Mark Reads ‘Jingo’: Part 8

In the eighth part of Jingo, Vimes tends to a horrible fire while Carrot and Angua gather more clues. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld

WHAT A MYSTERY.

Angua and Carrot

Blame the_ladylark for this, but I can’t unsee the fact that I now think Corporal Carrot and Constable Benton Frasier from Due South are the same person. Why am I thinking about that now? Because I absolutely love Angua’s little aside about Carrot in the midst of their detectoring. (I can’t not use detectoring as a word these days.) Carrot is a fascinating character because he contains bits and pieces of tropes you might find in a fantasy novel, but as a whole character, Benton Frasier is literally the only possible comparison I have. (And even if you start compare them, they’re actually not all that similar.) He’s sincere and genuine; he’s overtly optimistic; he sometimes cannot see the forest for the trees, but only occasionally. Other times, he has an amazing sense of scope and completeness that veers into being eerie.

His role in this specific mystery complicates that further because he can’t be open this time. Carrot’s brilliance is because he is who he is. He is so fully himself all the time – on the streets, in the Watch house, in private – that the idea of restricting his essence to investigate this case seems an impossible, confusing thing. He just wants to be honest. He just wants to follow the rules. And that’s made a lot harder in this current predicament!

It’s fascinating, though, that we see most of this through Angua’s eyes. She’s a character who has a much more conflicted relationship with the truth and the sort of morality that Carrot abides by. And that’s because she has to! Her life as a werewolf is so much different than the life he lives, you know? She’s an outsider in many ways, so her perspective on Carrot is a million times more intriguing because of that. Plus, I really think one of the best thing Pratcett did with her is to make her the centerpiece of the investigation. Getting to see through her eyes, to understand how she uses her sense of smell to track down evidence… I LOVE IT. A LOT.

So, what did I learn from this section? Well, it’s entirely possible now that someone broke in to Ossie’s room and just put the glass outside after the fact. Another clove means that 71-Hour Ahmed was there… but why? What could he possibly be doing against his own country? I DON’T GET IT. I am sure that Ossie was a set-up to make the Klatchians look bad, but why would a Klatchian do all this?

Vimes

Bless this man, y’all. He knew that he couldn’t get pass the guards by following the rules, so he… followed the rules. BY DECEPTION, MIND YOU. He tricked that guard into stepping onto Ankh-Morporkian soil just to hit him. But what impresses me most about him is that he doesn’t hesitate to run towards a burning building in order to save people. People he doesn’t know, mind you, people he’ll probably never see gain, and people who most of the city despise. And when faced with the immensity of the fire, he still does everything he can to save the people who otherwise would have died from it.

So who was the other man? It can’t have been Carrot. Another member of the Watch? It wasn’t someone’s voice that he recognized either, so a new character? I don’t know if Pratchett would do that to us, but this book is also very different from some of the past ones. I JUST WANT TO KNOW.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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