No news is good news

11 February 2005

But it also makes for a very boring blog

Luckily for you I do have something to blog about. Was on the abp news group fingy-me-bob (note use of technical jargon here), and a discussion arose about the character of Sam Vimes. For those of you who don’t know Sam Vimes, go read all the Watch books by Terry Pratchett, starting with Guards! Guards!

Anyways, some person said they didn’t like the character, which is fair enough, we all got our opinions right, but then went on to say that he was a bully, and like “pigs” enjoyed nothing more than bashing people over the head with his truncheon, and that authority was all he was about.

Now I am aware that our perceptions colour our reading, and that every reader reinvents the story they read, creating new characters as they do so, but I was astonished at this characterisation of Vimes.

It turned out that this person had had numerous bad experiences with the police, including during the mining strikes in Britain and had indeed been whacked in the head. Still, I had no idea that someone could read the Watch books and think of Vimes as a person who would be that sort of a copper. In Night Watch he pretty much does the opposite; almost organising a rebellion on the streets of Ankh-Morpork. Yes, Vimes is somewhat of a bully, he is cynical, and he is a bit of a bastard (tho not the sort that Kevin Meyrs was talking about tut tut :)), but he also is very soft-hearted and works in the interest of the “common people.” He is, very definitely one of the good guys.

Course then it turned out that said person had only read half of one book that Vimes was actually in. Still interesting to realise that we all really do read different books, and that books can change as you, and your opinions change.

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