Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book Report: The Fifth Elephant, by Terry Pratchett

Pratchett's books are never just fantasy, and they are never just comedy. They are always something more: social commentary, coming-of-age story and/or, as in most of the Guards books, a good mystery. In this one, a theft and murder in Ankh-Morpork arise from intrigue in a country far away where werewolves, vampires and dwarfs form an unstable political triangle. The plot is compelling, and although the characters are sketchy and often mere caricatures, the Dwarf society around which the mystery revolves is fascinating. It encompasses mysticism, opera, and tradition colliding with the demands of an outside world that can no longer be ignored. The parallels with the Arab world are many and obvious, but the social commentary never gets in the way of a great mystery adventure.

Ulysses Rating: 5 – I'll read this again and again.

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