Terry Pratchett weaves a very entertaining tale about Polly, disguised as a typical gross boy, joining up in the old "In's and Out's" Regiment in order to track down and rescue her sweet but, not-so-swift brother from his demise in yet another poitless, ruinous Borogravian war against..practically everybody. Good characters and action as well as fun twists where nothing turns out being as it appears! Enjoy, y'all!
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 as a boy in order to join the Borogravian army (imagine any small, war-torn, Eastern European city-state) - in order to find her brother, whom she needs to fetch home so that she can inherit the family business. Unfortunately, cheery propaganda notwithstanding, she's joined up at the tail end of a war - on the losing side. Her fellow recruits are seemingly the bottom of the barrel - and include a (coffee-addicted) vampire, a troll, a religious freak - and an assortment of other characters - none of whom may be exactly what they seem.
I don't think this will go down in history as THE quintessential Discworld novel, but it's a timely satire, well worth reading.
"What do you get when you cross a vampire, a troll, Igor, a collection of misfits, and a young woman who shoves a pair of socks down her pants to join the army? The answer's simple. You have Monstrous Regiment, the characteristically charming novel by Terry Pratchett.
Polly becomes Private Oliver Perks, who is on a quest to find her older brother, who's recently MIA in one of the innumerable wars the tiny nation of Borogravia has a habit of starting with its neighbors. This peevish tendency has all but expended Borogravia's ranks of cannon fodder. Whether Sergeant Jackrum knows her secret or not, he can't afford to be choosy, as Perks and her/his comrades are among the last able-bodied recruits left in Borogravia. This collection of misfits includes the aforementioned vampire (reformed and off the blood, thank you), troll, and macabre Igor, who is only too happy to sew you a new leg if you aren't too particular about previous ownership. Off to war, Polly/Oliver learns that having a pair of, um, socks is a good way to open up doors in this man's army.
For those who haven't made this underrated author's acquaintance, Monstrous Regiment is as good a place to start as any. Readers will encounter Pratchett's subtle and disarming wit, his trademark footnoted asides along with a not-too-shabby tale of honor, courage, and duty in the face of absurd circumstances."
Brilliant! One of Pratchett's best. I'm making my way through the Discworld books all willynilly, but out of the ones I've read so far I think this is my favorite. It was hilarious and somehow managed to be a both pessimistic with an optimistic end note. I liked that it didn't go for the simplistic sort of "war is bad, therefore people who make war are bad," "the world would be better if it were run by women," and "this amazing feat of daring/crazy revelation about the top brass change everything for women from now on" kind of storylines you usually see in these kinds of books. I appreciated the attention to the nuances of each of these situations. Pratchett is great at writing female characters, mostly because I think he doesn't write female characters, he just writes characters, if you know what I mean.
My favorite few throw away bits were Maladict(a)'s Vietnam flashsideways and Vimes laughing at the Zlobenian soldiers when Polly told them to shove their offer up their jumpers. They just made me giggle!
Also, I've been loudly denouncing various things as Abominations Unto Nuggan for the last few days. It's more fun than it ought to be.
I've been reading Terry Pratchett books ever since Colour of Magic was released. I would not consider this his best work, however it is still entertaining and pretty much what you would expect. With this book Pratchett is definitely making a social commentary on the sexes in the workplace. It may just be me but it seems as though he's using more of his recent novels to make social statements and observations. And he does it quite well. If you're a fan of his books you'll enjoy this one.
A young lass named Polly Perks, concerned about her brother who went off to fight in the war a year ago, decides to go find him .... by becoming Private Oliver Perks. Her regiment includes an Igor, a vampire, a troll, and various other boys with secrets of their own.
Not my favorite of the Discworld novels, but still highly enjoyable. Polly Perks joins the Borogravia army to find her brother and bring him home. Since it is an Abomination unto Nuggan for women to be in the army or wear men's clothes, she pretends to be a man to join. Along with her little troop of "brothers", Perks learns what it really means to be a soldier and proves her worth to her commanders and country,
I sometimes think there are two Terry Pratchetts. One is the always joking, laugh-a-minute Pratchett and the other is the more serious and thoughtful Pratchett. Both sides are welcome and entertainin and Monstrous Regiment is definitely from the pen of the later. It's the story of Polly Perks who, disguised as Oliver Perks, joins the Borogravian army at the tail end of a hopeless war. What unfolds is a story that investigates the absurdity of war, sexism, fundamentalist religion and nationalism all the while extolling the virtues of heroism, camaraderie and the importance of an extra pair of socks. I truly believe that it is one of Pratchett's finest additions to the DiscwWorld serious.