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Monstrous Regiment: Discworld, Book 31 | [Terry Pratchett]

Monstrous Regiment: Discworld, Book 31

It begun 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.
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Publisher's Summary

It begun 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 also 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.

© Terry and Lynn Pratchett; (P)2001 Isis Publishing Ltd

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  •  
    Jim Burnaby, BC, Canada 11-15-08
    Jim Burnaby, BC, Canada 11-15-08 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
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    10
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    "War has come to Discworld ... again."

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Morawa , WA, Australia 01-19-08
    Susan Morawa , WA, Australia 01-19-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic - as usual"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bill doyle adelaide, south australia 07-12-12
    bill doyle adelaide, south australia 07-12-12 Member Since 2011

    Bloke who took to audiobooks in order to beguile long hours on the road travelling to photography gigs across his home state. Now addicted!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pratchett and Briggs: can you go wrong?"

    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...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Soeborg, Denmark 08-26-10
    Karen Soeborg, Denmark 08-26-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Wonderfully witty"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thorsten Madsen Aalborg, DK 01-14-13
    Thorsten Madsen Aalborg, DK 01-14-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    3
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    "Pratchett for president"
    Where does Monstrous Regiment rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Another work of genius, he always delivers


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything


    What does Stephen Briggs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is just a good storyteller


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Women soldiers, love them or hate them, but get used to them...


    Any additional comments?

    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...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Amsterdam, Netherlands 09-21-11
    Neil Amsterdam, Netherlands 09-21-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My first Prachett ... Very entertaining!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 10-08-10
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 10-08-10 Member Since 2009

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Can't go wrong"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results
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  • Rogayah
    Reading, United Kingdom
    5/25/08
    Overall
    "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.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Chloe
    Warrington, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Amazing"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Miss King
    UK
    12/27/12
    Overall
    "Monstrous regiment"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Harriet
    Wellington, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "An aside discworld novel"

    The beginning and middle are good, the ending gets rather silly. True Pratchett story though, enjoyable and entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Catherine
    Woking, United Kingdom
    7/17/12
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • mrs
    Haverhill, United Kingdom
    6/10/12
    Overall
    "Love it"

    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?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Moriah
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    4/5/11
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Simon Carter
    6/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Why the Americanisms?"
    What does Stephen Briggs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Stephen Briggs is always good value as the narrator. He sets the right tone for the story and gives the characters a bit of depth.


    Any additional comments?

    Monstrous Regiment is my favourite diversion off the main Ankh-Morpork stories. The audio book is good but my enjoyment was slightly spoiled when I heard 'pants' used for trousers and 'loo-tenant' rather than the British 'lef-tenant'. I dislike this creeping Americanism particularly when the narrator has such a clear British accent. Let's keep American pronounciation for American based stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rosy
    United Kingdom
    5/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of my (many) TP favourites"
    What made the experience of listening to Monstrous Regiment the most enjoyable?

    The narration by Stephen Briggs is excellent. I love how he makes the characters come to life without being OTT...and the keeps the storyline flowing. As I`m a huge fan of TP it goes without saying that it`s a great story, keeps you hanging on...and (as usual) is full of funny bits.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The mix of mainly new characters, with old favourites making guest appearances.


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Briggs – was your favourite?

    Sargeant Jackram of course...although the Ruperts horse came a close second.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    You`re MY little lads...and I WILL look after you..!!


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you TP and Mr Briggs...excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anne
    EXETER, United Kingdom
    2/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Straight into my top five favourite books ever!"
    What made the experience of listening to Monstrous Regiment the most enjoyable?

    Stephen Briggs is a genius at bringing the characters alive in a most entertaining way. I was laughing out loud all through this book and felt very involved with each character; so much so, I didn't want the story to end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Monstrous Regiment?

    The evolution of Daphne and the success of her career as a washerwoman has to be a highlight but memorable moments are really too numerous to mention.


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Briggs – was your favourite?

    Maladict has to be the best character but for performance, the prize has to go to Lt Blouse.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The conversation between Polly and Sargent Jackram at the end I found very touching.


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't help wishing that there was a sequel or that Polly could be persuaded to join the City Watch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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