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Monstrous Regiment (Discworld) Mass Market Paperback – August 31, 2004
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is another winning Discworld book. It's a bit different in tone from Night Watch, if only because the humour is broader. In Night Watch, the humour was on the side and it was a fairly serious book except for that. This has a serious point to make as well, but the humour involves everybody. It was refreshing to see. Pratchett has some good points to make on military matters in the real world, and he skewers the entire mindset (not necessarily of the men, who he never really disparages, but the planners).
He does have the obvious stereotypes of the hard drill sergeant and the lieutenant who doesn't really know what he's doing and has no experience. But even these stereotypes he turns on their heads, shakes them upside down, and looks at what comes out. Pratchett, always a master of character, has created some new winners (though I don't believe they'll be back in another book, like some of Pratchett's recurring characters). Polly is the typical Pratchett hero: determined, relatively straight-laced, intelligent and resourceful. She's a wonderful viewpoint character, scared but determined to do what is right. When she's assigned to be the lieutenant's assistant, she's reluctant to take advantage of the position, though she does so to help out her mates. She helps Lieutenant Blouse along, though she's terrified of shaving him because she's never learned how to shave herself.Read more ›
The title is a play on an obscure John Knox essay, a diatribe against women in leadership positions. Army life, officers, NCOs, patriotism, Army intelligence, institutional religion and especially sexism all get the Pratchett Treatment. More than any of his other books, I was strongly reminded of Mark Twain's later satires. Pratchett is a little gentler than Twain, and his approach is more methodical, but the same simmering anger is evident. Pratchett's distaste for the institutions and respect for the individuals is made completely clear. Stupidity, Polly Perks comes to realize, is simply too dangerous to have around.
There are a few wonderful new characters, including Jackrum, a legendary sergeant in the Borogravian army, apparently ageless and, upon his word, "not a dishonest man;" and Maladict, one of Polly's fellow recruits, who has substituted a lust for blood for a lust for coffee (Pratchett is plainly a serious coffee drinker). And there are cameos of greater or lesser extent from Watch characters Duke Samuel Vimes, Corporal Angua, Buggy Swires and Reg Shoe; and William de Worde and his photographer, Otto.
But mostly this is about Polly, an intelligent, decent person, placed in the madness and folly of war.Read more ›
Instead, we have a remarkably large cast of new characters, and the strangest part of it is - most of them are sane. The lead characters in 'Monstrous Regiment' are exquisitely 'normal' in Discworld standards, and though at first it seems like the cast includes 'a troll, a vampire, and Igor and A FEW OTHER GUYS' they all turn out to be very individual and well-rounded characters. Terry leans on character development here more than he ever did before, and lo! - there are hardly any physical descriptions of the characters, and yet we get to know each one individually through their actions, their behaviors, personalities, motives and past.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like all of Pratchett's books. This one is a humorous look at an all-female regiment that pretends they are males.Published 1 month ago by chris p
Terry is a wonderful storyteller and this is pretty much everything you would expect from the man. Much missed.Published 1 month ago by Salmotrutt
Stellar writing as usual from the late Terry Pratchett. A great work on gender roles (and religion) in society. Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Garrett
Terry Pratchett, one of the world's most beloved authors. I'm building my second set of Discworld novels (the others have been read to shreds).Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer