Mark Reads ‘Jingo’: Part 16

In the sixteenth part of Jingo, I still have no idea how this book is going to end. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.


The Desert Night

I didn’t get experience a starlit night in the desert until I was 18. I glimpsed one once when I was a young kid, out the window of an aunt’s house in the southern part of Arizona, down near Yuma. My mother wouldn’t let us out of the house that night because she thought it was too dangerous. So I peeled back the curtains and let the moonlight creep into the bedroom my brother and I were staying. The stars littered the sky, glittering in an impossible display. I felt like Earth was closer to the galaxies than ever before.

Many years later, when I was first dabbling in Catholicism, I wandered out of a cabin late at night, careful to not wake my future godfather in the bunk above me. The retreat we were at was for those more seasoned in faith, but my friend’s father insisted I come along. He thought it would be good for me. But I felt lonely and lost that night, and I wanted to have one of those life-changing spiritual epiphanies I’d heard described. So I wandered, the stars above so thick that they seemed to blend together, to blur into intricate patterns. In a different way, it was epiphany, but not a spiritual one. I finally realized how much I’d been missing out on because of light pollution, because I lived in a fairly large city. I didn’t feel closer to God that night, but I discovered the joy of the nighttime in a desert.

Pratchett has a funny way of reminding me of these things. Also: NO ONE TELLS YOU HOW FUCKING COLD IT GETS IN THE DESERT, OH MY GOD.

The Return of Angua

I got spooked there for a minute before I, too, realized that Angua had found her way back to the watchmen. Pratchett’s not lying, by the way. Without moonlight, every desert I’ve been in at night was always inconceivably dark. I swear to you, it’s something you literally cannot imagine unless you see it. And it’s kind of scary! So, bonus points to Pratchett for the construction of the scene in the desert because it is entirely believable that it is so dark, no one can make out any other person who isn’t right next to them.

Which is why Carrot’s plan (borrowed from Tacticus, of course) is so brilliant. Angua was on the right track by attacking the soldiers who have surrounded the D’regs. Now, if they can get these mysterious soldiers to believe that they are being attacked, they can start a chain reaction. The idea is just so devious, you know?

CAN THEY ACTUALLY PULL IT OFF??? Oh my god, I am so excited to see if it actually happens, y’all. But I’m also a bit worried. There’s one hell of a plot twist here, since I absolutely did not expect to see the Goriff son again, especially not as ONE OF THE SOLDIERS WHO HAVE SURROUNDED THE D’REGS CAMP. Does that mean his family is nearby? Or is he on his own?


Well, I’m back to being confused and uncertain again. This book is a rollercoaster of a journey. I got two huge answers in the last section, but now I’m right back to square one again. What the hell is Vetinari doing in Al-Khali? Granted, I know what Colon and Nobby are doing: making fools of themselves yet again.  I should have known that their plan to obtain disguises would horribly backfire, but you know what? Pratchett keeps coming up with more increasingly absurd ways to show me how ridiculous these two are. Did they steal circus outfits or something???

Wait, I have to comment on this line again:

“Well, they… I mean… anyone ought to be able to speak Morporkian,” said Colon, gradually regaining his mental balance. “Even babies learn it.”

That… that is now how languages work. It’s so frustrating because TECHNICALLY I UNDERSTAND WHAT HE MEANS PERFECTLY oh my god.

So, the big question I have is: What is the package that Lord Vetinari needs to deliver to the Klatchian high command? He says that it is thanks to Leonard that he can even provide it, so… a device of some sort? But why??? Why is he hoping the high command is surrounded by troops? I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT. Assuming his goal is to stop this war, all I know is that they discovered that Leshp is a “floating” island. What else do they have? I am so lost, and I’m sure it’s super entertaining to y’all. THIS IS MY LIFE NOW.

Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards. I POST A LOT OF CUTE PHOTOS, OKAY. Think of it like a private Tumblr blog that only SPECIAL PEOPLE get to read.
– I have updated my list of conventions and events for the remainder of the year and much of next year.  Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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