Carpe Jugulum: A Novel of Discworld

Terry Pratchett, Author HarperPrism $24 (296p) ISBN 978-0-06-105158-6
Carpe Jugulum--seize the throat--is the motto of the family of ""vampyres"" who attempt a hospitable takeover of the kingdom of Lancre in Pratchett's 23rd Discworld novel. When the goodhearted king invited the Magpyrs to celebrate the birth of his daughter, he couldn't know that these modern bloodsuckers would have no intention of leaving. By controlling everyone's mind, they try to turn Lancre into a sort of farm, and no one can think straight enough to stop them. That is, until the vampyres meet up with the local witches: Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Magrat Garlick and Agnes Nitt (who is literally of two minds about everything). The perplexing skirmishes that ensue will leave readers shaking their heads in hearty dismay even as they groan at the puns and explanatory notes that pepper the tale. Death (scythe and all) and Igor (of Frankenstein film fame) provide the best gags. The novel exudes the curious feel of old-fashioned vampire and Frankenstein legends--full of holy water, religious symbols, stakes through the heart, angry mobs, bad pronunciation and garlic. The vampyres, however, have risen above these clich s even if their servant, Igor, still has a taste for dribbly candles and squeaky hinges. Pratchett lampoons everything from Christian superstition to Swiss Army knives here, proving that the fantasy satire of Discworld ""still ate'nt dead."" (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1999
Release date: 10/01/1999
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