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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2000
I really enjoyed this book and as a pratchett fan I feel that it is definatly one of his best. Vlad the Vampire is a fantastic character, intriguing, dangerous and (this isn't just my opinion, Terry Pratchett himself said in reply to a letter I wrote that it was intentional) very Sexy. I also felt that Agnes was an asset to the book as I was able to relate to her. Although I'm not overly keen on the witches as characters I think this book was brilliant. My only criticism would be that there isn't enough appearances by Death. I feel that I could (in fact will) read it over and over again. I just hope that the next books to appear live up to this standard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 1999
It seems that some things never change. Ever since I read mort for the first time about eleven years ago I have been hooked on the discworld, and in the meantime everyone else has gone there too. Anyway, Carpe Jugulum is , to my mind, just as worthwhile as any of the discworld novewls. It may be a basic re-hash of the Lords and Ladies plot but that does not in any way spoil the enjoyment of the reader. It took me three hours to read this book and I barely noticed the time pass. I was captivated to find out what was happening to Granny Weatherwax, and why she was not sprouting fangs and good manners, and it was also most amusing to see how the poor Mr Oats tackled his crisis of faith in Lancre, especially as we all know the truth about Omnism .. or should do if you have read Small Gods..... Anyway, another disc classic, enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 1999
I have read most of Pratchett's books and as usual this is no exception to the rest. Funny, witty,imaginative and utterly enthralling are just few of the words I would use to describe the book. In particular the witches are at their best all three of them(four if you count perditta), in particular Nanny Ogg who we see more of than anyone would care to see. Greebo the cat takes a back seat in this story which is a bit of a disappointment. The vampires are charming yet ruthless and Granny Weatherwax is at her best when she is cornered. There are some brillant lines in this book including the one where the villager, when asked about the problem of werewolves says "they leave us alone as humans don't run fast enough to be interesting". All in all a brillant read and well worth the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 23 September 2010
Terry Pratchett's first novel, "The Carpet People", appeared in 1971. "Carpe Jugulum" is the twenty-third book in his hugely popular Discworld series and was first published in 1998. It's set (mostly) in Lancre and features Granny Weatherwax's famous coven of witches.

The Lancre coven is now made up of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Agnes Nitt. Agnes has taken over Magrat's old cottage and is a little rotund. Like they say, though, inside every fat girl, there's a thin girl trying to get out. In Agnes's case, the thin girl is called Perdita...an imaginary friend from her childhood who refused to grow up and move out. Perdita has her own voice and personality and - while she and Agnes don't get on very will - Perdita does have a big part to play in the story).

Magrat, Agnes' predecessor, retired from witching when she married Verence, Lancre's King. The Royal Couple are now a Royal Family, and - when the book opens - the baptism of the newly-arrived Royal Daughter is approaching. However, Verence is looking to raise Lancre's profile and has invited a number of foreign dignitaries to join the royal celebrations. Foolishly, he's included the Count de Magpyr, a vampire from Uberwald, on the guest list...the Count brings his wife and two children - Vlad and Lacrimosa. They arrive fashionably late in their own stylishly black coach, driven - naturally - by an Igor. They're a progressive bunch - they occasionally drink wine instead of blood and they're trying to build up an immunity to garlic, sunlight and religious symbols. However, they have chosen to hang on to the mind-control. (Igor doesn't approve of these new-fangled ways at all and, around the stately castle, he's very much in favour of traditional squeaky doors, billowing curtains, spiders and dribbling candles.) Unsurprisingly, the de Magpyrs have decided to take over...and they're not at all worried about the famous Granny Weatherwax. In fact, the Count seems certain that Granny Weatherwax won't be long in switching sides...

Granny, Nanny and Agnes have, of course, also been invited... it is a little worrying, however, that although Granny's invite was sent she never actually received it. (Rather awkwardly, she was also supposed to be the Godmother, so her presence would have been vital even without the vampires). Worse, thinking she has been forgotten about, Granny now aparently sees the coven as Nanny, Magrat and Agnes...and believes she is no longer needed in Lancre.

Usually, christenings in Lancre are performed by Brother Perdore but - having fallen sixty feet down a gorge - Verence has sent for a priest from a neighbouring Omnian mission. Nanny is outraged, since Omnian priests have been known to set witches on fire. However, the priest in question - Mightily Oats - proves to be a useful ally in time...as do the Nac Mac Feegle, who make their debut in this book. (The Feegle are a race of small blue skinned Pictsies whose main hobbies are drinking, fighting and rustling livestock).

Another very funny and enjoyable book by Pratchett - I was glad to see a bit of room being made for Magrat in this one. She has changed a little - she isn't quite so drippy and, now that she's married, gets most of Nanny's crude jokes. There isn't any great rivalry between her and Agnes either - in fact, in the few moments the pair spend together, they seem to get on quite well. Thanks to Mightily, there were also a couple of nods to Brutha, from "Small Gods" - Brutha was Om's last great prophet, and is revered by Omnians everywhere.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
THE STORY:
A family of forward-thinking vampires, immune to all the traditional vampire killing methods (except cutting their heads off, which does in most people), has decided to take control of Lancre. The only thing standing in their way is a doubting (doubtful?) priest and the country's resident witches. But the strongest of them, Granny Weatherwax, cannot decide whether she should get involved at all.
WHAT'S GOOD:
Now, I can't claim to be a Pratchett fan, but as the saying goes 'I knows what I likes...'. This book is both funny and clever on many levels, be it in regards to the vampires, whose immunity stems from overcoming the social conditioning that makes them believe they'll burst into flame when the sun rises, or the contradictions of the Omnian faith, which is very thinly veiled satire of the christian church. But this book isn't simply a satire of religion and fokelore, it has a very strong core story that is, in fact, just about Granny Weatherwax's internal conflict about her own darkness and her relationships with others. Death makes a few, very welcome, cameo appearances along the way to lighten the mood too (I just realised how bizarre that sentence sounds!). Ultimately though, my favourite element was none other than those boozing, brawling Wee Free Men, the Nac mac Feegle. You've got to love a tiny blue smurf-like race whose three main pursuits are drinking, fighting "An' snafflin' coobeastie!".
WHAT'S BAD:
Igor's lisping speech and it's onamatapeic (forgive me if I've mispelled that last one - I just wrote it how it sounds!) spelling left me thinking and reading all 's' words with a lisp sound, which really pithed me off! Also, at times I found Agnes' character to be annoying and a bit pointless. Other than those small factors, not much else.
Satirical fantasy with a core of character self-discovery. Brilliant.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 1999
Carpe Jugulum is the twenty-third book in the Discworld series of Terry Pratchett novels. Like many of his works Carpe Jugulum is no exception, providing a adventurous and exciting read from cover to cover.
The story begins in the Ramtops with our old friends the Witches and a new addition to the gang, Perdita. The storyline continues the saga of the Witches from the previous Witches books, which seem to follow, more or less, a kind of chronological order. This is why it is recommended that the other books are read first. The other books give the reader an introduction to the existing characters and a feel for the Lancre atmosphere. The previous books include the titles, Equal Rites, Witches Abroad, and Lords and Ladies.
The story itself is based around the Naming Ceremony of Verence and Magrats' daughter. King Verence has invited many major dignitaries from around the land. Unfortunately as a result of his open-mindedness he has also invited various parties from Uberwold. In particular these parties are Vampires and all vampirical antics are based around the introduction of these new characters.
It would seem that the three main elements to the story appear to be the invitation of the Vampires by Verence to the Ceremony, the lack of an invitation for Granny Weatherwax to the Ceremony, and the homeless Little Blue Men that appear to like nothing more than to drink and fight and fight and drink.
All these elements go to make up a great story which is I'm sad to say, not quite in the same league as the greats but still a good overall read. I await the next book eagerly.
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Fans of Terry Pratchett will know this is not one of his best efforts. It's not a bad book - Pratchett very rarely writes a complete miss - but it's not one of his more memorable stories. At this point he was getting to the point of exhausting his witch characters, and some of the jokes feel a bit tired. Wisely after this outing he 'retired' the characters and resurrected them in the popular 'Tiffany Aching' Discworld series for younger readers. It is less funny than many of his stories - although there are still some good jokes - and the plot doesn't work as well. I always find vampires in fantasy a bit hard to 'believe' (within the internal logic of the fantasy world). One the one hand, they have virtual super-powers. On the other, they can be killed by all manner of ridiculous things - something that Pratchett is trying to send up but often ends up lampooning himself as well. It's very hard to write consistently about vampire characters because of these conflicting elements. And whilst I do love the witches and the kingdom of Lancre, I do feel that Pratchett has used up most of his mileage with them by this book. It's an enjoyable enough read for those who like the series, but if you're new to Discworld do start with one of the better novels (Maskerade, Hogfather, Mort, Moving Pictures) and save this one for when you've read the rest. And if you are already a Discworld fan, just lower your expectations a bit to avoid disappointment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 1999
I decided to return to Pratchet some five years after having read 3 discworld novels. I wasn't blown away then and I wasn't this time either. Sure Pratchet writes in a clever fashion with snide and cynical remarks at society interwoven into the narrative, but to my mind not one of his books has really gripped me. They miss that I must find out what happens next factor. Never the less, I still enjoyed reading the book, but I could put it down. Some of the one liners are great, but you go to see a stand up comic for one liners, not read a novel.
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on 6 November 1998
CARPE JUGULUM A Morality Tale from Terry to remind you that Granny Weatherwax is not invincible, Nanny Ogg is not a buffoon and Magrat is no longer a dithering flowerperson now she is Queen and a mum (but still a witch). Agnes Nitt (alias Perdita) comes of age as Lancre's newest witch and makes up the coven of 3 when Granny's not around. Some twit (King Verence) has managed to invite vampires to his baby daughter's naming day in Lancre, where they take over completely. The problem is how to get rid of them. These vampires are state-of-the-art modern entities, trained to resist garlic, religious symbols and other anti-vampire weapons. They are civilised, but have the cruelty of a master race to whom all other life forms are insignificant. They appear invincible and seem more than a match for the hapless witches. One bright spot in the gloom : another new species makes an entrance: pixies of a benevolent nature. They are a cross between Smurfs and Scotsmen with more than a hint of incomprehensible dialect. There's an unusually hesitant Omnian priest and an Ancient Retainer with irritating written-out lisp and character not unlike Gaspode's, and also Shawn Ogg, without whom the castle at Lancre could scarcely function. So, gentle Reader, get pensive, and stock up with drinks and biscuits because the plot races and this is a difficult book to put down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2001
Carpe Jugulum is fantastic! I have read no other book that involves wiches fighting the evil forces of the vampyre ( aren't witches supposed to be evil too?) This book will make you carry on reading, it is so enthralling that I myself read it in a few hours. Not only has it got a great storyline it is also very funny. My favourite chararcters from this book have to be Granny Weatherwax and Death. If your not a Discworld fan now, read this book and you'll be hungry for more!
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