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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Grunts Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1995

3.9 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The author of A Secret History, Mary Gentle has written eight books that have won critical acclaim from science fiction and fantasy authors and critics alike. She's completed two Master degrees and is an expert sword-fighter. Her home resides in England
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (August 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451454537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451454539
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Grunts begins like a typical fantasy novel, with a horde of orcs working for a necromancer as they prepare themselves for a final assault against the forces of light and good. Things take a weird turn when the greenskins find the ancient lair of a dragon filled with all kind of modern weapons, like rifles, tanks, and assault helicopters.

Along with this arsenal, orcs also acquire the attitude and language of marines, and use modern military tactics in different combat situations. The battles between the orc marines and elfs, paladins and halflings is the high point of the book, filled with one liners like “pass me another elf, this one is split”, and when a general hears he is charged with crimes against humanity he answers: “thank you.”

The reader should be warned that the book revels in it’s black humor and political incorrectness. The violence is very graphic, as are the rape jokes.

I liked the idea of Grunts, but it seemed to me like a joke stretched too far. After the initial novelty and baddass factor of ORC MARINES elapses, the reader is left with unidimensional characters whose motivations change just because the plot needs them to, wooden plots and deus ex machina moments. Out of nowhere, a race of sentient space insects shows up, out of nowhere they are defeated. It was a bit of a struggle to read all the way through.

Grunts seemed for me like a hyperactive child babbling whatever crazy idea came to her mind. At first it is charming, but soon you are staring at your watch wondering when it will end.
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