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All Pratchett fans know there are first-string books (real stand-outs, like Guards! Guards! and Wyrd Sisters) and second-string books (like Reaper Man and Mort).
The Fifth Elephant needs a new category of its own - 'the whole violin' perhaps? Elephant V is a pearler -wonderful characters, more sub-plots than a dwarven graveyard, and a sense that Pratchett is taking the time to really poke around in his landscape, lifting up the rocks and trusting they recognise him as 'troll-friendly'.
As soon as I opened the book I was completely immersed in the life of seething Ankh Morpork (sort of like choosing to take a holiday in Beirut - ugly, but full of incident)and to the life I… Read more