I started Pratchett with a Night Watch book (The Fifth Elephant), and so I do like the Night Watch/Vimes books more than any other subseries.I agree that the 'message' drives this book, but that has been what has been happening with Pratchett for the last 10-15 years. Even the non-mainline discworld books - e.g. Maurice and the .., The Monstrous Regiment - and non-discworld books - e.g. Republic, Dodger - show this effect.Anyway, I do like this book, and do think that you are being a tad harsh in considering it almost humourless - the whole thing about 'Truth, justice, freedom, reasonably-priced love and a hard-boiled egg', The Sweeper and Qu kind of make it an excellent one for me. Knowing how Reg undied is also nice.BTW, I didn't remember/notice that comment about the double negation. Really nice one that.
Thanks bv. I did enjoy reading this book, and I think your comment highlight that I need to adjust my expectations of what's to come. The early books, before Feet of Clay, were less openly political, more comically satirical. My favourites remain those where the balance of elements is more even, like Jingo, for example - very political, but also very funny.I also totally agree about The Sweeper and Qu - I was delighted to see them back, The Sweeper in particular is the sort character that sumps up everything I love about Pratchett Learning Reg's end of life story was fun too. I shall press on with a better awareness of the trend in his writing, thanks to you!