(Discworld Novel 24) (Discworld series) - The Fifth Elephant

By Terry Pratchett

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
will grace
Vintage Pratchett, involving all the characters you know so well, centering on Sam Vimes. If you like Pratchett, you'll like this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vincent atd
Another Vimes classic of Terry Pratchet
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christian crowley
Going back and purchasing all of Pratchett's work in Kindle format to have a digital copy.
I can always count on Terry for a great read.
Monster (German Edition) :: Tragic Hollywood, Beautiful, Glamorous And Dead :: Twice As Delicious :: Passings of More than 125 American Movie and TV Idols :: (Discworld Novel 35) (Discworld series)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dean hamilton
Good Book
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
star woodward
Footnotes do not pop up correctly in the kindle version and instead take you to the very end of the book which is quite a pain. Story was great though!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sheila voss
It's good to be a copper, Sam Is Sheriff Matt Dillon , Colombo, Clint Eastwood all rolled into one. RIP Sir Terry Pritchett
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
madeline barone
Good mystery with interesting character development.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alison hallett
This book is Terry Pratchett at the top of his game. One of my favourite Disc world novels. Pratchett manages to blend fantasy, science and social commentary with ease, I still laugh out loud at the jokes, even though I've read the book 5 or 6 times.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
claire hargreaves
Rincewind is always good value! The idea of a fifth elephant will always raise a question - I wonder if anyone has the answer?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
edrillan vampire junkie
Another great Vimes story! Would thoroughly recommend to any fan of Terry Pratchett's discworld books. Don't start here though. Start from guards guards.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
paulina jaime
This is a prelude to the Commander Vimes found in Snuff. It is Prachett not only writing a view of discworld expanded but he also weaves into it his philosophical shots at just about all of our 'human' foibles as well.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
xiaron
Favorite so far!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kelly larson
Vimes is my favourite! Always and forever!

Brilliant book: minorities, duty, rage even alcoholism is dealt with in perfectly balanced deep thought, sarcasm and, well... fun. Highly highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karina thorlund
The story is a key part of the saga of Commander Sam Vimes. It ties in previous work and sets the stage for many more Vimes adventures with the dwarves, trolls, vampires and other Discworld denizens.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
salma abdelnour
Not the best in the "Watch" sub-series, but still great.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mara henningsen
This is a masterful example of the work of Terry Pratchett
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mike auteri
Terry Pratchett
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
millie west
An excellent read from the get go. As always Terry Pratchett's characters are well developed and oh so human, whatever species they are. I couldn't put this book down and disturbed my wife's sleep with my sniggering. Well done!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stephan esterhuizen
amusing, not his best, not his worst.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anna jean
Extraordinary, wonderful, uplifting - typical Terry Pratchett. Would that the wizards of Ankh-Morpork could magic up some more for the Librarian to look after.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
holly ables
A good watch novel. Perfect for reading ob a lazy day at the beach. Vimes is at his best and Carrot and Angua does not lag far behind.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christopher sidor
Love it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
deb perry
Just a very good book, classic Terry at his best! Enjoyed the book so much I am re-reading it again!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nadia
like all his writing,its hard to put down - fantastic author! bill
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
pam macry
A good read as expected from Mr. Pratchett. A little darker than most of his disk world novels but very enjoyable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
april stewart klausner
Love it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marcie delacruz
Sam Vimes deals with dwarfs, vampires, and werewolves on a diplomatic mission to Uberwald. Could a fantasy lover ask for more?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sjmakes
Classic Pratchett. One of his greats.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nic brooke
Brilliant as always!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
matthias kretschmann
It's Discworld, what else can I say...I have read this one 3 times now, and I would read it again anytime. It's part of a miniseries inside the Discworld series, so not a starter book, but don't let that stop you. If you want to understand the headline on this review you'll have to read more Discworld.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
bephf
It's not a bad book, it's just...weird. It's so tongue-in-cheek that I spent the first 2/3 of the book trying to dig past that part to get to the actual story. Once you get the story figured out and get a sense of at least a couple of the main characters (there were tier-2 characters who I still had no clue who they were at the end of the book), it's ok. But it's just way too 'out there' for me. My first and probably last experience with this author. If you like stuff like the Hitchhiker's Guide then you'll probably like this, but it's just not my thing.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
heather ormsby
In this abridged audio version, the story line became disjointed. The clues to
characters and plot, and the setup for sudden puns and allusions that make Terry Pratchett books
astonishing were wiped out of context. Also, I was disappointed that the reader didn't use a range of voices and accents. The experience was like eating dry toast.
I returned this product and bought the book. I am a HUGE Terry Pratchett fan.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ceres lori
This is another gem from Pratchett, and one of my favourites. This time Sam Vimes is sent to Uberwald as an ambassador. It's a typically beautifully paced and constructed story, which gathers speed and tension while still making some extremely telling points about important social issues, plus an amusing but actually very incisive picture of what can happen when someone completely out of their depth is promoted to a position of power, as Fred Colon is left in charge of the watch.

It is also very funny, of course. One of my favourite bits is a brief vignette which mercilessly (and accurately) takes the mickey out of Chekhov, but it's all hugely entertaining, very gripping and leaves you with the sense of having been shown some important things to think about, too. In short, it's classic Pratchett, and very warmly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tatum
With Ankh-Morpork’s trade with Uberwald in possible danger Lord Ventari sends his most reliable diplomat and expert in political intrigue, Sam Vimes. The Commander of Ankh-Morpork’s Watch finds himself in a potential international incident with interspecies disputes and conspiracies mixed in with the fabulous riches of The Fifth Elephant mines in this installment of Terry Pratchett’s fantastic Discworld series.

Uberwald is a mineral rich principality governed over by dwarfs, werewolves, and vampires in an uneasy peace with one another and amongst their own species then add to this mix Sam Vimes as ambassador from Ankh-Morpork to coronation of the new dwarf king. Vimes’ diplomatic style and his natural detective instincts strain international, as well as interspecies, relations as the copper investigates a robbery and murder in Ankh-Morpork connected to events in Uberwald. But as Vimes works out a conspiracy in Uberwald he’s faces Angua’s own family, the reigning werewolf barony and they aren’t particularly a close family. And as events unfold, Colon and Nobby are left in charge of the Watch in Ankh-Morpork resulting in crime disappearing from the city as every criminal fears what will happen once Vimes returns to the mess.

Unlike the majority of his previous installments, Pratchett built this book around a plot and threw in some gags that never got tired out because they weren’t the focus. For the first time, a Discworld book seemed more in the fantasy genre—leaning a lot towards adventure—than the humor genre. This change of approach was both a surprise and a welcome to a series now on its 24th book, especially as it was a part of the Watch subseries which benefited with a more structured approach to the book. The Fifth Elephant was fun to read and a book I’m looking forward to rereading in the future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sherryn shanahan
Although I couldn't quite get my mind around the idea of a fat mine (created by the fiery crash of the fifth elephant that supported Discworld on top of A'Tuin, the Cosmic Turtle), this fantasy is nevertheless a savoury entry in the Sam Vimes/Night Watch series (in spite of all that fat).

Sam Vimes, Commander of Ankh-Morpork's Night Watch is 'asked' by the city's Patrician (with the approval of Sam's wife, Sybil) to represent the city at the coronation of Uberwald's new dwarf Low King.

The last thing Sam wants to do is dress up in ceremonial tights and gallop off to a country filled with werewolves and vampires, not to mention two sects of battling dwarfs. He's got the murder of a condom manufacturer to solve right in Ankh-Morpork, plus the theft of a replica of the holy Scone of Stone from the Dwarf Bread Museum.

However Lady Sybil thinks her husband needs a vacation, so off they go, tights and all, leaving Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson (a six-foot adopted dwarf) in charge of the Watch. Then Corporal Angua, the only werewolf on the Watch disappears and Captain Carrot resigns to go after her, taking only Gaspode, the talking dog with him.

Sergeant Colon is now acting-Captain of the Watch, much to the dismay of everyone, including himself.

While his beloved Night Watch slides swiftly into an abyss of incompetence in Ankh-Morpork, Sam discovers that being an ambassador is not all champagne and cucumber sandwiches. On his first day in Uberwald's capital city, he becomes both a murder suspect and a participant in the Game--a werewolf version of 'Fox and Hounds'---with himself as the unwilling fox.

The alpha female among the werewolves calls Sam a "nothing...a paper man. A man of straw. An insult." She will have to learn the hard way that she grossly underestimated the new ambassador.

If you'd like to read the Sam Vimes/Night Watch books in order of publication, they are: "Guards! Guards!" (1989); "Men at Arms" (1993); "Feet of Clay" (1996); "Jingo" (1997); "The Fifth Elephant" (2000); "Night Watch" (2002); and "Thud!" (2005).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
diana surkamp
A new king is about to be crowned in Uberwald, the mysterious dwarf city. This opens up new trading possibilities for the bustling and diverse city of Ankh-Morpork--if they are able to send the right people to negotiate. A delegation is dispatched, including police officer Sam Vimes, a man who would rather prefer to forget that he married a duchess and is now officially a duke. He is not terribly diplomatic, and does not relish the command to act as ambassador at the coronation.

Luckily, there is plenty of distraction available to Vimes. First there is the theft of an important dwarf artifact that he must investigate. There is conflict over the fact that he travels with a troll and a dwarf who dares to wear dresses and identify as female. Diplomacy ends up meaning interaction with not only dwarves but also werewolves, vampires, and a series of servants all named Igor. Vimes is prepared to handle it all with grace and a cool head.

I really enjoyed the various storylines woven together in this book. Vimes' story was exciting and full of intrigue sprinkled with humor. Carrot's story was sweet, and I also liked the slapstick goings-on back at home with Colon. This story had a little bit of everything to it, and was a great deal of fun to read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ross lockhart
This is a Discworld book about the Watch and Commander Samuel Vimes on a diplomatic mission to Uberwald. He travels with his wife and several members of the Watch to Uberwald and gets into trouble over the coronation of the new dwarfish Low King, where vampires and werewolves are politicking and making nasty, and he has a theft and a puzzling murder to solve, to boot. All these things start to come together at last, as it becomes clear that something is rotten in Uberwald and it has to do with werewolves and senior, political dwarfs. Vimes must head off a dwarfish civil war, a murderous werewolf political movement, and a dangerous vampire who can't resist interfering with just about everyone. There are various Igors to be dealt with, and Carrot and Angua have issues that must be worked out around Angua's family. And there is a small talking dog, Gaspode, who has a close brush with Death.

In general the Watch books bore me, because Sam Vimes is written to be invincible and all-wise and all-knowing, and that is dull. In this book, however, he operates on a more human scale, slowly piecing things together and barely surviving the challenges thrown his way. He is humbled a few times, and it is a struggle to come out on top. This is a Watch book I liked, and I can recommend it to you as one to enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa konietzko
From vampires in Carpe Jugulum to werewolves. This time it's a trip to Uberwald to see the new dwarf king being crowned and, with Vimes playing ambassador to Ankh-Morpork I knew this wasn't going to be a cut-and-dry event. Especially when he's bringing Detritus and Cherry into the fray. So I was all geared up for a good read.
I wasn't disappointed.
As so often with the Watchman books, there's a heavy mystery going on underneath (literally in this case, we are dealing with dwarves here). Somebody's stealing stone scones that are big enough to serve as a chair. Wait ... no they aren't. In fact, we're not even having this conversation. How foolish to suggest it. People are certainly not stealing scones. And they most definitely aren't trying to start a war amongst the dwarf factions.
But as I said, there are werewolves. Angry werewolves. Spearheaded by Angua's family, most notably, her insane brother. To say the boy's got a serious problem is putting it mildly.
Of course, there's stuff going on at the home front of good old Ankh-Morepork, but as the mystery gets on, the 'little stuff' they were dealing with back there seemed rather dull and I completely forgot about it (as you would when dealing with werewolves) until the end whomped me with the 'little problem'.
On the other hand, I'm starting to see Carrot in a different light.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cocotrp
Well I have to confess to having read pretty much all the Pratchett books and I feel that the beginning books were probably the funniest but lacked a definitive plot some would say that this was a good thing and what made the author different and special, but personally i have preferred the later books plots and characterisations. This novel combines the two in my opinion with some stonking lines "they did have torture here, they only replaced it when they realised lawyers are nastier" and some amazing insights into character Inigo "your theatrics could have lost the day" Vimes " oh you mean blinding him while keeping my night sight" and all the related stuff. I guess that in this book for the first time you realise the change that has come over Vimes. In the first books he was a struggling loser battling acholhol dependancy and so we wrote him off somewhat, now we realise that before the alcohol took him he was sharp as a tack and a dangerous man.In this book we begin to see just how dangerous like a tiger in sheeps clothing.
So all in all i thought it was a great book which made me laugh and think in equal measure what more can you ask.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jamie young
I know that many have stated that there had been a decline in Pratchett's writing as time goes on... I personally would have to disagree. There is a change in his writing; however I feel that it has been for the better. As his books have progressed, he has leaned less toward the quick giggle and insane rush of nonsense and more toward a satirical plot with darker edges and the giggles interspersed within the story rather than his jokes running the story.

The Fifth Elephant is one of Pratchett's more plot driven novels, there isn't a giggle or a chortle on every page as with some of his others. I have always liked the Guard's series for this reason, I like a good plot. If you have not read a discworld book before, I wouldn't advise this be your starting place, instead I would start at the beginning of whichever series it is you want to read. This being part of the Guards Series I would start with "Guards Guards" which although it is by no means the strongest entry in the series, it is a good introduction to the lead character of Samuel Vimes and his crew. Each of the following books adds additional characters who become major players in the later books. The characters truly grow through each of the books and I think that having read the previous in the series will increase your enjoyment of this one.

Quick Summary: A strange theft and murder occur in Ankh-Morpork, and just as the Watch is about to investigate, The Patrician sends Vimes and his wife off to Uberwald to attend the coronation of the new Dwarfish Low King as ambassadors. While street hardened Vimes has to start learning about politicking, Angua disappears... and Carrot decides to go after her, unfortunately her trail leads to Uberwald, land of vampires, werewolves, and Dwarves who rarely come to the surface. As Sam Vimes always says - A cop will always find a crime, the origins of the strange crimes in Ankh-Morpork also lead back to Uberwald and the coronation ceremony. Vimes finds himself attempting to not only play politician and ambassador, but also detective to sort out the truth before the Dwarves are thrown into a bloody civil war.

The summary sounds a bit dark doesn't it? Well this, much like "Carpe Jugulum," is a darker more plot driven novel, but the humor is still there. Cheery accompanies Vimes back to her homeland as military attaché and unfortunately her modern ways cause issues amongst the more traditional dwarves of Uberwald. Detrius the Troll attends as the cultural attaché, unfortunately in Uberwald the trolls and dwarves have been at war for over a hundred years... then throw in Angua's noble yet slightly psychotic werewolf family, and a Vampire clan that's on the wagon from drinking human blood... everyone is moving their chess pieces and poor Sam has to figure it all out. Sybil has a much larger roll in this story than in the past, and her personality really begins to develop. This book is funny, full of action, and intrigue... who stole the Scone? Who murdered the prophylactics maker? Where is the fake stone? Who is behind it all? The opposing Dwarves? The Werewolves? The Vampires? Or is it someone from within?

Although I didn't laugh nearly as much during this book, I found myself truly enjoying the read much more than some of the others. If I were to try to tell you what "The Color of Magic" was about... I really couldn't other than to say it was about running away... True, I enjoyed it immensely, but this had a plot, a meaning, and more to learn from, I think this is an excellent addition to the Discworld series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katie hartung
This book, I think, was written at the peak of Pratchett's story telling abilities. It is not the funniest of his works, but is still laugh out loud funny, embarrass yourself laughing in public, funny in at least a couple of spots.

It's worth the money just for that - but this is a much deeper story than that on many different levels. It contains elements of a Bond adventure, the real dark Bond as written, not the film Bond, a police procedural, political intrigue, political Realpolitik, and self aware, ironic criticism of Potteresque magic (listen to Vimes fretting about the use of magic) in enough measure for a book on each and all woven into a beautifully consistent and satisfying plot driven by wonderfully colorful and deep characters.

One of the wonderful things about Pratchett is that, even though he often reuses characters, he does not recycle them. He allow them to grow as characters, as people, into, through and out of their jobs. Vimes, for instance, started out in Guards Guards, as the alcoholic, drunken Captain of a runtish night watch. Here we see him grown into the leader of the civilian police force which has grown out of the watch, married to the richest woman in the city, discovering fatherhood, and a reluctant ambassador for the city state of Ankh Morpork and even getting the first indications that he might be prepared, one day, to take on leadership of the city.

For any other writer this would be a "Master Work". For Pratchett it's just "one of his better ones".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kristen deshaies
This is one of my absolute favourite Discworld novels. The Fifth elephant is the one that is supposed to have crashed onto the Discworld in ancient times, and all the mineral and fat deposits on the Discworld come from its body. Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is reluctantly despatched to Uberwold to attend the coronation of the Low King of the Dwarves. Lord Vetinari, the ruler of ankh-Morpork, want the goodwill of the dwarves so he can buy fat from the Uberwold mines. Then the mystic Scone of Stone, on which all the Low Kings are crowned, goes missing, and Vimes needs to find it before the coronation.

Meanwhile Sergeant Angua the female werewolf is also on her way back to Uberwold to sort out some family troubles. Cpatain Carrott sets off in purusit. Soon Angua is caught up in a curious love triangle with the human Carrott and the wolf Gavin. Back in Ankh-Morpork Sergeant Colon has been put in charge of the watch, and it has gone to his head, watchemn are resigning and Nobby has started a Watchmens Union.

As well as the regular characters, there are some marvellous new ones in this book. My favourite is Lady Margalotta von Uberwold, an aristocratic vampire who is an old flame of Lord Vetinari, who has gone on the wagon 'vun bite voud alvays be vun too many' as she tells Vimes. Then there is the Low King, who matches Vimes in cynicism. And when Vimes has to go on the run from Angua's vengeful family, he takes refuge at the house of three gloomy sisters who sit looking out over their orchard and dreaming of life in the city (the youngest sister suggests cutting down the orchard to build a skating rink). When Vimes asks them for clothing, they give him 'the gloomy and purposeless trousers of Uncle Vanya).

Pratchett can even get away with using very old humour. The one about the wife trying to tell her husband she's pregnant and him not listening, how often has that been done? But when it's Lady Sybill and Vimes it still seems funny. And it's nice to see Lady Sybill having a more promient role in the story.

This is one of the funniest and best of the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rodney conley
The Fifth Elephant is the latest Discworld book that features the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork, a city on the Disc. The City Watch books have always been my favourite Discworld books, mainly because of the characters. There's the wonderful character of Vimes, who is head of the Watch. He's cynical but fair-minded, always thinking the worst of things, but doing his best to make the city the best it can be. Then there's Captain Carrot, a human who was raised by dwarfs and considers himself one. Even the incidental characters have wonderful moments. This fifth book in the series is probably the best since the original, "Guards, Guards." It was wonderfully funny with lots of good character bits.
In this book, Commander Vimes (a recent addition to the nobility of the city) is sent to attend the coronation of the new Dwarf "King." Vimes is new to all of this "politics" stuff, as he generally sees himself as a cop first, and a good one. He feels out of his element in this new political arena. Of course, that's why the head of the city, Patrician Vetinari, has sent him on this mission. In going to this coronation, Vimes stumbles upon a plot between a family of werewolves and some of the dwarfs who don't quite like the way society is being liberalized (i.e. dwarfs actually showing that they're female by wearing dresses and jewelry, dwarfs going to the city of Ankh-Morpork to find better lives, etc). They plan to disrupt the coronation, and Vimes finds himself having to stop them.
There are two sub plots in the book, one related, and one seeming to be there just to give some characters something to do. The first one involves Carrot and his girl-wolf, Angua. Angua was supposed to go on this mission with Vimes, but she has disappeared. Carrot enlists the aid of the talking dog, Gaspode, to track her. This plot does end up meeting with the main plot, which is a good thing. Carrot is well portrayed, a combination of innocence, grim determination and genuine (if innocent) caring for Angua. You can see in his actions what he thinks of her, even though he generally can't bring himself to say anything. It's a fairly interesting subplot, especially when it ends up dovetailing with the Vimes plot.
The same can't be said for the second subplot, though. It's clearly there just to give some of the other characters a chore. Sgt. Colon, one of the founding members of the Watch (but by no means the most intelligent), finds himself left in charge with Vimes and Carrot gone. This authority, along with a looming paranoia, start to degrade the Watch. He starts watching everybody with a growing intensity, alienating everybody. This plot has its funny moments and involves some of the other Watch characters (Shoe, the zombie; Visit, the religious fanatic; Nobby, the weird one). However, it can't help but feel like filler. I don't know whether it was intended to add to the page count or if it was supposed to give the other characters something to do. Either way, it feels wasted and tacked on.
Despite that, the book is a great addition to the mythos. It's hilarious, with wonderful character moments (a vampire on AA?) and a great plot. Unlike the previous books, there doesn't appear to be an overall message to the book (Jingo was anti-war, for example), but it doesn't suffer from that. Sometimes, you just have to tell a good story, and this one does. Watching Vimes try to adjust to his new life and mission is worth the price of admission alone. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Detritus, the main troll in the Watch. He is the best character in the series, no matter how much or little he is in it. He doesn't have a very large part in The Fifth Elephant, but he lights up the scene whenever he's in there.
This is a great book. It also stands alone pretty well. While it is certainly better to read them in order, you won't be missing anything if this is the first one. You don't want to miss it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gabriel j
Briefly, Sam Vimes is appointed Ambassador for Ankh-Morpork to Überwald to attend the installation of the new Low King of the Dwarfs. Lord Vetinari appoints Sergeant Fred Colon as the acting Commander of the Watch of Ankh-Morpork while Vimes is engaged in his ambassadorial duties. Angua, the werewolf on the Watch, is drawn back to Überwald to deal with a conspiracy involving her family. Carrots follows her. Meanwhile a replica of the Scone of Stone, an ancient and revered Dwarf bakery product, is stolen and a the owner of a company that produces rubber products is found dead in a vat of his own rubber.

All of these part combine to create a not quite top of the line, but still very good Discworld novel. Further, it is read by Stephen Briggs who has a connection with the series dating back to a production of Wyrd Sisters he staged in 1991. His voices, including that of the Clerk Inigo Skimmer, mhm-mhm, assigned by Vetinari to the Ambassadorial retinue, are entertaining, easy to understand and consistent, both inside this book and with the other Discworld books he has narrated.

The copy I listened to ran for about 11 hours. A very good entertainment value. The Audible download link goes to the abridged Tony Robinson version which I do not recommend because I don't like abridged audio books, but the Briggs version is available on Audible with a bit of exploration.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jessa
Once upon a time in the Multiverse there was indeed a Fifth Elephant floating around aimlessly. He could not help it, but he crashed violently screaming and kicking into the Discworld, at the same time splitting continents and raising mountains. An eternity later his remains are still buried deep in the planes of Uberwalt, the home of vampires, werewolves and most importanly dwarves. Dwarves who are not only mining diamonds and gold, but lately also elephant fat. It is exactly that valuable asset that brings Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, to the conclusion that keeping good diplomatic relations with Uberwalt is maybe not such a bad idea. On the other side, sending Captain Vimes on such a diplomatic mission might not belong to that same pool of bright ideas.

It is always a great joy to meet the old folks of the City Watch again for another crazy voyage. This time it is not different: it all starts with Sergeant Colon's experiences with the Discworld version of a speed camera, but soon the complete City Watch proves that silliness is their strongest weapon. This time not many new characters are introduced, but this only means that known characters, such as the Igors and that cute little doggie Gaspode, get more attention.

The attentive reader certainly will notice the undertone that links certain forces in Uberwalt to a Nazi regime. Indeed references to sub-humans and other Nazi slogans are generously spread throughout the story. In this respect The Fifth Elephant is unique -at least for the Discworld series- in the way that it portraits a strong political message against extreme nationalism. In the end it is not only a funny, but also an extremely smart book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karishma tapaswi
The Discworld and its denizens keep moving forward.

In particular, the much-reviled police captain Vimes and the much-honored Duke Vimes move forward. I mean, like a glacier moves forward. Not the fastest one around, I won't even warn you to get out of his way. Glacier-like, it wouldn't matter. Go ahead, get in his way - he might even notice. Probably not.

This time, in his ducal capacity, he has been appointed to an ambassadorship by Lord Vetinari. Vetinari is not a bad man (by local standards, at least) and doesn't do bad things (again, by local standards). Pray that you're nowhere near when he attempts something good. It might be like lighting a candle in the darkness, with you as the match.

Or it might be like lighting the fuze on the powder-keg. Vimes isn't much the candle type. Around him are many people. There's his finishing-school wife who can finish off dwarves and lots of others, six against one, in unarmed debate. There's Officer Angua of the city watch. A very capable woman but watch out for her "monthlies". You know, new moon, howling over the heath, and and all that were-sort-of-thing. Then ... well, Angua is the predictable one. There are lots of others who aren't.

This is a long-running series with lots of character development in previous volumes. Pratchett is uncommonly well tuned to the newcomer, though. Even if the writer knows the two-dozen stories before this one (and a dozen-squared he never wrote), this story still stands well on its own. The newcomer may as well start here as anywhere. The tone is a bit more serious and less haha than most of the Discworld series, but it fits well.

Enjoy!

//wiredweird
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
saeru
For those of you who aren't familiar with Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, you have been missing quite a bit. Not only has he managed to keep the humor and overall quality of his writing at a high level through the years, but he manages to get a new book out every eight months or so. A big plus if you follow his work.
The Fifth Elephant is part the "Watch" series within the Discworld collection. It follows the exploits of Commander Vimes(recently promoted to Duke), Captain Carrot, and the rest of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. This book is the follow-up to "Jingo", and Vimes is currently adjusting to his new role as a nobleman in the city. One of his newly appointed duties is to travel to the neighboring land of Uberwald, where the dwarves are about to crown a new king. Vimes reluctantly agrees to go, despite his general loathing for the nobility in general. The ironic part being that he is now a part of that same nobility, which is a constant source of irritation for him, and a source of amusement for the reader. Of course, this being a Pratchett book, nothing goes according to plan and Vimes finds himself thwarting an assassination plot and uncovering a conspiracy among the dwarf and vampire clans in addition to being forced to "rub elbows" with the werewolves, vampires, and dwarfs of Uberwald.
This is one of the rare books you will read that is as funny as it is well written. For those of you collecting the series, this falls between Jingo and Night Watch and is my personal favorite of the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicole
Role models are a major topic these days. Who are the good ones, and who the bad? Once we had monarchs, presidents, explorers, all good and/or bad with some migration from the first to the second. In Sam Vimes, we may have a unique example of the reverse.
When we first met Sam Vimes in GUARDS! GUARDS!, he was sodden in a gutter, soddin' drunk. Hardly an auspicious beginning for a heroic figure. Discworld heroes are often found in unusual circumstances, rarely admirable at first sight. Sam's a copper, Commander of Ankh-Morpork's Night Watch. It's a job to send any man's hand groping for support, even if the brace is in the form of a bottle. Now he's on his way to Uberwald. Trolls, Dwarves and Werewolves have all emigrated from this region, taking up residence in Sam's city. He hasn't shed his resentment at this intrusion, nor his suspicion of these bizarre life forms. His earlier cultural challenges came from the likes of Klatchians, who were at least human. The Patrician has made him a diplomat, a real challenge for a man with so little tact. He must deal with all these creatures he resents. Failure to deal successfully may result in his becoming part of the local cuisine.
Sam has an advantage over many of us. Strongly self-aware, he manages to control his temper and intemperance. He's pulled himself out of the gutter. Now the Duke of Ankh- Morpork, he's married into the city's aristocracy. His diplomatic skills are going to be put to severe tests. To ease the pressure, Sam is accompanied by his recently acquired spouse, Sybil Ramkin. Her presence with him on this venture is an indication of his newly elevated status, and recognition of her well established one. Ironically, Sam is also supported by some of his mates from the Watch, Detritus the Troll and forensic expert Cheery Littlebottom, a Dwarf. Both are originally from the Uberwald. Sam's diplomatic assignment is a commercial treaty and attendance of the Coronation of the Low King. Regrettably, not all Uberwald is happy with the new monarch, and Sam is drawn into a miasma of plots and counter plots no diplomat should enter.
Sam Vimes is anything but a hero of the ideal romantic stamp. His blemishes are apparent, but, to his credit, he recognizes them and deals with them. His temper, which he controls with effort, leads him into difficult situations. His prejudices blind him to unexpected values in people [and, in this case, a scruffy dog], but when he finally recognizes the truth, he acknowledges it. Maybe with glum grace, but without rancor. Pratchett has drawn him as a strikingly real figure. He's unique on the Discworld. And that's sad in one sense because both the Discworld and our world could do with more like him.
Pratchett's plots have never been overly convoluted or difficult to unravel. His wit more than makes up for that. His characters are immensely significant in these stories. Those of us who've followed Sam along the cobblestoned streets of his life will rejoice at this portrayal. They will also encounter an Angua with enhanced reality. And Sam and Sybil are . . .
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ashlin
It's Sam Vimes and friends to the rescue, this time in far-off Uberwald. But it's not in the same league as the previous Guards novels in the Discworld series. The villains are not at all interesting, there are a couple of meandering subplots, and there can actually be too much of Samuel Vimes in one of these books. I also don't quite get the metaphor that Pratchett is setting up with the otherwise-dopey title.
This is still very readable, with a few interesting new characters, and with some good scenes involving Cheery Littlebottom and Angua and Carrot. The quality of the writing is still very good, but could have stood a bit of editing. And Lady Sybil comes into her own as a character.
This was the Discworld novel that HarperCollins tried to use to make Pratchett a star here, but I suspect that new Discworld readers might be a bit more lost with this than with earlier books or with the novel after this one, "The Truth." If you're new to Discworld, my suggestion is to find "Men at Arms" or "Jingo" first as they are a bit less dependent on ideas introduced in other books in the series. If you're not new to Discworld, you'll buy this no matter what. You'll like a lot of it. But you might wonder, as I do, whether Pratchett is making a mistake by issuing a new book in the set every six months. A little more time to edit this and it could have been better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amel sherif
On the subject of writing, Terry Pratchett was once quoted as having said "I can't imagine any way one person on his own can have more fun" or something similar to that. He's been writing since he learned how to hold a pen, and has (apparently) never stopped. The Fifth Elephant is one of the classic Pratchett masterpieces. Wholly, completely, utterly, inventively insane, irreverent, witty and satirical, it shows why Pratchett is King of the genre.
If you've not yet introduced yourself to any Pratchett books, let me give you a quick history of Discworld. Pratchett's crazy world is supported by four elephants standing on the back of a giant tortoise. Once there was a fifth elephant, but it fell off the tortoise's back and crashed onto Discworld, leaving behind rich deposits of minerals and fat and the interesting philosophical question: when millions of tons of angry elephant come spinning through the sky, and there is no one to hear it, does it, philosophically speaking, make a noise? And that's about as philosophical as Discworld ever gets..... or is it? Pratchett, in a quiet, humorous way, poses questions about, and satirizes just about any subject you can imagine. Anything from opera to the meaning of life, from local government to religion. (Oh dear, I do hope those reviewers who insist on denouncing J.K.Rowling and Philip Pullman as the anti-christ aren't reading this. They'll be chipping away at Terry Pratchett next!)
When I tell you that the famous Samuel Vimes, commander of the Ankh-Morpork city watch, is sent to represent the city at the crowning of the new Dwarvish Low King, you won't be surprised to learn that Vimes hates politics and has no talent for diplomacy whatsoever. His idea of dealing with a diplomatic incident is to head-butt his way through it. It doesn't help that his assistants are a werewolf, a troll, and a dwarf. Meanwhile, Captain Carrot has fallen in love with Corporal Angua (also a werewolf), and a duplicate of a Dwarven artifact is stolen (a piece of stale bread).
Can't get much more ridiculous, can it! Oh yes it can. Pratchett loves the ridiculous as he gently mocks everything in sight (always with a great knowledge of and fondness for his fellow primates, even in their more foolish moments). Consider yourself well and truly ordered to GO AND BUY THIS BOOK.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
scott carnaghi
Pratchett's Disc World series started out as a very silly (and very funny) fantasy series in which the plot did little more than give him a setting for his Pythonesque sense of humour. However, as the series has progressed, his characters have become better developed and so have his storylines. The Rincewind stories still tend to lean towards the earlier, sillier days, but in books like the Fifth Elephant the humour has become more subtle overall (although there is still silliness and laugh-out-loud humour), and has also started to become more satirical, making fun of society and its faults and making brilliant psychological observations. The stories centering around Vimes, captain of the City Guard, have become the best series-within-a-series, especially the scenes in which he interacts with the Patrician, a character straight out of Machiavelli.
As with most Vimes stories, there is a lot of genuine suspense and a great mystery tale although the focus in this book is more on political intrigue. The book is set in Uberwald, a land straight out of old horror movies set in Europe or like the black forests of fairy tales, filled with Vampires, Werewolves and Dwarves (with the usual Pratchett twists). Not only that, but Uberwald is a land without laws where Vimes' position in the Ankh-Morpoork city guard is meaningless. We also get to learn more about Angua's (the female werewolf's) family and history as well as see some developements in her relationship with Captain Carrot.
A brilliant and highly entertaining mix of fantasy, humour, satire and suspense, this book is highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathleen clay
Regular readers of Pratchett's droll accounts of life on Discworld will be unsurprised to discover that there is, in fact, no literal elephant in this book at all. There are, as we all know, four very large elephants supporting the flat circularity of the world, who themselves stand on the back of an even more immense turtle swimming through space. The extra pachyderm referred to in the title is metaphorical, being the supposed origin of the huge, economically important, fat deposits that lie beneath Uberwald, providing employment for the mining skills of that country's dwarfs (though dwarfs have trouble with metaphors) -- who share the land (very carefully) with aristocratic vampires and werewolves. Lord Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, cognizant of his city's ever-growing need for high-quality lard and candles, sends as his ambassador to the coronation of the new Low King of Uberwald none other than His Grace Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the Watch. Sam, a copper's copper, naturally becomes involved in an attempted assassination of the not-yet-installed new king, which ties in with the murder of a rubber condom entrepreneur back in the city. Captain Carrot, Vimes's second-in-command, goes off in pursuit of his lady love (also a werewolf), leaving the Watch in the gloriously incompetent hands of Sgt. Colon and Corp. Nobbs. All of this gives Pratchett the perfect stage to air his opinions on the peerage, social conservatism, fascism, perceptions of race, the difference between officers and noncoms, and perhaps what it really means to be human. As the series goes one, Pratchett just gets better and better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jasim sardi
(If you're new to the Discworld series, you should start with Guards! Guards! for an introduction to the characters in this book).
This latest installment in the Discworld series is Pratchett's most ambitious story yet. It chronicles the violent collision of Samuel Vimes with Dwarvish, Werewolf, and Vampire high society in a tale of political intrigue set in the Transylvanish Uberwald.
The most impressive thing here is the attention to detail. Not even in other Discworld books is the world so textured and rich, the mystery so well-thought-out, the characters so intriguing. While not devoid of Pratchett's signature silliness and wit, there's suspense to spare amid the rib-tickles.
Thematically, Pratchett's not covering new ground here: The world of politics is by necessity corrupt, belief creates truth, the common man is swept up in events beyond his control, etc. But the similarities to the other "Watch" books (Feet of Clay, Guards, Guards!, Jingo) are superficial. Pratchett is not content to cover the same ground with the same characters; he takes them in surprising directions and tests their mettle.
All in all, a thoroughly entertaining book and worthwhile chapter in the Discworld saga.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jodi sh
I've decided he's too good and too prolific for me to write a brand new review every single time I read one of his books. Discworld currently has 34 titles and every one of them will probably knock your socks off. His mind bubbles and flashes like a boiling pot of electric eels, and I simply can't get enough of his writing.

A reviewer has compared him to Geoffrey Chaucer. He reminds me more of Douglas Adams, or perhaps S Morgenstern. Great company, isn't it? He's an extremely skillful and imaginative writer, damn funny, clever and observant to boot. He's also very easy to read. A master of characterization, and if there's anything else you like about reading that I didn't mention here, assume I simply forgot. He's awesome.

Another reviewer mentioned Jonathan Swift and PG Wodehouse. Why such hallowed company? Because Pratchett belongs there! Truly, I'm enjoying my quest to read every book in the series. You should do the same, and begin your quest at the library because he's got to be there. He's awesome!

Yet another reviewer said Jerome K Jerome meets Lord of the Rings. Yeah, that works too.

Why do we, as reviewers, compare authors to other authors? Because it's easier than thinking. In the case of Terry Pratchett, it's probably because we'd otherwise wind up quoting the guy. He's so unique that we just don't know how else to cope with his greatness. Even this paragraph sounds like foamy drool raving, doesn't it? That's how all readers react to Pratchett. Reviewers simply don't have the good sense to keep it to themselves.

I could call his writing fantasy, but I could likewise call what Douglas Adams wrote science fiction. In both cases, I wouldn't be wrong, but I'd be neglecting so much and just totally missing the point. A rare few authors transcend a genre to such a degree that you know they're shouting out, loud and proud, a big fat "Bite me!"

I love Terry Pratchett's writing, and I completely understand why some folks refer to him as their favorite author. Or favourite, I should say, since we're being British. He's one of those authors that makes you want to grab whoever's in hearing range and start reading passages aloud. I'm simply thrilled that there's such an extremely talented and prolific author who's been working for years without me being aware of him. Now I have much catching up to do, and I will love it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gregory booker
While I've enjoyed almost every Discworld book I've read, the tales of Samuel Vimes and the Ankh-Morpork Watchmen always seem to rank among my favorites. This time out, Vimes is being sent as an ambassador to the distant land of Uberwald to meet with the new Low King of the Dwarfs. Meanwhile, Angua has disappeared and Carrot resigns his position with the Watch to search for her, leaving Fred Colon in charge.
Pratchett returns to some of the monster elements he used in "Carpe Jugulum" -- the vampires and a closer examination of werewolf society. He took these elements and effortlessly blended them into a mystery for Vimes to solve involving a sacred Scone and a few inconvenient murders.
For once, I didn't feel like there was any "filler" story in this book. I was involved in the Vimes/mystery storyline, swept up in Carrot's quest for Angua, and left rolling on the floor clutching my side at poor Colon's efforts to run the Watch as he grows increasingly paranoid about the quantity of sugar cubes in his office.
Although the titular Fifth Elephant doesn't really play much into the plot at all, except for providing an explanation for a natural resource that makes this odd country important, this ranks as one of the best in the Discworld series. Funny, smart and a great read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mike rowan
I've owned this book for a while and I recently re-discovered it on my bookshelf and I just could not put it down till I'd re-read it. I certainly think the book deserves a re-read or two.
This is a great Discworld book full of details of discworld.
The watch is back. Trouble in the Uberwald sends Vimes, Cherry and Detritus to the coronation of the new Dwarf King. Meanwhile Carrot and Agnes are having some problems, which leaves Sergeant Colon next in line for promotion to head of the watch....
This is a great story, full of humor, politics and plot twists. So easy to read I picked up the book and I read it without putting it down. It has more of a political tone compared with the watches last outing (Jingo), which was more of an adventure. The fifth elephant expands the disk word by padding out the dwarfs and giving incite to the Uberwald (expect more books from the Uberwald)
It's a good book if your just coming into the disk world books and a Great book if your following the disk world series
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
beth ng
The only thing that is alike about Pratchett and Adams is the fact that they're both English... okay and funny. I think this novel, the first of the series I have read, is highly entertaining, funny, and a pretty clear opinion of our own little western civilization. It doesn't take a harty philosophical view of why we exist in this planet, but puts a rather antique twist to modern complexities. Pratchett's talent, I believe, is his ability to not take all of our politics, traditions, and prejudices too seriously--he simply points out that we don't all agree, and no matter where you go, there is going to be someone who just doesn't like you for whatever reason. And the book is really is entertaining on top of that! The dialogue comes very naturally, and the characters are extremely likeable (especially the Igor clan). From other reviews I have read about this book, some of these characters pop up in the other Discworld novels and that's incentive enough for me to enjoy another one or two of thix. Sorry, I had to.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alisa anderson
Life is good when there's a new Terry Pratchett adventure in the bookstores...and thankfully he writes one every year! (And since Douglas Adams seems to have taken a hiatus of tremendous proportions, Pratchett should be proclaimed as the reigning master of humourous fantasy.) "The Fifth Elephant" takes place, like the other 20+ books in the series, on the mysterious earth known as Discworld (a flat earth supported by elephants on the back of a giant turtle--an earth where magic not only works, it frequently works *against* you). Like always, the casts of characters rotates among books so your favorites pop up every few years no matter who you like best! The focus this book is on Ankh-Morpork chief of police Samuel Vimes (Discworld's answer to Captain Frank Furillo), sent on a diplomatic and investigative mission to the mysterious country of Uberwald--fill in your own real-life counterpart here, because, as in the best of the Discworld adventures, Pratchett mixes the humour, adventure and fantasy with his own dry and frequently hilarious social commentary on everything from fascist groups (werewolves) to born-again fundamentalist religion. Hilarious and fast-paced, it's not the best in the series but still deserves five stars--even a lesser Pratchett is a joy and delight and only leaves you wanting more! Plus, there's a long-needed travelguide to Discworld in the back of the book, along with character profiles and a crossword! The only thing that would have made this new Pratchett a breakout title would have been if HarperCollins had published it last year! This came out in England in November 1999--Pratchett books are published anywhere from 6 months to a year earlier in England, making us wait for the treat long after the Brits, or ordering it instead from the store UK. Result: lost sales for HarperCollins US! Scholastic learned from a similar problem with the "Harry Potter" books and moved their US publication dates to match the UK pub dates...any consideration for the same thing, HarperCollins?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
erin yuffe
There's talk of Pratchett making a comeback, but I hadn't been aware he'd left. Either way, the Fifth Elephant is a darn good Discworld novel, and though maybe not the best in the series, has some of Pratchett's best work.
This is definitely Pratchett at his best - humor, cultural speculation, political though, and interesting metaphors. He juggles more characters with more depth than ever with Carrot, Anguna, Vimes, Sybil, Cheery, and Detritus, and introduces some interesting new characters (plus a herd of Igors).
The plot is a bit convoluted, and some of the red herrings smell after awhile, but then again its essentially a Watch novel, and those get pretty complicated. It has some of his more darker and realistic writing, which actually enhances the storyline - comedy, drama, and observation are more seamlessly integrated. I can't really call Fifth Elephant a comedy, as Pratchett's style has integrated them into something I can only call "Humorously-themed observational drama."
Is he back? Pratchett never left - just like the Fifth Elephant and certain baked good, you have to know what to look for.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
raklavender
I've adored Terry Pratchett for years. I've pressed him on practically anyone I can convince to hold still for five minutes, and I did like this one. Sam Vimes has evolved nicely during each appearance, and Pratchett can be both pointed and convulsively funny at the same time. The Fifth Elephant romps along, a giggle guaranteed every five minutes or so, and some fun at the expense of "romantic" werewolves and vampires. If you don't like people staring at you on public transportation, don't read this during your commute.
The problem I had was the really awful proofreading job. The same thing happened with Carpe Jugulum, and it bothered me a lot. Over the years I've made myself tolerant of homonyms and tense problems. I've even come to bear the abominable use of apostrophes. I'll let the occasional I/me and its/it's error slide, though I tend to grit my teeth while doing so. But this was awful; sentences begun with obvious typos, mis-spelling that should have been caught by a first pass with a spell-checker and so on.
I only gave The Fifth Elephant three stars because the errors distracted me and got on my nerves. This doesn't mean that I don't like Pratchett, it means that I feel authors and their publishers should be reproved for that kind of thing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anda
[For context's sake, I have been reading the Discworld books in publication order. The Fifth Elephant is #24.]

The Fifth Elephant kept me on my toes. There was a lot of great insight into characters' backstories, and a lot of character development. The red herrings were good, and while I had a sense of what was going to happen, the details were off enough that I enjoyed the unfolding of intrigue and revelation of the major players. I did think that the main conflict tied up a bit too quickly and too neatly, with too few clues foreshadowing what would come about, but it was a strong book in the series. If I could give it three and a half stars I would, but four will do better than three.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jenna gardner
I was blown away by this novel.
I haven't read a lot of Pratchett, two books and a couple of short stories, but I wasn't overly impressed. Sure he's good (I particularly enjoyed his 'Troll Bridge' story) but I've always preferred Douglas Adams or Tom Holt. This book changes everything.
With 'The Fifth Elephant', Pratchett creates a comic masterpiece. He flawlessly weaves humor, both subtle and laugh-out-loud funny, into the framework of an engaging story.
City Watch overlord Sam Vimes travels into a dark and mysterious country to attend the coronation of a new Low King. He discovers that the dwarf's hallowed Stone of Scone has been stolen by unknown nefarious persons. Vimes strives, amidst interference from disingenuous vampires, bloodthirsty werewolves and loyal Igors, to find the sacred Stone.
If that's not enough, Pratchett throws in Fred Colon, Vimes temporary replacement on the Watch, panicking in his new authority. There's the traveling clerk with distinctly un-clerklike skills and the tangled love story between straight-arrow watchman Carrot and werewolf Angua.
After reading through reviews for recent Pratchett books I received the impression that they were steadily declining in quality. If so, this one is a major comeback. An excellent, excellent book. A recent magazine reviewer for F&SF calls this the best Discworld book in a long time. I'll go a step further and call this the best book I've read in months. Pratchett now holds a solid place on my must-read list.
Don't miss this one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ellenrubinrpr
The Fifth Elephant is a City Watch novel of Discworld, where the newly proclaimed Duke of Ankh-Morpork, His Grace Commander Samuel Vimes, goes to Überwald as an ambassador, looking for fat deposits caused by the legendary crash of the Fifth Elephant into the regions of Überwald. However, problems in Ankh-Morpork arise, and Captain Carrot is left in charge of the watch. Mr. Sonky is found dead in his vat for making rubber thingys, and the replica of the Scone of Stone, the crowning seat of the dwarves made of the famous dwarf bread, has been stolen.Vimes leaves with Lady Sybil, Sergeant Detritus, Corporal Littlebottom, and a helpful "clerk", Inigo Skimmer. At Überwald, the actual Scone is stolen, and all the dwarves look shifty. There's also some werewolf trouble, and Sergeant Angua of the Watch comes along too. Captain Carrot follows, leaving Sergeant Fred Colon to lead the watch. Needless to say, with all that power, he goes around throwing his excessive weight around. The sugar lumps keep disappearing...

A great Night Watch book, the suspense is all right, but there are some surprises and such to keep any reader happy. A good book to be read, just not over and over again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jelle
In this book the wonderful characters we Discworld fans love seem to be maturing, growing less zany and more contemplative. I will especially miss Carrot the way he used to be, before he fell in love. Where is the earnest, innocent boy? He's become a sober and intense man. Sir Samuel is facing new responsibilities in his odd marriage. Nobby hasn't changed much but Pratchett doesn't broadcast his strangeness when he appears. And Colon has gone completely around the bend. The plot resembles a Bruce Willis movie, as Carrot and Vimes are constantly chasing, being chased, or being wounded. There's a lot of dark meanness in the evil characters (they are Undead, after all), and I can't tell what pterry is trying to say. The best part is the Igors, a sort of multipart organism of interchangeable servants, all with that extraordinary lisp. The book is a good read, as any Discworld novel is. It just isn't as consistently funny as you will expect.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ben salah
The watch is back. Trouble in the Uberwald sends Vimes, Cherry and Detritus to the coronation of the new Dwarf King. Meanwhile Carrot and Agnes are having some problems, which leaves Sergeant Colon next in line for promotion to head of the watch....
This is a great story, full of humor, politics and plot twists. So easy to read I picked up the book and I read it without putting it down. It has more of a political tone compared with the watches last outing (Jingo), which was more of an adventure. The fifth elephant expands the disk word by padding out the dwarfs and giving incite to the Uberwald (expect more books from the Uberwald)
It's a good book if your just coming into the disk world books and a Great book if your following the disk world series
cont... I've owned this book for a while and I recently re-discovered it and I just could not put it down till I'd re-read it. I certainly think the book deserves a re-read or two.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
daisy hunt
I'll be honest, I'm a Pratchett fan, but only if he is writing about Rincewind the Wizard, Death, or Sam Vimes and his merry watchment. All the others have pretty much left me flat, It's almost as if he doesn't know what he's doing when those Characters are not the main characters. Well much to my joy, Pratchett has released another book. This one has Sam Vomes, commander of the Watch, and his merry band along for the ride.
Lord Venetari has sent Vimes on a diplomatic Mission to Uberwald. THat's an area full of Dwarves, Werewolves, and Vampires. To add confusion to the whole situation, Carrot has quit the Watch, and Angua has gone missing.
The story is a well done who done it, which is what all of the Sam Vimes stories eventually turn into. This one is just as funny as Jingo was, which I loved.
If you live humour, and a good read as well, I highly reccommend this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kaylyn johnstone
I like Sam Vimes. I REALLY like Sam Vimes. He's ex-military, hates politicians, and loathes diplomats. His idea of dealing with a diplomatic problem is to take it on head-first. He's a budding "Retief" (that's for all you Keith Laumer fans out there).
This book has a lot going for it, and it's "fat" (sorry about that) with jokes that only a government worker could identify (so if you work for the grab-a-mint, look hard!). The premise was one that was expected from developments between Carrot and Angua, because somehow Carrot had to meet the parents.
Now we know that dwarves think about other things besides "glod"-there's fat, for instance. We dig for oil and coal-they dig fat. Nice allegory, here.
For all that, there's lots here to laugh at and lots to think about. Consider the two dwarf candidates for king and their actions during the course of the book, then REALLY think about the ending. For Americans, the Stone of Scone is not common dinner conversation, so I'd suggest we Colonials look it up.
And read this book four, five, six times. You won't regret it.
Heavens to... Murgatroyd!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joey rizzolo
In "The Fifth Elephant", Terry Pratchett returns to his "Guards of Ankh-Morpork" storyline, last seen in "Feet of Clay", "Men at Arms" and "Guards, Guards". This time, Sam Vimes--Commander of the Watch and the Duke of Ankh-Morpork--is off to neighboring Uberwald to attend the coronation of the Low King. Uberwald, as fans will remember from "Carpe Jugulum", is inhabited by vampires and werewolves. Of course, nothing goes as planned. The Scone of Stone--the traditional "throne" of the Low King--has been stolen, the dwarves are divided over the choice of Low King, and the Watch is on strike.
One of Pratchett's strengths is to make you laugh even as he makes you think. This has been evident in his last several books, especially "Small Gods", and I'm glad he's keeping up the good work. In this book, the questions are many: how do you deal with a werewolf who won't take stop trying to kill you? Should people from different worlds pursue a relationship? Mr. Pratchett even touches on traditional male-female roles (or the lack thereof among dwarves) and the power of faith. Humor is good, but humor that waxes lightly philosophical is even better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
pepstar
Well, things are starting to get a little weird on the Disc. Ankh-Morpork has started a communications revolution (wonder if Pterry read "The Victorian Internet" for the details on telegraph towers?), and Vetinari has started to manipulate other nations politically. Alas, quite a few parties don't want that to happen. This one's a strange amalgam of social commentary and Die Hard-type movie, with Vimes and Carrot in hot pursuit of various interested parties, being hurt quite badly, and NEVER GIVING UP. For long-time Discworld fans: Death makes a cameo appearance, and Gaspode returns. Nobbs seems to be almost human, and Colon goes completely mental. I'd say this is well worth the hardback purchase. Read and enjoy. My favorite gag: Dorfl the golem's protest sign when he's on strike. Don't worry; that'll make sense in context.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
myriaderf
The Fifth Elephant is the 24th Discworld novel.
In Ankh-Morpork, the Scone of Stone, the Dwarfs' sacred relic, has been stolen, and the director of the rubber factory has just been murdered.
As Sam Vimes is sent on a diplomatic mission to Uberwald for the coronation of the new King of the Dwarfs, and Captain Carrot has gone in search of missing Angua, Lord Vetinari reluctanctly promotes Fred Colon as Captain of the Watch...
Although presented as a novel of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, the action is principally centered on Sam Vimes and his struggle with the not-so-nice werewolves of Uberwald.
With its numerous winks to our own world, as well as the guest appearence of dear characters such as DEATH or Gaspode the Wonder Dog, the Fifth Elephant turns out as funny as I expected a Pratchett novel to be. Definitely a very good read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bob koo
Quite enjoyable fantasy set in an imainary world resembling 17th - 18th century Europe. Peopled with humans, gnomes, dwarfs (dwarves?), trolls, werewolves, and vampires as distinct races of peoples. It really is a lampoon of many institutions including government, religion, business, and technology. Noticeable absent are vulgar or profane words.
The one negative is the fairly frequent occurrence of typographical errors such as misplaced quotation marks, substitution of 'an for 'as', 'than' for 'that' or missing letters such as 'heat' being spelled 'eat', which require the reader to reread the sentence a time or two to comprehend the meaning.
There are no elephants whatsoever int he story except the mythical elephants supporting the flat earth and a statue commemorating the missing fifth elephant.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joe ljungdahl
I admit that this is one book that probably doesn't need another review to praise it, but it is just so hard *not* to recommend The 5th Elephant. If you carry it around (esp the hardcover edition) you'll get strange looks from people wondering what kind of weird book you're reading, saying, "Isn't that the Fifth *Element* with Bruce Willis?"
But nothing could be farther from the truth. With its colorful characters, nonstop action, and zany settings Pratchett has once again made Ankh-Morpork and Discworld a wonderful place to get away to. Sometimes the British humor is a little odd for American readers to get used to, but nevertheless is always amusing. A wonderful way to get to know a wonderful fantasy series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ekaterina
Ordinarily, if you have to have read books prior, I think that limits the rating to at most a 4 stars; The Fifth Elephant is a prime exception.
Yes, you would benefit from a little familiarity with Carrot and Angua's tempestuous interspecies awkwardness, Sam Vimes' reluctant rise to nobility, and the ever-hilarious Dwarves and their deadly bread. This story is so strong and packed with twists, however, that there's never enough time to notice. Terry Pratchett's plotcraft has only gotten better over the years, and this is one of his best.
The Fifth Elephant can be a good starting off point, therefore, beacause after meeting all these characters, you'll immediately want to know more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ankit jain
Better than Carpe Jugulum, which I read at the same time. (It at least has many more footnotes, which is a sign of quality in any Discworld book.) It features Vimes of the Watch being sent on a diplomatic mission to witness the coronation amongst the dwarves and subsequently to solve a crime with vampires and werewolves about. This seemed to be a livelier and more varied book. Vimes is a fairly interesting character that hasn't been overused yet. And there are some good lines. I seem to remember one about Vimes falling asleep among wolves and awaking, surprised to find he still has his arms and legs-the actual phrasing is a typical Pratchett twist that unfortunately I can't recall.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
beth howard
I repeat the previous reader's comments about how sad it is the way you Americans suffer. I cannot imagine Discworld books without Josh Kirby's covers and you have to wait forever for them to come out! But it is worth the wait. Although not as good in my view as some of the other guards books (I know many that disagree) this is still brilliant and I give it 5 stars because Men at Arms and Guards! Guards! Deserved 6 (there is a little too much Sam Vimes and Fred Colon for my liking). There is lots of Igor and lots of werewolves but little Patrician and the crime is good, I will say no more. I echo the fact you must read previous novels to appreciate them - make sure you read Carpe Jugulum the previous Dicworld, Small Gods and Pyramids. Pratchett is so big over here you would not believe and it is good to see that he is being discovered across the pond. The jokes seem to becoming thinner on the ground but it doesn't matter at all in my view as everything else gets better especially the characters and the plots. I do believe it is time for a new set of Discworld characters. Read this however and you will not be disappointed it ranks up their with the best- Long live the Discworld!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
liz gabbitas
Vimes is now at the pinnacle of his career, and is sent by the Patrician to the city of Bonk in Uberwald as ambassador Vimes, Duke of Ankh-Morpork. This book goes deeper into dwarf culture, and we learn more about the importance of baked goods and why the Dwarf Bread Museum is so fascinating to Carrot. There is also a fair dose of satirical politics to be found here: just like America needs oil, Ankh-Morpork needs fat, and the finest fat, mostly free of BCBs (burnt crunchy bits) comes from the deep fat mines in Bonk. We also get to learn more about the Igors and Angua's strange, strange family. The down side to this book: as in Night Watch, Vimes is pushed and pulled madly by plot elements all around him, but we never really see him stretched.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mary angeli
For those hungry for more Discworld, here's a feast. Vimes is sent as ambassador and detective to Uberwald following a murder and a theft of an important dwarven artifact. Carrot plays a strong important role and his character is so wonderfully fleshed out that we want another book focusing oh him. As an adventure book, Fifth Elephant is top-notch. The action is nicely paced and Uberwald is hilariously intriguing.
The jokes are sometimes simple and sometimes hard to catch, but when you do, you laugh out loud.
Pratchett's strengths, plot, character, dialogue, are all present here in fresh amounts. This is a truly entertaining read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
len goodman
This is the first book I've read by Terry Pratchett--I know...Where have I been!--and I must say it was thoroughly enjoyable, and I certainly will not wait as long to pick up the next one. Though it sounds like most of you are quite familiar with his work, I found the blend of humor, mystery, fantasy and parody quite refreshing after all the traditional sword and sorcery fare, and look forward now to being able to go back to the beginning with "The Colour of Magic." I must say, though, that all the "stars" contained herein seem evidence of the usual ratings inflation: As much as I enjoyed this work, it seems to me to lack the depth or breadth of a classic.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
smita
While Discworld has always hovered somewhere in my circle of awareness, I felt that any series that has been going on this long might take a bit too much of my time to get caught up with its many different plotlines and characters. Well, a good writer will make it easy for you to grasp the gist of a series' foundations while moving the story forward for long time fans. I found, to my delight, that Pratchett is a good writer. THE FIFTH ELEPHANT takes Sam Vimes out of Ankh-Morpork and into Uberwald as a diplomat in charge of solidifying trade with the Dwarfs of that region. Add in a stolen Scone of Stone, werewolves, vampires, political machinations, and a group of Igors with an amazing affinity for surgery and you have the makings of ...I'm not sure what I would call it. But I do know despite my ignorance of the series' characters and there various qualities, I was able to get up to speed pretty quick, thanks to Pratchett's deft touch. I would have rated this a bit higher as I did find it laugh out loud funny on a few occasions, but I do feel there was a bit of kitchen sink effect here. Maybe, that's the norm for these books, but I did feel there was more going on in the novel than the plot could support comfortably. I did enjoy my first visit to Discworld and I will definitely have to visit again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jenny crane
Nice! Moving, thought-provoking, funny, and inclusive of Lady Sybil material (which is always good).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
angeline
Terry Pratchett is a phenomenal writer! I'll tell you that any of his books, especially the Disc World series are well worth picking up! In my youth I loved the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien (and yes, I'm talking pre-movie adolescence, thank you). I read any fantasy/adventure novels I could get my hands on. Eventually I ran out of books worth reading.... In my late teens I even resorted to Harry Potter, which I thought was amusing (but with a very low reading level) until I stumbled upon Terry Pratchett. Oh what a day! It was as if I had been waiting for his writing since the first time I picked up a book! The worlds he has created within the Disc world series are so interesting and entertaining. On each page he has spelled out endless wit, comedy, and enchantment. The characters hook you from the start and in each book you learn more about them and how they intertwine with one another. The imagery Pratchett depicts with his stories is absolutely amazing! And one of the things that I think is the best about this series is you don't necessarily have to read them in a particular order. There are a few here or there within the series that do fit better together read in a certain order but besides those you can just go with the next one that strikes your fancy. Every time I finish one I CANNOT wait for the next! Soon I'll be done with the series and this is sad... But reading them all was well worth it! See for yourself!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
bradyswenson
Although I love the Discworld series as a whole, I'm noticing a pattern that the ones I like the least all have Sam Vimes as the central character. I have nothing against Vimes as a character per se, but I'm beginning to suspect that some sort of "Vimes curse" exists: if Pratchett's using him, the book's ultimately going to be a disappointment.

Such was the case with The Fifth Elephant. The book started off promising, but about a third to half way through it seemed to be losing steam. Ironically, the ending seemed to drag on about 20 pages longer than it should have. In between, we have a number of tantalizing ideas that are ultimately left as unexplored red herrings. (I'm reading the series out of order, so I don't know if Pratchett was laying groundwork for future books, or if he just lost interest in them while writing.)

Another big problem I had with this book is that it had a heavy helping of overly-contrived plot convenience. Pratchett's proven that he's creative enough that he could certainly have come up with something better than the Deus Ex Machina that shows up ***a couple of times*** here.

Last gripe: in the beginning, it seems that we are going to have 3 interconnected subplots, but as the story shifts more and more to the Vimes angle, 1 of them (the Carrot/Angua arc) ultimately just becomes an unsatisfying Deus Ex Machina to get Vimes out of trouble at a critical moment, and the other (the Captain Colon arc) ultimately becomes weak comic relief -- which Pratchett (wisely) all but forgets about anyway.

Despite this, Fifth Elephant had a few amusing moments, and helped flesh out the Discworld Milieu. If you're a completionist, by all means give it a go, but remember to keep your expectations reasonable. Pratchett certainly has done better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
erica lewis
The Fifth Elephant is a continuation of Pratchett's attempts to become more 'mature' in his storytelling. As the author said, he can't continue writing about incompetent wizards forever (although many of his fans would disagree).
This novel set in the City Watch parodies equal opportunities and considers stereotypes. Unlike what others may say, part of Pratchett's success is his continual quality, although with this novel Pratchett writes in a slightly darker, grittier mode than before in his depictions of life in his fantasy New York.
I met Pratchett once, and he is very gracious to his fans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
badar
..and his performance in this book is no exception. He's been sent to Uberwald as a diplomat, a role he really does not want to play. However, when the dwarfish Scone of Stone is stolen, he gets to play a role he likes so much more- pulp-detective-fiction star. Not that this one's always pleasant- before the book's half over he's been arrested for touching the dwarfs' Low King and is being hunted down by werewolves. Meanwhile, back in Ankh-Morpork, Angua's gone missing, Carrot resigns to go look for her, and Sergeant Colon becomes Acting Captain Colon, a job he totally and utterly botches. How did the Scone get taken? By who? And why is it so important that that clerk didn't catch an orange?
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jessica viskup
This novel sparks with humour from time to time, and fairly swims in satire as Pratchett takes a good natured poke at everyone he can. A wolf called Gavin, Fat mines, Disappearing sugar, a race of Igors gleefully trading body parts (someone will be back on his feet this time tomorrow) are all the usual from Pratchett.

The Scone of Stone is a direct poke at the Scots and the Stone of Scone which was only recently returned by the English. The three gloomy sisters in the Cherry Orchard and Uncle Vanya all suggests that our Terry was leafing through his Tchekov when he wrote this book. And Lady Margalotta, the Vampire on the wagon (one night at a time?) make for good reading.

But while this book sparks and sputters from time to time, it never really takes off. Neither the story nor the humour. It is not up to the standard of early novels, or the novels that introduced characters such as Mort, Death, Guards Guards etc. It will go down well with the discworld fanatics, but if you are a newcomer to diskworld don't start here!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alyson mccartney
A quick summary: I have recently been bored by Pratchetts stuff: This is a good one. Takes place in Uberwald, the latest hangout for our Discworld characters. Sam Vimes and his wife are the characters in this story, focusing on the world of dwarfs and all sorts of entertaining, farcical nonsense. Igor makes another appearance and Gaspode too. The perpetual romance of Angua and Carrot. All in all, a pretty entertaining read. I keep thinking I'm going to stop reading this series, but Pratchett always manages to surprise and entertain me yet again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jillian woods
Except for I shall wear midnight which is on my shelf winking at me, I have read them all and this one is probably my favorite.
Among my all-time preferred you would also find
- A hat full of sky
- Jingo
- Guards guards
I liked a lot the hat full of sky, equal rites, wyrd systers and the wee free men, so I am bracing for a blast with I shall wear midnight, but for now the fifth elephant still remains my preferred one.
Ever.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brenda
I'm not that big a fantasy fan, but this is fantasy mixed with satire, allegory, puns, you name it, and so much fun. This is the 3rd book I've read in the Discworld series, and I haven't been disappointed with any of them
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ivy londa
If you're going to get any Pratchett book, get this one. The story is amazing, and was so well written I actually laughed out loud in some places, cried in others, and even cheered. You easily connect to the characters: feeling Angua's torment, Carrot's determination, and Vimes' confusion and frustration as he tries to figure out the attempted murder mystery surrounding him. This is the best book I've ever read, Pratchett, fantasy or otherwise, and will remain hard to beat. I -highly- suggest this title.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
muness castle
I have read 23 discworld novels and the fifth elephant was one i have enjoyed very much. my favorite discworld books include, the colour of magic, the light fantasic, mort,sourcery,SMALL GODS was very very good and finished perfectly, moving pictures i really like Gaspode Interesting times, reaper man, soul music, the hogfather and men at arms (stars Gaspode) I think that terry P should come to Australia he wrote a book similar to Australia called the last continet, which was quite good Rince wind is quite a good character. I th
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ghs library
If you already know Pratchett's books, then you can't go wrong with this one. Sam Vimes and his Night Watch are at it again, this time facing one of man's worst inventions... diplomacy!

Vimes is appointed ambassador and must travel to the dangerous world of Uberwald, inhabited by werewolves, vampires and dwarfs. While applying his special kind of sensitivity to issues like species or upeer class manners, Vimes must also cope with a murder and theft mistery, and a dangerous and lethal enemy.

This one is, in my opinion, one of the best books of the Discworld series. It has everything: mistery, action, violence and, above all, lots and lots of humor. Special mention goes to Sgt. Detritus, the first troll ever to become cultural aggregate.

Absolutely recommendable. However, to fully enjoy it, I would advise to get familiar with the cast of the Night Watch by reading any of their prtevious novels in the series: "Guards, Guards!" "Men at Arms" and "Feet of Clay".

You'll be certainly coming back for more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vicki grever
Even thought the plot was a little fuzzy around the edges, I really found this tale featuring my favorite Discworld characters to be a real treat. The members of the Ankh-Morpork Watch are all at their most interesting in this one. It was actually a tear-jerker at points which was totally unexpected, but so many laughs too, and that helped me through another hospital stay.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jo ann
It's good to see that Pratchett has recovered from the "Hogfather" debacle. In this book, Capt. Vimes is sent to Uberwald to sit in on the coronation of the new King of the Dwarfs. Along the way, he, is forced to solve a mystery about the missing crown jewels (bread) of the Dwarf kingdom. There are vampires, werewolves, and a bunch of guys named Igor. The way Pratchett wrote the vernacular for vampires and Igors was hilarious. Fifth Elephant, along with "The Truth" demonstrate that Pratchett is still going strong after 25+ novels.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
meghan moore
Terry Pratchett is an Englishman whose best-known work is the Discworld serie. The books are set in a place called Discworld which is a disc-shaped planet (thus the name). It rides on the backs of four elephants which are standing on the shell of Great A'tuin, a giant space turtle. As you might already have figured out, Discworld is a place where normal things don't happen - at least not very often. It's populated by humans, dwarves, vampires, dragons, witches, werewolves and whatever you can imagine.
The Discworld novels are often quite funny and they make parodies of the usual clichés of fantasy literature. But lately the books have started to have some darker twists in them, of which The Fifth Elephant is a good example. The Fifth Elephant continues the story of the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork. Since each of the Discworld novels are independent, you don't really have to read the earlier books but they do enlighten the characters' backgrounds.
If you want to learn more about Fifth Elephand and other Discworld books take a look at [...] .
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
emily booth
Terry Pratchett's Fifth Elephant was yet another enjoyable and exciting read. I have not read many of Pratchett's books but so far I can't read much else! He draws you away from this world and into another, filled with werewolves, sexist dwarves and Igors gleefully trading body parts.

Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork city Watch is reluctantly sent to the city of Uberwald to attend the coronation of the Low King. Then the Scone of Stone is stolen (without this there could be no King) and Vimes takes it upon himself to find the stone and the culprit.

Meanwhile Sergeant Angua (who is a Werewolf) sets off on her own journey to Uberwald to sort out her family problems with Carrot and Gaspode (a talking dog) following closely on her tail, leaving Ankh-Morporks Watch in complete dissaray.

This was a very funny and exhilarating book and I just can't wait to read more of the Discworld series but I did feel that too much was happening at once and on several occasions I was slightly confused. Maybe Pratchett should keep his characters to a smaller number in future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aria eleanor
Excellent book, great writing and a fascinating story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
erin raffety
I read this in a day because I couldn't put it down. This book is more suspenseful and more of a mystery story than some of the other Pratchett novels but the plot didn't detract from the characters at all. The guards are still going strong and I think they're Pratchett's most successful characters. I found the book funny too, although not the funniest of his books. I definitely recommend it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sarah korona
I love Terry Pratchett novels and even more than that, I love having the chance to listen to them. This cassette edition is narrated by Tony Robinson, who played Baldrick in the Black Adder series; he does a lovely job and the novel is, of course, funny and original. However, I must warn you, it is abridged and that does detract from the delight of it. Anyone considering purchasing this might want to instead consider the audio versions of The Wee Free Men or The Night Watch, also available on this website for reasonable prices.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jason randolph
In order to save a kingdom, Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Mor-Pork guard must go to Uberwald and unite a broken country. But while he is gone, the guard falls apart and unlicensed thieves steal from everyone in town. While Vimes is gone he has some problems of his own concerning ruby studded tights werewolves vampires and the Uberwald hierarchy. I recommend this book to anyone who likes humorous fantasy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
taryn
I've always thought that Discworld is what you would get if the Monty Python cast re-wrote Lord of the Rings. The tongue-in-cheek approach to fantasy is a welcome breath of fresh air. Some of his works (ex: Small Gods) bog down a little and the comedy is thin, but The Fifth Elephant is an excellent blend of genuine plot and humorous flavoring. I give 4-5 stars to the entire series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rina
Uberwald is a world of vampires, dwarves, and werewolves, where the most treasured artifact is a stale loaf of bread, where it is legal for a werewolf to hunt you to your death, and where a king can be elected because no one hates him enough. Enter Samuel Vimes, Commander of the Watch in Ankh Morpork, and fall over laughing as he and an assortment of wild characters attempt diplomatics with the barbaric Uberwaldians. I would definitely recommend this book to any of Pratchett's fans, as well as anyone who enjoys a witty book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mario pozzo
As the other reviews have said, this book is Terry at his near-best. It's funnier than the last couple I read (Jingo and Hogfather). I was afraid he'd gone into a decline, but now I know he hasn't. I think the members of the Watch are among his best, and it was thoroughly entertaining to watch the character development of Vimes, Cheery, Detritus, Colon, and Carrot as they are put into new situations. ..... HOWEVER, the state of the proofreading was APPALLING, to the point where I want to return the book. The typos and misplaced words were so frequent that they diminished my enjoyment of the story. If you care about value for your money, buy the paperback. I'm very resentful of having to shell out so much money for a hardcover book, only to see it so poorly put together. Grrrr! BAD Harper Collins!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
eric althoff
Simply one of the best books I've ever read. A mystery, a comedy, a drama, and sci-fi all rolled into one. Pratchett out did himself with this one. Fantasy can often take itself too seriously (or not seriously enough). This book doesn't even bother except in regards to storyline which stays compeling throughout every page.
Pratchett is a craftman, not just a writer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amberlee dingess
Classical Terry Pratchett plot and writing. Reformed (well maybe) vampires, Igors, wolves, dwarves, werewolves, and a few humans make this Discworld story one of his best.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alyse middleton
I am reading the DiscWorld books completely out of order. So far this is my favorite of all. The story is more than just witty satire and quick quips. There is social and political commentary and a great sub plot concerning Angua and Carrot. Carrot's character does quite a lot of growing in this book even though you don't see it until the very end.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dina rae
I bought this book with sweaty palms, ready for a Pratchett experience and I wasnt dissappionted, he delivered and in style. With a gripping crime genre book but with the quirkness of Vimes and the nobility of Carrot made a good story line. This was also one of his more intriquing books, involving more plot lines and a darker look on life, rather then something like Color of Magic or Soul Music where the world is colorful and bright. He made Uberwald a dark and mysterious place and in the same stroke made a mind numbing read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
adriana esquivel
I think the Night Watch books are Pratchett's best. The character Vimes, Cheery, Detritus, Colon, Carrot, Trolls, well, just all of them are well thought out. I want more Night Watch books!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
westbrook
I've found every book in this series to be funny, entertaining, and an enjoyable read. That said, if I had to rank this book compared to the others in the series, I'd have to put it on the low end. Pratchett generally keeps the stories fresh by cycling between his large cast of Discworld characters from one book to the next, but this book had too much of a "been there, done that" feel to it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jessica cave
The Fifth Elephant (not the 5th Element) is not just an enjoyable romp in the fields of satire. It is also a carefully crafted and deeply subtle work of literature. Its several intertwined plotlines may seem formulaic at times, but that's not the point. Don't skim through this one, but savor it a chapter or so at a time. This is thinking humor with a grain of truth in it, that cuts to the heart of real life. The characters are more real than before, in extreme and often poignant situations that demonstrate how good, how bad, and how infuriatingly average we can be. Outstanding, outstanding, outstanding.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
verity mclellan
And that's enough to get this book four stars straight off. As a longtime Pratchett fan though, I couldn't give it the extra star because it just can't compare with some of his earlier novels. If you're new to Pratchett, it's probably best to begin with the first Discworld novels ('The Colour of Magic' and 'The Light Fantastic') which are both incredible, or the first book involving the Ankh-Morpork Watch, 'Guards! Guards!', also one of his best in my opinion.
Fellow T.P veterans: not as good as 'Feet of Clay', but better than 'Jingo'. As much as I love the watch, it might be good if they were given a rest for a bit. Just how far can Vimes possibly get promoted?
Pratchett rocks. 'The Fifth Elephant' is thoroughly enjoyable, as always. Read it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
debbie k
Very entertaining with hidden social commentary.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emali steward
It is a Terry Pratchett novel: Duh, It has to be uncommonly humorous. I would rather have a beer and a bs session with Terry Pratchett than any other living person
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
doris pearson
I feel that with this book Pratchett truly expands himself as an author. Following in the foot steps of "Feet of Clay" Pratchett shows his ability to produce a captivating mystery storyline that will keep you guessing to the very end. Filled with suspense and excitment he further delevops many of his beloved characters from the previous "Guards" series breathing into them more life and personality than ever before. It is truly a great book and if you liked "Feet of Clay" you should definitetly read "The Fifth Elephant".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jessica morewood
Terry Pratchett has, probably, exceeded himself this time. An extremely comic work wich satyrizes our own world in a way that should make us ashamed of ourselves. The Fifth Elephant shows that a masterpiece doesn't have to be dull or boring (as Dickens showed us). At the same time this is probably the most romantic of Pratchett's books, dealing with emotions that are unusual in the Discworld series. I hope Mr. Pratchett will go on making fun of us, and make us look into ourselves through this amazing fantasy collection, for many years to come.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah
Very entertaining, and very humorous. A fast and enjoyable read. My first Terry Pratchett book, but certainly not my last.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sarah fletcher
I love Discworld, and 5th Elephant was entertaining, but it doesn't stand out as one of his better books. The giggles are few and far between, and you get the feeling the book carried on for a good fifty pages after what seemed like the true ending.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sarah radke
I haven't been able to get into thus one though I have tried a few times
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
slothmonster
A great read. Unexpected depth and sly humor. Terry never disappoints.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
komal mikaelson
I bought and read them all at once: Jingo, The Last Continent and The Fifth Elephant. As usually I enjoy everything by this author, but the Elephant (or Überwald to be more precise) in this case definitely outmached the other two. If you care about old legends and don't care much about politics - read it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david connors
Very political xD also six teen more words are required for me to post this review for you to read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
eleni
This book is the best Terry Pratchett book yet! It is realy funny, it has a really good mix of Sherlok Holmes, Lord of the Rings and a huge dollop of humor. A few people I know say that the humor is forced, and there is no good plot, but I don't think so. The plot leaves you guessing right till the end. I have read nearly all the Discworld books, and I have to say this is the best so far!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kemper
Vimes is the best. so are the Igors. It may not be the first about the watch it is probably the best. vimes inter actions with the vampires, dwarfs, and werewolves are great. i think i might just read it again.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
rebecca mehok
Is it just me who thinks that the Discworld has lost its life? I always loved Discworld- I read and re-read every book up to Fifth Elephant with gusto, and I loved them like no other books in the world. But when I read Fifth Elephant, I found something had changed. There is just no life to this book. It wasn't remotely funny, the plot was confusing and unexciting... I don't know why, but I just didn't enjoy reading this one. I got bored with it after the first few pages, and it was a chore to read the rest. It was awful for me; like having a good friend suddenly turn on me. Every book following Fifth Elephant has, in my opinion, only gone downhill. It's not that Pratchett has run out of ideas, but that he seems to have lost his enthusiasm. It's horribly depressing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa brogan
Terry Pratchett does it again with this Discworld novel, and it's a wonderful addition to the stories of the Watch!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
steve robinson
Just another in a long line of amazing Terry Pratchett novels.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jamie baker
If you haven't read this book then you are as deprived as a fish out of water mate. This is the lastest and best installation of the Guards!Guards! series from PTerry. Besides it being the best, it's also got Vampires, Werewolves and Dwarfs oh my! (But that's another sack of ferrets altogether). Read it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
parishrut
Superlatives do not exist in enough numbers to describe Mr Pratchett's work. Thats all there is to say really.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ine simpson
This was one of the best books I have ever read!!! I've always been a fantasy person, so this book was perfect for me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissasmithrn
I have read most of Terry Pratchett's other books, but The 5th Elephant beats all. It is a guards book that can not be beat. If you've ever even thought about liking Terry Pratchett, buy this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
liz johnson
This is classic, hysterical Pratchett. Loved it.
Please Rate (Discworld Novel 24) (Discworld series) - The Fifth Elephant
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