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{epub pdf} The Fifth ElephantAuthor Terry Pratchett –

They Say That Diplomacy Is A Gentle Art That Its Finest Practitioners Are Subtle, Sophisticated Individuals For Whom Nuance And Subtext Are Meat And Drink And That Mastering It Is A Lifetime S Work But You Do Need A Certain Inclination In That Direction It S Not Something You Can Just Pick Up On The JobWhich Is A Shame If You Find Yourself Dropped Unaccountably Into A Position Of Some Significant Diplomatic Responsibility If You Don T Really Do Diplomacy Or Haven T Been To School With The Right Foreign Bigwigs Or Aren T Even Sure Whether A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To Anyone, Sighted Or Otherwise, Then Things Are Likely To Go Wrong It S Just A Question Of How Badly

10 thoughts on “The Fifth Elephant

  1. says:

    You know what Goodreads really needs The ability for someone to leave multiple reviews of a book that they ve read at multiple points in their life.I d like to talk about my recent thoughts on this book, but I don t want to erase my old review or change the date on it Think how nice it would be to look back on your reading history and see how your attitudes have changed over the course of your life Books you loved as a kid that pale as you mature, versus books you liked when you were young that grow even better with ageI d love to see something like that added here What about you guys There s worse ways to start the year than reading some Pratchett So that s what I did I ve only read this one one once before, and that was years back, so it was fun and pretty fresh for me I m a big fan of Vimes, but even given my bias, this is a great book Probably not on the level of Pratchett s best Monstrous Regiment, Thud, Wee free Men but still a great book.

  2. says:

    I know that many have stated that there had been a decline in his 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 book have progressed, he has leaned less toward the quick giggle and insane rush of nonsense and 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 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 plot driven novel, but the humor is still there Cheery accompanies Vimes back to her homeland as military attach and unfortunately her modern ways cause issues amongst the traditional dwarves of Uberwald Detrius the Troll attends as the cultural attach , 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 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 to learn from, I think this is an excellent addition to the Discworld series.

  3. says:

    So this is diplomacy It s like lying, only to a better class of people So says Sam Vimes Terry Pratchett in his 1999 novel The Fifth Elephant Discworld fans also know that this 24th Discworld book was a return of the wonderfully entertaining City Watch sub series In this edition, Pratchett has the Duke of Ankh go to Uberwald on a diplomatic mission for which Vimes is uniquely qualified.Pratchett had previously visited the vampires in Uberwald in the 23rd Discworld book, 1998 s Carpe Jugulum Here, readers finally get to see first hand the creepy gothic Discworld region referenced in many Discworld books as a home of dwarfs, vampires, werewolves and Igors.Like all Discworld books, Sir Terry mixes in lots of humor and action with thought provoking themes and musings Here we have fun with truth and diplomacy, eastern European folklore, royalty and conflict between orthodox and reform elements, as well as progressive politics One aspect of this book that was an unusual surprise was the idea of Ankh Morpork as a kind of pluralistic, multi cultural haven, almost an ugly America but hospitable in some respects than the old country.Not as funny as some other Discworld novels, but complete with Pratchett s inimitable style and humor, this is still very enjoyable.

  4. says:

    Let me see if I ve got this right, said Vimes berwald is like this big suet pudding that everyone s suddenly noticed, and now with this coronation as an excuse we ve all got to rush there with knife, fork and spoon to shovel as much on our plates as possible Your grasp of political reality is masterly, Vimes Your lack only the appropriate vocabulary Vetinari was throwing him amongst the wolves And the dwarfs And the vampires Vimes shuddered And Vetinari never did naything without a reason So His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh Commander Sir Samuel Vimes aka my chosen Literary Husband is going to the dangerous, faraway country of berwald, where there is no Law, only The Lore, as Ambassador of Ankh Morpork He is of course eager ahem and ready to hand round the cucumber sandwiches like anything and to get the hang of or just to hang diplomacy, but his policeman s nose and insticts tell him that something is rotten in the state of berwald and it is not the hot baths First of all, the Scone of Stone, this most famous and priceless of dwarf bread, having seated the Low Kings of the Dwarfs since some fifteen hundred years, goes missing The Low King cannot be Low King without this artifact The werewolves with their mad leader, Wolfgang, who happens to be Sgt Angua s brother, are definitely up to something And where do the vampires, lead by the Lady Margolotta and possibly former love interest of Lord Vetinari hmmm, hmmm come into this picture Vimes has a lot to figure out while incidentally also running for his life and those of others, possibly.And what has a cherry orchard with 3 spinsters got to do with it Not much, admittedly, but I certainly appreciated the literary hint And the humour, and poignancy, and Vimes, of course I did tell you about, yes, I did, didn t I OK.A great book in the Watch series well, all books are great in the Watch series and one I return to again and again with pleasure.And Vimes meeting DEATH. PRICELESS He took his hands off the oars and pulled in the mooring rope If I make a couple of loops, he thought, I can strap the axe on to my back.He had a mental picture of what could happen to a man who plunged into the cauldron below a waterfall with a sharp piece of metal attached to his body.GOOD MORNING.Vimes blinked A tall dark robed figure was now sitting in the boat Are you Death IT S THE SCYTHE, ISN T IT PEOPLE ALWAYS NOTICE THE SCYTHE I m going to die POSSIBLY Possibly You turn up when people are possibly going to die OH, YES IT S QUITE THE NEW THING IT S BECAUSE OF THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE What s that I M NOT SURE That s very helpful.

  5. says:

    Re Read.But you know what Other than the whole dwarf rock bits, the murders, werewolves, theft, and Detritus s exploding crossbow, I SWEAR this is a book about Brexit.Of course, it could really be about making the European Union, but really it s about Brexit berwald is, of course, England It s kinda obvious Backward, reactionary, full of wolves, vampires, and werewolves And Igors Of course, Igors.Isn t that amazing How did Pratchett predict all these events back in 1999 Hello, dwarves Of course the rest of the EU is actually Ankh Morpork.Eerie So where is EU s Vimes Come solve the crime BTW, I liked this book the second time I read it better than the first Tastes change and sometimes books improve.

  6. says:

    So much is happening in this 24th Discworld novel.A dwarf king will be crowned in berwald so the Patrician is sending Sam Vimes in his capacity as duke to participate in the coronation ceremony As, no doubt, planned by the Patrician, sending Vimes ensures that justice will be done Because there is a theft, a murder, diplomacy, a lot of very impolite werewolves, vegetarian vampires and plots Oh, and then there are regular wolves, Gaspode, and some members of the Watch Carrot, Angua, Detritus and Longbottom.I very much liked how the spotlight shone on characters that had been explored only marginally until now Thus, Carrot was not the unfailing hero here so Angua got to shine much Angua s family history was also a nice touch Just like Longbottom s complicated status in this sometimes backwards dwarf kingdom Most wonderful was to see Lady Sybil stepping up and taking bars matters into her own, very capable, hands And then there was this Yes, that is Detritus the troll with his crossbow lol The action scenes here were not only thrilling but also hilarious in their details Just like the conversations between the Patrician and Leonard or Fred Colon panicking because he had to take over as captain.Sir Terry addressed a lot of themes in this volume, such as the ongoing gender identity amongst some dwarves, religion, traditions, facing political and social changes the different meanings of changing with the times we even have organ donation Well, body parts donation as a theme lol As usual, this was like putting on your favourite piece of clothing Like coming home I was thrown off by the new audiobook narrator Nigel Planer had quit and Stephen Briggs had taken over a little at first and wasn t actually happy by the end either, but maybe it will get better in the future I m just used to the different voices of the different characters especially Detritus However, being with Sam Vimes and the other members of the Watch is always great, and it was still a wonderful addition to the series, very entertaining while also critically examining aspects of human nature.

  7. says:

    Aw, man First the Scone of Stone goes missing Then Angua disappears and Carrot is off to find her With Sam Vimes on his way to the coronation in Uberwald, that leaves Fred Colon as Acting Captain of the Watch The horror, the horror He annoys everyone and makes a general mess of everythingnot to mention that his principles make him reluctant to investigate the death of a local manufacturer of rubber preventatives Sound confusing It s not At least, not yet Throw in some assorted dwarfs, trolls, wolves and werewolves, all with their own foibles and agendas, and your head may start to spin a bit.Welcome to Discworld where just about anything can happenand so, it DOES.I was definitely NOT expecting to meet a certain three sisters who talk a lot about the weather and how much better things used to be One of these dissatisfied ladies has a suggestion You know, I bet if we cut down the cherry orchard, I m sure we could put in a roller skating rink They also reluctantly offer to help clothe a nearly nude Vimes We have the gloomy and purposeless trousers of Uncle Vanya This is one terrific outing by Pratchett, who even manages to offer some marital advice 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 Learn this valuable skill, guys and gals Yes, it does work for women, too I use this technique when my husband s going on and on about his day at work, and believe me, it s a lifesaver

  8. says:

    Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2019.In the country of Uberwald the Low King of the dwarfs is about to be crowned As the second largest dwarf city in the world Ankh Morpork needs to seen a representative and the Patrician decides on the Duke of Ankh, Commander Sam Vimes But Uberwald is a country in careful balance between vampires, werewolves and dwarfs and politics are afoot, particularly as Vimes includes Sergeant Detritus and Corporal Cheery Littlebottom in his entourage Trolls and dwarfs still fight each other in Uberwald, and a female dwarf is something that traditional dwarfs get upset about.This has long been one of my favourite books in the series All the Watch books are basically Vimes books, but his supporting cast really get to play here Lady Sybil gets the first really great outing since she was initially introduced, and we finally see some progress in whatever is going on between Angua and Carrot With Carrot backgrounded for most of this Detritus and Cheery also really get to shine, and this is a brilliant book for Cheery.

  9. says:

    8.5 10Back to form after a disappointing outing last time with Jingo This is another stonking effort in the Watch sub series making it hard for me not to start raving about them to people and tell them if they ve not read them then they need to pick them up and get cracking Plot wise things are shaken up again I did groan a little when I learnt that Vimes would yet again be leaving Ankh Morpork for a distant land like in the last novel, but this time it proved to be an inspired choice and worked really well adding in some new fresh characters and adding extra layers to a few we already know A fish out of water in a new land but yet Vimes still evolves into someone to be reckoned with whilst discovering a plot to start a civil war, solving a murder and handling a union strike at home well he didn t do anything with that but he sorted it in spirit There was a much darker feel to this book than I ve previously seen in the Discworld novels even the ones with Death which could become quite morbid if you think about it but Terry Pratchett has enough humour in his locker to add some light relief along the way to keep things on this side of crazy batshit I think the whole story had enough to put this at the top of my favourite Watch novels and up there with some of the better reads of the last few years high praise indeed It s good to read these as a light break in between other reads but this one shows these shouldn t be underestimated and really do work very well as a great book on many levels My ignorance on some of the humour is quite apparent too but that isn t the author s failing, that s the English Education System definitely not me and my lack of wanting to learn at school Looking forward to the next one now but unhappy that there are only 3 left in the sub series to go.If you like this try Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

  10. says:

    Another fantastic entry in the Watch series, possibly one of my favourites Lots of character development and a fun plot There s not much to say since this is a sequel and I wouldn t want to spoil it for future readers, but boy does Terry Pratchett make politics fun Add a dash of werewolves, a sprinkle of vampires and a whole lot of Igors, and you ve got a great book.