The twenty-third novel in the Discworld Series
UK hbk: Doubleday, 160,000 copies on 5 November 1998 (0-385-40992-3)
Book proof: 148 copies
Discworld: The Witches Collection (hbk, cover engraving by Joe McLaren): Doubleday, 20 October 2016 (978-0-857-52415-7)
Pbk: Corgi, 40,000 copies primarily for Australia and New Zealand, 322,000 copies for the British market with the cover illustration reproduced on a smaller scale (both listed as first printing) 4 November 1999 (0-552-14615-3) An easy way to see which is which, is that the Antipodean copies show a shoe jutting into the title box on the front cover, while the British market copies do not.
B-format, with black/gold photographic design cover, 6 November 2008 (0-552-15420-8)
B-format, with modified Kirby design, Corgi, 10 October 2013 (978-0-552-16761-1)
Book club: BCA, 16,000 copies in March 1999 (CN 7149)
Large print hbk: Charnwood [Thorpe/Ulverscroft] January 2005 ((1-84395-643-8)
USA hbk: HarperPrism (jacket art and design by Carl D. Galian), September 1999 (0-06-105158-6)
Book proof: number unknown
Pbk: HarperPrism, August 2000 (0-06-102039-7) This edition also contains the 16 page section entitled ‘The World of Terry Pratchett’ which appears at the end of the advance reader’s edition of The Fifth Elephant.
Premium pbk: Harper, 29 April 2014 (978-0-06-228014-5)
Library hbk of pbk: Turtleback, ?February 2008 or earlier (0-613-57761-9)
US book club: Science Fiction Book Club Selection, Fall 1999 (cover as for hbk) c.10 September 1999
Bulgarian: Захапи за Врата, trs. Vladimir Zarkov, Vuzev/Akhont-V, ?May 2002 (954-422-072-0)
Czech: Carpe Jugulum, trs. Jan Kantůrek, Talpress, 10,000 copies in ?February 2000 (80-7197-145-6)
Dutch: Pluk de Strot, trs. Venugopalan Ittekot (pseud. of Ruurd Groot), Uitgeverij M/De Boekerij, January 2002 (90-274-7417-6)
Estonian: Carpe Jugulum, trs. Triinu Pakk-Allmann, jacket illus. Hillar Mets, Varrak, May 2006 (9985-3-1234-1)
Finnish: Carpe Jugulum, trs. Mika Kivimäki, Karisto, August 2008 (978-95-23-5013-1)
French: Carpe Jugulum, trs. Patrick Couton, L’Atalante, February 2004 (2-84172-261-9)
Reissue, with new introduction by Terry Pratchett (dated September 2014), 23 March 2017 (978-2-84172-803-9)
Pbk: Pocket, May 2009 (978-2-266-19404-4)
Pbk with Marc Simonetti cover: Pocket, January 2011 (978-2-266-21203-8)
German: Ruhig Blut!, trs. Andreas Brandhorst, Goldmann, February 2000 (3-442-41652-3)
Massmarket: January 2005 (3-442-44233-8; WG2111)
Hungarian: Carpe Jugulum, trs. Veronika Farkas, Delta Vision, 6 November 2011 (978-963-9890-16-9)
Polish: Carpe Jugulum, trs. Piotr W. Cholewa, Prószyński i S-ka, 2006 (83-7469-330-4)
Romanian: Carpe Jugulum, trs. ?, Laguna, April 2011 [not yet seen]
Russian: Хватай за горло! , trs. N. Berdennikov and A. Zhikarentsev, Eksmo, 15 May 2006 (5-699-17729-9) c.8,000 copies
Spanish: Carpe Jugulum, trs. Javier Calvo, Plaza y Janés, January 2008 (978-84-01-33653-9)
Pbk: DeBols!llo/RandomHouse Mondadori, September 2009 (978-84-9908-002-4, 342/23)
Swedish: Carpe Jugulum, trs. Mats Blomqvist, Damm, 2009 (978-91-7351-415-6)
Carpe Jugulum is the 23rd Discworld novel, and with it this durable series continues its juggernaut procession onwards. Pratchett is an author who inspires such devotions that his fans will fall on the novel with cries of joy. Non-fans, perhaps, will want to know what all the fuss is about; and that’s something difficult to put into a few words. The best thing to do for those completely new to Pratchett is to sample him for themselves, and this novel is as good a place to start as any. But fans have a more precise question. They know that Discworld novels come in one of two varieties: the quite good, and the brilliant. So, for instance, where Hogfather and Maskerade were quite good, Feet of Clay and Jingo were brilliant. While true fans wouldn’t want to do without the former, they absolutely live for the latter. And with Carpe Jugulum Pratchett has hit jackpot again. This novel is one of the brilliant ones.
The plot is a version of an earlier Discworld novel, Lords and Ladies, with the predatory elves of that novel being replaced here by suave and deadly vampires, and the tiny kingdom of Lancre being defended by its witches. But plot is the least of Pratchett’s appeal, and Carpe Jugulum is loaded with marvellous characters (not least the witches themselves, about whom we learn a deal more here), comic touches and scenes of genius, and even some of the renowned down-to-earth Pratchett wisdom (here about the inner ethical conflicts we all face, and the wrongness of treating people as things). Pratchett’s vampires are elegant Bela Lugosi types, and they come up against an unlikely but engaging alliance of witches, blue-skinned pixies like Rob Roy Smurfs, a doubting priest with a boil on his face and a magical house-sized Phoenix in a seamless, completely absorbing and feel-good-about-the- universe mixture. Highly recommended.
Adam Roberts on Amazon.co.uk website
“Every sentence is made to sing for its supper, and it is this precision that allows [Pratchett] such meticulous control of the pacing, the plotting, and of course, the humour. The Times
Another sidesplitting Discworld adventure (Interesting Times, 1997, etc.) from the undisputed emperor of philosophical slapstick. Carpe Jugulum appeared last year in England, where Pratchett outsells entire genres all by himself, and of course it was another runaway bestseller. Nevertheless, such is the nature of the business, the publishers were unable to rush a copy to Kirkus in time for a full and early review. Known affectionately in the UK as “the Australian one,” this outing features a battle between Discworld’s witchesold favorites Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, etc.and the Magpyrs, or vampires (“why are vampires always so stupid? As if wearing evening dress all day wasn’t an undead giveaway . . . “) incautiously invited to dinner by the kindhearted King of Lancre. Quite how Australia, Death’s dog, tiny blue pixie invaders, a fat witch with (literally) a thin witch insider her trying to get out, and a buzzard that thinks it’s a chicken, all figure in the proceedings, readers are cordially invited to discover for themselves. Pratchett knows what makes people tick and how to make them laugh. And how. Kirkus Reviews
A brilliant story-teller with a sense of humour… whose infectious fun completely engulfs you. Mail on Sunday
It is rare and splendid event when an author is elevated from the underground into the international literary establishment. In the case of England’s best-known and best-loved modern satirist, that event has been long overdue.
Terry Pratchett’s profoundly irreverent Discworld novels satirize and celebrate every aspect of life, modern and ancient, sacred and profane. Consistent number-one bestsellers in England, they have garnered him a secure position in the pantheon of humor along with Mark Twain, Douglas Adams, Matt Groening, and Jonathan Swift.
Even so distinguished an author as A. S. Byatt has sung his praises, calling Pratchett’s intricate and delightful fictional Discworld ‘more complicated and satisfying than Oz.’
His latest satiric triumph, Carpe Jugulum, involves an exclusive royal snafu that leads to comic mayhem. In a fit of enlightenment democracy and ebullient goodwill, King Verence invites Uberwald’s undead, the Magpyrs, into Lancre to celebrate the birth of his daughter. But once ensconced within the castle, these wine-drinking, garlic-eating, sun-loving modern vampires have no intention of leaving. Ever.
Only an uneasy alliance between a nervous young priest and the argumentative local witches can save the country from being taken over by people with a cultivated bloodlust and bad taste in silk waistcoats. For them, there’s only one way to fight.
Go for the throat, or as the vampires themselves say…Carpe Jugulum. ereader.com
Background illustration © and by courtesy of Marc Simonetti