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Monstrous Regiment: (Discworld Novel 31) (Discworld Novels) [Paperback]

Terry Pratchett
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Feb 2014 Discworld Novels (Book 31)

'Trousers. That's the secret...Put on trousers and the world changes. We walk different. We act different. I see these girls and I think: idiots! Get yourself some trousers!'

Women belong in the kitchen - everyone knows that. Not in jobs, pubs or indeed trousers, and certainly not on the front line. Polly Perks has to become a boy in a hurry if she wants to find her brother in the army. Cutting off her hair and wearing the trousers is easy. Learning to fart and belch in public and walk like an ape takes more time. And there's a war on. There's always a war on. Polly and her fellow raw recruits are suddenly in the thick of it.

All they have on their side is the most artful sergeant in the army and a vampire with a lust for coffee. Well . . . they have the Secret. And it's time to make a stand.

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Monstrous Regiment: (Discworld Novel 31) (Discworld Novels) + Night Watch: (Discworld Novel 29) (Discworld Novels) + The Last Hero
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (13 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552167673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552167673
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett is the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he is the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he is the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Photography © David Bird

Product Description

Amazon Review

The Monstrous Regiment in question is made up of a vampire, a troll, Igor, a collection of misfits and a young woman who shoves a pair of socks down her pants to join the army. Here you have the characteristically charming novel by Terry Pratchett.

Polly becomes Private Oliver Perks, who is on a quest to find her older brother, who's recently MIA in one of the innumerable wars the tiny nation of Borogravia has a habit of starting with its neighbors. This peevish tendency has all but expended Borogravia's ranks of cannon fodder. Whether Sergeant Jackrum knows her secret or not, he can't afford to be choosy as Perks and her/his comrades are among the last able-bodied recruits left in Borogravia. This collection of misfits includes the aforementioned vampire (reformed and off the blood, thank you), troll, and macabre Igor, who is only too happy to sew you a new leg if you aren't too particular about previous ownership. Off to war, Polly/Oliver learns that having a pair of, um, socks is a good way to open up doors in this man's army.

For those who haven't made this underrated author's acquaintance, Monstrous Regiment is as good a place to start as any. Readers will encounter Pratchett's subtle and disarming wit, his trademark footnoted asides along with a not-too-shabby tale of honor, courage and duty in the face of absurd circumstances. --Jeremy Pugh, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"'Not since Evelyn Waugh's novel Officers and Gentlemen has conflict faced such thoroughly cutting questioning...A great piece of writing, akin to Jonathan Swift'" (Daily Express)

"Like Jonathan Swift, Pratchett uses his other world to hold up a distorting mirror to our own, and like Swift he is a satirist of enormous talent ... incredibly funny ... compulsively readable" (The Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow start, but another winner 8 Nov 2003
The premise of this book is a simple one using the familiar story of a girl dressing as a boy. In Monstrous Regiment the heroine sets out to join the army to discover what has happened to her brother. The story looks at her induction into her regiment and their activities in the war.
If that doesn't sounds much like a Terry Pratchett novel, that's what I was beginning to think by a third of the way through the book. Up to that point, although the story was told with a great deal of wit and humour, it just didn't have the Pratchett magic. However, the latter two thirds of the book are just what I have come to expect from the master of comic fantasy.
While there are very few of the old, favourite characters here, new ones are introduced which I hope will appear again. Pratchett neatly sidesteps the trap of creating a "war is hell" homily, instead giving us an extremely funny look at women in a mans world. On the way, he pastiches the angst of the Vietnam films and I'm sure it is no coincidence that the book spotlights a country which just can't seem to stop from picking fights with all its neighbours (the timing of the book after the activities of the last year is superb).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By kathryn
Terry's really back on form with Monstrous Regiment. The Amazing Maurice and The Wee Free Men seem to have given him the fresh perspective he needed - now he's writing good new Discoworld books to go in the 'grown-up' section too.
The plot is really strong here, and since I was reading it in installments, in Books Etc, I can assure you the suspense is great - I fretted myself to hell wandering what would happen next.
The lost star is for two reasons. Firstly, some of the characters were a little underdeveloped for the body of the book. I couldn't really remember the difference between Shufti, Lofty, Tonker and Wazzer before the later stages of the book. Its a shame, because when their characters developed, they were great. They had the potential to be a group as dynamic as the Watch, once they came into their own.
The second reason is because I thought the ending was slightly weak in some ways. I won't give it away, but there are revelations which could have used some ground work (I'm not refferring to the sergeant's, which was great), and it didn't really deliver the point of the message that the book had been building up to. However, in the last few pages, the story rallied.
I hope this isn't the last we see of Polly and the Ins-and-Outs. I comapred them to the A-M city Watch and I'd love to see them go the same way - grow and change and change their environment the way Vimes and Carrot et al have A-M. The potential is definately there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book would have annoyed Knox - full marks 25 May 2004
By A Customer
I'm sure that John Knox, back in the 16th century, would have been made apoplectic by this story - which is all to the good. His 'First blast of the trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women', aimed at Elizabeth of England (and other powerful women of the time such as Mary of Scotland and Catherine de Medici of France) purported to show how women in authority were unnatural and forbidden by (Christian) scripture. While he was only a product of his time (and a disordered spleen, I suspect) it's a theme gently and enjoyably parodied in the great TP's latest (adult) work.
Here's to many more Discworld stories
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I bought the hardback as soon as it came out.... I will continue to do so with Pratchett books, but I do have to say, I was a bit disappointed.....
As his books have matured, his style has matured more as well, and in many cases the later books take up quite complex issues and through the use of characters, address them.... however in this one, I felt it somehow missed the point just a little. The characters were still good, the message about war was there, but not quite as brought home as you would expect.....
Commander vimes may as well have not been in the book, for all the part he had... it felt originally like he was going go have a larger part, but Pterry changed his mind.
Still... everyone can have an off day, and after so many other brilliant works, I guess even Pratchett had it coming.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spare Socks Anyone? 22 Nov 2004
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
There must be very little left that has not be said about the genius that is Terry Pratchett, no wonder he is England's best selling living author.
This book has a slightly different slant to it. It is about a young girl, Polly Perks who has her own reasons for going to the recruiting sergeant with a pair of socks pushed down her trousers and asking to join "This man's army". Included in her section are a set of misfits including an "Igor" and a reformed vampire and why not.
They all march off with their new sergeant who says he is determined to look after "my boys" and will not let any harm befall them . . .
There is a nice comic twist at the end of the book, maybe you will see it coming.
Many people try to imitate Pratchett. Take it from me it's impossible.
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70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Monstrous Regiment, Pratchett's latest opus is everything we've come to expect from the master of humorous fantasy!
Tapping away like a demon, he's produced another slice of Discworld, and it's got cherries in it. And almonds on the top. In fact, it's dundee cake, AND it's served on a doily.
This book centres on a new character, Polly Perks, who marches off to war with a spring in her step, a new line in curses and a pair of socks in an interesting place.
The story follows her fate as she marches on, away from her home, through a lot of mud and rain and, hopefully, on into the history books.
There are lots of new characters (did anyone order an Igor????) and some great cameo's from staunch old favourites (don't look at me, I didn't invite them! <g>!). There's also a generous helping of that old convoluted logic that confounds and amazes old Pratchettians!
Basically It's pure Pratchett at its best. I highly recommend it to any Pratchett fans, and even to those strange beings who have yet to fall under this writers spell - it's a great novel and very accessible to all readers, young, old or undead.
Happy reading!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
A rattling good yarn that keeps the reader in suspense until the final few lines. Strongly recommended for Pratchett fans and for others who have not come across the genre before.
Published 13 days ago by Kong
5.0 out of 5 stars would recommend to anyone
well packaged, would recommend to anyone.
Published 15 days ago by rebecca.l.greenwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 16 days ago by KEITH ADAMS
5.0 out of 5 stars Monstrous Regiment!
This book took me a while to get into it but when i did,it was well worth it.There's not much i can say without giving the game away so

lets just say while it has a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by mrdubyadee
5.0 out of 5 stars The Discworld Suffragettes
Pratchett scores again. His writing skills are only outshone by his empathy with the characters in his novels. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Beachcomber
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but slow
Review: Polly Perk's brother is missing somewhere in the army. Polly wants to find him. Cutting off her hair and and joining the army, this is the story of Polly and her new... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nina (Death Books and Tea)
5.0 out of 5 stars Terry Pratchett makes me laugh out loud...
and improves my commute to work beyond measure. This story based on the Polly Oliver folksong is full of jokes the biggest being that the regiment turns out to be all females in... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jose Broadwell
4.0 out of 5 stars pratchett
Enjoyable battle story that can keep you hooked for longer than most of us have time to spare well on
Published 3 months ago by Den Tanser
5.0 out of 5 stars Always good!
Excellent as usual. Great twisty plot, a huge variety of characters, a vampire, an Igor and just the perfect amount oh humour.
Published 4 months ago by Claire Salter
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
There were no formatting issues, I really do love Terry Pratchett. This is a great book to read. I Would recommend.
Published 4 months ago by R. Lees
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