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Monstrous Regiment (2003)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Discworld: Industrial (3), Discworld: City Watch, Discworld (31)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,385131830 (4.01)195
Fantasy. Fiction. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:War has come to Discworldâ?Šagain.

And, to no one's great surprise, the conflict centers around the small, insufferably arrogant, strictly fundamentalist duchy of Borogravia, which has long prided itself on its ability to beat up on its neighbors. This time, however, it's Borogravia that's getting its long-overdue comeuppance, which has left the country severely drained of young men.

Ever since her brother Paul marched off to battle a year ago, Polly Perks has been running The Duchess, her family's inn - even though the revered national deity, Nuggan, has decreed that female ownership of a business is an Abomination. To keep The Duchess in the family, Polly must find her missing sibling. So she cuts off her hair, dons masculine garb, and sets out to join him in this man's army.

Polly is afraid that someone will see through her disguise; a fear that proves groundless when the legendary Sergeant Jackrum accepts her without question. Or perhaps the sergeant is too desperate to discriminate - which would explain why a vampire, a troll, a zombie, a religious fanatic, and two uncommonly close "friendsâ? are also eagerly welcomed into the fighting fold. Soon, Polly finds herself wondering about the myriad peculiarities of her new brothers-in-arms. It would appear that Polly "Ozzerâ? Perks is not the only grunt with a sec… (more)

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  2. 10
    Half-Witch by John Schoffstall (MyriadBooks)
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» See also 195 mentions

English (117)  German (6)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
A departure from my usual fare, and one well worth taking. I asked a friend heading off to college to recommend her favorite writer. She handed me this book. BOOM!

I now understand the draw of Discworld, and I appreciate the social comment and satire that Pratchett fans enjoy and expect. And I'm trilled to have recommendations from younger readers when it leads to this much fun! A vampire. A werewolf. A troll. A few zombies. All called into service—to save the kingdom, or entertain, educate, and enlighten readers.

A rollicking end-of-summer read that kept me turning the pages. (If you're over 40, make friends with a few feminist teenagers.) ( )
  rebwaring | Aug 14, 2023 |
I really enjoyed this entry in the Discworld series though I found the humor to be less of the "laugh out loud" variety than some of the books. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
158
  freixas | Mar 31, 2023 |
STP has done it again. One of his delightful little forays into the Discworld, this time a satire of a world at war. He manages to find all the seams for comedy in this rich topical soil and then rip them all out with great ability.

Having listened to the audio book (narrated by the amazingly good Stephen Briggs) I realize I am missing out on some degree of Pratchett's talent for humor: he goes in for the visual pun now and again, and in particular Briggs plows right through footnotes as though they were in-line with the rest of the narrative. He doesn't call them out as footnotes, which I think would enrich the experience of hearing them. But that's a stylistic choice. I read along for a bit in my hard copy (a Doubleday first edition library cast-off) and found that the text varied. Briggs' 'pants' appeared as 'trousers' in my book. There were other, subtle edits as well, and I came to decide that Briggs was reading the American edition.

As always, his characters are at the forefront, and the best of these in this book is Sergeant Jack Jackrum. The physical description of him is hilarious, and it's made the better by the reader, Stephen Briggs, and his depth of accents and characters. Jackrum's loving appreciation of his troops is wonderful, and in particular, how he takes care of them while himself being so tough and made of iron. He makes such a great veteran in voice and action.

The main conceit of the book is that all the main characters are, eventually, discovered to be female, which makes the ending, where many a reveal is made, more delightful. It's hard not to love a book that ends so well. Pratchett has a way of dropping lines throughout his work that he will later tie together in a neat bow in the last several pages, and he's especially good at it here. He also understands the utility of an unexplained element - like the little fires that spring up in places that the soldiers sleep about an hour after they depart. There's a payoff to that, and a good one, if you're patient and are willing to submit to ignorance for a while. ( )
  jsmick | Mar 20, 2023 |
If there were no other Discworld books I would think this was absolutely amazing. What I'm saying is I'm spoiled. The themes and ideas in this book were fantastic. However, as plots in Pratchett's books go, this one wore on me a bit, especially near the end. A little bit messy and a few too many "AH-HA" moments, all of the exact same type. In general though it is hard to go wrong with Terry Pratchett and I am sad I have almost reached the end of the series. ( )
  sisyphus_happy | Feb 10, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (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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Epigraph
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First words
Polly cut off her hair in front of the mirror, feeling slightly guilty about not feeling very guilty about doing so.
Quotations
The words "You heard me!" lined up to spring from Polly's tongue, but she hesitated. She told herself: it doesn't have to go this way. You don't have to let a pair of socks do the talking.
‘So where do [the Abominations] come from?’
‘From your fear... They come from the part that hates the Other, that will not change. They come from the sum of all your pettiness and stupidity and dullness. You fear tomorrow, and you’ve made your fear your god.’
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Fantasy. Fiction. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:War has come to Discworldâ?Šagain.

And, to no one's great surprise, the conflict centers around the small, insufferably arrogant, strictly fundamentalist duchy of Borogravia, which has long prided itself on its ability to beat up on its neighbors. This time, however, it's Borogravia that's getting its long-overdue comeuppance, which has left the country severely drained of young men.

Ever since her brother Paul marched off to battle a year ago, Polly Perks has been running The Duchess, her family's inn - even though the revered national deity, Nuggan, has decreed that female ownership of a business is an Abomination. To keep The Duchess in the family, Polly must find her missing sibling. So she cuts off her hair, dons masculine garb, and sets out to join him in this man's army.

Polly is afraid that someone will see through her disguise; a fear that proves groundless when the legendary Sergeant Jackrum accepts her without question. Or perhaps the sergeant is too desperate to discriminate - which would explain why a vampire, a troll, a zombie, a religious fanatic, and two uncommonly close "friends� are also eagerly welcomed into the fighting fold. Soon, Polly finds herself wondering about the myriad peculiarities of her new brothers-in-arms. It would appear that Polly "Ozzer� Perks is not the only grunt with a sec

No library descriptions found.

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!
(passion4reading)

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