Gallegher invents a machine that solves three problems at ones. But what exactly?
‘The post was an old thing, of course, but it was so old that it had magically become new again.’
The post office is an ailing institution belonging to the olden days. New technology overshadows its mind-numbing bureaucracy and the creakingly slow pace of change. You can call them nostalgic, but there are still people who believe in the post: in the beauty of stamps and cast-iron pillar boxes, and the dignity of the postman braving hail, wind and troublesome dogs. And sometimes it’s worth standing up for what you believe in.
Some night-time prowler is turning the citizens of Ankh-Morpork, greatest city of the fantasy Discworld*, into something resembling small charcoal biscuits.
And that's a real problem for Captain Vimes of the City Watch, who must tramp the mean streets of the city searching for a seventy-foot-long fire-breathing dragon which, he believes, can help him with their enquiries.
In a city thrown into turmoil by magic, charcoal biscuits, secret societies and mad lady dragon breeders ("Just tell him 'sit' if he'sothering you"), he's just looking for the facts.
* Which is flat and rides through space on the back of four elephants who stand on the shell of an enormous turtle, as every scholar knows.
‘Vimes ran a practised eye over the assortment before him. It was the usual Ankh-Morpork mob in times of crisis; half of them were here to complain, a quarter of them were here to watch the other half, and the remainder were here to rob, importune or sell hotdogs to the rest.’
Insurrection is in the air in Ankh-Morpork. The Haves and Have-Nots are about to fall out all over again. Captain Sam Vimes of the city’s ramshackle Night Watch is used to this. It’s enough to drive a man to drink. Well, to drink more. But this time, something is different — the Have-Nots have found the key to a dormant, lethal weapon that even they don’t fully understand, and they’re about to unleash a campaign of terror on the city. Time for Captain Vimes to sober up.
Annotations collected and edited by Leo Breebaart. http://www.lspace.org/books/apf/guards-guards.html