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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
on February 24, 2014
Monstrous Regiment is one of my favourite books, and the Discworld series is probably my favourite series of books. I'm afraid I'm a little biased, but I really do think this is an excellent book. The characters are all interesting and the overall pacing and plot are noteworthy. The main characters in this book are not recurring from others in the series, so they are a nice contrast to the regular casts. There are some traditional Discworld characters present as well. One of my favourite elements of this story is seeing Commander Vimes from an outside perspective. In the books that feature him we generally see the world through his eyes, and it is always an interesting contrast when we see how the world sees him.

One of the notable aspects of the Discworld series as a whole is it sometimes takes the traditional fantasy setting and uses it to explore issues that reflect reality. Monstrous Regiment does this as well. The setting is very focused on the group of main characters, and what happens to them. One of the really interesting parts of this book is that it could be a story in any war setting, only some of the characters and situations remind the reader that the book is a fantasy story. This shows that the fantasy genre is not limited to entirely unreal stories.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who likes the Discworld series, and to anyone who is interested in the variety of the fantasy genre. People who like war related stories might also like it, if they do not mind the fantasy setting.
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HALL OF FAMEon January 5, 2004
Long-standing fans of Discworld know how Pratchett explores many levels in his books. MR achieves a new degree of intensity in examining the human tendency for conflict. The "fantasy" aspects of the Discworld are nearly abandoned in this story of war and soldier life. To be sure, there's a vampire, a troll, and Angua the werewolf. An Igor completes the team in a special, rather cutting, role. None of these "fantasy" characters can avoid being dominated by their human aspects. Pratchett enhances his ability to show us to ourselves. While his humour carries us along in following the tale, the underlying theme remains clear. War is a distinctly human enterprise.
Polly Perks seeks her missing brother in the middle of a conflict none can explain nor justify. Hiding the fact that she's a girl, she slashes her golden curls, dons boys' clothes [including "special purpose" socks] and enlists to seek him out. Her military career is fraught with risk, but not just from battle. If she's exposed, the wrath of Nuggan, the local deity, will be boundless - dressing as a man is an Abomination. As are cats, the colour blue, garlic and a host of social ills. These are lined out in the Appendix of a bible - with the Appendix larger than the main inspirational text.
In Sam Vimes' view, Polly has entered a life of crime, but not through her cross-dressing. He thinks "war is a crime - like murder". Sam, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, has been sent to make a peace. When the stakes are as high as these - who rules the country - the task becomes Herculean. As with most wars, this one uses high moral purpose to camouflage baser selfish motives. A prince seeks power. Polly, along with her meagre "regiment" is caught up in the forces this war for rule has unleashed. They are ill-equipped and untrained for their task. Even so, Polly's first skirmish with the enemy has enduring results.
Pratchett, using Polly's voice, has produced his finest work. He delves into military life, the vagaries of monarchy, and the shams of religion. He exposes many nerves in this book, but with a gentle finesse. He encourages the open mind while appealing to those who haven't taken the trouble to even ask questions. Polly asks and confronts many of these queries. She examines the answers in light of what is occurring around her. She's sharp and alert. She has to be, hiding her identity from friend and foe alike. She learns to belch, pick her nose and walk swaying her shoulders instead of her hips. Is this what's important? Pratchett takes us to the abyss of gender politics, reveals its deceptive simplicity, and leads us away. To confront a yet more fundamental horror. He is adept at surprising the reader, accomplishing that again here with his usual aplomb. Once again, he's "mirrored" our world. Take a close look and see if you are imaged here. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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on September 13, 2014
more fun with those wacky Discworlders, although I found the ending weak
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon January 6, 2004
Long-standing fans of Discworld know how Pratchett explores many levels in his books. MR achieves a new degree of intensity in examining the human tendency for conflict. The "fantasy" aspects of the Discworld are nearly abandoned in this story of war and soldier life. To be sure, there's a vampire, a troll, and Angua the werewolf. An Igor completes the team in a special, rather cutting, role. None of these "fantasy" characters can avoid being dominated by their human aspects. Pratchett enhances his ability to show us to ourselves. While his humour carries us along in following the tale, the underlying theme remains clear. War is a distinctly human enterprise.
Polly Perks seeks her missing brother in the middle of a conflict none can explain nor justify. Hiding the fact that she's a girl, she slashes her golden curls, dons boys' clothes [including "special purpose" socks] and enlists to seek him out. Her military career is fraught with risk, but not just from battle. If she's exposed, the wrath of Nuggan, the local deity, will be boundless - dressing as a man is an Abomination. As are cats, the colour blue, garlic and a host of social ills. These are lined out in the Appendix of a bible - with the Appendix larger than the main inspirational text.
In Sam Vimes' view, Polly has entered a life of crime, but not through her cross-dressing. He thinks "war is a crime - like murder". Sam, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, has been sent to make a peace. When the stakes are as high as these - who rules the country - the task becomes Herculean. As with most wars, this one uses high moral purpose to camouflage baser selfish motives. A prince seeks power. Polly, along with her meagre "regiment" is caught up in the forces this war for rule has unleashed. They are ill-equipped and untrained for their task. Even so, Polly's first skirmish with the enemy has enduring results.
Pratchett, using Polly's voice, has produced his finest work. He delves into military life, the vagaries of monarchy, and the shams of religion. He exposes many nerves in this book, but with a gentle finesse. He encourages the open mind while appealing to those who haven't taken the trouble to even ask questions. Polly asks and confronts many of these queries. She examines the answers in light of what is occurring around her. She's sharp and alert. She has to be, hiding her identity from friend and foe alike. She learns to belch, pick her nose and walk swaying her shoulders instead of her hips. Is this what's important? Pratchett takes us to the abyss of gender politics, reveals its deceptive simplicity, and leads us away. To confront a yet more fundamental horror. He is adept at surprising the reader, accomplishing that again here with his usual aplomb. Once again, he's "mirrored" our world. Take a close look and see if you are imaged here. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa]
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
A little different from others in the series, and took me a lttle longer to read that others (didn't pick it up and read it in 2 days as usual...took a whole week) but if you can get past the subject matter being war, then it is Terry's usual mix of action adventure, magic and humour. So many levels of comparison to humanity. Yes it is about war, but that is an ongoing human state unfortunately. This is the story of a few strange folk having to rely on each other to get where they want to go. Brilliant Mr.P !!
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