Carpe Jugulum (Discworld Series #23)

Carpe Jugulum (Discworld Series #23)

by Terry Pratchett

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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King Verence, in a fit of enlightened democracy and ebullient goodwill, invites Uberwald's undead, the Magpyrs, into Lancre to celebrate the birth of his daughter. But everyone knows you don't invite vampires into your house—unless you want permanent guests. Once ensconced within the castle, these wine-drinking, garlic-eating, sun-loving modern vampires have no intention of leaving . . . ever. As the Lancre living are about to discover, there's only one way to fight. Go for the throat, or as the vampyres themselves say . . . Carpe Jugulum!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062280145
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Series: Discworld Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 93,680
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.


Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1948

Place of Birth:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England


Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt

Through the shredded black clouds a fire moved like a dying star, falling back to earth—
—the earth, that is, of the Discworld—
—but unlike any star had ever done before, it sometimes managed to steer its fall, sometimes rising, sometimes twisting, but inevitably heading down.
Snow glowed briefly on the mountain slopes when it crackled overhead.
Under it, the land itself started to fall away. The fire was reflected off walls of blue ice as the light dropped into the beginnings of a canyon and thundered now through its twists and turns.
The light snapped off. Something still glided down the moonlit ribbon between the rocks.
It shot out of the canyon at the top of a cliff, where meltwater from a glacier plunged down into a distant pool.
Against all reason there was a valley here, or a network of valleys, clinging to the edge of the mountains before the long fall to the plains. A small lake gleamed in the warmer air. There were forests. There were tiny fields, like a patchwork quilt thrown across the rocks.
The wind had died. The air was warmer.
The shadow began to circle.
Far below, unheeded and unheeding, something else was entering this little handful of valleys. It was hard to see exactly what it was; furze rippled, heather rustled, as if a very large army made of very small creatures was moving with one purpose.
The shadow reached a flat rock that offered a magnificent view of the fields and wood below, and there the army came out from among the roots. It was made up of very small blue men, some wearing pointy blue caps but most of them with their red hair uncovered. They carried swords. None of them was more than six incheshigh.
They lined up and looked down into the new place and then, weapons waving, raised a battle cry. It would have been more impressive if they'd all agreed on one before, but as it was it sounded as though every single small warrior had a battle cry of his very own and would fight anyone who tried to take it away from him.
"Nac mac Feegle!"
"Ach, stickit yer trakkans!"
"Gie you sich a kickin'!"
"Dere c'n onlie be whin t'ousand!"
"Nac mac Feegle wha hae!"
"Wha hae yersel, ya boggin!"

The little cup of valleys, glowing in the last shreds of evening sunlight, was the kingdom of Lancre. From its highest points, people said, you could see all the way to the rim of the world.
It was also said, although not by the people who lived in Lancre, that below the rim, where the seas thundered continuously over the edge, their home went through space on the back of four huge elephants that in turn stood on the shell of a turtle that was as big as the world.
The people of Lancre had heard of this. They thought it sounded about right. The world was obviously flat, although in Lancre itself the only truly flat places were tables and the top of some people's heads, and certainly turtles could shift a fair load. Elephants, by all accounts, were pretty strong too. There didn't seem any major gaps in the thesis, so Lancrastrians left it at that.
It wasn't that they didn't take an interest in the world around them. On the contrary, they had a deep, personal and passionate involvement in it, but instead of asking "why are we here?" they asked "is it going to rain before the harvest?"
A philosopher might have deplored this lack of mental ambition, but only if he was really certain about where his next meal was coming from.
In fact Lancre's position and climate bred a hard-headed and straightforward people who often excelled in the world down below. It had supplied the plains with many of their greatest wizards and witches and, once again, the philosopher might have marveled that such a four-square people could give the world so many successful magical practitioners, being quite unaware that only those with their feet on rock can build castles in the air.
And so the sons and daughters of Lancre went off into the world, carved out careers, climbed the various ladders of achievement, and always remembered to send money home.
Apart from noting the return addresses on the envelope, those who stayed didn't think much about the world outside.
The world outside thought about them, though.
The big flat-topped rock was deserted now, but on the moor below, the heather trembled in a V-shape heading toward the lowlands.
"Gin's a haddie!"
"Nac mac Feegle!"

There are many kinds of vampires. Indeed, it is said that there are as many kinds of vampires as there are types of disease.* And they're not just human (if vampires are human). All along the Ramtops may be found the belief that any apparently innocent tool, be it hammer or saw, will seek blood if left unused for more than three years. In Ghat they believe in vampire watermelons, although folklore is silent about what they believe about vampire watermelons. Possibly they suck back.
Two things have traditionally puzzled vampire researchers. One is: why do vampires have so much power? Vampires're so easy to kill, they point out. There are dozens of ways to dispatch them, quite apart from the stake through the heart, which also works on normal people so if you have any stakes left over you don't have to waste them. Classically, they spent the day in some coffin somewhere, with no guard other than an elderly hunchback who doesn't look all that spry and should succumb to quite a small mob. Yet just one can keep a whole community in a state of sullen obedience . . .
The other puzzle is: why are vampires always so stupid? As if wearing evening dress all day wasn't an undead giveaway, why do they choose to live in old castles which offer so much in the way of ways to defeat a vampire, like easily torn curtains and wall decorations that can readily be twisted into a religious symbol?

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Carpe Jugulum 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
princessofpersia More than 1 year ago
I believe I have all the Discworld books and this is one of my favorites. Besides being the only one almost entirely about vampires, I think this book introduces Agnes Nitt and I love how in all of the Discworld books our favorite characters can come and go as they please without having to read 300 pages of backstory each time. Terry has a way of taking everything from the real world and twisting it around to fit in the Discworld like some hilarious game of satire Tetris.
iamiam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of his best, somehow containing all the pop-culture references of shlock horror films, as well as old wives tales and even some old wives. Brilliantly balanced into one humorous whole, this makes slogging through Small Gods worth the effort.
polarbear123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Better than The Last continent - mainly because here we have a narrative and something actually happens. So we have an enjoyable yarn about vampires and all of the associated jokes you can imagine therein. But also there are some interesting musings on the nature of religion so the philosophy is not totally left out this time. If you like Ogg, Weatherwax and Magrat then you can't go wrong really!
paulmorriss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With so much vampire stuff going on in films and books this is a refreshing take on the theme. Up to his usual high standard.
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very amusing follow-on from Small Gods. I intially didn't like it so much, but have greatly enjoyed the re-read. Following the ascention of the prophet Brutha in Omnia, the fire and sword priests have splintered inot thousands of sects leaving the Quite Reverand Oates very confused. When he arrives in Lancre for the naming cermony of the royal couples first child, he has few ideas about the wirtches who reside there, but a short introduction to Nanny Ogg soon puts him right. King Verace who is always keen to be up to date with the latest modern inclusive thinking has invitied everyone in the neighbourhood, including the local Uberwalden vampire clan Count Magpyr and family. Now the Count is a modern vampyre (Note Spelling) and as such only a century or so behind the times. He believes in the ultimate superiority of the vampyre species, the domination (rather than slaughtering) of humans and most of all, he doesn't believe in all of the vampires normal weaknesses. Pretty soon however he is going to realise that Granny Weatherwax doesn't hold with any of this happening on her turf. On the surface this is little more than a straight send-up of Dracula, and all the similar B movies, where there is always a handy crucifix lying around when you need one - and how you would defeat a vampire when this convenient plot device is denied to you. Underlying this simple spoof though is a much more nuanced comentary on the usual variety of themes. Key in this book is religion, with Quite Reverand doubting Oates enduring a trek with Granny thorugh the wilderness, each scoring points off the other. There are also a few comparisons about different ways to rule a population, contrasting between Nanny's spontaineous mob, the population ignoring the King, and the 'volantary' associations of the vampre's townships. As usual with any book featuring Granny, the foremost point is to think clearly for yourself about what the issues are. This is something we could all take away and apply to any situation in 'the real world'. It isn't one of his best books though, the vampires are annoyingly overdone without quite being funny enough. There's a major plothole in that previously Uberwald hasn't been anywhere near Lancre, certainly not the few hours coach journey that it takes them to drive there, or even less that Granny and Oates can walk it. Also it's not quite clear why Granny can relinquish the ability of the Count's training. And what is the pheonix doing? But these are minor quibles. Read it, enjoy the puns, the ribald commentry from Nanny, and revel in the artistry of Granny's abilities - and view each sunny day as something to believe in.....................................................................................................................
soniaandree on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The witches are my favourite Discworld characters, especially Granny Weatherwax. So when vampires threatened the kingdom of Lancre, I was expecting Granny to show the full force of her magic. She wasn't going to let some bloodsuckers barge in without a fight, and she has shown herself to be most able to deal with them - like in 'Witches Abroad', she goes beyond the physical limits of her world and her friends will also learn a lot about themselves in the course of this adventure. Very good book, especially if you like the witches.
Greatrakes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Seize the Jugular!A modernising vampire is invited to Lancre, and takes over the kingdom. A clever satire on modernism, and the way in which evil comes in, through the back door, and wearing the mask of progress. At the end of The Century of the Fruit Bat Vampires have discovered farming, and townsfolk are their herds. Standing between the dark and the light, and drawn to both, is my favourite Discworld character, Granny Weatherwax. One of the most thoughtful Discworld novels.
mojacobs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A princess has been born in the kingdom of Lancre, and King Verence has invited all his neighbours to the christening. Special attention has been given to the invitations of the witches - but where is Granny Weatherwax's invitation - surely she cannot have been forgotten?And why on earth has King Verence invited the Magpyr family, vampires (or vampyres as the Count would have it) from Dontgonearthecastle in Uberwald - surely he should have known that vampires cannot enter a place uninvited! But once you have let them in, they are very hard to get rid of...I love the Discworld series and this one too has lots of action, lots of humour, even a bit of philosophy. The plot rattles a bit, and the storyline is simpler than in the best Pratchett books, but I still enjoyed it a lot.
love2laf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've finally reached the point where I'm reading a new-to-me Discworld, and not a re-read, yay! The witches are growing on me more and more, and this vampire (or vampyre) oriented novel is not just funny & punny, there is a page-turning tension to find out what happens next.
Aldrea_Alien on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oh how I adored this. From the title (Seize the Jugular ^_^), to the characters and the concept. Yes, it¿s a bit similar to Lords and Ladies, but this had a more entertaining edge.I mean, there are my favourite witches and we get vampires? And we¿re poking fun at all the classic vampire movies? How could I not love? I just wish real life hadn¿t gotten in the way so many times and let me read this in a sane timeframe.It starts off quite innocent, then takes a nose dive as the vampires (sorry, vampyres) arrive in Lancre with the intent to stay and farm the local populace. Worse yet, these vamps have learned and ain¿t going down to an axe on the neck, very mind a simple garlic clove. And what fun would it be if they did?Things are completely thrown off-guard for me as I was expecting Granny to hop in and save the day. She¿s Granny after all. But no, she cannot. Instead it¿s left to Anges. It¿s interesting to see the `maiden¿ of the witchy trio her muddle her way through the whole scene, including fighting off the advances of Vlad, a vampire who just can¿t seem to get what ¿sod off¿ means (or what a well-place elbow/knee can do ^_^).I do think I wouldn¿t have enjoyed the bits with Oats quite as much if I hadn¿t already read Small Gods, but I have and enjoyed that too, so really it was more acquainting myself with an old friend and laughing at how wrong the Omnians have gotten Brutha¿s words and life.Now the Nac Mac Feegles ... I¿d some trouble understanding what they were saying at first (same with Igor, though he was easier), but they grew on me. How could I not like a six-inch high pictsie who likes nothing more than drinking, fighting and stealing cattle?
ravenwood0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On Discworld, it's not a good time to be a priest, especially when you're caught up in a war between vampires and witches. The vamps are out of the casket and want a bite of the future. To get rid of them, you'll need more than a garlic enema. Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax and the rest are back.
besina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First, an excerpt: 'Two things have traditionally puzzled vampire researchers. One is: why do vampires have so much power? Vampires're so easy to kill, they point out. There are dozens of ways to dispatch them, quite apart from the stake through the heart, which also works on normal people so if you have any stakes left over you don't have to waste them. Classically, they spent the day in some coffin somewhere, with no guard other than an elderly hunchback who doesn't look all that spry and should succumb to quite a small mob. Yet just one can keep a whole community in a state of sullen obedience . . . The other puzzle is: why are vampires always so stupid? As if wearing evening dress all day wasn't an undead giveaway, why do they choose to live in old castles which offer so much in the way of ways to defeat a vampire, like easily torn curtains and wall decorations that can readily be twisted into a religious symbol? ' Now the review:What happens when a 'modern' vampire eschews tradition and refuses to let himself be cowed by holy water, sunlight or religious symbols? When such a vampire, and his equally up-with-the-times family invade the mountainous community of Lancre, it is up to an agnostic preist and the area's three eccentric witches to save their home. True to form, the book is a hilarious satirical romp, full of puns, wry observations and replete with Igors who lisp as a matter of professional pride.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A new baby and a christening have Magrat distracted, and Granny Weatherwax seems to be not quite herself, but when invited vampires (yes, King Verence was just that idioti... that's to say, modern in his thinking) show every inclination to out-stay their welcome, it's up the Nanny Ogg, Agnes, Perdita, and a rather wet Omish priest to save the day.Good fun for Halloween - or pretty much any time you'd like a chuckle.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not one of my favourite discworld books. The vampires were interesting characters however and I hope they reappear in the series.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had heard of Terry Pratchett before, but never read any of his books until this one.Perhaps this is because "Carpe Jugulum" is the 23rd book in a series, but I found it to be rather unfocused. The plot was hazy and undefined.If asked to explain what this book is about, I'm not at all sure that I would be able to say. I would not even be able to say WHO the book is about - it jumps back and forth between so many characters that it was quite confusing.However, despite all this, I enjoyed reading this comical fantasy. The characters were, though a bit too numerous, all very lifelike and distinct. Well written dialogue and beautiful, descriptive writing style.Also - vampires. :)
jaygheiser on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This just wasn't my favorite Pratchett novel. I'm well on my way towards reading the lot of them, as are most fans, so there's no reason to rank them. However, I wouldn't recommend this one as a starting point.
eddy79 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A standard run-of-the-mill Discworl adventure. Its been a while since I read it, but while it was engaging enough, it didn't set my world alight as other books in this series has done (The Light Fantastic).
ironicqueery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The witches are back in this installation of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, and this time they battle vampires. The real world undercurrent focused on in this book is the study of perhaps being too open minded, or on the other hand, not open-minded enough. Pratchett wraps these issues into a humorous story of the three witches reunited with the fourth witch, and the adventure that ensues. I would have liked to see a bit more of Granny, and a bit less of Agnes, as one of Pratchett's finest characters is Granny. Nevertheless, as a follow-up to a couple of Discworld novels that were not his finest, it appears Pratchett is tightening up his stories for the better.
tronella on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A reread, but I enjoyed this. Some Discworld books don't stand up to rereads for me, particularly if I remember the plot, but I think I'd left this one long enough not to remember the ending halfway through. I like Terry's version of vampires a lot, especially the idea of them trying to build up immunity to religious symbols.
gercmbyrne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terry Pratchett is a god who walks among men. The entire Discworld series is a joy and only a strange mad creature cursed by gods and man would refuse to read and love these books!Vampires invade Lancre - well poor King Verence accidentally invites them in......It falls to granny Weatherwax to teach them a lesson they'll never forget. One of the best Discworld novels!
kconnell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
witches and vampires and Igors oh my! Terry Pratchett makes me want to live in the discworld.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terry does Vampires.Magrat has had a child, and called her Esme after Granny Weatherwax. Granny Weatherwax has a sense of something wrong but it has her ruffled and she can sense something that makes her wary. It's not one of his best but it's a fun read.
benfulton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Doesn't really hang together as well as most of the Disc stories. You get the feeling the heroes could have done what they eventually did in the first 20 pages and saved everyone all the bother. But it does have all the usual terrific Pratchett humor and writing.
PortiaLong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Light fantastical fantasy, a quick and easy read. Another slant on witches and vampires.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a little nervous starting this one, thinking it would be gory horror at it's finest. I was quite surprised to find it was a very humorous satire about vampires and witches. It did take me several chapters to get into it, but once I did, it was a lot of fun. This is part of a series, but I never felt lost at all just reading this one. The king of Lancre is celebrating the birth of his new baby girl and invites the Magpyrs to join in the festivities. When Granny, Nanny, and Agnus realize there are vampires in their midst, ones who have no intentions of ever leaving, the do what they can to expose them for what they are...and fail...for these are modern vampires. These three witches set out to save their country and encounter a lot of fun, quirky characters along the way. I loved the witches and the imagery. Granny was great fun and had a lot of good insight to share. Agnus and her inner counterpart, Perdita, constantly had me laughing. I can't forget Igor, with his lisp. I think my favorite part was when the witches were trying to determine if these guests were vampires or not. From garlic, to mirrors, to inner thoughts, and pink haze--it was a crazy, yet laughable experience. Content: there were a couple of mild expletives used quite a lot, but apparently they're not considered swear words in England; there was some mild to moderate violence and blood, but nothing gory.