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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow start, but another winner
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...
Published on 8 Nov. 2003 by Andy Barkham

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't
The only Pratchett I have been disappinted with. Got the clever title, and the message, but overall found it dull. I had to force myself to finish it, and at the end was left thinking 'why?' Avoid and skip to the next Discworld novel.
Published on 30 Mar. 2012 by Amazon Customer

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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monstrous Regiment, 27 Sept. 2003
As with 'Night Watch', this Discworld novel could probably be read apart from the others as no prior knowledge of characters or events is needed. New characters are introduced, some of which are hilarious... The plot itself is, in my opinion, excellent - and the execution as perfect as ever. It's (again, like 'Night Watch') slightly 'darker' than his previous Discworld novels, but is liberally laced with comedy nonetheless. Laugh? Don't read it with broken ribs... Buy it, read it, love it.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A maturing style, 4 Nov. 2003
Reading the other reviews leads me to a sad conclusion. Half of us are happy to mature with the writer but the other half yearn for the naivity of his earlier works. I only hope that that the latter half can be satisfied with his "younger audience" books such as Maurice, Wee Free Men and its forthcoming sequel, Hatful of Sky. These, I feel, continue the style of rapid fire humour associated with his earlier works. It appears though that even the more willing readers expect too much from a book introducing a new location and new characters. Those who bemoan a lack of depth or a 2-dimensionality about Polly and her regiment would do well to re-read Colour of Magic, Light Fantastic or Equal Rites with a fresh eye and see just how 2-dimensional our old favorites appeared at the start. COM and LF look like little more than pastiches of Fritz Leiber, albeit funny ones. The reason we all feel the familiar characters have greater depth is because Terry has had 30-odd books in which to flesh them out with greater detail and increasingly complex personalities.
Monstrous Regiment continues Terry's tradition of hitting us with a more challanging and reflective novel in amongst the levity of the other books. I can remember reading Small Gods for the first time and thinking "Whoa! This is a serious book." The same feeling hit me with Night Watch and, to a lesser degree, Jingo. Don't be put off by anyone who says Terry is going off-centre with this book. Read it and you will see that he is not just a funny writer. He is a really good one, too.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good pratchett, but not the best, 30 Sept. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Finished the book at 1:30 last night.
In belligerent Borogravia Polly joins the army, It turns out she's not the only one. The men are mostly killed captured or crippled. so the remains of the army is filled with women who have joined in disguise to seek family, lovers, or just to escape something worse.
Its a good read, mostly set in a 'new' environment, although there are cameo roles for Sam Vimes, Angua, Rust and the gentlemen from the 'Ankh-Morpork Times'. Of course everyone should buy it, but in my view its not quite at the level of some of Terry's recent books such as 'Fifth Elephant', 'Thief of Time' or 'Nightwatch', but on the other hand those are among the best books ever written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For old and new fans alike., 19 Nov. 2003
N. Joshi "Joshi" (UK) - See all my reviews
Whether you've loved discword for a long time, or just getting started and wanted to start with the right book, this is the book for you. With storylines that are simple enough for a five year old to understand with enough indepth and insight to keep a philosopher happy and enough comedy to make Jack Dee laugh, this is one hell of a book. You don't have to read any of the other 26 discworld books to understand this. This is a world with trolls, dwarves, vampires and igors, you get that straight away. and then the simply yet brilliantly complicated storylin unfolds, with enough twists to keep you going through to the end. Not as good as previous books, but a great one to start off with. and for those who have read the previous discworld books, or any previous discworld books, this carries on the series nicely and simply tells another story of Discworld.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'd Recommend It!, 18 May 2005
This review is from: Monstrous Regiment: A Discworld Novel (Paperback)
Monstrous Regiment is, in my opinion, one of Pratchett's finest novels to date. It veers away from the well trodden (but nevertheless wonderful) paths of Ankh Morpork and the like, and introduces us to the country of Borogravia. In this place, there's always a war going on. Pratchett manages to portray, in its utmost, the unglamourous, sordid side to the topical subject. He injects the story with his trademark spice and humour, turning it on its head at times!
My favourite character was Maladict the Vampire, a welcome introduction to the discworld line up! His personal traits were a cause for laugh - out - loud reading, and really added another dimension to the story.
The only criticism I have is that there comes a stage where Pratchett really hammers his point home - and it works - but unfortunately he doesn't stop there, so the plot begins to lose some of its previous credibility.
All in all though, a really enjoyable read that I'd be happy to recommend to any Pratchett fan!!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Borogravia put on the map, 23 Oct. 2003
For those other reviewers who believe this book to be not one of his best, I have to say on the whole I disagree. I read the book in just two sittings because I really wanted to know how it all turned out. They drew me in. Good storytelling that is.
Its unfair to criticise Vimes and Anguas inclusion as 'mere' familiarity. Thats exactly how it was written. They are not the central characters. New to the expanding Discworld family, Private Polly Perks and her army colleagues take the front line here, all of which harbour their own personal demons, as you discover piece by teasing piece. Good strong characters, ones you care about. Bunch of misfits if ever you saw them, but Sergeant Jackrum knows how to look after his lads, and is the embodiment of Sergeant-for-life die hards that exist in every Army.
As usual Mr Pratchett puts his own inimitable twist on social issues. The hardships of soldier life, the turmoil of leaving behind those you love, the comradeship gained in battle, and ultimately the pointlesness of war. Never before has the phrase 'military intelligence' been so aptly presented as a contradiction of terms. All serious pressing issues no doubt, but fed to us with a clinical rapier wit and deadpan satire trademark to the series.
We shouldn't unfairly compare these unfamiliar characters with our favourites, we should welcome them in and offer them a seat by the fire. The success of Discworld must have given Terry a series continuity nightmare he never envisaged, so to have Sam Vimes there, one of the most influential characters ever introduced, looking over these young 'uns, was a stroke of genius. His approval of them is our approval. Nice one!
Polly Perks might be young but shes seen a bit of action now, and is certainly no fool. Wouldn't surprise me if we saw more of her.
I have everything the man has had published. For me this WAS one of the better ones. I'll read it again, and enjoy it just as much.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellant read, 19 Nov. 2004
This review is from: Monstrous Regiment: A Discworld Novel (Paperback)
After a period of reading increasing amounts of technical books it comes as no suprise that it is a Discworld Novel that brings me back to the realms of fiction.

Monsterous Regiment is filled with excitement, twists, and of course humour. Pratchett carefully manipulates what the reader knows, and you love every minute of it as he creates yet another skillful yarn.

The plot centres around a warring and unstable country in a remote area. It is slowly tearing itself apart on the inside because of its insane god, Nuggan, and being torn up on the outside because all of its former enemies have allied against them. The time is ripe for a Pratchian hero to save the day.

For me the the best part of the book was the number of twists, almost impeccably executed until the very end. My only criticism is that towards the end the twists begin to become formulaic and it's hard not to expect some of them.

To sum up: the Kneck River may change its course every season in a random fashion, unlike the plot which is guided by Pratchett's own hand.

All in all, a very enjoyable read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but slow, 28 May 2014
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 comrades fighting a losing war, and doing a lot more than is expected of normal soldiers.
This is my first Discworld novel, excluding Maruice and his Rodents, which I read ages ago and barely remember. I've been told you can read these in any order though, and seeing as I have a paper on gender and stereotypes in YA (this can count as YA, right?), I thought i'd start with this.
I really liked Polly. She's smart and resourceful, and funny. The regiment is filled with a lot of crazy characters, like a vampire who drinks a lot of coffee and an Igor, bits of humans stitched together who conveniently handy with a needle on the battlefield. I liked the odd collection and all the variety this meant.
I found bits of this hard to follow and understand, which may have been as it's my first Discworld and I didn't get parts of the mythology that readers of the series would, or may be because at times I lost interest. This isn't helped by the lack of breaks in the text which make me think “why” and skim to get to a convenient stopping place quickly.
I liked the huge parodying going on here. First there's the title, which comes from an old thing “””” which is essentially complaining about women in the army, ie our main character. Then there's the trial thing near the end which shows up ridiculousness of certain rules and how people ignore technical rules and cherry-pick ones they want for their own cause-thank you Clogston.
The ending shows how much Polly and co have changed things, and a tidy end to their storyline. The whole end reveal was quite predictable considering the way the rest of it had gone though.

Overall: Strength 3.5, just more a 4, to a fun fantasy adventure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Monstrously funny, 16 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Monstrous Regiment: A Discworld Novel (Paperback)
Pratchett's latest effort takes us into a parody of the regimented life in the army as we follow Sir Samuel Vimes, hot off the press from Nightwatch, as he resumes his ambassadorial role. This time we move to the land of Borogravia, constantly at war with the Zlobenians and follow the story of Polly Perks who has learned how to act like a boy and joined up with her fellow recruits, the vampire Maledict, Tonker Shufti, Wazzer, the troll Corfundum, Igor, and Lofty, to name a few, under the command of the self-important and nasty corporal Strappi and the quietly heroic Sergeant Jackrum. After losing Strappi, very quickly, Polly's secret is out (as is most of the last regiment) and they find themselves on the front line with no training (as the war's going badly but this cannot be mentioned). Nevertheless, they manage to surprise and overcome an advance scout group of heavy dragoons under the command of the disguised Prince Heinrich (there is a very amusing episode as Sergeant Jackrum neatly maneuvers his way around Discworld's `geneva convention'-equivalent). Gradually, they stumble their way past a skirmish at a clacks tower, bump into William de Worde and the delightful Otto Chriek, deal with Maledict's coffee withdrawl symptoms, and eventually end up dressing as washerwomen to gain entry to the Zlobenian-held Kreck keep. Once inside, the ever-surprising lieutenant Blouse manages to steers them, with Polly's excellent guidance, to freeing all the prisoners with some explosive help, restore control of the keep to Zlobenian hands and then avoid a court martial with de Worde's intervention.
Pratchett is without doubt the current master of satire across all genres. The subtety of his humour and his inoffensive parody is coruscating in its effectiveness, poking enjoyable fun at the establishment. By breaking all the usual rules our gallant ladies defy and rampage through the war with devastating effectiveness to show that in a war, there are no rules. Written with Pratchett's usual wit and razorsharp satire, this would come somewhere high up my list of Discworld recommended novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Proof that manhood consists of learning to burp and scratch yourself...and remembering to wear an extra pair of socks!, 3 Oct. 2009
R. Boadle "Roisin" (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Monstrous Regiment: A Discworld Novel (Paperback)
This is what I would call a "stand alone" Pratchett book. All the main characters are new, there are cameos by others such as Vimes and the Ankh-Morpork Times but generally separate from these storylines. It is based on those many folk songs (as a folk musician I've heard millions of them) where a woman dresses as a man and heads off to war/sea. Our heroine, Polly, learnt the song "Sweet Polly Oliver" when she was young which, when her elder, learning-disabled brother disappears in the middle of yet another Borogravian war, gives her the idea to cut off her hair and join up to find him. Fortunately for her, the regiment she joins is a little unusual...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I love all Pratchett books to be honest but this is one of my favourites (which is unusual for a stand alone book). I grew to love all the characters and there are plenty of jokes to keep you going. It is perhaps not as laugh out loud as some of his books, this seems to be a trend in his later texts- something I am very happy to enjoy. There is a lot of discussion about the horrors of war, as well as the sometimes surprising domesticity that you find in large, semi-permanent encampments. During the story we learn a lot about Borogravia, a country plagued by a crazy religion and a penchant for bickering and starting wars with their neighbours.

Essentially a great book and, if you're liking this slightly more serious Pratchett, one you're sure to enjoy!
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Monstrous Regiment: A Discworld Novel
Monstrous Regiment: A Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett (Paperback - 1 Oct. 2004)
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