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Monstrous Regiment (Discworld #31)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  38,510 ratings  ·  905 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.
Hardcover, Charnwood Large Print, 472 pages
Published 2003 by Thorpe
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nataliya
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
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Patrick

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....

pat

Algernon
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
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Melki
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.
...more
anenko
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
Carly
**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
...more
Shovelmonkey1
May 18, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
...more
Meghan
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
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An Odd1
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
...more
Karla
(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.
Craig
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
Carole
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
Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca
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
Rebecca Huston
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
Laura
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
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José
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
...more
Priscilla
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
Allan Dyen-shapiro
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
...more
Lobdozer
When a war breaks out on a backwater part of the Discworld, a young woman poses as a boy so she can enlist in the military to look for her brother.

As much as I like Terry Pratchett and his brilliant Discworld series, this book does come across as one of his ever-so-slightly less inspired efforts.
The jokes are still funny, but seem just a little more obvious than usual. The themes Pratchett addresses are relevant and worth exploring, yet he seems to venturing more into straight up “[….] is bad,
...more
Tracey
Sep 17, 2010 Tracey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with an interest in satirical humor that occasionally throws in a belly laugh
Shelves: re-read
Re-read Sept 2010 & still just as good as I remembered - probably my favorite Discworld novel.
****************
Received Monstrous Regiment as a Christmas gift & have put off reading it til now, as I knew once I finished, I'd be all caught up with the doings of the Discworld and that would make me sad. :^)

Polly Perks is the daughter of an inn owner in the duchy of Borogravia, a small country with a big attitude. Their national deity, Nuggan, continues to rewrite the rather strict script
...more
Ron
Vintage Pratchett. Even those tired of his Discworld silliness will find a fresh, engaging if predictable story. No spoiler could be bigger than the title, drawn, like half a dozen other works, borrows from John Knox’s 1558 polemic. That said, enjoy the ride.

I enjoyed on audio book and was amazed how reader Stephen Briggs differentiated all those voices. Yes, many were clichés for vampires, trolls and such but creating and producing so many must have been mind-numbing. Good job.

Perhaps not great
...more
Jesús Cardeña Morales
He llegado a una conclusión con los libros de Terry Pratchett. No puedo leerlos muy separados unos de otros porque es tan especial todo su mundo que hay que aprovechar el buen sabor de boca que te deja un libro de él para empezar el siguiente, si no, no se disfruta tanto.
Me pasa con Pratchett que me cuesta empezar sus libros, pero luego me va enganchando la historia y termino con ganas de más. Pero siempre paso a otro libro, no sé por qué, aunque tengo todos los de él. Nunca aprendo >.
Este en
...more
Tracy
This is one of the better Discworld books, but I like Pratchett better when he is co-authoring a story with someone. The book started out great, it's a story about the last regiment in a crazy land whose God hands down stupid decrees and they are fighting all the bordering countries. The regiment is made up of a vamp, an ogre, a troll, and 4 girls impersonating boys and they are the countries last hope. Ha! It's funny here and there, but I was impatient and bored the last 70 pages. But I'm on a ...more
Derek
The thing I remind myself is that Pratchett's writings are now nonrenewable resources and therefore each is a drop to be savored. This savoring is difficult when I glance down and realize that the book is a hundred pages gone in a sitting.

From other authors the premise of the story--women assuming a male identity in order to join the army--would include a romantic angle between the recruits or between a recruit and the obligatory clueless officer-and-gentleman who nominally commands the unit. Th
...more
Kit Dunsmore
I was surprised to find a Pratchett book I couldn't like, but I did it. What seemed like it was going to be a fun romp with gender issues in the military turned into something so ridiculous as to be ludicrous, and I just couldn't find it funny. He had an interesting idea, but in taking it to extremes it turned into nonsense instead of humor. Not his best work.
Ms_prue
Hilariously enough, I remember reading this one as a teenage girl and not really getting it. Of course I hadn't been properly slapped in the face with Real Life and the full extent of its internalised misogyny at that stage, so most of the bitterly farcical moments went over my head. Now I am older, more bitter, and more alive to the black humour of that very hypocritical man's army of Borogravia.
There is also a lovely message buried in this book that I particularly appreciated given that Moroni
...more
Tom
RIP Pterry :(

Disjointed thoughts:

- This had some of the best supporting characters in any Discworld book. Jackrum evolved from a walking stereotype into an incredibly nuanced character by the end of the book; Maladict was delightful all the way through, throwing out many great quips; Igor was kind of adorable, and had some of the best jokes.

- Talking of Igors, I think they're one of the most creative fantasy "races" in the entire genre.

- LGBT characters in Discworld! It's about time.

- Some of th
...more
Michael Clemens
A semi-rarity in the Disc series, where most of the characters are one-offs, and the recurring denizens of Ankh-Morpork are relegated to cameo roles. Primarily a "there and back again" sort of tale for Polly/Oliver, Pratchett takes a few swings at military logic, suffocating religious dogma, and more than a little bit of gender-roles, to boot. This one may not withstand many re-reads, for once the ultimate secret (and resolution) of the book takes place, it's impossible to forget them or ignore ...more
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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,
...more
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)
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1) Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1) Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1) Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch #6)

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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.” 726 likes
“Do you think it's possible for an entire nation to be insane?” 531 likes
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