Excerpt from Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Carpe Jugulum

By Terry Pratchett

Carpe Jugulum
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  • Hardcover: Oct 1999,
    296 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2000,
    384 pages.

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And so the sons and daughters of Lancre went off into the world, carved out careers, climbed the various ladders of achievement, and always remembered to send money home.

Apart from noting the return addresses on the envelope, those who stayed didn't think much about the world outside.

The world outside thought about them, though.

The big flat-topped rock was deserted now, but on the moor below, the heather trembled in a V-shape heading toward the lowlands.

"Gin's a haddie!"
"Nac mac Feegle!"

There are many kinds of vampires. Indeed, it is said that there are as many kinds of vampires as there are types of disease. And they're not just human (if vampires are human). All along the Ramtops may be found the belief that any apparently innocent tool, be it hammer or saw, will seek blood if left unused for more than three years. In Ghat they believe in vampire watermelons, although folklore is silent about what they believe about vampire watermelons. Possibly they suck back.

Two things have traditionally puzzled vampire researchers. One is: why do vampires have so much power? Vampires're so easy to kill, they point out. There are dozens of ways to dispatch them, quite apart from the stake through the heart, which also works on normal people so if you have any stakes left over you don't have to waste them. Classically, they spent the day in some coffin somewhere, with no guard other than an elderly hunchback who doesn't look all that spry and should succumb to quite a small mob. Yet just one can keep a whole community in a state of sullen obedience . . .

The other puzzle is: why are vampires always so stupid? As if wearing evening dress all day wasn't an undead giveaway, why do they choose to live in old castles which offer so much in the way of ways to defeat a vampire, like easily torn curtains and wall decorations that can readily be twisted into a religious symbol?

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From Carpe Jugulum. Copyright (c) 2000 by Terry Pratchett. Reprinted with permission from HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

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