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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, Great fun.
Opinions on this book seem to fall into two camps. The first are those who "get it", and have probably reccomended this book to everyone they thought was at all interested in a related genre. The second is the camp of those who don't get it, and who mercilessly rip every fabric of the work to shreds for its every tiny defect.

I'm in the first camp, and I hope...
Published on August 19, 2006 by Michigoon

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting! But...
What is interesting about this book is that it is good and bad in one! By this I meen that this book is superbly well written, described and fulfilling; full of action and realism and at times extreemly intense! But that's just the point.... Some other parts of it are offensive and disgusting to the point of violent nausea (I am using an understatement here)written...
Published on March 1, 1999


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, Great fun., August 19, 2006
This review is from: Grunts (Mass Market Paperback)
Opinions on this book seem to fall into two camps. The first are those who "get it", and have probably reccomended this book to everyone they thought was at all interested in a related genre. The second is the camp of those who don't get it, and who mercilessly rip every fabric of the work to shreds for its every tiny defect.

I'm in the first camp, and I hope you'll join me. At the very least, heed my opinion on the second camp- too many people try to take this book seriously. A quote on the cover says it all, "moves at a good clip and delivers plenty of gags". And that's what this book is all about- a nice quick story with lots of gags.

And they're great gags at that. Sure, the story isn't particularly solid. And there's nothing in the book that'll have people pulling out comparisons to Tolkein-esque visuals or Salvatore-esque characterizations... but that's sort of the point. Think of this book as the "Three Stooges" of the Fantasy genre, and you're on the right track.

I particularly reccomend this book to anyone who's ever played Dungoens and Dragons, known someone who played it, or laughed at someone who was playing it. So many elements here seem to be ripped right from late-night, caffiene-enhanced, power-gaming D&D scenarios that I'm surprised the Roleplaying community hasn't adopted this work.

Grab this book if you're a Fantasy fan who wants a truly lighter take on the genre- complete with lots of cursing, sex, and gore just for flair. Grab it if you're a D&D fanatic who's taken part in one too many sour campaigns. But mostly, just grab it. It's a great twist on the genre, it's a terribly fun read, and at least a few of the gags are going to be worth the price of admission alone.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I envy those reading this for the first time., March 9, 2000
By 
This review is from: Grunts (Mass Market Paperback)
This book has a long, intricate plot, with as many characters as a Dickens novel. Basically, the Orcs, fighting for the Dark Lord under the leadership of the nameless necromancer, discover a dragon's horde, with a curse upon it...if you take the treasure, you'll become what you steal. In this case, the treasure is modern military weaponry, and after stealing it, the rather dim Orcs become Marines, with all the 'tude and fighting ability of cinema soldiers.At the end, the Orcs are apparently about to invade earth via the same conduits through which the dragon stole the weapons and technology in the first place. And in between, every cliche of the fantasy novel (especially the sexlessness), PLUS modern politicking, PLUS military movies, come in for some heavy, witty, at times acidulous satire.
Here's the quote that sums it up:
p.451 "That does it!" Oderic said, puffing smoke-rings that lurched, lopsided, into the air." I'm going to tell the REAL story about halflings,orcs, the Dark Lord, and the final victory. The halflings are going to be cheery and moral and know their place; the orcs will be cowardly, and they'll lose; there won't be ANY mention of arms trading, and at the end, the Dark Lord will be male, and VERY, VERY dead!"
If you enjoy Tolkien, but find some of his attitudes towards women and the 'lower classes' offputting, and if you find the unthinking repetition of these attitudes in every Tolkien imitator annoying, this is the book for you.
Two caveats: 1.)These are more warhammer orcs than Tolkien's . If you play the games, you'll have a much better chance of keeping all the orc characters straight in your mind. There's enough characters here to do justice to a Dickens novel, as I said, but not being human, they might be harder to visualize, at least at first. 2.) There are no good guys here. The orcs are cannibalistic rapists(but the halflings are even worse), the elfs and men are hypocrites. Would the book be better if one could empathize more with the 'heroes'? I dunno.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Versus Evil Revisited, November 29, 1999
By 
The Dude (New York, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grunts (Mass Market Paperback)
Grunts! is a really wild trip. I can't think of another novel I've read that has more shooting, explosions, and guns. The fantasy novel is wholly original (of course the Forces of Good aren't inheritantly good) and the jokes range from plain gross to mildly funny to laugh out loud hilarious. The novel itself is divided into three parts (books 1, 2, and 3) and the best and most exciting part is book 2. It includes one of the most fantastic castle sieges I've ever read (use flying elephants to bomb the enemy, why not?). Book 1 does a relatively fine job of setting up the events in books 2 and 3. However, I found book 1 to be the least funny part of the novel. Book 3 includes an unneeded cameo by a 20th century human from Earth (you'll have to read the novel to see how he gets from Earth to the planet in the novel). Book 3 is even more chaotic and odd than books 1 and 2. Book 3 includes one of the funniest and most ludicrous trial scenes I've ever read. Despite some minor complaints, and some excessive depictions of violence, Grunts! is a very original and ultimatly strange fantasy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a world, October 5, 2003
By 
Tracy Winge (Belleville, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grunts (Mass Market Paperback)
I would have to say that this book seemed only mildly funny when it was first described to me. I mean, who in their right mind would make a marine out of sniveling, half-witted orcs. Then I read it.
This is when I realized that orcs are the perfect marines for this book. I mean, being an evil sorcerer, who would you send in to kill off a dragon? It sure wouldn't be your most prized possessions, but the lowliest of your henchman, and usually your most prolific ones as well. Come on, we all know that orcs breed like rabbits, so that's got to be the first choice of henchman. All the bad guys use cannon fodder, so it only makes sense that we would see the orcs in charge.
Well, all in all, I loved this book, from the first paragraph to the last. I would recommend this to any fantasy reader out there. Actually, I think I just did.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Funniest books I've read, and I read a LOT, October 14, 1999
This review is from: Grunts (Mass Market Paperback)
They're orcs. They outnumber the enemy thousands to one, have superior leadership and tactics, and are absolutely certain they're gonna loose; because they're up against "The Good Guys."
These Orcs know all the cliches we do.
All that changes when the Orcs finaly get their hands on some real firepower, and the dogs get their day. This book is funny, it takes every cliche and universal assumption of the fantasy genere and kicks it in the shins. Good taste is never a consideration, this one is NOT for kids.
Harsh, Rowdy, But always funny.
Similar in many ways to Terry Prachets' Disk World series. One way way to compare them is (Disk World = The Simpsons, Grunts = South Park.)
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Orcs!, January 25, 2006
By 
Mark Basham (Raleigh, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grunts (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a great book!

It however is not of the traditional fantasy line of band of adventurers meet up and head off to right the wrongs of the world. This book pokes fun at all the traditional boring fantasy plotlines that are to be found in 100's of fantasy novels.

It is adult oriented, it is not meant to be believable and it's all about orcs running amok.

If you want to read book 18 of the Shannara series or another book that tells the same story Tolkien told 40 years ago pass this one by but if you want to read a crazy "what if" style novel about orcs butchering the forces of light for once, dig in!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's an Orcs life in the Marines, August 23, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Grunts (Mass Market Paperback)
Grunts is simply one of the funniest fantasy novels I've ever read. My copy has made it's way around at least a dozen of my friends, to equally high approval. Yes, it can be crude and vicious at times, but so are Orcs, remember. The story starts near the Final Battle between Good and Evil, only this time the point of view is from the side of Evil, and not some high and mighty hero, but the poor sword fodder in the front line... the Orcs. Sent to raid a Dragons lair for magic weapons to serve in the Final Battle, Ashnak and his orcs come away with more than they bargained for, especially given the Dragon's Curse. The story is well written, and there are quite a number of in-jokes scattered throughout. I would heartilly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, and has had an occasional want to see the bad guys win <G>. My only complaint is the cover, which makes the Orcs look somewhat stupid. My first copy was a European print, and was much better. Of the story itself I have no complaints. Now, when do we get a sequel ?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting! But..., March 1, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Grunts (Mass Market Paperback)
What is interesting about this book is that it is good and bad in one! By this I meen that this book is superbly well written, described and fulfilling; full of action and realism and at times extreemly intense! But that's just the point.... Some other parts of it are offensive and disgusting to the point of violent nausea (I am using an understatement here)written with the same care for detail that seems to characterise her work. After all... orc does as orc is, and we can't expect orcs not to do or be as they are but I guess we could have been spared some of the worse detials "Pass me another elf sargent" as one of them. Perhaps I could consider reading more of her woork in the future.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to be appluaded, October 20, 2000
By 
"p0pej0hn" (Riverside, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grunts (Mass Market Paperback)
Ive been reading since I was just a small lad, and in this period of time I have found many, many books that just take the same old genre and put another coat of paint on it. Or, just beat the perverbeal horse with the perverbeal crow-bar of mundaness.
I have to say when my friend handed me this book I was very doubtful, I had just been let down way too many times with fantasy. How many times do I need to read about the small town farmer that becomes an action hero? And I have to admit, the first 50 pages seem to be kind of slow, but after that there is NOT a slow spot. Its packed full of comedy, new ideas (which is SOARLY needed in this genre)action, and has MANY characters.
I see it this way, how many times have you WISHED for the damned hero in gold armour to be shot with a sniper rifle? Or for once maybe the dark side of the force just might win, in this book its all possible, ALL! For lots of luaghs and at least something to tide you over till the next WOT book comes out, give this one a wirl.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Versus Evil, From the Evil's perspective, July 17, 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Grunts (Mass Market Paperback)
Having spent years of reading fantasy novels, where the
Good guys are angelic and the bad guys are nasty S.O.B's,
this story turns it all around.

Are you tired of the Good guys in shining armor always
having the cool magic items, the flashy Gods, the undefeated
streak no matter what the odds?

Imagine being an Orc in the battle field fighting the
likes of Gandalf or Theoden. Is this really fair?
Do you have a chance? No, not until Mary Gentle puts
a machine gun in your hands. Yes folks, its an AK-47 day.

And that is just the beginning...
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Grunts
Grunts by Mary Gentle (Mass Market Paperback - August 1, 1995)
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