I am a diehard Pratchett fan, but even I hesitated to fork over the money for the new Fifth Elephant. I had been disappointed by his last several offerings, even Carpe Jugulum, which everyone said was his comeback book. Recently, it seems that his books have suffered from a lack of all that made Moving Pictures and the books of its time the best in the series. And I'm a big fan of the Guards storyline, and the last Guards book had been Jingo (don't even talk to me about it). Then I read The Fifth Elephant. And I experienced true joy. This is a Pratchett book in the classic style- a darkish story with an impressive set of points to make (satirical and otherwise). At the same time, it is also the funniest one he's done in the last several years, full of humor from the extremely un-complex to the kind you have to stare at for a few moments to understand (and then then laugh hysterically.) I have in particular to mention the excellent characterization of such recurring characters as Vimes, Lady Sybil and Carrot. When you compare Elephant to their debut storyline, Guards! Guards!, you can see that they're all far more subtle now, and that all of them have grown very convincingly as well. Vimes is my favorite Pratchett character of all time, and in addition to other changes, has been mysteriously reborn as a man of action. I don't know why he's suddenly leaping tall buildings in a single bound like this, but... The person above is correct about the irritationg typesetting mistakes, and this day-glo cover probably could light up in the dark, but by all means buy this book and ignore both of 'em. It was easy for me.