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5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'A Hat Full... · 0 replies · +9 points

I know I've read this book (in German) but I don't remember anything about it, except that it involves Tiffany and possibly a hat (?). It'll probably come back to me as we continue, but right now I'm really intrigued by that thing looking for a brain. Creeeeepy...

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 1 reply · +13 points

Remember Jackrum's weirdly specific worry they'd be drugged by prostitutes and left in their underwear? Well, in this section he essentially skips over how he acquired some men's clothing before enlisting, "never you mind how". Without that comment, I'd have expected him to have nicked the clothes from his lazy brothers, but the combination of these two anecdotes sort of implies a connection.

Probably not as a prostitute, but it sounds like the young woman Jackrum used to be either tricked some guy with roughly the right shape and size into a clandestine meeting or seized the opportunity when someone made advances on her, then either drugged him or knocked him out (the latter sounds more like Jackrum) and then made off with his clothes.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 0 replies · +1 points

A bit late, but yes, I left out a "don't" in there. I'm a bit annoyed that we repeatedly get mentions that _all_ the recruits have faces that are "as smooth as a baby's bum" (or something along those lines). Shouldn't there be at least a bit of fuzz for at least one of them?

Then again, others have brought up the idea that Blouse, being really shortsighted, simply doesn't notice any facial hair they do have. Alternatively, they might not have facial hair yet due to their age? (Not sure how that works.)

And of course I might simply be grumpy out of envy... :/

Sorry I'm only replying now. I didn't want to uncypher any responses until after I'd finished the book to avoid getting spoiled.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 0 replies · +8 points

Agreed. It's like when they thought of "soldier", they came up with a good and detailed depiction, but when it came to depicting the concept of a soldier that's secretly female their best idea was to merge the soldier with a naked woman in a sexy pose. (With the gendered bits conveniently covered by the title, but left to the viewer's imagination.)

Not only is this disgusting and objectifying, it completely goes against the grain of this particular book.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 0 replies · +5 points

It's a paperback copy I bought just before we started on this book. The Corgi edition published 2004.

Also, I only just noticed that before the title page it contains the illustration from the Ankh-Morpork Times of Polly kicking Heinrich into the crown jewels. <3

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Yeah, that was another theory. :)

However, I figured it conflicted with the one about Jackrum being the Duchess (for some reason I never considered that a mother might recognize her child and not tell anyone) and focused on that one instead.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 14 replies · +25 points

Gods, that was an amazing book! I feel like I'll have to reread it to decide where to place it on my favourite ranking, but it's probably somewhere in the top ten. :)

I'm still not entirely convinced that Vimes needed to be in it (though for the sake of consistency with the rest of the series so far, Ankh-Morpork probably had to get involved), since especially his early sections really distracted from the rest of the book being told from Polly's view. I did like their shared scene in the end, though, and I loved Angua's cameo and the effect she had on Mal. I mean the realization that a sergeant could be openly female, not in a romantic/sexual way, although that's an intriguing idea too. :)

With most DW books, I feel that the last two sections tend to be rather weak compared to the rest of the book, but here we definitely end on a high note. And with another twist, too! Other than with G!G!, it's not a belated "the dragon was female all along" realization, but as Mark has experienced, the reveal about Jackrum's backstory completely changes the way you read his character. Not quite "Jackrum is secretly the Duchess" (my ongoing pet theory, for everyone who didn't follow my belated cyphered postings throughout the book), but still immensely satisfying.

When Mark mentioned that there the US version had one small but significant change, I immediately guessed that it was probably a shift from "him" to "her" in that exact sentence because (reading the UK version) the pronoun struck me as significant and, like Mark, I was wondering if it was deliberate and meant that Polly recognized Jackrum's identity as a trans man (without having the word for it or even consciously considering the concept). That said, we've seen the same with how Polly thinks of General Froc: using female pronouns when her gender is important and male one when thinking about the role.

While that change is annoying (I actually like the ambiguity of the UK version) and I'm glad my version is less persistent about those half-an-onion jokes, in general I feel like the version Mark read is a lot more polished, adding more detail, characterization and world-building, so maybe I'll try to get a copy of that one too...

I really liked that while Polly clearly learned from Jackrum, she's decided to do things her own way: Instead of hiding her identity and secretly helping the female recruits without ever letting any of them know they're not alone, she openly confronts the first two that join up, and gives them the choice. She doesn't demand that "these are new times, there's no need to hide" (or anything along those lines), but tells them that if they want to join as men, they certainly can, but they don't have to.

Possibly inspired by Angua, she's decided to present herself as both female and a sergeant. I loved the way she intimidated the first person who dared call her "miss". It's very clear she's not going to let anyone disrespect her ever again. The new women's army is not going to be hidden and they're going to change Borogravia from within.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 1 reply · +1 points

I sort of assumed de Worde handed him the card after the interview while Polly was talking to Otto.

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 0 replies · +6 points

Agreed, the onion joke sucks. Personally, I don't see the point of using half of anything that'll spoil, so I'd either use a full one or leave it out. Naturally, this greatly restricts the amount of available recipes for someone living in a single household who cooks very rarely. (I make an exception for garlic because leaving it out completely changes the taste, but there's also a huge difference between using 2 cloves of garlic and a full bulb.)

5 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 0 replies · +3 points


Great view on Jackrum, and you're right about the metal vs. the meat. Now I'm curious too.