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Nation by Terry Pratchett

Nation (2008)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3011951,653 (4.11)215
adventure (55) alternate history (88) ARC (28) castaway (22) children's (21) coming of age (46) Discworld (20) fantasy (427) fiction (346) hardcover (26) historical fiction (21) humor (117) island (43) islands (25) novel (36) Pratchett (76) read (44) read in 2009 (20) religion (69) science fiction (49) sff (21) shipwreck (46) survival (101) to-read (57) tsunami (41) tsunamis (27) unread (19) YA (105) young adult (138) young adult fiction (22)
  1. 30
    The Bromeliad Trilogy: Truckers, Diggers, and Wings by Terry Pratchett (fastfinge)
    fastfinge: This book is, perhaps, for a slightly younger readership. Never the less, it's still fun.
  2. 31
    The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (brianjungwi)
  3. 20
    The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy by Terry Pratchett (fastfinge)
    fastfinge: Another of Terry's young adult books; some thinking required of young readers.
  4. 10
    The Girl Who Owned A City by O. T. Nelson (fastfinge)
    fastfinge: More thoughts on nationhood, and what makes a nation, pitched at young readers.
  5. 00
    The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge (foggidawn)
  6. 00
    The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck (infiniteletters)
  7. 00
    The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco (tronella)
  8. 23
    His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (JonTheNiceGuy)

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» See also 215 mentions

English (192)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (195)
Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
While Mau is paddling back home to Nation, from the boys' island, Little Nation, a tsunami hits and everything Mau has ever known is taken away. Expecting to return home to the celebration of his becoming a man, and getting his tattoo marking Mau as both adult and member of Nation. Instead, he finds nothing but death and destruction. So the boy who is not a boy but not yet a man sets forth building a new Nation.

Mau discovers that since he is not yet a man and, by his culture's norms, has no soul he can question everything. And he does. Everything he ever knew is up for questioning, even the big question of "things happen." Mau changes it all, and says, "Does not happen."

Daphne, aboard the Sweet Judy on her way to meet her father, captain of another ship, gets stranded on Nation. Until she meets Mau, she does not question anything and tries to make things "just so" in that British sort of way.

And so, Mau and Daphne (not her real name) join forces and learn to survive as more people from other islands affected by the Big Wave arrive. Slowly a community is built, and they face down their enemies with brain power and just a little force.

This book was a delight to read, mostly because Pratchett wrote characters who were completely willing to question everything they thought they knew, including their religion. Mau's unwillingness to bend to the rituals of what once was just because it once was is an interesting way of discussing religion on a larger scale.

Nation is about survival, family of choice, friendship, and community. Mostly I think it's about learning to let people be who they are and not try to force them to be who we think they should be. ( )
  AuntieClio | Mar 21, 2014 |
Excellent! Very different from Wee Free Men and Discworld. A good story with believable characters. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
If I had to sum up this novel in one word, it would be "poignant". Pratchett faces the age-old question, "why do bad things happen?" and struggles with it mightily. He doesn't necessarily come up with the right answer, but if you just want one right answer, I'd be happy to recommend some religious tracts for you. No, he instead explores the process that some very realistic characters go through struggling with the question, as well as the rationalizations that other very realistic characters use to avoid grappling with it at all. In other words, he tells a deep, satisfying story, and from him I would expect no less. A quite dark book, but most great books are, aren't they? ( )
  bradgers | Feb 6, 2014 |
A native and a white girl end up on an island after a disaster to start new nation
  butterkidsmom | Jan 18, 2014 |
Swashbuckling adventure, meets speculative study of science and theology on a tiny island in the South Pacific. When a massive tidal wave washes away a young boy's island nation, he must learn how to rebuild a home and a country with or without help from the gods. Heartfelt, hilarious, and intelligent. A book for all ages.
  vplprl | Nov 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
It's a complete departure for Pratchett and yet is recognizably him, on every page, writing with the same grace and wit we know from his other work. Highly recommended (and would make brilliant bedtime reading, too).
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Sep 30, 2008)

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brehnkmann, PederTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Couton, PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duddle, JohnnyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaminski, StefanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The snow came down so thickly, it formed fragile snowballs in the air that tumbled and melted as soon as they landed on the horses lined up along the dock.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061433012, Roughcut)

The sea has taken everything.

Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle Daphne—a girl from the other side of the globe—is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave.

Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Drawn by the smoke of Mau and Daphne's sheltering fire, other refugees slowly arrive: children without parents, mothers without babies, husbands without wives—all of them hungry and all of them frightened. As Mau and Daphne struggle to keep the small band safe and fed, they defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down. . . .

Internationally revered storyteller Terry Pratchett presents a breathtaking adventure of survival and discovery, and of the courage required to forge new beliefs.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:05 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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