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The Fifth Elephant: (Discworld Novel 24) (Discworld Novels) - Softcover

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9780552167628: The Fifth Elephant: (Discworld Novel 24) (Discworld Novels)
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'Precisely balanced . . . a cracking comic thriller' The Times

The Discworld is very much like our own - if our own were to consist of a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle, that is . . .

'Well, he thought, so this is diplomacy. It's lying, only for a better class of people.

They say that diplomacy is a gentle art. 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 job.

A few days ago Sam Vimes was a copper – an important copper, true – chief of police – but still, at his core, a policeman. But today he is an ambassador - to the mysterious, fat-rich country of Uberwald. Today, Sam Vimes is also a man on the run.

At some point during his ambassadorship, things went very wrong. It's snowing. It's freezing. And if Vimes can't make it through the forest, with only his wits and the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya (don't ask), there's going to be a terrible war.

There are monsters on his trail. They're bright. They're fast. They're werewolves - and they're catching up.
________________

The Discworld novels can be read in any order but The Fifth Elephant is the fifth in the City Watch series.

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Review:
Terry Pratchett has a seemingly endless capacity for generating inventively comic novels about the Discworld and its inhabitants but there is in the hearts of most of his admirers a particular place for those novels which feature the hard-bitten captain of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch Samuel Vimes. Sent as ambassador to the Northern principality of Uberwald where they mine gold, and iron and fat, but never silver, he is caught up in an uneasy truce between dwarfs, werewolves and vampires, in the theft of the Scone of Stone (a particularly important piece of dwarf bread) and in the old werewolf custom of giving humans a short start in the hunt and then cheating...

Pratchett is always at his best when the comedy is mixed with a real sense of jeopardy that even favourite characters might be hurt if there was a good joke in it. As always the most unlikely things crop up as the subjects of gags--Chekhov, grand opera, the Caine Mutiny--and as always there are remorselessly funny gags about the inevitability of story:

"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.

No one actually saw it land, which raised 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?

As for the dwarfs, whose legend it is, and who mine a lot deeper than other people, they say that there is a grain of truth in it".

All this, the usual guest appearances and Gaspode the Wonder Dog... -- Roz Kaveney
Review:
"Precisely balanced . . . excellent set pieces . . . a cracking comic thriller." (The Times)

"He would be amusing in any form and his spectacular inventiveness makes the Discworld series one of the perennial joys of modern fiction." (Mail on Sunday)

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  • PublisherCorgi
  • Publication date2013
  • ISBN 10 0552167622
  • ISBN 13 9780552167628
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages464
  • Rating
    4.3 avg rating
    ( 71,724 ratings by Goodreads )

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780062280138: The Fifth Elephant: A Novel of Discworld: 24

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  ISBN 13:  9780062280138
Publisher: Harper, 2014
Softcover

9780857524164: The Fifth Elephant: (Discworld Novel 24) (Discworld Novels)

Doubleday, 2016
Hardcover

9780413771155: The Fifth Elephant: Stage Adaptation (Methuen Drama) (Modern Plays)

Berg 3PL, 2002
Softcover

9780061051579: The Fifth Elephant: A Novel of Discworld

Harper..., 2000
Hardcover

9780552146166: The Fifth Elephant: A Discworld Novel: 24

Corgi, 2000
Softcover

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