Aphelion Review # 32 --Monstrous Regiment--

Monstrous Regiment

A Discworld Novel
By Terry Pratchett

Review by Dan L. Hollifield

Type of music/work:

Fantasy / Humor
31st novel in the series.


Terry Pratchett
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 0-06-001315-X
Price: $24.95

General impressions of the album/book:

Once again, Terry Pratchett has brought out another winner! "Monstrous Regiment" is a wonderful addition to the Discworld series. Fun and fantastic, thought provoking and delightful, this novel is a must read!


Terry's gift for writing strong female characters is used to the utmost in this novel. All of the characters display his quirky mix of reality and vitality, but the mutitude of female characters in this particular volume allow Terry to show off one of his greater strengths. Everyone comes off as having that intangible "I know this person," sort of feel to them. And as the story unfolds, the reader comes to know the characters even better. This is normal for Terry's work, but this novel really shows it to the best effect. Terry writes some of the most interesting characters of modern times in any case, but "Monstrous Regiment" lets him explore gender-based roles and stereotypes. Focusing on a small, stubborn, militaristic rural country- and it's foes -and populated with living, breathing characters drawn from the villages and towns of the country, the story delights the reader at every turn.

This novel takes the scene of the action into a new area of the Discworld. It highlights one of the smaller countries on the Disc, adding even more color and detail to the canvas that Terry has been painting the Discworld on. Terry shows that history can be made in small or faraway places just as easily as in the big cities. Over the years, the Discworld has shown us lots of different cultures over a wide area. By focusing the action on a previously unseen group of small countries, Terry is able to bring in some familiar characters with lots of brand new ones. (The continuity is there, so a long-time fan can place the story along the established Discworld timeline. And for a new reader to the series, all this continuity stuff just means that reading an older or newer book won't confuse you. You'll be able to tell when each story happens.) This novel serves to add even more detail to the series while also being able to stand on it's own merits.

Even after 30 discworld novels, Terry shows us that he can still find new things to say, new stories to tell about his most famous creation. I hope Terry never gets tired of the Discworld. I know his readers won't. Thanks for all the fun reads, Terry! Bless you!

Background info:

Terry Pratchett has been a published author since 1971 and has more books out now than I can count. The first Discworld novel "The Color of Magic" was published in 1983. As I said above, there have been 30 other Discworld novels since then. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a long-time best-seller as well. He has also written two science fiction novels and seven for younger readers. Those numbers may be higher by the time you read this. Terry is a very prolific writer.

Quoted from terrypratchettbooks.com: 'Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett received the British Fantasy Award for best novel (Pyramids), in 1989, was named an Officer of the British Empire "for services to literature" in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1998, and received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Warwick in 1999. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 27 languages. Terry Pratchett lives in England with his family, and spends most days at his computer, writing.'

Review Copyright 2002 by Dan L. Hollifield

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