- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Corgi (Jan. 6 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552154229
- ISBN-13: 978-0552154222
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 322 g
- Average Customer Review: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,591,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Fifth Elephant Paperback – Jan 6 2009
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" 'Precisely balanced...excellent set pieces...a cracking comic thriller' - The Times. 'He would be amusing in any form and his spectacular inventiveness makes the Discworld series one of the perennial joys of modern fiction' - Mail on Sunday"
From the Back Cover
SAM VIMES IS A MAN ON THE RUN. YESTERDAY HE WAS A DUKE, A CHIEF OF POLICE AND THE AMBASSADOR TO THE MYSTERIOUS FAT-RICH COUNTRY OF UBERWALD.
Now he has nothing but his native wit and the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya (don't ask). It's snowing. It's freezing. And if he can't make it through the forest to civilization there's going to be a terrible war.
But there are monsters on his trail. They're bright. They're fast. They're werewolves - and they're catching up.
The Fifth Elephant is Terry Pratchett's latest installment in the Discworld cycle, this time starring dwarfs, diplomacy, intrigue and big lumps of fat. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
If you've not yet introduced yourself to any Pratchett books, let me give you a quick history of Discworld. Pratchett's crazy world is supported by four elephants standing on the back of a giant tortoise. Once there was a fifth elephant, but it fell off the tortoise's back and crashed onto Discworld, leaving behind rich deposits of minerals and fat and the interesting philosophical question: when millions of tons of angry elephant come spinning through the sky, and there is no one to hear it, does it, philosophically speaking, make a noise? And that's about as philosophical as Discworld ever gets..... or is it? Pratchett, in a quiet, humorous way, poses questions about, and satirizes just about any subject you can imagine. Anything from opera to the meaning of life, from local government to religion. (Oh dear, I do hope those reviewers who insist on denouncing J.K.Rowling and Philip Pullman as the anti-christ aren't reading this. They'll be chipping away at Terry Pratchett next!)
When I tell you that the famous Samuel Vimes, commander of the Ankh-Morpork city watch, is sent to represent the city at the crowning of the new Dwarvish Low King, you won't be surprised to learn that Vimes hates politics and has no talent for diplomacy whatsoever. His idea of dealing with a diplomatic incident is to head-butt his way through it. It doesn't help that his assistants are a werewolf, a troll, and a dwarf. Meanwhile, Captain Carrot has fallen in love with Corporal Angua (also a werewolf), and a duplicate of a Dwarven artifact is stolen (a piece of stale bread).
Can't get much more ridiculous, can it! Oh yes it can. Pratchett loves the ridiculous as he gently mocks everything in sight (always with a great knowledge of and fondness for his fellow primates, even in their more foolish moments). Consider yourself well and truly ordered to GO AND BUY THIS BOOK.
As for the storyline, it is typical of pratchett to turn a seemingly simple story of conspiracy, assasination, politics, and fifth elephant into an Epic journey. This is simply a musthave for anyone who is a Pratchett fan.
For those who don't know who Pratchett is, and this is your first book, then buy it. All of Terry Pratchett's book are designed to be read by good readers, and bad readers, by the young and the old, for those looking for a laught and a good story, and those looking for a highly intellectual story. On the backdrop of all of Pratchett's book there is always a few serious issues in human nature and behavior, and he theme his books on those issues brilliantly.
In particular, the much-reviled police captain Vimes and the much-honored Duke Vimes move forward. I mean, like a glacier moves forward. Not the fastest one around, I won't even warn you to get out of his way. Glacier-like, it wouldn't matter. Go ahead, get in his way - he might even notice. Probably not.
This time, in his ducal capacity, he has been appointed to an ambassadorship by Lord Vetinari. Vetinari is not a bad man (by local standards, at least) and doesn't do bad things (again, by local standards). Pray that you're nowhere near when he attempts something good. It might be like lighting a candle in the darkness, with you as the match.
Or it might be like lighting the fuze on the powder-keg. Vimes isn't much the candle type. Around him are many people. There's his finishing-school wife who can finish off dwarves and lots of others, six against one, in unarmed debate. There's Officer Angua of the city watch. A very capable woman but watch out for her "monthlies". You know, new moon, howling over the heath, and and all that were-sort-of-thing. Then ... well, Angua is the predictable one. There are lots of others who aren't.
This is a long-running series with lots of character development in previous volumes. Pratchett is uncommonly well tuned to the newcomer, though. Even if the writer knows the two-dozen stories before this one (and a dozen-squared he never wrote), this story still stands well on its own. The newcomer may as well start here as anywhere. The tone is a bit more serious and less haha than most of the Discworld series, but it fits well.