Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Monstrous Regiment: Book Review

To have your own custom world is a very convenient thing if you're a writer. You could take very much anything that happened in the real world, and re-imagine it as if it's happening in the world you've just created and had a story of your own. Further, you could tackle even the most sensitive subject (such as religions, politics) and re-told the story without offending anyone. It's very convenient. But of course, in order to do so, you have to really creates a world, apply their custom rules, creates its inhabitants, and creates its history, which of course, wasn't easy. At all.

"Monstrous Regiment" had its own little history behind its title and it was yet another Mr.Pratchett's story that took the world of Discworld as a backdrop. In short, it was about women's participations in a war with some little take on religion.

In Borogravia, where its inhabitants embraces a god called Nuggan, who decreed (among other things) that the colour blue, chocolate and sneezing are Abominations, a war was raging. Polly Perks decides to go into the army in an effort to find her brother Paul, and went into an army as Oliver Perks which was of course an Abbomination into Nuggans as she needs to cut her hair, wearing a pants (with a pair of socks), and swaying, and spitting, pretending that she was a man. Little does she knew that the regiment she was enlisted into, consisting of (among others) a coffee-addicted Vampire, a Troll, an Igor, a rather funny-in-the-head Liutenant with hints of dark history, a utterly-religious private, and a private with peculiar fascinating in fire.

Granted, making people laugh is a hard task. Especially if you means to do so through written words. It's a rare occassion for me to laugh, and even more to actually stop reading to stifled my laugh, but, with Mr.Pratchett's works that i've read so far, has never failed to do so. I was having a really funtime laughing especially at the earlier parts of the books where Polly makes her research and observation to how men's talked, cursed, swayed, and more importantly, spitted. It was also a fun ride when Polly adjusting her role as Private Perks and quickly gaining ranks through various incedental occurences.

However, as with other Mr.Pratchett's works that i've read so far, the half-end of the book weren't exactly as fun.

Once, the book finishes introduction and delved deeper into the more-serious territory, the reads become harder. Not only because Mr.Pratchett's was British (in my opinion, British English is far more difficult than the US English, quite probably because i used to US English more than British through entertainments), but because there were too many to my liking cross-references, and subtlety that sometimes i would read a passage several times before truly comprehending what the men were trying to hint at. Therefore, it was a particularly hard for me to finish the book.

Aside from that, it was pretty interesting in how Mr.Pratchett expresses his words on the role of women in times of war, in an occupation best known as a 'man-territory'.

Also see:
- Discworld
- Terry Pratchett

My rating: ** / ****

Digg this

No comments: