Go to Homepage   Terry Pratchett: The Fifth Elephant

  Crescent Blues Book Views

Three and one half moon gifHarper Collins (Hardcover), ISBN 0-06-105157-8
Simple policeman Sam Vimes feels decidely put-upon. Fortunately for us, simple policeman or no, the captain of the Ankh-Morpork city watch and his faithful Corporal Carrot must travel into darkest Uberwald. Fabled Uberwald -- werewolf haven, vampire resort and dwarvish kingdom (where no one really likes Ankh-Morpork at all).

Book: Terry Pratchett, The Fifth ElephantPart diplomatic mission, part trade delegation, Vimes' mission revolves around obtaining the best import prices for the main ore extract produced by the dwarves of Uberwald -- fat. But royal politics interfere. The new dwarvish king cannot be crowned, because someone scarpered with the king's scone, the Sacred Scone upon which the new king must sit in order to be officially crowned.

Throw into this seething concoction a dog that thinks it's human, a dwarf that thinks she's a she, and a bevy of servants called Igor who run a spare parts factory -- spare Igor parts, that is. Any covert follower of Pratchett's Discworld can predict the ensuing hilarity. Come to think of it, any overt follower can too.

Book: Terry Pratchett, The Last ContinentIn a land of legendary monsters, Vimes faces the unenviable task of uncovering the identities of the real villains in the piece. Could it be Lady Margolotta, the vampire who possesses an uncanny knowledge of Ankh-Morpork news? What about the loveable furry werewolf family led by Duke Wolfgang? Or perhaps the new dwarf king himself?

But at the end of the day, there's nothing funnier than a cop in drag.

Problems? Not really. The Fifth Elephant delivers plot, excitement, romance and good guys who win and bad guys who don't. I found some of the jokes a little tired and a bit repetitious (a common complaint of mine lately). But hey, a Pratchett book always deserves a read.

Stephen John Smith

Click here to share your views.

Readers Respond:
I haven't read Terry Pratchett's The Fifth Elephant, but I have browsed by it at the bookstore, and I've read the plot-summary blurbs on the book jacket. It strikes me that simply transcribing them must have been a pretty easy way for Stephen John Smith to get a review.

Brendan Adkins