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Monstrous Regiment (Discworld Novels) Hardcover – 1 Oct 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 233 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First edition (1 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385603401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385603409
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.4 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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,


'The great Terry Pratchett, whose wit is metaphysical...who has a multifarious genius for strong parody...Who writes amazing sentences.' -- A.S. Byatt, New York Times

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
First of all, Monstrous Regiment is the 28th Discworld book, and Pratchett is just getting started. Every time you think he has run out of ideas, he comes up with something new (or an interesting take on something old). This book is no different, as this time he examines the military and the military mindset. Is it a good one? SIR, YES SIR!
This is another winning Discworld book. It's a bit different in tone from Night Watch, if only because the humour is broader. In Night Watch, the humour was on the side and it was a fairly serious book except for that. This has a serious point to make as well, but the humour involves everybody. It was refreshing to see. Pratchett has some good points to make on military matters in the real world, and he skewers the entire mindset (not necessarily of the men, who he never really disparages, but the planners).
He does have the obvious stereotypes of the hard drill sergeant and the lieutenant who doesn't really know what he's doing and has no experience. But even these stereotypes he turns on their heads, shakes them upside down, and looks at what comes out. Pratchett, always a master of character, has created some new winners (though I don't believe they'll be back in another book, like some of Pratchett's recurring characters). Polly is the typical Pratchett hero: determined, relatively straight-laced, intelligent and resourceful. She's a wonderful viewpoint character, scared but determined to do what is right. When she's assigned to be the lieutenant's assistant, she's reluctant to take advantage of the position, though she does so to help out her mates. She helps Lieutenant Blouse along, though she's terrified of shaving him because she's never learned how to shave herself.
Probably the best character in the book, though, is Jackrum.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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