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The Fifth Elephant (Discworld #24)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  32,358 ratings  ·  594 reviews
Everyone knows that the world is flat, and supported on the backs of four elephants. But weren't there supposed to be five? Indeed there were. So where is it?...

When duty calls. Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork constabulary answers. Even when he doesn't want to. He's been "invited" to attend a royal function as both detective and diplomat. The one role he relishes; the
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ebook, 464 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1999)
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Kristen
I know that many have stated that there had been a decline in his writing as time goes on… I personally would have to disagree. There is a change in his writing; however I feel that it has been for the better. As his book have progressed, he has leaned less toward the quick giggle and insane rush of nonsense and more toward a satirical plot with darker edges and the giggles interspersed within the story rather than his jokes running the story.

The Fifth Elephant is one of Pratchett’s more plot dr
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Melki
Aw, man!

First the Scone of Stone goes missing. Then Angua disappears and Carrot is off to find her. With Sam Vimes on his way to the coronation in Uberwald, that leaves Fred Colon as Acting Captain of the Watch. The horror, the horror! He annoys everyone and makes a general mess of everything...not to mention that his "principles" make him reluctant to investigate the death of a local manufacturer of rubber preventatives.

Sound confusing? It's not. At least, not yet.

Throw in some assorted dwarf
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apple
Aug 31, 2011 apple rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to apple by: Teena R.
Shelves: fantasy
Please allow me one quick soul-searching moment. Before I was introduced to the awesomeness of Discworld…I was just an empty shell of a fan

I haven’t picked up Discworld book for quite some time (last one I read was Jingo) so reading the Fifth Elephant kind of gave me the warm and fuzzy feeling of falling in love with Sir Terry Pratchett’s work all over again. I think this book is the most action-packed volume in City Watch series yet. Imagine Bruce Willis all decked out in tights with British ac
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Olga Godim
This time, Sam Vimes plays a diplomat. Lord Vetinari, the ruler of Ankh-Morpork, sends Vimes to Uberwald to represent the city during the coronation of the dwarfs’ new king. Unfortunately, Uberwald is a backward country. Industry is undeveloped, except in the dwarfs’ mines. The werewolves rampage and eat people unchecked. The vampires plot quietly. The dwarves squabble over millennium-long traditions. A powerful dwarven relic has been stolen (shhh, it’s a secret), various factions of dwarves vie ...more
Nathan
Complete Discworld Reread

And just like that the series starts to change. Opens up, shows signs that Discworld is not just a series of random places where things happen but is instead a living, breathing world. People interact, and not just for war. ‘Foreign places’ are not just places to visit and fix; they are places where people live and cultures thrive. The signs that Pratchett’s series is going to start exploring the effects of some major technological changes are present but not yet runnin
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John
Terry Pratchett's Discworld series really caught me by surprise. I _expected_ airy, humorous fantasies with a satirical edge to them (I picked up on this from the title of the first one I read: GOING POSTAL). But that description does not do these books justice. These are good stories, regardless of the fact that many of the characters are fantastic or supernatural creatures (including a talking dog).

The main character of this book (Sam Vimes - featured in many of the Discworld novels) is on a d
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Patrick
There's worse ways to start the year than reading some Pratchett. So that's what I did.

I've only read this one one once before, and that was years back, so it was fun and pretty fresh for me.

I'm a big fan of Vimes, but even given my bias, this is a great book. Probably not on the level of Pratchett's best (Monstrous Regiment, Thud, Wee free Men) but still a great book.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Funny, gripping. Hinges on tradition, change, diplomacy and Sam Vimes' ability to be the most dogged policeman in existence, and interestingly on a smelly little dog's somewhat parallel abilities. Lots of great side-plots and gags. Everything perfectly balanced, a delectable repast served up by a master chef.
Karen
Oh hi there. Were you looking for another 'review' where I talk about how much I love these books? GOOD CAUSE THAT'S WHAT IS HAPPENING.
I've always enjoyed The Fifth Elephant. Political intrigue, great cast, and explorations of dwarf culture in the Discworld. It's also just your classic Vimes mystery, superimposed on 'diplomacy' and politics. The setting is one of the key things that makes this book really good - Vimes and the Watch are filling their usual roles, but in a country where they reall
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Paul Cude
My favourite book in the whole world...and the one I'd have to have on a desert Island. The whole story is so compelling and I can picture all of it, in the very last detail in my head. Clearly the author had been caught speeding or some traffic offense of one sort or another around the time he wrote the book, because the opening squence just shouts that out and is magnificent....Nobby Nobbs in a dress...what a thought! The twists and turns in the plot are just brilliant and the best bit of the ...more
Jamie
Another fun Pratchett book featuring the Night Watch. I love Vimes, and the story stays with him most of the time as he undertakes a diplomatic mission to Uberwald, which is full of vampires and werewolves and dwarfs, oh my. Lady Sybil, who I also thoroughly enjoy, travels with him.

I didn’t think there was anything particularly brilliant about this one, but I am still giggling over the Scone of Stone.
Kaethe
2010 October 3

I'd have given him five stars for the riff on The Cherry Orchard alone. Vampires, werewolves, politics, fat mining. Pratchett manages to write a really fun book that is also a mystery as well as a keen satire on emigrants and the old country.

Personal copy
Thomas Arvanitis
The City Watch series of books (part of the Diskworld series)keeps getting better with each book. The "Fifth Elephant" is the best one so far, building on the existing characters and introducing some delightful new ones. The highlight of the book was the sequence of Vimes being hunted by werewolves. Priceless.
Kathleen
Put him in tights, call him Your Grace, and send him off as an ambassador, but Sam Vimes is a cop. Where there are cops there's crime.

The Watch goes to Uberwald, where werewolves, vampires, and traditional dwarves keep a tenuous peace. Of course, Vimes can be a very upsetting character. An openly female dwarf and a troll wielding siege weaponry aren't exactly a low profile retinue.

These books continue to be funny and spot on. I highly recommend this just read the Watch books reading order.
Tom
Not sure if this is my favourite Discworld book I've read, but it's probably my favourite Watch book.

Everything about it was marvellous:
* Sam Vimes is such a complex character and he gets more and more fascinating and likeable with each book. I totally dug the moral stuff near the end about taking the life of a murderous person.
* The setting of Bonk was really good, and well-realised, with all the factions that Vimes has to deal with.
* Cheery and Detritus getting tons of screen time is great fun
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P. Aaron Potter
This is my other contender (with "Feet of Clay") for the best of Pratchett's Discworld books. It's not merely fantasy: it's literature. No, it's Literature, with a capital "L," because it accomplishes all literature ever sets out to do: engage an audience, suspend disbelief, and effortlessly hide its didactic purpose while making trenchant observations about the human condition.

Unlike pure "fantasy," Pratchett's novels can't quite achieve the quality of escapism, because it is far too easy to re
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Claudiu
Apr 03, 2012 Claudiu rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the series, Fantasy fans, wit fans, fans fans fans
Recommended to Claudiu by: Andreea
One can never accuse Terry Pratchett of needing a wordcount trim. If anything he'd do with some fattening up usually.

The Nightwatch books seldom disappoint. This wasn't the case, as the high star rating would indicate. It's a fun romp with a fun little plot and fun characters that just grow and grow and grow on you.
It's amazing how every book set on the Discworld manages to advance things and yet keep them delightfully the same. It may sound a bit corny but this is one world that shouldn't chan
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Sally
So far I've read 31 of the Discworld books, and The Fifth Elephant is the 5th of the stories featuring Sam Vimes and the City Watch. With reading many books by the same author comes a tendency to say one or another was a favorite. This one was perhaps a favorite for me, not because of the story line, although it was as good as are most of them, but because I caught myself chuckling out loud a number of times. I even had to read aloud little bits to my husband because he'd ask me what I was laugh ...more
Jonathan Palfrey
I think this is one of the better Discworld books, in principle, but I'm reluctant to give it more than three stars because, although quite funny initially, it becomes rather disagreeable towards the end. Seriously unpleasant characters, serious conflict, serious casualties: just what you might expect from some novels, but not quite what I expect from a Discworld novel.

It's a kind of City Watch book, in that all the City Watch characters are involved, but in this one Sam Vimes is sent to Uberwal
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Caitlin
I don't really know how to sum up my love for this book in words. The characters are amazing: Sam Vimes is always good for any sarcasm or witty comebacks, Carrot with his innocence, I don't even know where to start with Ventinari. It's just so good!

READ IT!! (But first please read the others with the Watch in it. That'd be Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms, Feet of Clay and Jingo. All also amazing books that I love.)

I mean I loved it so much that I read it in one day, staying up until 1 o'clock to fi
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mina
Salah satu dari Discworld series Hasil ngiler-ngiler di Kino. Kelamaan ngiler akhirnya terbeli juga. Sekali ini bagian dari subseries Night Watch, pasca Vimes menikah dengan Lady Sybil. Saat Night Watch bukan lagi Night Watch saja, tapi sudah menjadi The Watch, sebuah Guild sendiri. Ini buku kedua subseries ini yang aku baca, sesudah Men at Arms.

Sekarang Watch (versi Polisi-nya kota Ankh-Morpork) sudah berkembang pesat, dan semakin banyak kaum minoritas yang terwakili :p Kalau waktu di Men at Ar
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Nicolas
Dans ce roman, on asiste sans doute à la première sortie de Vimaire hors des doux murs d'Ankh-Morpokh, ce délicat refuge de la civilisation la plus cosmopolite du Disque-Monde. Sortie qui, bien sûr, n'est pas de tout repos.
En effet, Vimaire est envoyé, bien contre son gré, par le Patricien comme ambassadeur en Uberwald, contrée mythique des vampires, des loup-garous, et des nains intégristes.
Il est d'ailleurs curieux de voir à quel point, alors qu'on se serait attendu à ce que le roman nous parl
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Ann
The fifth elephant (anybody remember "The Fifth Element?") crashed into the Discworld millenia ago, resulting in the vast underground fat deposits of Uberwald. The theft of the Scone of Stone sends Commander Vimes on a diplomatic mission to Uberwald, home of dwarfs, vampires, and werewolves. Accompanying him are Lady Sybil, Sgt. Detritis, Corporal Cheery (that's Cheri) Littlebottom, and Corporal Angua. There is absolutely nothing that cannot and is not parodied in this book. If you don't laugh o ...more
Julie
I LOVE Pratchett's work; he astounds me as an author. The Fifth Elephant is one of my favorites of the Discworld series and the Night Watch set is my favorite sub-series in it. The humorous satire on the human condition is, as always, a delight and yet I found even more in the solid storyline and characterizations. I especially enjoy the interplay and dialogue between characters; it is a real skill to create a novel that is so vivid and yet doesn't waste time on descriptive narrative. I'll work ...more
astried
I still don't understand the connection with the title.. I'm growing to be a true Carrot hater (that's too harsh, not-a-fan?) since I enjoyed this book so much just because he didn't have big part in it. I think I have problem with man that everybody loves. I realized this problem as I was reading The Old Man at the Railroad Crossing and Other Tales and loved the man who has no friend better in one of the short stories. Carrot did behave marvelously by showing that Angua is more important than t ...more
Jessica
I love Vimes books, but they always make me feel a little stupid - mysteries have never been my forte. I've read the Vimes books about as out of order as is possible, so some of the more surprising elements of this story were known to me from later novels. That made it nice though, as I got to wonder when the other shoe was going to drop.
Macie
This is one of my favorite books by Terry Pratchett, and that is saying something. If you're not a Pratchett fan, you might have some trouble keeping up, but it is worth the attempt. This one has political intrigue, a mystery, and Pratchett's usual satire and witty observations about human nature. It also has dwarfs, werewolves, Igors, a troll, a vampire, and a talking dog, but none of these things keep me from enjoying the Discworld books. Sam Vimes, with all his internal conflicts, is so much ...more
L.M.
Terry Pratchett has done it again! He's created a marvelously entertaining story that has adorable, lovable characters and a complicated plot. He never fails to delight the reader with his Discworld shenanigans! Sam Vimes is the star in this story and he is as prickly, committed, and humorous as ever. Much of this story takes place in Uberwald, which I hadn't really read much about before. If you haven't read "Thud!" yet, read this one first, since it comes right before "Thud!" in chronological ...more
Paul Westwood
When I first started reading this book I found it a little annoying. It was trying so hard to be funny with pun after pun but I just didn't find it funny. When I first started reading the Disc World books years ago I loved them so I was wondering whether my sense of humour has changed as I've got older or if it just isn't as funny as the earlier books.
While it was mostly readable as a one off, without knowing the characters, there were times when characters were discussed with too much familiar
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Stuart Langridge

SUMMARY:
Everyone knows that the world is flat, and supported on the backs of four elephants. But weren't there supposed to be five? Indeed there were. So where is it?...When duty calls. Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork constabulary answers. Even when he doesn't want to. He's been "invited" to attend a royal function as both detective and diplomat. The one role he relishes; the other requires, well, ruby tights. Of course where cops (even those clad in tights) go, alas, crime follows. An attem

...more
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, ...more
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