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The Fifth Elephant (Discworld #24)

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  46,781 Ratings  ·  961 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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Nicola They don't need to be read in strict order but it helps if you have some idea of the structure of the world and who the people are for the later books…moreThey don't need to be read in strict order but it helps if you have some idea of the structure of the world and who the people are for the later books otherwise I've heard it can be quite confusing.

Terry Pratchett has several sub-series' inside the over arching series of 'Discworld' and they are: 1. Rincewind the cowardly and inept wizard (he starts off the series with books #1 and #2); 2. The Witches (start with Wyrd sisters for this one; 3; The Guards (start with Guards! Guards!) and 4. Death (start with Mort) and possibly 5. The Wizards although these often concern other characters as well. He also has the Tiffany Aching series which is aimed more at junior readers but I personally love them.

Quite a few of his books overlap characters so there are very few entirely stand alone books even if they aren't from one of the 4 main groups. Probably the best stand alone would be Small Gods.(less)
Martin Mcgerr It is a watch novel with Vimes travelling to Uberwald for the crowning of the low king, Anguas family are involved along with vampires and deep…moreIt is a watch novel with Vimes travelling to Uberwald for the crowning of the low king, Anguas family are involved along with vampires and deep dwarves as they look to find out about who stole the scone of destiny(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Patrick
Jun 29, 2009 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know what Goodreads *really* needs? The ability for someone to leave multiple reviews of a book that they've read at multiple points in their life.

I'd like to talk about my recent thoughts on this book, but I don't want to erase my old review or change the date on it.

Think how nice it would be to look back on your reading history and see how your attitudes have changed over the course of your life. Books you loved as a kid that pale as you mature, versus books you liked when you were young
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Kristen
Apr 25, 2008 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
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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Lyn
Jun 06, 2017 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“So this is diplomacy.  It’s like lying, only to a better class of people.”

So says Sam Vimes / Terry Pratchett in his 1999 novel The Fifth Elephant. Discworld fans also know that this 24th Discworld book was a return of the wonderfully entertaining City Watch sub series. In this edition, Pratchett has the Duke of Ankh go to Uberwald on a diplomatic mission for which Vimes is uniquely qualified.

Pratchett had previously visited the vampires in Uberwald in the 23rd Discworld book, 1998’s Carpe Jugu
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Melki
Feb 18, 2014 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Richard
Jun 24, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, fantasy
8.5/10

Back to form after a disappointing outing last time with Jingo. This is another stonking effort in the Watch sub-series making it hard for me not to start raving about them to people and tell them if they’ve not read them then they need to pick them up and get cracking!

Plot wise things are shaken up again. I did groan a little when I learnt that Vimes would yet again be leaving Ankh-Morpork for a distant land like in the last novel, but this time it proved to be an inspired choice and work
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YouKneeK
The Fifth Elephant is the fifth book in the Watch subseries of Discworld. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, my enjoyment of the Watch books has grown as the series has progressed. With this book however, I wasn’t as entertained by it as I had been by the last couple. I’m not sure if it was the book or if it was me, since I was traveling on business this week and I was surprisingly tired even though it wasn’t a particularly strenuous trip. There were also a lot of distractions during the bul ...more
R.R. López
Nov 29, 2016 R.R. López rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Otro libro de la saga de la guardia con el que he disfrutado enormemente.

Lo que más me ha gustado: La introducción de los igors.

En este volumen conocemos un poco mejor a Lady Sybil, exploramos las misteriosas tierras de Überwald, y averiguamos algo más del trasfondo de Angua.

Lo que no me ha gustado: Pratchett vuelve a prescindir de la causa-efecto para resolver el conflicto principal, como en sus primeros libros, haciendo que este se resuelva por manos del azar, mediante el triunfo de un plan mu
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David Sarkies
Nov 28, 2016 David Sarkies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Another City Watch Story
28 November 2016

There was a time that I loved the adventures of Constable Carrot, Captain Vimes, and Nobby Nobbs, but is seems as of late the stories are starting to become really, really dry. Okay, maybe there are other factors, but I really don't seem to be able to get into the Pratchet books any more, to the point that I am starting to find them quite boring. Sure, there are probably people out there that will crucify me because I have spoken blasphemy, but fortunatel
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Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Dec 18, 2014 Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fantasy novels and other Terry Pratchett novels
Published : 6/11/2008
Author: Terry Pratchett

Another amazing book written by an amazing author! In this book we see the characters Nobby Nobbs, the wonderful Sam Vines, Havelock Vetinari , Carrot Ironfoundsson plus many more amazing characters. The setting of this novel is Uberwald. This is book 5 in the City Watch part in the Discworld novels.
This is another great book that transports us into the world that he has created, we go on the adventure with the characters, get to know them and enjoy
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apple
Aug 31, 2011 apple rated it it was amazing  ·  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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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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Marina
Aug 03, 2016 Marina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, own
Another fantastic instalment.

It was super great to see the world outside of Ankh Morpork and explore more of Discworld. This one dealt specifically with immigrant diaspora, belonging, cultural shifts and evolution.

This was also the first Discworld book to make me cry. Silly Carrot, being his stupid adorable self. How dare he?!! *sniffs*

My only problem is that there are a bit too many characters and in this one their stories diverge a little too much.
Olga Godim
Oct 14, 2014 Olga Godim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
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
Julie
I want to embark on an chronological Discworld in memoriam reread, but for now I started by revisiting The Fifth Elephant for Reasons. Gosh, I love this book: diplomacy and spycraft set in an old Germanic continent, in which the Gothic runs rife, the forests are deep and dark and dangerous, and there are supernatural beasties around every corner. (The races to get home before sunset being a fun Uberwaldean hobby is just the cutest.)

What struck me the most about rereading this book is that while
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Matt
Jan 07, 2014 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor, 2016-reads
With Ankh-Morpork’s trade with Uberwald in possible danger Lord Ventari sends his most reliable diplomat and expert in political intrigue, Sam Vimes. The Commander of Ankh-Morpork’s Watch finds himself in a potential international incident with interspecies disputes and conspiracies mixed in with the fabulous riches of The Fifth Elephant mines in this installment of Terry Pratchett’s fantastic Discworld series.

Uberwald is a mineral rich principality governed over by dwarfs, werewolves, and vampi
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Tfitoby
May 16, 2011 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
Interestingly this City Watch book is keen to paint Ankh-Morpork as representing the big city inclusive ideals of say London, or New York, or perhaps a condensed version of "The American Dream," a place where anyone from anywhere, any race, creed, colour, or education can go and be accepted and make a success of themselves if they just work hard enough. Whilst at the same time it is the closed minded outsiders who wish to build walls, remain in the ultra conservative dark ages and keep all races ...more
BellaGBear
This book has one of the scariest scenes I've read in a discworld book so far. I was really afraid a particular character I care about would die.

Also in this book Igor and Vimes really have a shining role, so if you like them, this is definetly the book for you. Especially if you also always wanted to know more about vampires, dwarves and werewolves of the Discworld universe.

This feels like a very mature discworld book, in the sense that the story is very well-constructed and has some serious
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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.
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
Μιτς Γιωτίξ
Not your usual City Watch novel, and Feet of Clay and Men at Arms were a little bit more enjoyable plot-wise, but it still was fun to read; especially when giving you backgrounds for Angua and Uberwald.
PS Sam Vimes is still the best cop in fiction.
Kathleen
This is one of my favorites in the Discworld "City Watch" series, because it's got a strong plot without being bogged down in pithy puns and endless parody (but there's plenty of that, still). I adore Police Commander (Duke of Ankh) Sam Vimes, the Patrician (city dictator) Lord Vetinari, and the whole multi-species gang. Sometimes the tone gets a bit teachy / preachy, and some puns have me rolling my eyes, but still, jolly good satire. Action, suspense, characters to care for, plus witty politic ...more
Ms. Smartarse
First, the new Low King is to be crowned all the way in Uberwald. For some reason (i.e. Lord Vetinari's) this translates into a diplomatic holiday for our favorite City Watch Commander; that is to say the Duke and Duchess of Ankh of course. Interestingly enough, the famed Scone of Stone has just been stolen from the Dwarf Bread Museum. Luckily it's only a replica, although it is said to be a damn good one...

Suspicious Dr. Who

Secondly, Angua suddenly disappears without a trace prompting Carrot to resign his post a
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Andree
Sep 26, 2016 Andree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This one was fabulously written. I don't think it's one of my favourites, because of the sort of general Uberwald unpleasantness that resonates throughout it (and the Colon as Captain subplot got tedious fast - the only saving grace was Vetinari reminding both Colon and Nobbs how Vimes would react). But on the other hand, this is really, really well done.

Also, it turns out that I had effectively read three of the Watch books, despite thinking that I'd read almost all of them. Because I hadn't re
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John
May 30, 2010 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Paul Cude
Jun 15, 2012 Paul Cude rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Collins
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.
Κωνσταντίνος Κέλλης
Wolves never look back.
Read the book again, after many years. I had it pegged down as 3 stars (always compared to the rest of his work) but now I'm giving it 4 stars. The book didn't get better, but I think I did.
Antonis
Mar 05, 2017 Antonis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 / 5

The fifth elephant is yet another book in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. This one belongs to the Ankh-Morpork's City Watch sub-series which happens to be my favorite! As is obvious from my rating, I loved this book! It was exactly what I expected from a city watch Pratchett book and some more! It is obvious that by this book Terry Pratchett had reached his stride as a writer and was feeling very comfortable with both his characters and his setting. The plot is really interesting a
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Wastrel
Probably the best Watch novel so far in the cycle (i.e. ignoring Night Watch, which is still to come). Has a strong feel of finality and conclusion, the old world of Discworld coming to an end, with Sam Vimes (temporary ambassador to Uberwald) as the unstoppable hand of progress, reason, and cultural and economic imperialism, as Ankh-Morpork's semaphore towers march mountain by mountain into the unmapped, savage, deep dark wood, where werewolves and vampires have carved up the human population ( ...more
Karen
Oct 27, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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2015 Reading Chal...: The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett 4 21 Dec 31, 2014 03:06PM  
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  • The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy
1654
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,
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More about Terry Pratchett...

Other Books in the Series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches #1)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1)

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