© Terry and Lynn Pratchett; (P)2001 Isis Publishing Ltd
Ok, I have to admit I surprised myself. I had bought this book in an airport somewhere travelling from there to here. I read it and enjoyed it but that was all. Of all Terry Pratchett's books, I viewed one on video and bought two paper versions, the other twenty plus have all been audio books. I have always thought in the past that my own imagination was far more vivid than a movie or an audio. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie my version way, way better and it made some sort of sense. Now I have listened to this same book read by Stephen Briggs and concede that he, Nigel Planer and Tony Robinson bring Pratchett's books to life much better than I ever could in my own mind.
The stories always make a point and always speak to the human condition and what fools we are.
Buy it, enjoy. Don't laugh too hard or the people in the car stopped beside you or that poor person next to you on the train will think you are having some sort of weird seizure.
Save trees, listen to a Discworld saga.
It's Terry Pratchett - really it's not necessary to say more... but... Pratchett's look at the military, the pointlessness of war, recruiting campaigns as well as the place of women in warfare is a totally enjoyable presentation. I loved the book and am now enthralled with the audio.
As usual, Terry Pratchett delivers fantasy, comedy and sharp eyed comment about society, this time about the army and equal rights. Many observatiosn are right on and to the point, but however funny it is, the same "joke" or plot over and over may be stretching it a little thin, thus the reason for only giving 4 out of 5.
Stephen Briggs does a wonderful job as a narrator, he's one of the best men doing female voices (and oh boy, he needs that talent in this one) that I have ever heard.
Another work of genius, he always delivers
He is just a good storyteller
Women soldiers, love them or hate them, but get used to them...
I read a lot, but love to listen to the discworld series when i drive to work..
I always arrive with a smile on my face...
Seriously, people, Terry Pratchett's work is one of the great under-rated treasures of the English language. And whenever his long-time collaborator, Stephen Briggs, is handling the narration, you know you're in for a treat.
Once upon a time I saw myself as far too highbrow and learned to expose myself to books with trolls, vampires, and werewolves in them. If you, too, shudder at the thought, Dear Reader, then I must tell you now - in the case of Terry Pratchett's work you are wrong in your assumptions, to the point that you may have to consider the possibility that they're irrational prejudices!
Certainly, some of the early books are exemplars of rather more conventional fantasy, albeit with a few decent jokes thrown in, but later works constitute a wonderful, always empathic, satire of human society, and are strongly Humanist in their sympathies, despite the various fantastic species that gad about in them. Oh, and they're funny, and have cracking plots to boot.
In 'Monstrous Regiment' we see the adventures of a Pratchett staple - the loyal, kind, and good-hearted young heroine who becomes bolder and more confident in her abilities as she faces the various obstacles the narrative throws at her.
I compare Polly Perks and the young witch Tiffany Aching, who appears in the 'Hat Full of Sky' "children's*" novels, to the deeply sympathetic, and ultimately empowering, young female heroines of Hayao Miyazaki, as seen in animated masterpieces such as 'Spirited Away' and 'Howl's Moving Castle'.
The story involves a war in Borogravia, a fictional nation in Pratchett's fictional Disc World, where society is heavily - and amusingly - restricted by the almost endless (and constantly revised and updated) list of those things that are an Abomination Unto Nuggan, the national deity. Things such as garlic, cats, the colour blue, sneezing, and jigsaw puzzles.
Polly sets out to rescue her somewhat feeble-minded brother, Paul, who has gone away to the war that no-one dares say Borogravia is not winning, and disguises herself as a young man in order to enlist and seek him out at the Front...
As you'd expect from Pratchett, much - always good-natured - fun is poked at jingoism, religion, and warfare.
And, as you'd expect from Briggs, the voice characterizations are excellent, and the comic timing is impeccable.
Highly recommended. If you're new to the Disc World this is as good a place to start as any...
*News to me! But that's what they officially are, apparently...
I decided to download this based on a friends suggestion that I try out some Prachett. I was a little nervous to read one of the billions of discworld books, thinking I might be lost in the story. I wasn't. This book stands completely on it's own -- there's nothing you need to know to follow it.
It's weird, wacky, silly, and exciting. It takes place in a fictional world with technology and society roughly equivalent to the late 1700's Europe -- with the inclusion of supernatural creatures and a little magic. It follows a woman who disguises herself as a man to join the army a la Joan of Arc -- only to discover that the rest of her fellow recruits are all harboring secrets of their own. This sounds like a fairly serious high-fantasy premise -- it's not. If you've never read Terry Prachett i'd say this -- it's closer to Douglas Adams than it is to Tolkien -- and that's a good thing. For instance: The book has vampires, but the vampires are like recovering addicts -- they carry sobriety chips and share openly how long it's been since they've drunk blood.
The book was very entertaining, weird, and very well performed. I would recommend this to any fantasy-reader as well as anybody looking for something lighthearted and entertaining.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
Polly is an innkeeper's daughter... until her brother Paul were caught as a prisoner of war. Polly became Oliver and joint the army. This is where the fun starts, but Pratchett gives the story an interesting twist. (I am wondering if he didn't overdo it a bit in the end.)
Steven Briggs is his old excellent self, which makes the listen very enjoyable and definately worthwhile.
The story is definitely better than "Unseen Academicals" and "Making Money" but does in no way surpass "Feet of Clay" and the city watch novels.
Still it comes highly recommended.
"The First blast of the trumpet..."
If you have not read any Terry Pratchett books this is a good introduction to Discworld. You, like Polly, the protagonist, climb out of the window of the Duchess Inn, Bogravia, when the recruiting sergeant's cart comes to town to join the army to look for her brother. You too meet the recruits as the cart travels the country and are introduced, like Polly, to trolls, werewolves, igors witches and the usual cast of thousands that people Discworld.
Polly has worked in the pub all her life so is a good observer with a very hands-on practical streak in her and a good heart. She uncovers and resolves the problems of her fellow recruits and others and finally her own.
Stephen Briggs is an ideal narrator for the novel whose voice gives the characters their personal identity. The story leaves a smile on your face and a warm glow of pleasure. It is small wonder that Terry Pratchett has such a big following.
The title is taken from something published by John Knox in 1558 against Mary Tudor aka Bloody Mary 'The First blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of women' which, you will realise, says it all.
"He did it again"
This book has new characters to cheer along while bringing back some of our favourite characters. Lots of references to laugh at and a couple twists that we didn't see coming. Pratchett is a genius and has done it again.
"A monstrously good listen"
I really loved the books, and will always read them before listening but the audio books are really worth their listen. I Have a monthly account where i pay a little and get a credit, I look forward to being able to download a new book and listen on long car journeys, and this did not disappoint.
I really like the characterisation that Stephen Briggs brings to the characters, and they make great listening. As with the other Terry Pratchett books that are available I would recommend these, and have found that listening to them in order of release was less important to me than making sure that I listened to one Narrators interpretation at a time...
"smile whilst reading"
I've heard it said that music lightens the heart. Sir P's talent in changing our world with such small twists reduces gravity for me.
I dare you not to smile.
Sir Samuel's and Nobbie's favourite 'forks' becoming 'hit 'im in the socks' :-) one of the many chuckle enticing phrases
One of my favourite books, I was a little apprehensive when I decided to download this audiobook but I'm glad I did. Stephen Briggs once again reads the Discworld books with flair, and leaving me with completely different ideas of the main characters than I started with. It doesn't affect how I read the book myself which I think is a wonderful talent.
The story itself is as brilliant as ever, and includes what you could call a welcome cameo from Vimes. Though our armies are equal now, you can still see the relevance in today's politics. Plus the news telling "stories" really makes you think ;-)
Overall a great book to both read and listen too, I highly recommend.
I think this is my favourite Discworld book so far. I just loved it. I have loved every single Discworld book I have read or listened too. This is a stand alone book although several old characters turn up. Polly cuts her hair and dresses like a boy and joins the army to find her brother. Don’t want to give anything away, as this was just a joy to listen to. Absolutely wonderful.
"An aside discworld novel"
The beginning and middle are good, the ending gets rather silly. True Pratchett story though, enjoyable and entertaining.
"Absolute joy in abundance"
This is so wonderful it takes your breath away. Funny, witty and poignant, and simply fabulously read by Stephen Briggs who has more accents than Heinz has varieties.
Terry Pratchets witty works keep me smiling on my regular 5 hr motorway drives - the unabridged version is much more enjoyable than any of the shortened versins we have listened to in the past, but that is maybe because I love the books-Interesting feature mu son noticed was that 'trousers' mysteriously change to 'Pants' in download two... maybe they swum across the Atlantic?
"A great book, well-read."
Okay, so the main character of this book is a bit of a Mary Sue. However, that doesn't detract overmuch from an arresting and amusing story set in a part of the Discworld that has not previously been covered. Stephen Briggs brings the varied cast of characters to life, especially Sergeant Jackrum. Highly recommended.
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