Men at Arms (Discworld, #15) - Terry Pratchett

The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowance. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of okay for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that´d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years´ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samueln Vimes "Boots" theory of socio-economic unfairness.


I don´t know why I didn´t get along with Pratchett´s work up until now, because this is brilliant and the whole book was a whole lot of fun. I loved the new recruits in the night watch, Gaspode the dog and the whole setup of the story with its numerous visits at different guilds. Of course, Death has some epic moments as well. At this point, with only a few books under my belt, he could easily become one of my favorite characters in the series.


I have to say, though, that I didn´t like Vimes much in this book. He is moody, depressed and most of the time drunk, character traits I don´t particularly enjoy in the characters I read about (he is essentially the Harry Hole of the Discworld). But I´m hopeful that he has a change of heart after the events in this book.


I have reread this book for the "Shifter" square, since one character is a werewolf. And I changed my previous two star rating to a four star rating. I really loved reading this book.