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In between speed reading all those books for the BookCrossing Literacy Train, I refreshed myself with the thoroughly enjoyable Jingo by Terry Pratchett.
Jingo looks at the dangers of politics on international policy. Ankh-Morpork finds itself in dispute with Klatch over a tiny island. Assuming the worse, Ankh-Morpork plans to go to war even though the city is broke.
Like in Miss Bianca in the Orient, Klatch is an amalgamation of the old British Empire holdings. Unlike the Margery Sharp book, Klatch is actually described in enough detail that the different cultures are recognizable. While everything is open for parody in Jingo the different cultures are also treated with respect making the book entertaining and thought provoking.
The best part of Jingo though is the alternate reality that opens up when Vimes goes down the wrong leg of the "trousers of time". This alternate reality, shown through his "dis-organizer" shows what would have happened if Vimes hadn't decided to take action contrary to orders and common sense.