Title: The Fifth Elephant
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page Count (paperback): 370
Cover Rating: 3 out of 5. They should have made this covers a bit fancier and a little brighter. They're not bad . . . they just don't pop out at you with all the wonders of Discworld.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Everyone knows that the world is flat, and supported on the backs of four elephants. But weren't there supposed to be five? Indeed there word. So where is it? . . .
When duty calls, Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork constabulary answers. Even when he doesn't want to. He's been "invited" to attend a royal function as both detective and diplomat. The one role he relishes; the other requires, well, ruby tights. Of course were cops (even those clad in tights) go, alas, crime follows. An attempted assassination and a theft soon lead to a desperate chase from the low halls of Discworld royalty to the legendary fat mines of Uberwald, where lard is found in underground seams along with tusks and teeth and other precious ivory artifacts. It's up to the dauntless Vimes--bothered as usual by a familiar cast of Discworld inhabitants (you know, trolls, dwarfs, werewolves, vampires and such)--to solve the puzzle of the missing pachyderm. Which of course he does. After all, solving mysteries is his job.
My Thoughts: This was the first Discworld book I read, the second novel by Terry Pratchett, after Nation. I decided to read The Fifth Elephant because of the title, and the tone of the summary: I do love a character with attitude. Sam Vimes has it, too; he's one of the more amusing characters in the series, not just because of the crazy situations he ends up in, but because of the dialogue between him and other characters as well. He's still one of my top favorites. In addition, the supporting characters in this book are hilarious, from Lady Sybil to Colon to Corporal Nobby Nobbs.
Other: References, some violence.
Verdict: With great characters, a fast-moving plot, and an excellent setting, The Fifth Elephant is a Discworld book I recommend.
Other Terry Pratchett Month Posts:
Book Review: The Color of Magic
Book Review: The Light Fantastic
Discussion Post: On Humorous and Parodic Stories
Discussion Post: Anthropomorphism
Book Review: Good Omens
Movie Review: The Color of Magic
Book Review: Mort
Discussion Post: World Building Through A Series of Books: How And Why It Works
Book Review: Thief of Time
-----The Golden Eagle