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The Fifth Elephant (Discworld #24)

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  42,776 Ratings  ·  818 Reviews
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 there are monsters on his trail . . .
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 4th 1999 by Doubleday (first published 1999)
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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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Oct 24, 2015 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
Jun 19, 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
Feb 24, 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
Jul 06, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, fantasy

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
Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Dec 13, 2015 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
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
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
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
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
Aug 04, 2016 Marina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, wishlist
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
Mar 22, 2015 Wastrel rated it really liked it
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
Dec 15, 2013 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humour, discworld
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
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
Paul Cude
Jun 17, 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
Jun 15, 2015 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: discworld
I'm glad I'm reading Discworld in chronological order...or trying to anyway. Carpe Jugulum and The Fifth Elephant are very different books but they go together very well.
Dane Cobain
Apr 18, 2016 Dane Cobain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Fifth Elephant is one of my favourite Discworld novels, but then it does feature Sir Samuel Vimes and so there’s no surprise there, then. In this book, he’s sent as a diplomat to Uberwald, because the Patrician has a sense of humour; as you might expect, things don’t exactly go according to plan, and he ends up as something of an outlaw of sorts, on the run with some pretty nasty werewolves on his trail.

What’s interesting about this book is how interlinked the story line is – it gives it a s
Sadie Slater
Jul 01, 2016 Sadie Slater rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had very little memory of The Fifth Elephant, though I knew I had read it before. I bought it in hardback the day it was released, and I think I ended up skim-reading it and finding it disappointing, as I did with a lot of mid-period Discworld books; I missed the broad comedy of the first books, and didn't appreciate the subtler humour of what Pterry was trying to do.

It probably is still one of the weaker books, but a weaker Pratchett is still worth several of most other people. Reading it thi
James Jacobs
Apr 23, 2016 James Jacobs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With every Terry Pratchett book I read I realize that I'm coming closer and closer to the ever-looming end of Discworld. I don't want it to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why couldn't DEATH have just left the man alone? He created him, after all!

I wave my hands around, screaming words with no idea what they meant and Death comes flying out of the bath.
Me: You know you could just let us borrow him for a while longer, maybe get three o
Deborah Ideiosepius
A long time since I read this one last, it was almost like reading it for the first time.

Part of the city watch series, Sam Vimes is hijacked by Lord Vetinari and Sybil into being the ambassador for Anke Morpork in Uberwald where a King of dwarves is to be crowned. (and I can't begin to describe how much my spell checker hates that last statement).

Once there of course crimes worthy of Commander Vimes crop up complicated by the fact that he is not in Anke Morpork and is not a commander of the wat
Jun 11, 2015 Jon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Another City Watch novel, another five-star rating. Easily the funniest and greatest group of characters in Discworld.

This one brings us right back to the land of Uberwald where we found ourselves in the previous installment Carpe Jugulum. However, instead of vampires as the predominant focus, we get to visualize werewolf and dwarf society. Commander Vimes is sent on an important ambassadorial mission from Lord Vetinari. Of course, he's not very good at turning off the policeman personality and
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.
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.
Oct 27, 2015 Unai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Estaba resultando uno de esos días…
uno de esos que le tocan a uno todos los días“

No me apetece dejar a la guardia sola y voy a seguir tirando con ella hasta terminarla. Pocas lecturas tan satisfactorias encuentra uno por ahí. En esta ocasión, nos vestimos de diplomáticos y dejamos la policía de Ankh-Morpork en buenas manos… rectifico, la dejamos en unas manos. Sam Vimes y señora, parten hacia Uberwarld en misión diplomática representando a la ciudad y ya se sabe, allá donde va un policía, hay u
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett 4 21 Dec 31, 2014 03:06PM  
  • They Came and Ate Us: Armageddon II: The B-Movie
  • The Unseen University Challenge: Terry Pratchett's Discworld Quizbook
  • Flying Dutch
  • The Wizards of Odd
  • Myth-ing Persons (Myth Adventures, #5)
  • The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy
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)

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