Time to state the obvious: I really like Terry Pratchett’s work. Like, a lot. Perhaps a bit more than is generally considered socially acceptable. Shocking, I know.
I got a couple of his Discworld books for Christmas (The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic) and loved them both, but Monstrous Regiment came highly recommended to me by Pearl, and I decided I really ought to read it.
I love this book.
Like, seriously, I think this is my favorite ever Terry Pratchett book and maybe my favorite book of all time (except that that would dismiss Harry Potter. And The Odyssey. And The Crucible. And Lloyd Alexander and Cornelia Funke and a bunch of authors and books that ought not be dismissed.). It was perfect. The story was perfect, the characters were perfect, the message was perfect. The entirety of this book was exquisite in every way.
Here’s the basic plot (no spoilers, I promise): Polly Perks disguises herself as a man to join the army and find her brother. Hilarity ensues.
When I say “hilarity,” I mean I ended up laughing aloud at every single page of this book, without, as far as I know, exception. This was slightly awkward because most of my reading of this book took place in a coffee shop with other actual people present. Usually lots of them.
I’m sure I got a few strange looks, but I didn’t actually look up from the book long enough to find out.
This book is magical, even by Mr. Pratchett’s standards.
It is funny, it is meaningful, it is deep without trying. It even has a great message (as much as I love Terry Pratchett’s work, I often find myself disagreeing thematically with his ideas. This one, however, I found rather spot on.): “The enemy wasn’t men, or women, or the old, or even the dead. It was just bleedin’ stupid people, who came in all varieties. And no one had the right to be stupid.”
Thus, I find myself once again in love with a book.
To the new day being a great big fish—