Carpe Jugulum

By Terry Pratchett

Carpe Jugulum, a novel by Terry Pratchett
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Translating the title take a bit better knowledge of Latin than I have (which is close to non). I can understand the Carpe part, but Jugulum? It turns out to mean something like "Go for the Throat" (that's Nanny Ogg's translation, not mine), which could be quite a hint towards the topic of this book, namely Vampires. And now that I've mentioned Nanny Ogg, most of you will have guessed that the main characters are the witches of Lancre (first appearing in Wyrd SistersPyramids for more on The Assassins Guild).

There's a new kind of king in Lancre, who's decided he wants to make friends of all his neighbours, and there for invites them to Lancre for the naming of his son. The Vampires of Uberwald are trying to be modern and are doing their best to move into the Century of the Fruitbat (before it's over), but they still need an invitation before they can enter other people's homes or countries. Now combine these two facts and you have the makings of a story.

Probably the best Discworld story that I've read in quite a while, the Vampires are funny and refreshing, the witches are forced to reinvent themselves and I really hope that we'll see the new character Oats again, but most importantly the word plays and jokes fall naturally and close together, keeping you smiling from the first to last.

Written on 1st July 2000 by .

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