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The Fifth Elephant (1993)

de Terry Pratchett

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Discworld: City Watch (5), Biblioteca Terry Pratchett (24)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
8,81795703 (4.06)203
Sam Vimes is a man on the run. Yesterday he was a duke, a chief of police and the ambassador to the mysterious fat-rich country of Uberwald. Now he has nothing but his native wit and the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya (don't ask). It's snowing. It's freezing. And if he can't make it through the forest to civilisation there's going to be a terrible war. But there are monsters on his trail. They're bright. They're fast. They're werewolves--and they're catching up. Sam Vimes is out of time, out of luck, and already out of breath...… (més)
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» Mira també 203 mencions

Anglès (87)  Alemany (3)  Polonès (1)  Neerlandès (1)  Suec (1)  Noruec (1)  Castellà (1)  Totes les llengües (95)
Es mostren 1-5 de 95 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Very good! Top form Pratchett.

The Clacks are very cool, Uberwald is a great setting, and the werewolves and dwarves both had a lot of interesting stuff going on (and Lady Margoletta floating around too, of course). There were some really well-written scenes, like The Game, and Gaspode & Carrot’s journey. Still dislike Colon a lot but you’re supposed to this time, and I appreciate Nobby more now that he’s a union man.

Btw, I like Angua and Carrot’s relationship quite a bit, but I feel like I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop— and Angua seems to be waiting for it too. Either Carrot needs to fail at something, or Angua needs to accept she’s worthy of perfect love from him, I think. Not to overanalyze the relationship of two fictional characters. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
Interestingly, I thought I was going to enjoy this one far less than the previous 23. I will say the lack of narrator Nigel Planer was definitely felt, especially when it came to Carrot, Death, and Detritus. I won't say this new guy is terrible, but he has completely changed the voices and inflections of characters I've come to know and love over more than half of this series.

Ignoring that, I found this story to be much darker, much more serious. Is there laughs? Of course there's laughs, but overall, this one held a much more sombre tone. Initially, I found I just wasn't enjoying this one that much.

And then—and I can't point to exactly where or when—suddenly, I was in the story just as much as I'd been in the previous 23. All in. And enjoying this for what it was. This one is very much a commentary on the game of politics and diplomacy (which, by the way, I typically don't find interesting in the least). Along the way, there's also some very serious examinations of the differences between us, whether it's gender, race, or nationality, and how, really, we don't have to necessarily like all the differences, but we really should make the effort to accept them for what they are, and work with them.

And those that don't make that effort? Well, they ultimately pay a fairly steep price.

I found myself wishing that our real-life diplomats and leaders were as intelligent as some of Pratchett's literary ones.

So, in the end, despite not digging this one that much at the beginning, by the end, I feel this may well have been one of the strongest entries in the Discworld series. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
I am a big fan of the Discworld series, and so I enjoyed this book. However, I find it to be middle of the pack when it comes to Discworld. It was fun. and I liked reading it, but it lacked the brilliance of other books in the series. If you are a fan of the series, I would recommend it, but I wouldn't start the series with this one. ( )
  queenofthebobs | Aug 15, 2021 |
So this is diplomacy. It’s like lying, only to a better class of people.

More than most of the Guards series (or Discworld in general), [b:The Fifth Elephant|63720|The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5)|Terry Pratchett|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327961702s/63720.jpg|819126] is driven by a strong plot rather than leaning on characters and jokes. It's actually a nice change from many of the other books, although I do like both styles.

This time around, The Patrician is sending Vimes and his wife off as ambassadors to Uberwald--land of Dwarves, werewolves, and vampires. In an overall reading, this would be just after [b:Carpe Jugulum|34541|Carpe Jugulum (Discworld #23; Witches #6)|Terry Pratchett|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1388895900s/34541.jpg|1494234], but since I'm reading series by series, it's been a while. Uberwald is still interesting though. And a nice contrast to the Ankh-Morpork of the last few books.

Mostly, it's a book about Vimes--who continues to be a wonderful combination of grumpy and overly straight forward; just the sort of 'ambassador' that makes the more traditional ambassadors nervous. We also get some interesting scenes with Angua going back to her werewolf family roots (in Uberwald) and Carrot dealing with the fallout of that.

There are a few interesting ideas in the book, mostly related to the nature of long lived things / traditions:

“You did something because it had always been done, and the explanation was, ‘But we’ve always done it this way.’ A million dead people can’t have been wrong, can they?”

And a more Discworld way of looking at the Ship of Theseus.

“This, milord, is my family's axe. We have owned it for almost nine hundred years, see. Of course, sometimes it needed a new blade. And sometimes it has required a new handle, new designs on the metalwork, a little refreshing of the ornamentation . . . but is this not the nine hundred-year-old axe of my family? And because it has changed gently over time, it is still a pretty good axe, y'know. Pretty good.”

It's definitely a different sort of book than the early Discworld books--much more serious and darker--and we're drawing to the end of the subseries (3 left: [b:Night Watch|47989|Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6)|Terry Pratchett|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1320518310s/47989.jpg|1712283], [b:Thud!|62530|Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch #7)|Terry Pratchett|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1320495268s/62530.jpg|819104], and [b:Snuff|8785374|Snuff (Discworld, #39; City Watch #8)|Terry Pratchett|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1302694636s/8785374.jpg|13659124]). I'm curious where it will go next.
( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Sir Samuel Vimes, head of the Night Watch, becomes a diplomat and manages to thwart an attempt to undermine a king's coronation. Not enough Captain Carrot in this one. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 95 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Trying to summarize the plot of a Pratchett novel is like describing "Hamlet" as a play about a troubled guy with an Oedipus complex and a murderous uncle. Pratchett isn't Shakespeare -- for one thing, he's funnier -- but his books are richly textured, as the pundits say, and far more complex than they appear at first. You don't have to be familiar with folklore, Leonardo da Vinci and Capability Brown, the history of religion, "Macbeth" and Laurel and Hardy to appreciate them, but if you aren't, you will miss some of the in-jokes. Just consider yourself grabbed by the collar, with me shouting, "You've got to read this book!"
afegit per Shortride | editaThe Washington Post, Barbara Mertz (Web de pagament) (Apr 2, 2000)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (17 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Pratchett, Terryautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Briggs, StephenNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kidd, ChipDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kirby, JoshAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Matthews, RobinFotògrafautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mazzone, PhilipDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Many thanks to Peter Bleackley for his help with the dwarf opera Bloodaxe and Ironhammer, which was probably a lot better in his version (and had a lot more songs about gold).
Primeres paraules
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They say the world is flat and supported on the back of four elephants who themselves stand on the back of a giant turtle.

They say that the elephants, being such huge beasts, have bones of rock and iron, and nerves of gold for better conductivity over long distances.*

They say that the fifth elephant came screaming and trumpeting through the atmosphere of the young world all those years ago and landed hard enough to split continents and raise mountains.

*Not rock and iron in their dead form, as they are now, but living rock and iron. The dwarfs have quite an inventive mythology about minerals.
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Sam Vimes could parallel process. Most husbands can. They learn to follow their own line of thought while at the same time listening to what their wives say. And the listening is important, because at any time they could be challenged and must be ready to quote the last sentence in full. A vital additional skill is being able to scan the dialogue for telltale phrases such as "and they can deliver it tomorrow" or "so I've invited them for dinner?" or "they can do it in blue, really quite cheaply."
He wasn't strictly aware of it, but he treated even geography as if he was investigating a crime (did you see who carved out the valley? Would you recognize that glacier if you saw it again?)
A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.
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Cap

Sam Vimes is a man on the run. Yesterday he was a duke, a chief of police and the ambassador to the mysterious fat-rich country of Uberwald. Now he has nothing but his native wit and the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya (don't ask). It's snowing. It's freezing. And if he can't make it through the forest to civilisation there's going to be a terrible war. But there are monsters on his trail. They're bright. They're fast. They're werewolves--and they're catching up. Sam Vimes is out of time, out of luck, and already out of breath...

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