I own a couple of memberships and have enjoyed many books but none are as delightful on audio as those of Discworld. Intelligent, witty, clever, outrageously entertaining--it took me forever to try these books (I hate things other people rave about) and now am glad they are there to enjoy now. I've listened to everything from old time radio to . . . at night and while travelling. None is more enjoyable than Pratchett. I think this was the best novel after the first two but I rate them all 4 or 5 stars.
The Fifth Elephant is a great story, as usual, and even more witty than the previous 23 novels. This rating is for the narration, not the novel itself. What has happened to Nigel Planer? Did Stephen Briggs get the new job because he does stage adaptations of Pratchett's books and co-authors the Discworld guides? I don't think this qualifies him as a narrator. His characterizations within the ethnic groups (humans, trolls, dwarfs, etc.) are barely distinguishable. What a disappointment.
Good listen :) I love the Watch books. Carrot, Vimes, and Angua are some of my favorite Disc World characters.
I gave performance 4 stars because I've listened to many Discworld books on Audible and Nigel Planter does an unparalleled job at acting out the characters and scenes. He did not voice this book.
I miss Nigel
Pratchett's stuff is awesome. Even a bad reader can't destroy Discworld's enchantment.
There's no way I can just stop going though Discworld so I have no choice since Briggs reads the rest of the books in this series and I'm sure I'll get used to him. But his range of characters just isn't even close to Nigel's.
Briggs brought this book to life beautifully, and I'm delighted, because this has long been one of my favorites in the Discworld "City Watch" series. It's got a strong, twisty, yet linear plot with a spooky atmosphere. Sometimes the tone gets a bit teachy / preachy, and some puns have me rolling my eyes, but Pratchett kept that contained enough for me. There's action, suspense, characters to care for, witty political and social commentary, and even a hint of romance.
PLOT & CHARACTERS (no spoilers)
Setting: The backwoods of cold and creepy Überwald, about 500 miles to the north of Ankh-Morpork. With his newly acquired title of Duke of Ankh (see Feet of Clay), Vetinari dubs Sam Vimes "Ambassador" to represent Ankh-Morpork in the coronation of the new Low King of the Dwarves. This ceremony is traditionally carried out with the ancient coronation stone, the dwarf-made Scone of Stone (a parody on the Scottish Stone of Scone, or Stone of Destiny).
It's a long trip to the town of Bonk in Überwald by horse-drawn coach, but the new invention of clacks towers (semaphores, telegraph system) provides a link with Ankh-Morpork. His wife Sybil comes along, with Detritus the troll and Cheri Littlebottom the dwarf. In a different plot twist in Überwald, we see Angua the werewolf and Carrot the huge human "dwarf" (with Gaspode, the talking dog). In Überwald, the City Watch must deal with nasty vampires, a few hulking igors and many vicious werewolves. Never a dull moment.
Back in Ankh-Morprok, Seargent Colon is temporarily promoted to Acting Captain of the City Watch, because Vimes and Carrot are out of the country. The effects of this promotion make up a fair chunk of the story, focusing on leadership, theft, murder, sugar cubes, and parking tickets (wheel clamps).
There are some heartfelt scenes between Sam and his wife Sybil. The calm and straightforward Carrot behaved with far more inscrutability than ever before, and by his extreme actions showed that personal is indeed more important than merely important. Lord Vetinari is pure gold, of course.
Book is fantastic and narration is flawless. Briggs brings out the essence of Pratchett's characters with his voice, keeping the listener engaged to the end.
I am already a huge Terry Pratchett fan and was impressed with the reader's cadence and comedic timing. this was my first listen and I have already downloaded another.
I always love Discworld novels and this one is no different. The characters are always hilarious even if their situations aren't. Exactly what I wanted to listen to until I couldn't stay awake any longer.