Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett
TL;DR – Basically, I loved everything in and about this book. The End.
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There's a lot going on in this book. There's vampires who are trying to become modern calling themselves vampyres. They stay as a family with the father vampyre, The Count, making his family get used to things like garlic, sunlight, religious icons, not being distracted by counting poppy seeds and missing their left sock. [Nanny's opinionOn page 85,
'Oh, they say in some villages that you can even slow them down by throwing poppy seed at them,' said Oats. 'Then they'll have a terrible urge to count every see. Vampires are very anal retentive, you see?'

'I shouldn't like meeting one that was the opposite,' said Nanny.
]

The vampyres move in on Lancre when Verence invites the vampires to the princesses naming day ceremony as one of his attempts at being a better modern king. We see more inside Granny's head and her struggle not turn black like her grandma Alison. Granny is feeling pushed out and unappreciated, finally after all these years she snaps. She leaves and goes to a place where she can't use magic since she's still good and doesn't want to go black, which would be very bad experience for everyone around her. Thus leaving Magrat to step into The Mother role in the coven and forces the trio to do some progressing and meddling on their own. There is much progression and insight from Nanny, Magrat and Agnes due to this, which I love so much. Yes, organized religion is talked about a lot, but everything Pratchett says makes sense and it goes with the story. It's not needlessly stuck in there like a needle in a haystack or some wondering hobby horse. Pratchett hasn't said anything untrue or mean. It's completely necessary for the story and character progression. It's insightful.

There's twist and turns through out the story and I truly love the ending. There were several parts I was shouting “Yes!” because of the moment, like Oat's turning point on page 216, the Count & Oats square off,
'Really? And you think you can stand in my way? An axe isn't even a holy symbol!'

'Oh.' Oats looked crestfallen. Agnes saw his shoulders sag as he lowered the blade.

Then he looked up, smiled brightly and said, 'Let's make it so.'

Agnes saw the blade leave a gold trail in the air as it swept around. The was a soft, almost silken sound.
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I didn't see how it was going to end or guess at how it was going to work out. I may have known that Granny wasn't going to die or quit witching because I read the Tiffiany Aching series, but in all honestly I'd forgotten all about that while I was reading. I really had no idea how Granny was working her magic this time around and was pleasantly surprised.
On page 214, Granny's moment,
'You wanted to know where I'd put my self,' said Granny. 'I didn't go anywhere. I just put it in something alive, and you took it. You invited me in. I'm in every muscle in your body and I'm in your head, oh yes. I was in the blood, Count. In the blood. I ain't been vampired. You've been Weatherwaxed. All of you. And you've always listened to your blood, haven't you?'
was one of the best lines, best moments in the book.

There's tons of Pratchett's trademark insights and descriptions. So many little things that truly does add up to something wonderful. Like Pratchett on philosophy on page 3,
“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 marvelled 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 the ground can build castles in the air.”
. About human nature on page 171, Nanny,
'”Don't take thif quickeft route to the Caftle,”' she read aloud. 'You've got to admire a mind like that. Definitely a student of human nature.'
. Nanny, Agnes and Magrat had quite an interesting conversation regarding women's place in war on page 110,
'You really haven't got any scruples, have you, Nanny?' said Agnes.

'No,' said Nanny simply. 'This is Lancre we're talkin' about. If we was men, we'd be talking about layin' down our lives for the country. As women, we can talk about laying down.'
. Joking from feudalism to snow white The naming day was one hilarious moment, please note spelling. XD

Oh Om, The Wee Free Men, Death and the little Rat Death all showed up! I love these characters so much, it makes me happy to have them for even just a paragraph. Part of Death's appearance here, , on page 227, dealing with the dead Scraps the dog made of scrap parts,
' DOWN, BOY! DOWN, I SAY! WILL YOU STOP-LET GO! LET GO THIS MINTUE!

ALL RIGHT, LOOK...FETCH? FETCH? THERE WE GO...

Death watched Scraps bound away.

He wasn't used to this. It wasn't that people weren't sometimes glad to see him, because that penultimate moments of life were often crowded and complex and a cool figure in black came as something of a relief. But he'd never encountered quite this amount of enthusiasm, or if it came to it, this amount of flying mucus. It was disconcerting. It made him feel he wasn't doing his job properly.

THERE'S A SATISFACTORY DOG. NOW...DROP. LET GO, PLEASE. DID YOU HEAR ME SAY LET GO? LET GO THIS MINUTE!

Scraps bounced away. This was far too much fun to end.



Yes, this book was a bit darker than usual like Lords and Ladies. However, I think it works and is necessary. Granny just can't swoop in and save the day easily every time. There was tension, struggle, and suspense, which wasn't ruined but enriched with Pratchett's jokes. It isn't going to always be easy for the witches to save Lancre and it's stupid think so.

This book felt like real progression for the witches and Lancre. There's progression with Varence's interacting with the surrounding areas, which causes the problem in the first place, and his attempt at being a king, which he learns the error of his ways finally. Agnes really shined in this book in so many ways, especially loved her on page 193,
Agnes hadn't seen a mob like this before. Mobs, in her limited experience, were noisy. This one was silent. Most of the town was in it, and to Agnes's surprise they'd brought along many of the children.

It didn't surprise Perdita. They're going to kill the vampires, she said,and the children will watch.

Good, thought Agnes, that's exactly right.

Perdita was horrified. It'll give them nightmares!

No, thought Agnes. It'll take the nightmares away. Sometimes everyone has to know the monster is dead, and remember, so that they can tell their grandchildren.

'They tried to turn people into things,'she said aloud.
. There's progress with Magrat really becoming the Mother and making dirty jokes like Nanny, becoming more of her own person. Nanny grows a bit by seeing what it's like being the Crone and appreciates Granny more. Granny breaks finally after decades of servitude and really does show us the difference between light and dark. I love Granny, love seeing how truly strong she is by showing how she handles her weakness. There's tension with Granny. She maybe so powerful and the go to witch, but she's not perfect, not infallible, not going into fights and winning everything with ease. There's struggle. I feel for Granny, and am glad she got some resolution in this book. I loved her in the Tiffany Aching series and truly see what a great, well rounded fully fleshed character she is. I love character progression in books, it's just about my favorite thing. Every one progresses in this book. From Agnes to Verence, everyone grows and changes, and all of it makes sense. There's twist in the story plot but there's no twisting or stretching trying to make the characters move. The characters flow on their own naturally. No forced changes out of left field, which has to be one of the worst, most annoying horrible thing to happened to a character.




I like how Pratchett handled vampires On page 203,
Vampires are not naturally co-operative creatures. It's not in their nature. Every other vampire is a rival for the next meal. In fact, the ideal situation for a vampire is a world in which every other vampire has been killed off and no one seriously believes in vampires any more. They are by nature as co-operative as sharks.

Vampyres are just the same, the only real difference being that they can't spell properly.'
, their myth and the problems with both. The twist at the end how vampires need to be stupid to survive really was hilarious. On page 204,
'What have you done to us?!' Lacrimosa screamed. 'You've taught us to see hundreds of the damned holy things! They're everywhere! Every religion has a different one! You taught us that, you stupid bastard! Lines and crosses and circles...Oh, my...'She caught sight of the stone wall behind her astonished brother and shuddered. 'Everywhere I look I see something holy! You've taught us to see patterns!'she snarled at her father, teeth exposed.

I've had issues with the vampire saturation around lately. It's trending currently and too often it's tired, old, boring pathetic books about abusive stalking emo vampires. Obviously, Pratchett wrote this long before Twilight blew up but still, this book is a healing balm for the burning sensation of your brain melting from reading about Modern Trendy Hispter Vampyres - who really should be all in a pyre. It's refreshing, unique, it makes you think and it really does work. Pratchett handles and spins myths so well in this book. Not just the vampires but phoenixes too. On page 201, Granny says,
A phoenix is of the nature of birds. Bird first, myth second.'
and on mythology in general on page 157, 'Oh, mythology ,' said Granny. 'Mythology's just the folktales of people who won 'cos they had bigger swords. They're just the people to spot the finer points of omithology, are they?

I like how Pratchett handled religion in this book. From burning witches, faked scripture, schisms in sects, Truth, conquering, and how learning is the down fall of religion is covered here. It's funny, on point and fits so well. It aids the progression of the story, and many characters, including main characters like Granny, Agnes and Oats. It wasn't preaching, or lecturing, the talks about religion was really integral to the story and moving things along. Specifically, Oats with the burning fire from his holy book, Nanny's objection to the religion of Om, on page 29, ,
'And our Wayne said they tries to turn folk against other religions,' she went on. 'Since they opened up that mission of theirs even the Offlerians have upped sticks and gone. I mean, it's one thing saying you're got the best god, but sayin' it's the only real one is a bit of a cheek, in my opinion. I know where I can find at least two any day of the week. And they say everyone starts out bad and only gets good by believin' in Om, which is frankly damn nonsense. I mean, look at your little girl- What's her name going to be, now...?'

'Everyone will know in twenty minutes, Nanny,'said Verance smoothly.

'Hah!' Nanny's tone made it clear that Radio Ogg disapproved of this news management.

'Well, look...the worst she could put her little hand up to at her age is a few grubby nappies and keepin' you awake at night. That's hardly sinful, to my mind.'

'But you've never objected to the Gloomy Brethren, Nanny. Or to the Wonderers. And the Balancing Monks come through here all the time.'

'But none of them object to me,'said Nanny.
and especially Granny's take on sin, on page 168,
There's no greys, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.'

'It's a lot more complicated than that-'

'No. It ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts.'

'Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes-'

'But they starts with thinking about people as things...'