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Monstrous Regiment: A Novel of Discworld Hardcover – September 30, 2003
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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What do you get when you cross 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? The answer's simple. You have Monstrous Regiment, 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
Pratchett flexes his satirical muscles again, with the follies of war his theme. Polly Oliver has disguised herself as a boy to join the army of Borogravia, which is always at war and bursting with patriotism, though the Borogravians are often less than clear on why they are fighting. But then, as followers of a god who believes that cats, babies, and cheese are abominations, they are used to contradictions; they mostly pray to their duchess, who may be dead. Their latest war has interfered with the commerce of Ankh-Morpork, which has dispatched Sam Vimes to bring matters to a "satisfactory" conclusion. But Sam still thinks more like the city watchman he was than the duke he now is, and this confuses people. Meanwhile, Polly's regiment, the Ins-and-Outs, has become quite high-profile, what with having, it is said, a vampire, a werewolf, and an Igor in its ranks, and with capturing, quite unexpectedly, the Zlobenian prince and his soldiers, an event publicized by Ankh-Morpork newspaperman William de Worde. Anyway, they're suddenly popular in Ankh-Morpork, and they subsequently turn the war upside down, so that it doesn't end the way the propagandists would have liked. No surprise, of course, to Sam Vimes. Polly concludes that it is, on some level, all about socks. Thoroughly funny and surprisingly insightful. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
Read no further if you wish to be surprised.
You were warned.
A satire on the military in which the only effective soldiers turn out to be women (an abomination in the country). Pratchett takes many of the cliches of military fiction and turns them in to a funny story. Sir Terry was never a fan of war or the army. That is quite clear in this and some of his other stories.
The country fighting is one of random, persistent repression that has managed to declare war on all of its neighbors and some distant countries as well. The war is prompted by many statements from their god who hates everything from women in men's clothing to small stones.
A delightful ending.
Well written. And though the book covers topics that aren't really as much of a issue any more it covers them well and doesn't feel outdated.
Does have a little violence. Touches on sexual topics. Though there is no actual sex in the book. Gives me the sense that it is mostly a feel good read. Does contain messages of value and pertinent to current times.
Very much worth reading. Especially if you like the Disc-World series of books.
Or maybe there are two different messages with at heart a common thread...
Somehow it feels incomplete... Which makes no sense because it has a last page...
This is a good story and I'm glad I read it, but it's no Vimes or Weatherwax if your that way inclined.
Really one of the best Pratchett books I've read so far. (Alas, they fall like flies!) Not to be missed!