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Grunts by Mary Gentle
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Grunts (original 1992; edition 1992)

by Mary Gentle

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6831520,588 (3.24)29
Member:stevepugh
Title:Grunts
Authors:Mary Gentle
Info:Bantam Press (1992), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction, novel, fantasy, humour

Work details

Grunts! by Mary Gentle (1992)

Recently added byJMLandels, John_T_Stewart, private library, joostdejong, rena75, JohnBobMead, sensitivemuse
  1. 00
    Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones (lquilter)
    lquilter: Send-offs of the tropes. *Dark Lord of Derkholm* is rather more humorous; *Grunts!* is rather more darkly and scatalogically humorous.
  2. 00
    Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward (infiniteletters)
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» See also 29 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This is an all-time favourite of mine; I acquired the paperback when it first came out and read it every so often. (I love playing spot the movie reference - not that I'm much good at it because I've never been much into movies, especially war movies.) . It probably has the most politically incorrect one-liner in a fantasy novel ever, but hey, what do you expect - they're orcs! Of course they're going to be politically incorrect!

Stealing a dragon's hoard is never a good idea, especially as dragons have a nasty habit of putting curses on their hoards, doubly so if they're killed in the course of that theft. However, order is orders and you don't disobey The Nameless Necromancer (in service of The Dark Lord) before the final battle in the conflict between The Light (a nasty bunch of self-righteous racist jerks) and The Dark (a disparate bunch of much-misunderstood races whose only desire is to be left alone so they can get on with what they do best).

It turns out that said dragon is a collector of militaria from other dimensions; not modern up-to-date stuff, but collectible items. What the orcs raid is the Earth collection, circa Viet Nam War era... The curse is to become what they stole - so the orcs become orc marines and in the process more or less respectable citizens (if you're prepared to overlook certain unpleasant habits).

As gross as Bored of the Rings, but to my mind far funnier.

Recommended.
1 vote Maddz | Feb 5, 2018 |
This book has changed my life. I am no longer willing to read an unrewarding book to the end out of a sense of being fair to the book, or because of the reputation of the author.
This book represents a 40 page joke stretched out to 400 pages. I reached the midpoint wondering if and when the plot would actually get going, then I encountered the "bugs" and guessed that most of the second half of the book would contain a 5 page joke stretched out to 200 pages. And so I stopped.
  d.r.halliwell | Nov 15, 2017 |

Great concept. So-so execution.

Lots of funny moments, dialoge and references - but a bit too much slapstick and quite a few jokes that never quite hit the mark with me - possibly because I didn't get the references.

I think the book would have been better if the author had extended the first half of the plot and dropped the election/bugs plot.

( )
  StigE | Aug 25, 2017 |
This is not a review because I could not force myself to finish it. It was not funny. The characters had zero appeal, and there wasn't much plot. I found the thing so distasteful I threw it in the trash rather than risk some other poor sod (who I never met and have nothing against) picking it up at a used book store. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
Mary Gentle's work is usually rather surreal, complex, dealing with cryptic symbolism and occult knowledge – and gritty violence, often done by female warriors.
Well, except for the warriors and violence, this is quite a departure.
It's a parody/satire – orcs in a Tolkien-esque land raid a dragon's hoard of 21st-century weapons and are cursed(?) into acting like Marines.
However, it's not just a spoof of Tolkien (though that might be primary) – but also skewers military/action fiction, D&D, stuff like Heinlein's Starship Troopers, and all those books where someone from our world gets zapped into another and ends up a big hero. And more.
It is pretty funny at times, but I have to admit that as far as humorous fantasy goes, it's no Pratchett or Adams. The scope is a little too broad, the plot doesn't really flow like it could, and at over 450 pages, it goes on a little too long.
Not bad, but I have to say I prefer Gentle's more ‘serious' works. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Gentleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kukalis, RomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the tower of the nameless necromancer it is always cold.
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