, other times it's still there at the forefront but there's still background static.

Nigel Planer does a good job with the work, however I'm not convinced about some of the voices he's come up with and one or two of the more intelligent characters come off sounding as thick as two short planks.

If you're an audiophile then this probably isn't for you, if you're sat in a loud car on your commute to work then just crank the volume up a bit.

15 people found this helpful

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Disgraceful quality

I love this book and am a huge fan of "The Watch" branch of Pratchett. The story is great but the audio quality is horrendous, i am willing to put up with the odd foible in a 10 hour audiobook but this was ridiculous. There is a constant hiss, and whole sections of the book sound as if they are being read underwater.

I spoke to audible about it and they asked for specific time codes of when it happens. I provided some of these but pointed out that anyone listening to it for five minutes would know it is poor quality. They have yet to give a formal response other than it could take some time. Very disappointing as this is one of my favorite Vimes books.

23 people found this helpful

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  • mr
  • 06-08-16

Excellent story

Very enjoyable!
I don't know what all the dripping is all about on previous reviews. Nigel was a brilliant narrator and captures the characters perfectly.
The quality is absolutely fine.
Terry, what a guy! RIP. (I wonder how that conversation with death went)

3 people found this helpful

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Get a casette instead

Don't get this, it sounds so bad; unless you like continual hiss of course. Exelent novel but this audible transfer is unbelivably bad and sounds like a casette you'd pay £1 for at a jumble sale and still feel hard done by. I can't believe audible feel this product is on a par with their other products.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Good book, same about the quality

Considering just how popular these books are, and how any new one in the series is instantly on best seller chart of this website its a shame that the early books havent had a touch up to be honest.

The quality here is poor, the book is great, but overall you cant say that this is a well constucted book.

Planer does an ok job (however some of his accents are way off, Colon been the best example) and if like me you downloaded one of the later books first you will instantly compare him to Briggs and rerally there is not much to say about that other than Briggs wins hands down

5 people found this helpful

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Favorite Guards

This is the Guards novel that lays the foundation for the series. It's beautiful balance of suspense and humor is classic Pratchett.

I truly hope that a new recording will be made of these books. Nigel Planer ignores all of the authors notes on how something is said. It is rather annoying.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Fantastic story. Awful narration

Vimes is my soul mate, but the narration is so frustrating. Accents change all over the place, pronunciation is off, and there are several mistakes. Unforgivable really. I love Pratchett, and he deserves so much better than this.

1 person found this helpful

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wonderful discworld

as a long time can of pratchett I'm always going to enjoy his books.
the narrator was ok but some of the accents, namely Angua were not quite right. Angus is a powerful female but is made to sound slow witted and doughy . however it was a fantastic listen. I would listen to other things he has narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-12-12

Great Story - Terrible Production!

For the Pratchett fan - especially the City Watch books - this is another great story. It's the second Nigel Planer narration I've heard and I'm just not a huge fan. He's fine, but he's not Stephen Briggs and he has a tendency to voice many of his characters in a way that makes them sound a bit slow and dim witted.

I must endorse the comments of a previous reviewer that the production quality is truly awful - terrible sound quality and frequent jump cuts / continuity errors. It's bad enough I think Audible should clean it up or put it on permanent deep discount.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Asmus Neergaard
  • 12-12-13

Fantastic story and audio problems

If you could sum up Men at Arms in three words, what would they be?

Fun Intelligent Hilarious

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cmd. Vimes

What didn’t you like about Nigel Planer’s performance?

While Nigel Planer's normal narrator voice is quite alright, I honestly don't like the voices he gives the different characters. They more or less sound nasal and slightly stupid all of them, save for a few ones.
However, his narration pales in comparison to the audio editing, which is plagued by hissing background noise and sudden variations in sound levels.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, without a doubt. But only because it's a Terry Pratchett story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-03-20

Good

My boy Nigel Planer almost killed himself doing the Gargoyle voice and has forever earned my love and adoration

1 person found this helpful

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  • Naist
  • 19-10-18

One word - "fantastic".

Fantastic
Start with "Guards, guards" and continue enjoying this and the other watch series books.
A warning though - if there are two audiobooks with the same name, check the duration. There are abominations out there a.k.a. abridged recordings. Don't walk away from them, run. Always go for the. unabridged.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Siri
  • 29-10-13

This is one of my favourite books

The book is lovely, Sam is a big man in my life after hearing about him. The watch is a place I would love to work if I had bin on Discworld.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Logan McClincy
  • 21-06-22

MAke these available in America!

these are the best books in the universe, please let us read them ghj

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Selu
  • 19-06-22

I Luv This Book

I do love the Watch! I'm interested in hearing the new recordings that Penguin is doing now.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-06-22

Amazing pulp and wit

I hadn’t read any Pratchett until this book and it did not dissapoint. Pratchett creates a hilarious and witty book that in one hand examines the socioeconomic circumstances that lead to crime and in the other has a guild full of depressed clowns. A genius and wonderful experience.

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  • thomas
  • 07-06-22

Loard Maag

the amazing and entertaining language and story of Terry pratchett is excellent in this book.

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  • P. Black
  • 03-05-22

Another fantastic Discworld narration!

Nigel Planer is wonderful. I don’t understand the feedback about the quality of the recording, I thought it was perfect. The story was delightful, the characters were so rich and full of life. I am grateful to be in a world where I get to listen to such excellent narration and storytelling.