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Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

Carpe Jugulum (original 1998; edition 1999)

by Terry Pratchett

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6,68061561 (3.98)114
Title:Carpe Jugulum
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:Corgi Books (1999), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 424 pages
Collections:Your library, Read It
Tags:Fiction, Fantasy, Comical Fantasy

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Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett (1998)

Recently added byatreic, Jay-Freeman, private library



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So, I was reading all the witches’ books, and came to a sentence ‘Granny Weatherwax? She’s so powerful when a vampire bit her she made the vampires crave tea!’ and suddenly realised I’d completely forgotten this book, and had just skipped from Carpe Jugulum to the Wee Free Men. So I went back to read it.

I’ve definitely reached the ‘yet another witches book’ point though. Which is sad, because there’s so much to like about this one. Magrat, now a mother, but still a witch. Mightilly Oats, wrestling with his faith, always in two minds is always a character I’m going to sympathise with. Granny, dealing with being older, and the next generation of witches moving up. There’s a powerful theme that _choosing_ is what makes a witch, that life has hard choices, and witches might shield others from them, but they’re always there, and that someone has to take responsibility and judge. And the fears, of whether your judging has made you good or bad, and the resolution of Granny in the burning wings of the phoenix is great. As is Agnes’s relationship with Vlad.

But it never quite clicks for me. The pacing is odd, and lots of the decisions seem book-plot-driven, rather than in character at the time – there’s lots of ‘we will dash up to the castle for a set piece’, when it’s never very clear what they were hoping to achieve. A lot of the plot happens because Granny’s invitation to the Christening gets stolen by magpies, and I _hate_ that kind of comedy of manners where people are disproportionately sad about something and don’t, for example, just ask. The vampires are Very Evil (Pratchett will come back to this and amend it in later books) and there is a big dollop of ‘there aren’t shades of grey, just white that’s got grubby, it’s OK to kill these vampires because they’re So Bad’ and I don’t like that in my morality (although Pratchett might be right).

Again, the continuity feels slightly off with the Tiffany Aching witch-world – these Nac McFeegal speak far more incomprehensibly, are _just_ moving down from Uberwold following the vampires, and write very very complicated legal documents – a far cry from the lawyers-are-the-scariest-thing-in-the-world, learning-to-read-wheres-my-cow Feegles of the chalk…

Anyway, good fun, if it was the only witches book in the world I might adore it, but not as good as the great ones. ( )
  atreic | Nov 25, 2015 |
So much fun! ( )
  ratastrophe | Sep 7, 2015 |
Carpe Jugulum is the twenty-third book in the Discworld series and the sixth following the witches. I’d suggest starting with the witches at Wyrd Sisters, since you’ll get more out of the book if you know the characters ahead of time.

Carpe Jugulum is witches vs. vampires. Lancre is preparing for the naming of their new princess, and the king sends out an invitation to a neighboring family of vampires. And once they’ve arrived, they have no intention of leaving…

“Granny was an old-fashioned witch. She didn’t do good for people, she did right by them.”

As always, I love the witches. This is a group of smart and formidable women who work together despite their bickering and clashes of personalities. Nanny Ogg, Agnes, Margrat, and especially Granny Weatherwax are all wonderful characters.

After her absence from Maskerade, Magrat has returned to the scene. She’s now a queen and a mother, while Agnes is the youngest witch. This change in dynamics has all the witches trying to find their place.

Granny meanwhile may have met her match in the vampires. She’s worn down by a life lived on the edge of darkness, but she has to keep fighting and making choices, even when there is no right choice in sight.

“You had to choose. You might be right, you might be wrong, but you had to choose, knowing that the rightness or wrongness might never be clear or even that you were deciding between two sorts of wrong, that there was no right anywhere. And always, always, you did it by yourself. You were the one there, on the edge, watching and listening. Never any tears, never any apology, never any regrets… You saved all that up in a way that could be used when needed.”

It’s moments like this that really make Carpe Jugulum rise beyond a vampire parody.

Not to say that it doesn’t work well as a parody – it’s hilarious as always, and Pratchett manages to mock countless numbers of vampire legends and tropes from the old fashioned Dracula types to the modern day sexy love interests.

“And sin, young man, is when you treat people like things.”

Carpe Jugulum either ties with Lords and Ladies or edges it out as the best witches novel. This is a fantastic book and a fantastic series. I highly recommend it to everyone, particularly if you’ve read some of the prior witches novels.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
1 vote pwaites | Jun 17, 2015 |
Pretty good. Coherent and sufficiently easy to follow along *iff* you've read enough other Discworld novels to know characters and history. The Nac Mac Feegle, aka little blue men, aka Pictsies, are from the Tiffany Aching books. This copy at least does have a bit of a guide in the back you might want to read first. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett is is the 23rd Discworld book and the sixth (if I'm counting right) of the Witch books. It's also, I think, the introduction of the Nac Mac Feegles, and coincidently, the clan who end up proving the new Kelder for Rob Anybody's clan.

OK, I admit to reading it mostly for the Feegles, but the actual "stars" of the book are a family of vampires that have decided to invade Lancre through their use of glamor. What they weren't expecting, though, was a coven of witches with close ties to the king and queen — the queen being Magrat, a former member of said coven.

It's a very short, silly book on the surface. But when the sophomoric jokes are set aside, there are some deep observations about feminism and the human condition in there. This book especially (and probably because of the Feegles) has some grains of thought that are allowed to ripen in the Tiffany Aching books. ( )
1 vote pussreboots | Jul 12, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Galian, Carl D.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JoshCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivimäki, MikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Through the shredded black clouds a fire moved like a dying star, falling back to earth - the earth, that is, of the Discworld - but unlike any star had ever done before, it sometimes managed to steer its fall, sometimes rising, sometimes twisting, but inevitably heading down.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Mightily Oats has not picked a good time to be priest. He thought he’d come to Lancre for a simple ceremony. Now he’s caught up in a war between vampires and witches.

There’s Young Agnes, who is really in two minds about everything. Magrat, who is trying to combine witchcraft and nappies, Nanny Ogg ... and Granny Weatherwax, who is big trouble.

And the vampires are intelligent. They’ve got style and fancy waistcoats. They’re out of the casket and want a bite of the future. Mightily Oats knows he has a prayer, but he wishes he had an axe.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061020397, Mass Market Paperback)

Carpe Jugulum is the 23rd Discworld novel, and with it this durable series continues its juggernaut procession onward. Pratchett is an author who inspires such devotions that his fans will fall on the novel with cries of joy. Nonfans, perhaps, will want to know what all the fuss is about; and that's something difficult to put into a few words. The best thing to do for those completely new to Pratchett is to sample him for themselves, and this novel is as good a place to start as any. But fans have a more precise question. They know that Discworld novels come in one of two varieties: the quite good and the brilliant. So, for instance, where Hogfather and Maskerade were quite good, Feet of Clay and Jingo were brilliant. While true fans wouldn't want to do without the former, they absolutely live for the latter. And with Carpe Jugulum, Pratchett has hit the jackpot again. This novel is one of the brilliant ones.

The plot is a version of an earlier Discworld novel, Lords and Ladies, with the predatory elves of that novel being replaced here by suave and deadly vampires, and the tiny kingdom of Lancre being defended by its witches. But plot is the least of Pratchett's appeal, and Carpe Jugulum is loaded with marvelous characters (not least the witches themselves, about whom we learn a deal more), comic touches and scenes of genius, and even some of the renowned down-to-earth Pratchett wisdom (about the inner ethical conflicts we all face and the wrongness of treating people as things). Pratchett's vampires are elegant Bela Lugosi types, and they come up against an unlikely but engaging alliance of witches; blue-skinned pixies like Rob Roy Smurfs; a doubting priest with a boil on his face; and a magical house-size Phoenix in a seamless, completely absorbing, and feel-good-about-the-universe mixture. Highly recommended. --Adam Roberts, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:17 -0400)

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King Verence unwittingly invites trouble when he opens the doors of the castle to Uberwald's undead, the Magpyrs, to celebrate the birth of his daughter.

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