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Monstrous Regiment (Discworld #31)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  44,575 Ratings  ·  1,130 Reviews
Polly Perks joins the Discworld army to find her brother Paul. "Ozzer" cuts off blonde braids, dons male garb, belches, scratches, and masters macho habits aided by well-placed pair of socks. Legendary and seemingly ageless Sergeant Jackrum accepts her plus a vampire, troll, zombie, religious fanatic, and two close "friends". The best man for the job may be a woman.
Paperback, 496 pages
Published September 25th 2003 (first published 2003)
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Thomas Hellinger Nope. This holds for all the Discworld books. They all overlap, but not in such a way that forms an important sequential ordering. Usually if material…moreNope. This holds for all the Discworld books. They all overlap, but not in such a way that forms an important sequential ordering. Usually if material from any other book in the Discworld series mentions any activity documented in any other Discworld novel, it's usually a brief, throwaway mention.

There are about 7 or 8 groups or individuals who have their own grand story arcs, but even those don't need to be read in order (see: (less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Pratchett addresses two questions here: (1) “Do you think it's possible for an entire nation to be insane?” and (2) Does - and, more importantly, should - a well-placed pair of socks (for 'certain' sort of padding) make a difference?
“The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.”
As far as Discworld series is concerned, this book can be easily read as a standalone novel. It brings us to the little backwards countr
L.J. Smith
Dec 05, 2015 L.J. Smith rated it it was amazing
This is the second most-frequently read of my favorite Terry Pratchett books, the first being Night Watch, which helped get me through the death of my mother. My latest copy of Monstrous Regiment is so battered and dog-eared that it’s falling apart. From sentence number one I was riveted and if you are wondering whether you should read this book, the short answer is yes, turn your cursor right now to a new tab and order it, or even better jog out to your local (probably half an hour away) bookst ...more
Feb 18, 2012 Patrick rated it it was amazing

Five stars really aren't enough.

I think this might be my favorite Terry Pratchett book. I've read it at least 3-4 times, and re-reading it today, I'm delighted to discover that it's every bit as good as before.

As an added bonus, this book would be easier for new readers of Pratchett to pick up. There are a few characters from previous books, but they only have very brief cameo appearances. Other than that the book is pretty much self contained....


That'd been almost a year ago, when any recruiting party that came past went away with the best part of a battalion, and there had been people waving them off with flags and music. Sometimes, now, smaller parties of men came back. The lucky ones were missing only one arm or one leg. There were no flags.

It's hard finding soldiers when you're always at war. Especially when you're fighting a war that you may not be winning.

Eventually, you end up taking whatever you can get...trolls, vampires, even.
Mar 31, 2014 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
There was always a war. Usually they were border disputes, the national equivalent of complaining that the neighbor was letting their hedge grow too long. Sometimes they were bigger. Borogravia was a peace-loving country in the midst of treacherous, devious, warlike enemies. They had to be treacherous, devious, and war-like, otherwise we wouldn't be fighting them, eh? There was always a war.

The Night Watch goes to War! Or, at least, that was my expectation before I started the novel. Only thin
Mar 15, 2016 Skip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor, e-books
It is an amazing coincidence that my 31st Discworld novel is #31 since I have focused on the City Watch series, the Tiffany Aching series, and the recent, more humorous books.

In this one, Sir Terry's prime focus on the follies of war. The aging but much experienced Sergeant Jackrum is recruiting soldiers because most have been captured or killed, even though his side is supposedly winning. Only misfits are left -- those wanting to escape their dreary or worse lives. So, he ends up with a vampire
**edit 11/26/13
Born in the war-torn, misogynistic country of Borogravia, Polly Perks has grown up with the folksong echoing in the back of her mind. Perhaps, then, it is only natural that when her brother goes missing in action, Polly decides to use the song's example to find her brother. She cuts her hair, practices her swagger, and, equipped with a strategically-placed pair of socks, sets off to enlist. Of course, after countless years of war, Borogravia recruitment is scraping the bottom of t
May 18, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore Discworld fans but its not for newbies
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: A life long discworld affection
Shelves: read-in-2011
Normally I would include a Pratchett book on my "clear-unparalled-genius" shelf but this one is not getting a spot on there. I've read everything that Pratchett has written (Discworld, Gaimen collaborations, plus the Diggers/Truckers/Wings books and other discworld spin-offs) and while this book is clever in the trademark Pratchett way, the story is less funny because it is closer to the real world than many of the others in the series. The charm of the Discworld is that normally its like lookin ...more
It seems that every genre fan worth the name should read at least one Pratchett novel. I find the large body of works devoted to Discworld rather intimidating, which is why Monstrous Regiment is one of the few Discworld novels that I have read. With the exception of a few preexisting characters, this novel stands well on it’s own. Above and beyond that, I was drawn to this book because it is about women disguising themselves as men--and I have a weakness for stories about crossdressing heroines. ...more
Johann Coetzer
This book was really a wonderful read, it just shows that gender diversity is important and in some places it is more needed than in others.
Now I have seen that some people here did not give this book such a great review. It does boggle my mind as to why they have given three stars or less.
The biggest thing to remember is that the books of Terry Pratchett does have a reading order and follows a story line and should by all means not be read in publication order.
In all I can not say to much on th
Apr 06, 2014 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fantasy
Ahh.. thank goodness for GR reviews.

Why, you ask?

Because I'm about to besmirch an author I adore. And I'm glad to be following in other footsteps that had a similar hill to conquer.

I don't love this book. I just don't. Mr. Pratchett has a gentle and funny way of adding real world elements to his books, poking fun at some pretty difficult moral issues. And yet this book seemed too heavy-handed, too obvious, and too repetitive.

Once upon a time I considered myself a feminist. That was before husban
An Odd1
Jan 07, 2015 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fun
Polly "Perks" blonde Borogravian barmaid cuts her braids, practices her belching and swaggering, and joins tobacco-chewer legendary Sergeant Jack Jackrum's little lads. Perks seeks her big slow-witted brother Paul, one of the many missing In-and-out troopers. "Shufti" Manickle seeks "Dear John".

"Tonker" Halter keeps close to and restrains pyromaniac pal "Lofty" Tewt. Vampire Maladict is addicted to coffee instead of blood. Frail "Wazzer" Goom prays, more fervently than the average citizen, and
Nov 12, 2015 Milica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discworld, 2015
U početku je dosta slabija knjiga od prosečne Pračetove, posle se poboljšala, ali sveukupno je svaka sledeća mi je sve slabija :(
Feb 09, 2013 Karla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overrated
(view spoiler) It's a plot gimmick that never gets old, even after the tenth surprise reveal!

Haha, uh, NO.

I'm sure his fans would tell me this wasn't the best Pratchett to start with. My choices are always so BAD for highly-rated authors! ;D

His humor isn't exactly a ha-ha kind of funny. More a very quiet kind of funny. So quiet I missed it entirely.
Aug 08, 2011 Craig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Discworld novels have always been wacky and irreverent, but after first reading Night Watch and now Monstrous Regiment, I think Mr. Pratchett has made a leap forward in how he constructs his stories. I'm not really sure what's changed - it just seems that his latest two books are less about the zany characters being thrown into peculiar and comedic situations, and more about the situations themselves. They feel more "novelly," for lack of a better term. As Mr. Pratchett himself has reportedl ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Michelle rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2015 Lydia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
100% more enjoyable than the only other Terry Pratchett book I've read and definitely good enough to persuade me to try some other of Pratchett's works in the future.
It was very readable and fun. There were a lot of ladies in it and that was delightful and I've got to give Pratchett credit for writing women well. Because men so often fuck that up. But I didn't feel insulted or belittled when reaing it. A wonderful satire of our world and gender roles etc.
It's never going to be my favourite genre
Aug 24, 2016 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Wow, as a one off (although Vimes & Angua play a watching role), I was not expecting this to be one of my favorites, which it now totally is. Pratchett puts his own twist on the War Novel, a la Quiet on the Western Front or Storm of Steel, but with a very feminist angle. Or humanist. Although that doesn't totally apply to this book either since it's rough being a female vampire or Igor or troll too.

In the basically failed nation of Borogravia, ruled by a (probably dead) Duchess, no one sees
Just not my favorite book in the series. Something of a letdown after Night Watch. It is readable, fairly funny, and doesn't suffer from a lack of direction that some of the weaker Discworld books have. It just never pops for me.
Michael *Windrunner*
Jul 14, 2016 Michael *Windrunner* rated it it was amazing
So far I've read 4 Discworld books and I rank them as follows:

1. Going Postal
2. Monstrous Regiment
3. Color of Magic
4. Light Fantastic
Jan 04, 2016 Unai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“El enemigo no eran los hombres, ni las mujeres, ni los viejos, ni siquiera los muertos. Eran los putos estúpidos, que venían en todas las variedades. Y nadie tenía derecho a ser estúpido“

Estoy vago y dejo deudas lectoras sin saldar, pero ahora que todo vuelve a la normalidad post-navideña, es hora de volver a comentar Mundodisco. Esta vez lejos de Ankh-Morpork, como lectura de transición tras acabar con la saga de la guardia. Tangencialmente, tenemos también aquí a Vimes (marcándose “un Kennedy
Nov 09, 2014 Priscilla rated it it was amazing
Confession time: The first time I read Monstrous Regiment, when it was released in 2003, I didn't like it. As a big fan of the City Watch, I resented that we were teased with cameos from Vimes and Angua but we didn't see their characters evolve, and I thought the ending was too contrived. From the sidelines, I watched my fellow fans EXPLODE with love for the book and produce reams of fanart and fanfic, never participating myself. I made a mental note to maybe give it another go, but I never got ...more
Aug 01, 2011 Carole rated it it was amazing
I love all of the Discworld series. Terry Pratchett makes serious points about life, the universe and everything through the creation of a totally believable parallel universe. He comes across as a man of great integrity who yet never becomes preachy, but laugh-out-loud funny! My particular favourites in the series are the books featuring the witches and those featuring the City Watch. 'Monstrous regiment' follows the fortunes of Polly, who joins the army disguised as a boy. Pratchett neatly sid ...more
Aug 26, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the end of Monstrous Regiment I had that feeling you get when you reach the end of a good book and it comes to a conclusion you admire and one that is not too easy. One that hints that this is only the beginning and it was a brilliant one. Twists, turns and a few pantomime-worthy moments. I'm not sure how a reader, unfamiliar with the Discworld, would take the novel but it's a book I'd recommend wholeheartedly. I want to read it again already. It's the little things, the birds and the 'Oh, Su ...more
Apr 24, 2016 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not his best, not his worst...I actually thought it ended too soon--despite the hefty page count. Even weak Sir Terry is top drawer, though, and after Polly slams Prince Heinrich in the nuts I found myself highlighting all the synonyms the author used when referring to the incident, to wit: "wedding tackle," "meat and two veg," "groinal regions," "nadgers," "fracas," "todger," "fork," "ham-and-eggs." Ave, TP, atque vale.

Other Pratchettery:

"All you can say about the place is that it isn't anywher
Rebecca Huston
Nov 15, 2014 Rebecca Huston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, discworld
This time the story shifts out of Ankh-Morpork to a tiny country, Borogrovia, which has constantly been at war with the neighbors for so long that nearly all of the men are dead, the country is starving and there isn't much hope, especially when their god, Nuggan, tends to focus on the Thou-Shall-Nots and Abominations. Polly Perks, an attractive young woman working at the family inn, is made of sterner stuff. Especially when her brother is missing on the front lines. She lops off her hair, dress ...more
Apr 04, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Diana Walker
There was a book, once upon a time, called the First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstruous Regiment of Women, written by an anti-Catholic writer who was really offended that there were several Catholic queens out there. If he’d taken a slightly different tact, his life might have been better when Good Queen Elizabeth took one of those thrones, but so it goes.

I did not like this book much the first time I read it. I disliked the misogynistic duchy of Borogravia far too much to understand
Mar 16, 2015 José rated it it was amazing
Regimiento Monstruoso reseña en español ---> Click aquí

Another excellent and hilarious book by Terry Pratchett, every book I read is better than the last one. This one takes place at Borogravia an insane nation ruled by an insane God called Nuggan, who keeps dictating what he calls Abominations.
The abominations are ridiculous like: the colour blue, garlic, chocolate, that women know how to write and read.
In middle of this insanity Polly will try to join the army dressing like a man (an abomi
Althea Ann
In Pratchett's umpteenth Discworld novel, he takes on the foolishness of societally-imposed gender roles, the horrors (and pointlessness) of war and the ironies of religion. Serious stuff! And yes, the book is a lot more serious that many of the earlier Discworld books, which pretty much played everything for laughs. However, that's not to say that this story isn't funny - it certainly is - just that the humor's a little more pointed and thought-provoking.
A young woman, Polly, disguises herself
Allan Dyen-Shapiro
Jun 20, 2013 Allan Dyen-Shapiro rated it really liked it
I gave Terry Pratchett another chance. Friends who say he's brilliant told me I made a mistake by starting with his first book, the Color of Magic. They said skip the first three and all others are great. Well, I saw one in the library from 2005--the 31st Discworld novel. I actually thought Color of Magic was better.

This book opens in a regime on the edge of collapse, which is in perpetual war with every other state. For various reasons, a unit of misfits is the last one to enlist. It includes a
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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 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; City Watch #1)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1)

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“The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.” 840 likes
“Do you think it's possible for an entire nation to be insane?” 604 likes
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