- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Corgi; New Ed edition (1 Oct. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552149411
- ISBN-13: 978-0552149419
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 3 x 17.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 331,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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 the Audio CD edition.
"'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)
Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't exactly thrilled when I heard Vimes was in Monstrous Regiment - I do like the character, but both Night Watch and the previous Fifth Elephant didn't exactly do it for me.
But anyway, even Pratchett's bad books are eminently readable.
This is not one of Pratchett's bad books. It's one of his best.
It's a long way from being his funniest, but given the subject, that's a good thing. It's got a few things to say about war, and it's entertaining.
It gets a little silly towards the end when... oh, you'll know when you get there, but even though you feel it shouldn't work, it does, magnificently.
And even though it mostly focusses on Polly, it doesn't get boring in the slightest.
To summarise, it's a mix of Mulan and Apocalypse Now with a hefty dose of pantomime thrown in as well.
Well done, Mr Pratchett. Now if only you'd bring the witches back...
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).
The plot is really strong here, and since I was reading it in installments, in Books Etc, I can assure you the suspense is great - I fretted myself to hell wandering what would happen next.
The lost star is for two reasons. Firstly, some of the characters were a little underdeveloped for the body of the book. I couldn't really remember the difference between Shufti, Lofty, Tonker and Wazzer before the later stages of the book. Its a shame, because when their characters developed, they were great. They had the potential to be a group as dynamic as the Watch, once they came into their own.
The second reason is because I thought the ending was slightly weak in some ways. I won't give it away, but there are revelations which could have used some ground work (I'm not refferring to the sergeant's, which was great), and it didn't really deliver the point of the message that the book had been building up to. However, in the last few pages, the story rallied.
I hope this isn't the last we see of Polly and the Ins-and-Outs. I comapred them to the A-M city Watch and I'd love to see them go the same way - grow and change and change their environment the way Vimes and Carrot et al have A-M. The potential is definately there.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A cracking good read, as enjoyable a read as i've ever had, I don't know what i'm going to read after i've finished the Discworld books TP will be sadly missed.Published 5 months ago by Baronbill
having been an avid discworld fan for close to 20 years and having read 90% of TP's novels this one is in my top 5 reads. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Derek
Brilliant book. He's writing always entertains and holds a honest message.Published 6 months ago by Mr. Colin J. Todd