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Nightmare Fuel / Men at Arms

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Pratchett had an absolute gift for inserting quiet bits of horror into the midst of the characters' literal-minded viewpoints, simply by taking the situations out to their logical end. Men at Arms is no exception.

  • Shortly after the murder of Beano the clown, after seeing the Fools' Guild version of a funeral, the Watch's usual comedy-relief team of Colon and Nobby are talking over details that don't add up. Colon brings up his and Nobby's own military experience, and we get this:
    "In many a faraway battlefield the last thing many a mortally wounded foeman ever saw was Corporal Nobbs heading toward him with a sack, a knife and a calculating expression.”
  • In the audio book, there are times that whoever possesses the Gonne is audibly lamenting their recent actions, or wondering about near future ones. A voice that’s not the speaker’s will sometimes reply or make suggestions. Even when Vimes himself picks it up and holds Dr. Cruces up with it, this voice speaks to him in delighted tones. The implication? The Gonne has a mind of its own, and it's not a sane one.
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    • When Edward picks the Gonne up for the first time, there's an italicized thought of You're mine which, on rereading, is not his thought but that of the Gonne.
    And that, more or less, was the end of Edward d'Eath. Something continued for a while, but what it was, and how it thought, wasn't entirely human.
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