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Monstrous Regiment

Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
Series: Discworld, Book 31, Discworld: Industrial Revolution, Book 3
Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1,763 ratings)

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Summary

It begun as a sudden strange fancy....Polly Perks had to become a boy in a hurry. Cutting off her hair and wearing trousers was easy. Learning to fart and belch in public and walk like an ape took more time. And now she's enlisted in the army, and searching for her lost brother. But there's a war on. There's always a war on. And Polly and her fellow recruits are suddenly in the thick of it, without any training, and the enemy is hunting them. All they have on their side is the most artful sergeant in the army and a vampire with a lust for coffee. Well...they also have the Secret. And as they take the war to the heart of the enemy, they have to use all the resources of...the Monstrous Regiment.
©2001 Terry Pratchett (P)2001 Isis Publishing Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The First blast of the trumpet...

If you have not read any Terry Pratchett books this is a good introduction to Discworld. You, like Polly, the protagonist, climb out of the window of the Duchess Inn, Bogravia, when the recruiting sergeant's cart comes to town to join the army to look for her brother. You too meet the recruits as the cart travels the country and are introduced, like Polly, to trolls, werewolves, igors witches and the usual cast of thousands that people Discworld.

Polly has worked in the pub all her life so is a good observer with a very hands-on practical streak in her and a good heart. She uncovers and resolves the problems of her fellow recruits and others and finally her own.

Stephen Briggs is an ideal narrator for the novel whose voice gives the characters their personal identity. The story leaves a smile on your face and a warm glow of pleasure. It is small wonder that Terry Pratchett has such a big following.

The title is taken from something published by John Knox in 1558 against Mary Tudor aka Bloody Mary 'The First blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of women' which, you will realise, says it all.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Monstrous regiment

I think this is my favourite Discworld book so far. I just loved it. I have loved every single Discworld book I have read or listened too. This is a stand alone book although several old characters turn up. Polly cuts her hair and dresses like a boy and joins the army to find her brother. Don’t want to give anything away, as this was just a joy to listen to. Absolutely wonderful.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

An aside discworld novel

The beginning and middle are good, the ending gets rather silly. True Pratchett story though, enjoyable and entertaining.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolute joy in abundance

This is so wonderful it takes your breath away. Funny, witty and poignant, and simply fabulously read by Stephen Briggs who has more accents than Heinz has varieties.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

He did it again

This book has new characters to cheer along while bringing back some of our favourite characters. Lots of references to laugh at and a couple twists that we didn't see coming. Pratchett is a genius and has done it again.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great story.

I really enjoyed this story, which was a surprise as I wasn’t sure about it to begin with. This is such a great, funny story with guest appearances from Vimes, the Watch and even William de Worde.
One thing I did notice was that sometimes it sounded like a bit of the story had been missed; you would think how did you get from a to b but if you carry on rather than dwell and repeat the part you’ll find it’s right.

SPOILERS (sort of):

This story is set in a little country called Borogravia.
The people there follow the exceedingly restrictive teachings of Nuggan (it’s an abomination unto Nuggan to sneeze...).
Polly Perks’ brother Paul joined the army and is now missing in action. The question is ‘what can a woman do about it from the comfort of the home’? You got it, nothing. So Polly decides to dress as a man, join the army and find her brother.
On her journey to become a soldier and find her brother she’ll meet others like her, she’ll spend her time learning about the freedom the men of Borogravia have. She will learn more secrets about the army than most and even get the opportunity to meet Vimes!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Monstrously good!

All of the Discoworld books are fabulous, and deserve a listen.
This one stands out as one of the best - it's really wonderful.

Terry Pratchett writes with great wit and satirises the world around us brilliantly. This story just feels particularly well formed and I come back to this book again and again.

1 person found this helpful

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Bernard Cornwell eat your heart out.

Sharpe novels will never be the same again. It made me chuckle from beginning to the end.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful.....

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

A topical historical and current view of petty wars Worthwhile for anyone to read..

What did you like best about this story?

The message within.

Have you listened to any of Stephen Briggs’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yeas, on a par

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yeas, both

Any additional comments?

Keep reading!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Love it

Terry Pratchets witty works keep me smiling on my regular 5 hr motorway drives - the unabridged version is much more enjoyable than any of the shortened versins we have listened to in the past, but that is maybe because I love the books-Interesting feature mu son noticed was that 'trousers' mysteriously change to 'Pants' in download two... maybe they swum across the Atlantic?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim
  • 15-11-08

War has come to Discworld ... again.

Ok, I have to admit I surprised myself. I had bought this book in an airport somewhere travelling from there to here. I read it and enjoyed it but that was all. Of all Terry Pratchett's books, I viewed one on video and bought two paper versions, the other twenty plus have all been audio books. I have always thought in the past that my own imagination was far more vivid than a movie or an audio. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie my version way, way better and it made some sort of sense. Now I have listened to this same book read by Stephen Briggs and concede that he, Nigel Planer and Tony Robinson bring Pratchett's books to life much better than I ever could in my own mind.

The stories always make a point and always speak to the human condition and what fools we are.

Buy it, enjoy. Don't laugh too hard or the people in the car stopped beside you or that poor person next to you on the train will think you are having some sort of weird seizure.

Save trees, listen to a Discworld saga.

6 people found this helpful

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  • bill doyle
  • 12-07-12

Pratchett and Briggs: can you go wrong?

Seriously, people, Terry Pratchett's work is one of the great under-rated treasures of the English language. And whenever his long-time collaborator, Stephen Briggs, is handling the narration, you know you're in for a treat.

Once upon a time I saw myself as far too highbrow and learned to expose myself to books with trolls, vampires, and werewolves in them. If you, too, shudder at the thought, Dear Reader, then I must tell you now - in the case of Terry Pratchett's work you are wrong in your assumptions, to the point that you may have to consider the possibility that they're irrational prejudices!

Certainly, some of the early books are exemplars of rather more conventional fantasy, albeit with a few decent jokes thrown in, but later works constitute a wonderful, always empathic, satire of human society, and are strongly Humanist in their sympathies, despite the various fantastic species that gad about in them. Oh, and they're funny, and have cracking plots to boot.

In 'Monstrous Regiment' we see the adventures of a Pratchett staple - the loyal, kind, and good-hearted young heroine who becomes bolder and more confident in her abilities as she faces the various obstacles the narrative throws at her.

I compare Polly Perks and the young witch Tiffany Aching, who appears in the 'Hat Full of Sky' "children's*" novels, to the deeply sympathetic, and ultimately empowering, young female heroines of Hayao Miyazaki, as seen in animated masterpieces such as 'Spirited Away' and 'Howl's Moving Castle'.

The story involves a war in Borogravia, a fictional nation in Pratchett's fictional Disc World, where society is heavily - and amusingly - restricted by the almost endless (and constantly revised and updated) list of those things that are an Abomination Unto Nuggan, the national deity. Things such as garlic, cats, the colour blue, sneezing, and jigsaw puzzles.

Polly sets out to rescue her somewhat feeble-minded brother, Paul, who has gone away to the war that no-one dares say Borogravia is not winning, and disguises herself as a young man in order to enlist and seek him out at the Front...

As you'd expect from Pratchett, much - always good-natured - fun is poked at jingoism, religion, and warfare.

And, as you'd expect from Briggs, the voice characterizations are excellent, and the comic timing is impeccable.

Highly recommended. If you're new to the Disc World this is as good a place to start as any...




*News to me! But that's what they officially are, apparently...

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 19-01-08

Fantastic - as usual

It's Terry Pratchett - really it's not necessary to say more... but... Pratchett's look at the military, the pointlessness of war, recruiting campaigns as well as the place of women in warfare is a totally enjoyable presentation. I loved the book and am now enthralled with the audio.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacobus
  • 08-10-10

Can't go wrong

Polly is an innkeeper's daughter... until her brother Paul were caught as a prisoner of war. Polly became Oliver and joint the army. This is where the fun starts, but Pratchett gives the story an interesting twist. (I am wondering if he didn't overdo it a bit in the end.)

Steven Briggs is his old excellent self, which makes the listen very enjoyable and definately worthwhile.

The story is definitely better than "Unseen Academicals" and "Making Money" but does in no way surpass "Feet of Clay" and the city watch novels.

Still it comes highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen
  • 26-08-10

Wonderfully witty

As usual, Terry Pratchett delivers fantasy, comedy and sharp eyed comment about society, this time about the army and equal rights. Many observatiosn are right on and to the point, but however funny it is, the same "joke" or plot over and over may be stretching it a little thin, thus the reason for only giving 4 out of 5.


Stephen Briggs does a wonderful job as a narrator, he's one of the best men doing female voices (and oh boy, he needs that talent in this one) that I have ever heard.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-02-20

Loved it!

I loved the whole buggering thing. A few accidental jump cuts but otherwise pure gold.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rupert Mollusc
  • 02-08-19

War and Peace on Discworld

Love, duty, honour, courage, betrayal, gender roles, cross-dressing, geopolitics, fake news... Pratchett in a more thoughtful mood than usual channels Tolstoy, Remarque, Kubrick and de Beauvoir. Brilliant.

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  • Lindy
  • 19-04-19

Every Pratchett is a joy

Stephen Briggs is an excellent performer and I always enjoy every bit of his read!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Grace K
  • 30-12-18

Classic

It seems so much more impactful now, this wonderful story, and it is still as wonderful as when I first read it over 10 years ago. Mr Briggs does a great job portraying so many different ppl with his different voices. I just thought the shouty bits could be shoutier.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 02-09-15

Sergeant Jackrum is my new Sam Vimes!

What did you love best about Monstrous Regiment?

A very entertaining story outside of Ankh Morpork (although it does feature). I liked how it addressed lots of very 'real world' issues (in that Terry Pratchett way). If you stick to Sam Vimes books, this will be a nice surprise.

Which character – as performed by Stephen Briggs – was your favorite?

Every part that featured Sergeant Jack Jackrum.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

“You are my little lads,” he roared, “And I will look after you.”