Monstrous Regiment: A Discworld Novel Paperback – 1 Oct 2004
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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, Amazon.com --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)
"'You ride along on his tide of out-landish invention, realizing that you are in the presence of a true original among contemporary writers - a fantasist who loves naff humour and silly names, and yet whose absurd world is, at heart, a serious portrait of the jingoistic fears that keep us at each other's throats'" (The Times)
"'It's powerful stuff, and one of his best'" (Starburst)
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Top Customer Reviews
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).
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terry was to my way of thinking improving with every novel he wrote - just look at Raising Steam and Dodger. What a real tragedy that he should be taken at his peak.Published 1 month ago by Esgyrn-Dafydd
Based on the story behind Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". II liked this so much, I recently re-read it and got a lot more out of it. All action! Witches on top!Published 1 month ago by Nigel MacNicol
Funny & thought provoking as Pratchett's works so often are...Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
LOVED THIS BOOK.
This phrase seems to be a recurring theme in my Terry Pratchett reviews but you just cant get around the fact he is a genius of social commentary in comedic... Read more
One of my favourites! Fantastic social commentary with an amazing sense of humour.Published 3 months ago by wogawilla
Pratchett's first attempt at writing this book pretty much fell on deaf ears because his fans just weren't ready for this degree of "poking at how the real world is". Read morePublished 3 months ago by F. M. Havicon
Good plot, plenty of twists and turns - a real page turner.
Also a gives satirical view of sexual discrimination and whether women who do well in a man's world out-man... Read more