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 secret.
©2003 Terry Pratchett; (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
"Terry Pratchett's hilarious prose is significantly enhanced by the narrative skills of Stephen Briggs....Briggs and Pratchett are magnificent." (AudioFile)
"Thoroughly funny and surprisingly insightful." (Booklist)
It's a case of switched identities, and the reader only knows half of what's going on. Another wonderful story by Pratchett. A good introduction to the Discworld for first time readers, but sure to be a favourite to long time fans like myself. Narration suits both the dialogue and the characters. Highly recommended
As I listened to this very well-narrated tale, I found myself admiring Pratchett. He has created a fictional world from which he comments incisively about our own. He can satirize religion without referencing any existing religion. He can make observations about the way men treat women with no reference to any existing culture. And he does it all with humor and his trademark whimsey. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I loved the way the narrator took on different voices and accents, depending on which character he was reading.
There aren't as many female characters in Terry Pratchett's writing, but the stories where there are, such as this one, are very refreshing and never fails to entertain. Whether I'm driving or in the house, I can't help but laugh, to the point that people think I've got good "prescriptions". Well, I do. It's called Terry Pratchett in Audible.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
I have not read enough Pratchett yet to say that this is one of his very best, but if he wrote better romps with more whimsy steeped in wisdom and understanding I should probably not read them. My heart would simply explode with happiness. I ride the subway in Beijing with an iPod mainlining my ears. For the last week I have been subverting the common Chinese image of the American character. "Easily amused," as my Chinese wife would say, but what Pratchett does is not "easy." It is mastery. Get it. Read it.
I have a feeling that any books by this author will get 5 stars from me. My first listen was Going Postal, it was fantastic. This one is just as good. Can't say enough about the narrator. Great listen again.
Terry Pratchett's humour is spot on again and Stephen Briggs was terrific on narration. Loved it, really a lot of fun.
Terry Pratchett is one auther who only seems to get better and better. I have to admit I originally bought this audiobook a year ago when it came out on cassette. Now that it's on Audible, I'll definitely use one of my monthly credits on it. Here as in so many of Pratchett's City Watch Discworld books he pulls off the miracle of sarcasm without bitterness. Unlike WICKED and MOSTLY HARMLESS, by other noted comic fantasy authors, Pratchett lets you laugh along with the characters and at the character, without making any one of them flat or tiresome. Plus, the plot may twist, but you're never lost. The Monstrous Regiment is a monstrous achievement.
Down the rabbit hole into a ring a fire- the magic of words lifts me higher and higher.
I always have difficulty sorting out a horde of new characters and the various voices help do that for me.
Any time one of the Igor clan is in a Discworld book I expect to see the world in a new way; and with an Igor's help that could be literal!
As with all audiobooks you get an added dimension by hearing the story rather than reading it. Steven Briggs brings exquisite pacing and depth to the characters he becomes. I think he really understands what is being said, why it is important to the people in the scene and he loves (or hates) the characters as much as I do. I can see Sergeant Jackram, big as a bull and twice as loud; a John Madden-type in a different uniform.
Briggs doesn't just read the book, he gives it color - octarine to be precise.
Monstrous Regiment is satire, so generally you either love it or hate it. It picks at war, which I think Americans of our generation have not experienced in the same way that Europeans of the same age have, so each will see the book in a different light. There were hardships on all sides, we all lost people, but in the US we didn't lose our homes or our food supply on top of it all. The story is darkly humorous.
It also picks at fundamental religions of the type where people follow "the word" blindly and draws a clever little parallel to the Fourth Estate.
My favorite piece of the book, and the first place I laughed right out loud is paraphrased as follows:Having dismissed the newspaper reporter (i.e., war correspondent) who is reluctant to end the interview, Lt. Blouse, in full uniform with his sword across his knee says, "It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword", and while the reporter is acknowledging the statement the Lt. continues, "Would you care to test it?"
I could just imagine the two men sitting out there in the woods, one with his hand resting casually on his sword and the other sitting up straight gripping his pen with white knuckles, both understanding how quickly the power had shifted and how unlikely it was to tilt back.
I laughed for 2 miles!
It would be good if you could read or listen to some of the earlier books in the series, but it isn't necessary, although it does mean you have a few spoilers if you later listen to the earlier parts. This was my first Discworld Novel back in about 2007 and I have listened to almost all of the rest and this one several times over since that time.
Anybody else have a good scubbo recipe they want to share?
Wonderful characters. A great send-up of the absurdities of war and fundamentalist religions. Full of surprises and laugh out loud funny. A brief appearance by Sam Vimes, but it's the new characters that steal the show. This book is An Abomination Unto Nuggan, and I don't think I could pay it a higher compliment!
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