Home > Literature, Reviews > Review of Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

Review of Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

Well, it’s a long time since I read any Pratchett, and, on the basis of this, it’ll be a long time since I do so again.

Monstrous Regiment is about Polly Perks, who, in the guise of Oliver Perks, joins the Borogravian army to find her brother. Along the way she also finds that she’s not the only soldier with a secret. Possibly, the problem with this book is that very few of the Discworld regulars are present and correct – the action takes place a long way from Ankh-Morpork. Sam Vimes plays a small but important role, while Death has a brief cameo (although that’s during a hallucinatory experience and may not count), and that’s about yer lot.

The story is well-structured, but somewhat slow, and somehow it all seems very sensible. And for a nominal comedy that’s not good. I could do without the commentary (as indirect as it is) on the wrongs of war, patriotism and religion and exchange them for a few jokes. Given that this is supposed to be comic fantasy, it really isn’t very comic. And the characterisation and writing certainly isn’t good enough to make it count as anything else, despite what people who write reviews that get quoted on the backs of Discworld novels would have Mr Pratchett believe.

Categories: Literature, Reviews
  1. Susan
    24 September 2006 at 7:48 pm

    Says who it’s a comedy?

  2. 25 September 2006 at 1:40 am

    Pratchett is known as a humourist. Of course, that doesn’t preclude him writing something else, but a) that something else has to be marketed at least slightly differently, and b) it really ought to be any good as something else. Monstrous Regiment is neither.

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