In the fourteenth part of Jingo, I have no idea where this book is headed anymore. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
I honestly figured this book would never make it past Leshp, but here we are. Vimes and his crew have made it to Klatch, and I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS BOOK ANYMORE.
Well, she’s clever and cunning, that’s for sure. I like that Pratchett had her make a distinction between how her wolf and her human sides would attempt to escape, particularly since one option is what Ahmed expected. He assumed that she would get out eventually, right? That’s why he had his men stand with a net outside the door. What no one anticipated was for Angua to escape as a human, and I gotta say, it’s brilliant. She uses the awkwardness of being naked to distract people, and it’s what allows her to get off the ship. But there are two things here that don’t make sense to me.
1) Prince Khufurah. We knew Ahmed brought someone onboard, and it makes sense that they’d take him home, but… why isn’t he being taken care of? No doctors or anything attending him? From Angua’s perspective, he looked awful, so… that’s a bad thing, right?
Look, it’s not even that it’s a big plot twist or anything, but given that Ahmed makes no sense at all, I have to question what he’s doing with the Prince. Why?
2) Because he lets Angua go! He sees her clinging to the side of the ship, winks at her, THEN LIES ABOUT HER AND SAYS SHE PROBABLY DROWNED. Why??? Why did he catch her in the first place if he was just going to let her escape? I DON’T GET IT.
I don’t understand a lot of things here. Oh, the Scrabble scene was great, the periscope invention (complete with the cork gag) is hilarious, and the hieroglyph/loweroglyph joke made me want to disappear into the ether. Plus, it was nice to check in with Solid Jackson to learn that he was still being as stubborn as usual, all while his son continues to insult him at every turn for said stubbornness. All of this is great, and it’s not like I have any complaints. I’m just utterly lost in terms of guessing why Vetinari is having them visit the space under Leshp. I thought maybe that it was a volcano because Colon and Nobby remarked on the smell of sulfur, but how the hell are hieroglyphs still important? What about all the stuff about the language of color? Does Vetinari have a theory about what Leshp is that he’s not sharing with anyone?
That’s got to be what’s going on here because otherwise, I’ve got nothing to go on.
Remember when I said that Vimes’s improvised plan for rescuing Angua and finding out what Ahmed’s up to was bad? I take it back, because now it’s worse. Which is very much unlike Vimes, and I think that’s why this is so fun and frustrating, you know? Just like the submarine plot, I’m completely at the whims of Pratchett here, unsure of what awaits over the next dune. Well, I do know what awaits them all, but that’s besides the point. Vimes has no idea that Angua has already escaped, that Ahmed let her, and that Ahmed himself is no longer on his own ship. Is this a D’regs thing? Is that why he is acting against Klatch?
I don’t know. This is a common refrain from me at this point. Yet I’m intrigued by how chaotic this book feels! The characters are all in this interesting predicament far from home and far from their comfort zones. Even Constable Visit can’t admit to any certainty beyond the fact that there are gods looking out for both sides. (Which is not very helpful, of course.) So when Vimes orders Jenkins to take the ship to shore, he just adds more chaos to the mix. Aside from providing the world with the most hilarious shipwreck, he strands Jenkins and his crew; Detritus is suffering due to the heat; none of them know that Angua is behind them; and then this is how Pratchett ends the chapter:
At which point, the sand stood up and drew a hundred swords.
So, Vimes and his crew are surrounded. By D’regs? Other Klatchians? WHO KNOWS? My gods, this is a mess, but it’s such an entertaining mess.
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