The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 1999); audiobook read by Stephen Briggs (Isis, 2000) A relatively dour instalment that, uncharacteristically, loses a little upon re-reading. As per many City Watch stories, much rests upon Vimes’s world view (good) and a slow-burning mystery (muddled). The grating Fred Colon subplot serves only to highlight the paucity of humour.
Jingo by Terry Pratchett (Victor Gollancz, 1997); audiobook read by Nigel Planer (Isis, 2000) Plotwise, Jingo ties itself in knots and threads. The humour is less overt than elsewhere in the Discworld canon, but there remains a droll, page-turning appeal in Pratchett’s railing against—with every weapon at his disposal, primarily Sam Vimes—humanity’s absurd jingoism.
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 2002); audiobook read by Stephen Briggs (Isis, 2002) Night Watch is one of Pratchett’s least funny Discworld novels, in the best possible way. The gallows humour remains but the story — a poignant time travel paradox that sees Sam Vimes mentor his younger self through a bloody revolution — is more focussed.