There are times where the levels that Jackrum will stoop to are really, really awful. But they mostly just make me feel... sorry for him? Or not him in particular, but all soldiers in that position. I genuinely thing Jackrum is a good person. Or... well, maybe, just a normal person. A person in a desperate situation, trying to get through it, and protect what he cares about.
And this book is really, really good at showing how in desperate situations, people will do desperate things. And Jackrum's whole adult life has been spent in the army, and the army has taught a very narrow set of solutions. The horrible stuff Jackrum does is because he literally can't seem to conceive of any other way out of it.
It's depressing :/
I really connect to that element myself, as someone with a complicated relationship with my mom. She's the source of a whole lot of anxiety in my life... but I can also see how it's just her repeatng the toxic stuff she's internalised herself, and she's hurting from it too...
and i love how she realises that she wasn't really worthy of all of this, that she wasn't the ruler they deserved in life, but they made her into what she is now, and she just wants to help them
I don't believe that is what Mark was saying at all. But what I'm seeing here-- as someone who loves this book and loves Pratchett-- was a lot of people upvoting what was just nothing but a straight up insult of a trans person with a critical reading. Not upvotes of politely worded critique, but something that was just hurtful for the sake of being hurtful.
That's what I honestly think a lot of members of this community should be doing right now. It's alright for us to love our favourite stories, and even feel bad when we see them criticised. But that doesn't allow us to lash out at others who don't share our perspective.
Wow. Way to just be kind of a rude asshole?
Hmm, interesting. I hadn't interpreted the sex workers scene quite that way. I wouldn't call it the best depiction of sex workers ever, but I actually thought it was relatively non-judgemental? It felt to me like it wasn't showing the women as evil, but just desperate people in a desperate situation. From the moment he came in, Jackrum was presenting himself as a big dude, throwing his money around, so the head of the tent decided to do something less-than-moral by knocking him out and taking his money. Money that she could use to try and help herself and her women. Meanwhile, our protagonists are trying to rob from them for the same reason.
Now, of course, we do have to take this in context with the rest of fiction, so I appreciate that maybe this is a place where a second subversion would have been appreciated.