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Carpe Jugulum (Discworld) Mass Market Paperback – August 8, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews
Book 23 of 40 in the Discworld Series

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Mass Market Paperback, August 8, 2000
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Pandemic by Sonia Shah
"Beacon 23"
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Carpe Jugulum is the 23rd Discworld novel, and with it this durable series continues its juggernaut procession onward. Pratchett is an author who inspires such devotions that his fans will fall on the novel with cries of joy. Nonfans, perhaps, will want to know what all the fuss is about; and that's something difficult to put into a few words. The best thing to do for those completely new to Pratchett is to sample him for themselves, and this novel is as good a place to start as any. But fans have a more precise question. They know that Discworld novels come in one of two varieties: the quite good and the brilliant. So, for instance, where Hogfather and Maskerade were quite good, Feet of Clay and Jingo were brilliant. While true fans wouldn't want to do without the former, they absolutely live for the latter. And with Carpe Jugulum, Pratchett has hit the jackpot again. This novel is one of the brilliant ones.

The plot is a version of an earlier Discworld novel, Lords and Ladies, with the predatory elves of that novel being replaced here by suave and deadly vampires, and the tiny kingdom of Lancre being defended by its witches. But plot is the least of Pratchett's appeal, and Carpe Jugulum is loaded with marvelous characters (not least the witches themselves, about whom we learn a deal more), comic touches and scenes of genius, and even some of the renowned down-to-earth Pratchett wisdom (about the inner ethical conflicts we all face and the wrongness of treating people as things). Pratchett's vampires are elegant Bela Lugosi types, and they come up against an unlikely but engaging alliance of witches; blue-skinned pixies like Rob Roy Smurfs; a doubting priest with a boil on his face; and a magical house-size Phoenix in a seamless, completely absorbing, and feel-good-about-the-universe mixture. Highly recommended. --Adam Roberts, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Carpe JugulumAseize the throatAis the motto of the family of "vampyres" who attempt a hospitable takeover of the kingdom of Lancre in Pratchett's 23rd Discworld novel. When the goodhearted king invited the Magpyrs to celebrate the birth of his daughter, he couldn't know that these modern bloodsuckers would have no intention of leaving. By controlling everyone's mind, they try to turn Lancre into a sort of farm, and no one can think straight enough to stop them. That is, until the vampyres meet up with the local witches: Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Magrat Garlick and Agnes Nitt (who is literally of two minds about everything). The perplexing skirmishes that ensue will leave readers shaking their heads in hearty dismay even as they groan at the puns and explanatory notes that pepper the tale. Death (scythe and all) and Igor (of Frankenstein film fame) provide the best gags. The novel exudes the curious feel of old-fashioned vampire and Frankenstein legendsAfull of holy water, religious symbols, stakes through the heart, angry mobs, bad pronunciation and garlic. The vampyres, however, have risen above these clich?s even if their servant, Igor, still has a taste for dribbly candles and squeaky hinges. Pratchett lampoons everything from Christian superstition to Swiss Army knives here, proving that the fantasy satire of Discworld "still ate'nt dead."
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Discworld (Book 23)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch (August 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061020397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061020391
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was fifteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 36 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these children's books, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). Terry's latest book, Nation, a non-Discworld standalone YA novel was published in October of 2008 and was an instant New York Times and London Times bestseller. Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire "for services to literature" in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 55 million copies (give or take a few million) and have been translated into 36 languages. Terry Pratchett lives in England with his family, and spends too much time at his word processor.  Some of Terry's accolades include: The Carnegie Medal, Locus Awards, the Mythopoetic Award, ALA Notable Books for Children, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Book Sense 76 Pick, Prometheus Award and the British Fantasy Award.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Those of us who grew up watching Hammer films know better than to invite a vampire into our castle. But suppose you are the new jester-turned-king of a small principality on Discworld, and you want to be friends with all of your neighbors, even if they happen to be undead. (Hint: always check to see if a country has a disproportionate number of 24-hour Walgreens before issuing your invitations).
Not only does King Verence invite a family of vampires to his daughter's christening, his invitation to the powerful witch, Granny Weatherwax goes mysteriously astray.
Foopahs abound. Granny Weatherwax closes up her cottage as though she never means to return. Her friend and fellow-witch, Nanny Ogg is upset by King Verence's choice of a priest of Om as the official baptizer--a priest who relies on bits of strategically placed paper to jog his uncertain memory--which is how the little princess ends up with the name 'Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre.'
Of course, Lancre did once have a king named, 'My God He's Heavy the First.'
This is obviously going to shape up as one of the most disastrous christenings since Sleeping Beauty got the shaft (or more correctly, the spindle) from the thirteenth fairy godmother. Then events take a turn for the worse when the vampires happily chow through Nanny Ogg's special garlic dip without a single rumble of indigestion.
I love all of the Granny Weatherwax/Nanny Ogg Discworld novels, and even though "Carpe Jugulum" tackles some unusually serious themes (its vampires are truly evil, unlike the loveable, teetotalling Otto in "The Truth"), it is still vintage Pratchett and vintage Granny.
It is amazing how an author of such absurd fantasies can still convey such a bone-chilling description of evil. Pratchett is much more than a 'simple' comic novelist.
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Okay, I have this odd sence of de ja vu when I read a vampire novel, I mean if you read 3 how different can the 4th be? Not this one. It's a beautiful satire and has far too many one liners and jokes like all Terry Pratchett books to really go into. It has Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax two of the witches in Lancre driving out the vampires (sorry, vampyres)who were invited in by King Verence for his daughter's christening. Possibly my favorite bit, was when the older vampires are making fun of young vampires who wear bright clothes and stay up until noon and wear their hair short and tell people that their name is Pam or Agnes.... it's a very funny quick read. I also have a hard time thinking of it being a blow off. There are bits with Granny Weatherwax that make you feel you may have just read somethingg important.
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This is just one of umpteen reviews, so I'll skip the summary. In fact, the only reason I'm reviewing this AT ALL is that I bought the book through Amazon, so every time I write a review of something else, they remind me I still haven't reviewed this one.
But, after having it for months, I've finally started to read it. Wow, I'm glad that I did!
Let's be honest. The plot is really secondary to the characters. And that is where PTerry shines. He gives us characters with motivations and passions, likes and fears, and he lets the humor flow from that, rather than forcing a plot point to make the humor come out. PTerry's humor is never forced.
However, as many have pointed out, this plot is a re-hasing of Lords and Ladies. Without a doubt, Lords and Ladies is my favorite. So when this plot also takes place in Lancre with an outside force of supernatural beings assaulting the kingdom, it felt like I was coming back to a well-eorn fable. I knew the plot, and I could concentrate on reading about the characters.
And we learn so much about the characters this time. Nanny Ogg and Agnes get some great treatment this time around (which they lacked in previous books), and even Granny Weatherwax gets some new twists. The characters are delicious.
Why a four star rating instead of a five, then? Because PTerry wasn't as inventive this time. In Lords and Ladies, we see Elves in a different way. Cliches are broken, mangled, played with, and twisted. But the Vampires (vampyrs, as they prefer) are somewhat mundane. One of them is even named Vlad, for Pete's sake! PTerry certainly did give us a new take on some of the traits of the Vampires, but they didn't get the much-needed overhaul that the Elves got previously.
Otherwise, an entertaining, highly-readable, highly-quotable book (as Discworld books tend to be). But it's still the younger, less successful brother compared to Lords and Ladies.
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Carpe Jugulum, the 23rd Discworld novel by the ever-amusing Terry Pratchett, introduces vampires to the Disc. Having read the books out of order, and having already read all of the subsequent ones, vampires are old-hat to me. A couple of times, I had to consciously remember that this was the first and that some of the things I knew about them weren't true in this one. That being said, this is another wonderful Discworld book, a notch on his belt that looks rather toothy.
A number of people have commented on the similarities between this book and Lords & Ladies, with the vampires replacing the elves as villains. While I do see some similarities, there are some marked differences as well. Carpe Jugulum, I feel, stands well on its own two feet. There is a completely different purpose behind what the vampires are doing. The Count wants to modernize his people, to get them to overcome some of the "silly" stereotypes about vampires. He doesn't want a dank, gloomy castle with webs all over the place. He doesn't see the hunt as a game where the vampire always loses. He wants to take over in order to protect himself, his family, and his very way of life. If he didn't commit some thoroughly evil deeds in the process, his goal might actually be a legitimate one.
However, he does commit these acts, and thus must be stopped. This is where the book does become a little standard, with an intractable enemy facing the witches and Granny using her "headology" to save the day. I have to admit that what she decides to do is very interesting, and a nice twist on vampire myths in general. I won't reveal what she does, but suffice it to say that she turns one of the typical vampire powers back on itself in a very novel way.
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