The Fifth Elephant

The Fifth Elephant

Large Print - 2000
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Everyone knows that the world is flat, and supported on the backs of four elephants. But weren't there supposed to be five? Indeed there were. So where is it? When duty calls. Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork constabulary answers. Even when he doesn't want to. He's been "invited" to attend a royal function as both detective and diplomat. The one role he relishes; the other requires, well, ruby tights. Of course where cops (even those clad in tights) go, alas, crime follows. An attempted assassination and a theft soon lead to a desperate chase from the low halls of Discworld royalty to the legendary fat mines of Uberwald, where lard is found in underground seams along with tusks and teeth and other precious ivory artifacts. It's up to the dauntless Vimes -- bothered as usual by a familiar cast of Discworld inhabitants (you know, trolls, dwarfs, werewolves, vampires and such) -- to solve the puzzle of the missing pachyderm. Which of course he does. After all, solving mysteries is his job.
Publisher: Thorndike, ME : G.K. Hall, 2000
ISBN: 9780783893075
Characteristics: 494 p. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 28, 2018

This is one of Pratchett best.

It's one of the beast of political thrillers.

Sep 05, 2015

On the streets of Ankh-Morpork, something is stirring up the dwarf population. The normally quiet and law abiding people are starting to riot just as much as everyone else, and Commander Sam Vimes of the City Watch have another crowd to break up. Captain Carrot, world's tallest dwarf, finally makes things clear; a new king is being appointed, and in the middle of a social revolution, the community is divided. When a worthless replica of a priceless dwarvish artifact goes missing back home, in the city, he is confused by the effort put into it. It seems like a stupid crime, but with the political troubles back in Uberwald, he remains suspicious, especially when Mr. Sonky, manufacturer of rubber goods, is pushed into his own vat. Then, he is called to the oblong office by Lord Vetinari, and sent to be a diplomat in Uberwald, where humans are a minority, among the werewolves, vampires, dwarfs, and trolls. There, he must attend the coronation of the new king. The situation worsens when Captain Carrot is unexpectedly called away, and Sergeant Colon is forced to take leadership of the watch.

This book Is a part of the Discworld City Watch series, and I'd very highly recommend reading the previous books, Guards, Guards!, Men At Arms, Feet Of Clay and Jingo first, to get to know the characters.

This is a brilliant mystery. Commander Vimes is a very good character, with a dedication to his job, and a relatively strong moral compass, especially considering the fact that he grew up in the sprawling city of Ankh-Morpork. The references are great, and the humor is over the top, and bold at times, but sometimes very subtle. Angua and Captain Carrot are also a good characters, with their conflicting personalities, but willingness to work together. I also think Lady Margolotta is fascinating, with her gentle intervention. Poor Sergeant Colon, mad with power, plagued by the unlicensed sugar theft, and Corporal Nobby vying for a promotion, is hilarious.

The book has a good plot, genius jokes, and complex, multidimensional characters. I would definitely recommend it.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CALS

To Top