Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

Carpe Jugulum (Discworld, #23) 

Carpe Jugulum (Discworld Book 23) by Terry Pratchett
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published September 8th 1999 by HarperPrism

Description: In a fit of enlightenment democracy and ebullient goodwill, King Verence invites Uberwald's undead, the Magpyrs, into Lancre to celebrate the birth of his daughter. But once ensconced within the castle, these wine-drinking, garlic-eating, sun-loving modern vampires have no intention of leaving. Ever.

Only an uneasy alliance between a nervous young priest and the argumentative local witches can save the country from being taken over by people with a cultivated bloodlust and bad taste in silk waistcoats. For them, there's only one way to fight.

Go for the throat, or as the vampyres themselves say...Carpe Jugulum.

My Review:  I was a little nervous starting this one, thinking it would be gory horror at it's finest. I was quite surprised to find it was a very humorous satire about vampires and witches. It did take me several chapters to get into it, but once I did, it was a lot of fun. This is part of a series, but I never felt lost at all just reading this one.

The king of Lancre is celebrating the birth of his new baby girl and invites the Magpyrs to join in the festivities. When Granny, Nanny, and Agnus realize there are vampires in their midst, ones who have no intentions of ever leaving, the do what they can to expose them for what they are...and fail...for these are modern vampires. These three witches set out to save their country and encounter a lot of fun, quirky characters along the way.

I loved the witches and the imagery. Granny was great fun and had a lot of good insight to share. Agnus and her inner counterpart, Perdita, constantly had me laughing. I can't forget Igor, with his lisp. I think my favorite part was when the witches were trying to determine if these guests were vampires or not. From garlic, to mirrors, to inner thoughts, and pink haze--it was a crazy, yet laughable experience.

Content: there were a couple of mild expletives used quite a lot, but apparently they're not considered swear words in England; there was some mild to moderate violence and blood, but nothing gory.
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About the Author:
Terry PratchettSir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since. To date there are a total of 39 books in the Discworld series, of which four (so far) are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback (Harper Torch, 2006) and trade paperback (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). In 2008, Harper Children's published Terry's standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation. Terry's latest book, Snuff, was published in October 2011.

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 45 million copies (give or take a few) and have been translated into 33 languages.

In Dec. of 2007, Pratchett admitted to being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. On 18 Feb, 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010.

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