Summary and book reviews of Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

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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Book Summary

It is rare and splendid event when an author is elevated from the underground into the international literary establishment. In the case of England's best-known and best-loved modern satirist, that event has been long overdue.

Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent Discworld novels satirize and celebrate every aspect of life, modern and ancient, sacred and profane. Consistent number-one bestsellers in England, they have garnered him a secure position in the pantheon of humor along with Mark Twain, Douglas Adams, Matt Groening, and Jonathan Swift.

Even so distinguished an author as A. S. Byatt has sung his praises, calling Pratchett's intricate and delightful fictional Discworld "more complicated and satisfying than Oz."

His latest satiric triumph, Carpe Jugulum, involves an exclusive royal snafu that leads to comic mayhem. 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

Through the shredded black clouds a fire moved like a dying star, falling back to earth--

--the earth, that is, of the Discworld--

--but unlike any star had ever done before, it sometimes managed to steer its fall, sometimes rising, sometimes twisting, but inevitably heading down.

Snow glowed briefly on the mountain slopes when it crackled overhead.

Under it, the land itself started to fall away. The fire was reflected off walls of blue ice as the light dropped into the beginnings of a canyon and thundered now through its twists and turns.

The light snapped off. Something still glided down the moonlit ribbon between the rocks.

It shot out of the canyon at the top of a cliff, where meltwater from a glacier plunged down into a distant pool.

Against all reason there was a valley here, or a network of valleys, clinging to the edge of the mountains before the long fall to the plains. A small lake gleamed in the warmer air. There were forests. There were tiny ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

Consistently, inventively mad...wild and wonderful!

New York Review of Science Fiction

The funniest parodist working in the field today, period.

Publishers Weekly

Pratchett lampoons everything from Christian superstition to Swiss Army knives here, proving that the fantasy sire of Discworld 'still ate'nt dead'.

The Guardian (UK)

An enduring, endearing presence in comic literature...Pratchett's position as a leading comic novelist now seems as permanently assured as that of P.G. Wodehouse...Despite outward appearances, these cannot really be called fantasy novels, partly because Pratchett is too intent on undermining all the conventions of the genre and partly because they mirror so effectively the current concerns of our own society.

Mail on Sunday (London)

A brilliant story-teller with a sense of humour... whose infectious fun completely engulfs you.... The Dickens of the twentieth century.

Author Blurb A. S. Byatt
Discworld is more complicated and satisfactory than Oz....Has the energy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the inventiveness of Alice in Wonderland....Truly original. Pratchett creates a brilliant excess of delectable detail!

Author Blurb Elizabeth Peters
If I were making my list of Best Books of the Twentieth Century, Terry Pratchett's would be most of them.

Reader Reviews
Emmy

a look at good and evil
Probably my favorite Pratchett -- (in addition to anything with Sam Vimes). This examination of good and evil is superb, with a side-swipe on the stupidity of "niceness". Granny's journey into light and darkness is pure theology, and ...   Read More

Amanda

Of course the new characters are thin, they're vampyres. I loved this book, it's a great parody (and parody is what Terry does best)of all those vampire-type horror stories. All the aversion training with lemons and garlic is hilarious, and I now ...   Read More

George

I've been a Pratchett fan since "The Colour of Magic" and eagerly swept up new titles, making it a special point to visit Toronto where I could get titles not yet available in the U.S.

The triteness of the plot, the thinness of the new ...   Read More

Ron

FANS OF TERRY PRATCHETT WILL BE DISAPPOINTED. THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER READ PATCHETT SHOULDN'T START WITH THIS BOOK. THIS STORY ABOUT GOOD WITCHES VS BAD VAMPIRES PLODS ALONG AND READS LIKE SOMETHING TERRY THREW TOGETHER TO FULFILL A COMMITMENT. FOR SOME...   Read More

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