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Monstrous Regiment: (Discworld Novel 31)…

Monstrous Regiment: (Discworld Novel 31) (Discworld Novels) (original 2003; edition 2014)

by Terry Pratchett

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7,655104714 (3.98)170
Title:Monstrous Regiment: (Discworld Novel 31) (Discworld Novels)
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Corgi (2014), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett (2003)

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» See also 170 mentions

English (95)  German (6)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
Polly disguises herself as a young man and joins the army in order to find her brother, who she thinks must have been captured. Gradually she finds out that she's not the only recruit with such an idea...
Pratchett mixes Private Benjamin, Viola from Twelfth Night, and a bit of All Quiet on the Western Front, and serves it up on Discworld. Clever, extremely funny, and quite touching as well. I had a great time with this one, and loved all the little twists, and the guest appearance by Vimes, too. ( )
1 vote electrascaife | Jun 27, 2019 |
One of the few Discworld books that works as a standalone title, Monstrous Regiment is the story of Polly who dresses as a boy in order to enlist in the army and find her brother who never came back from the wars. And she’s not the only girl to enlist. Sergeant Jackrum, who is near retirement but refuses to accept it, leads this particular recruiting party. Lieutenant Blouse is a paper pusher sent to the front who wants to be like the heroes he reads about in history books. This is the last regiment to be recruited because the war is going so poorly, but no one is allowed to admit that.
Pratchett used his books, as so many speculative fiction writers do, to comment on things in our real world. In this book, he tackles both gender politics and the stupidity of war. Polly is adamant that she doesn’t really belong in the army, though Jackrum believes she’d make a good sergeant. Discworld books are always full of laughs, and Monstrous Regiment is no exception. Aside from the big jokes, there is a lot of humor in the little moments. I love the Discworld series and this is one of the best the series has to offer. You can read it on its own or within the series (this is book 31). Either way, enjoy!
  Jessiqa | Apr 12, 2019 |
'Monstrous Regiment' for all intents and purposes is a stand-alone novel. Some of the Watch and William de Worde appear, but only on the sidelines.

The story centers on a girl named Polly Perks in the fundamentalist state of Borogravia. She disguises herself as a man and enlists in the army in order to find her brother. Polly, along with an assortment of fellow new recruits, sets off towards the latest battlefront, but along the way things get complicated.

Pratchett is a humorist, but also one with a sharp instinct for thinly disguising major issues in modern life in his "fantasy" universe. A lot is said about the plight of women under strict regimes such as Borogravia's, hands tied by an increasingly erratic and unforgiving religion and even harder traditions. To say this book is only about feminism, however, would be an injustice to Pratchett and Discworld.

Pratchett plays with the expected. The reader knows much of what Polly (ahem, Oliver), is going to go through in her attempts to maintain her disguise. The jokes, the puns, all make for a good laugh. But there's always more.

Polly, along with some of her fellow soldiers, is brought to a whore house and when she is confronted by these tired girls, all she can think is how much would be different for them if only they'd gotten themselves a pair of trousers.

The masculine hegemony is dealt with, but there were also definite echoes of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." When, inevitably, the question of what to do with the discovery of women in the army must be dealt with by the men in charge, Polly is given the option of backing down, getting her brother and going away quietly. She refuses. She has done nothing wrong, is a hero in fact.

An officer says that the middle of a war is no time to 'upset' the soldiers by allowing their type into the army....Sound familiar? All I could see is John McCain and the rest of that crowd dragging out an issue that has too long deprived forces valuable man (and woman) power. This is another winner in a long run of novels that have proved Pratchett as one of the most timely and inventive novelists of the past 30 years.


Next: 'A Hat Full of Sky'

Previous: 'The Wee Free Men' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
This was darker than the average Discworld book. Its sombre tone left less room for knockabout humour, although laughs were there along with a more sombre and serious message about war, nationalism and loyalty. ( )
  enitharmon | Jan 14, 2019 |
This was darker than the average Discworld book. Its sombre tone left less room for knockabout humour, although laughs were there along with a more sombre and serious message about war, nationalism and loyalty. ( )
  enitharmon | Jan 14, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
Like all of Pratchett's best work, this book bridges its classical sources to the present day, bringing feminist and trans themes to light along with contemporary ideas about religious wars, militarism, mercantilism and geopolitics.

And all of that in a novel that flies along with such sprightliness that you'd never suspect it was pulling such heavy freight.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Jan 5, 2015)
''Monstrous Regiment'' is most often spirited and shambolic, but it has some serious heft. Pratchett is on the side of those who make very little fuss, which means he gets to shiv those who do.

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, RobinAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKowan, ScottCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Polly cut off her hair in front of the mirror, feeling slightly guilty about not feeling very guilty about doing so.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
It began as a sudden strange fancy . . .

Polly Perks had to become a boy in a hurry. Cutting off her hair and wearing trousers was easy. Learning to fart and belch in public and walk like an ape took more time . . .

And now she's enlisted in the army, and searching for her lost brother.

But there's a war on. There's always a war on. And Polly and her fellow recruits are suddenly in the thick of it, without any training, and the enemy is hunting them.

All they have on their side is the most artful sergeant in the army and a vampire with a lust for coffee. Well . . . They have the Secret. And as they take the war to the heart of the enemy, they have to use all the resources of . . . the Monstrous Regiment.
Haiku summary
Polly Perks cuts off
her hair, joins the army, meets
misfits, finds brother!

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060013168, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:08 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

War has come to Discworld again. And, to no one's great surprise, the conflict centers around the small, arrogantly fundamentalist duchy of Borogravia, which has long prided itself on its unrelenting aggressiveness. A year ago, Polly Perks's brother marched off to battle, and Polly's willing to resort to drastic measures to find him. So she cuts off her hair, dons masculine garb, and, aided by a well-placed pair of socks, sets out to join this man's army. Since a nation in such dire need of cannon fodder can't afford to be too picky, Polly is eagerly welcomed into the fighting fold along with a vampire, a troll, an Igor, a religious fanatic, and two uncommonly close "friends". It would appear that Polly "Ozzer" Perks isn't the only grunt with a secret. But duty calls, the battlefield beckons. And now is the time for all good "men" to come to the aid of their country.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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