Author: Terry Pratchett
Title: Monstrous Regiment
Narrator: Stephen Briggs
Publication Info: Harper Collins Publishers, 2004
Previously Read by the Same Author: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (with Neil Gaiman)
I’ve been wanting to find a way into the Discworld series but not knowing where to start, I asked folks on library Twitter, and this book was recommended as an entry point. This novel follows Polly Perks as she disguises herself as a man and joins the army in order to find her missing brother. Her ragtag regiment has a lot of individuals not ready for war as well as a vampire, troll, and an Igor. It turns out that Polly is not the only one in the regiment with a secret. Spoiler: It turns out that pretty much every member of the regiment is a woman. This leads to a comical plot where they go undercover disguised as washer women. This is a funny and sharply satirical book, and it does make me want to read more Discworld (recommendations welcome).
Veteran’s Day is the time we honor people who served in the military. These are people who often have seen the horror of war and try to express this to those of use divorced from its reality, and even today are among those most opposed to war. My hope for this and every Veteran’s Day is that our military is used wisely and that there we don’t end up with more people to remember on future Memorial Days.
Bruce Springsteen :: “Born in the U.S.A” – The bombastic chorus is often misinterpreted as blind patriotism, but the verses tell of the long lasting effects on a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Creedence Clearwater Revival :: “Fortunate Son” – Who goes to war often has less to do with patriotism and more to do with one’s position in society.
Eric Bogle :: “The Green Fields of France” – November 11th commemorates the end of The Great War which was supposed to be “The War to End All Wars” but still young people are sent off to fight.
Phil Ochs :: “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” – Tells the story of a veteran of all the United States’ wars who decides to refuse to fight any loner.
Bill Withers :: “I Can’t Write Left-Handed” – Another view of the lasting damage on a veteran of war.
The Clancy Brothers :: “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye” – The families and friends of veterans also suffer the iniquities of war.