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Nation by Terry Pratchett
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Nation (2008)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,0872281,812 (4.11)234
  1. 41
    The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (brianjungwi)
  2. 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.
  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 Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck (infiniteletters)
  5. 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.
  6. 00
    The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco (tronella)
  7. 00
    Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge (foggidawn)
  8. 33
    His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (JonTheNiceGuy)
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» See also 234 mentions

English (224)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (227)
Showing 1-5 of 224 (next | show all)
It's been a long time since I've read this novel, but I remember quite a few things from it. My initial impression was that the two characters's experiences on the island were not connected, but the whole novel was about the two characters 'growing up' experience, what they learnt from each other and about others too. In this, it can be considered a double 'picaresque' novel, as if Pratchett had recreated a new world from an small island, with not so much a Big Bang, but as the result of a tsunami/earthquake. There is much less humour than in the Discworld novels, it is very different in tone and writing style, with quite possibly some underlying ecological and sociological message behind it all for readers. It doesn.t leave anyone indifferent and our interpretation of the whole can also differ from each other. It is a good read, chapters are relatively short, the action picks up pace along the pages and the characters could be the metaphor for a new Eden/world, like Adam and Eve, despite other additional people on the island. It is not your usual novel. ( )
  soniaandree | Apr 8, 2019 |
Pratchett leaves Discworld behind to explore an alternative colonization that /wouldn't/ leave centuries of destruction in its wake. (There's no colonization on the Disc; it wouldn't be funny enough). Much sadder than your typical Pratchett, but with humor aplenty and the exploration of morality that is so apparent in late Pratchett. ( )
  jonsweitzerlamme | Nov 28, 2018 |
In a world that isn't quite our own, in a place that isn't the South Pacific, a boy on the brink of manhood is on his way home from his ritual one-month exile, in the canoe he has made himself, when a volcano erupts and a tsunami is unleashed that, he discovers when he reaches his home island, wipes out his entire tribe.

Mau's island isn't the only one affected, but it is one of the largest locally, and the place that other survivors gradually gather in the aftermath. The first of his fellow survivors, though, before anyone else joins them, is the lone survivor of a ship from a place that isn't quite our England. She's the daughter of a man who is 139th in line for the throne, on the way to join her father, governor of the colony at Port Mercier. What she doesn't know is that influenza has hit at home, and everyone between her father and the throne has died. A fast ship is on its way from home to Port Mercier to bring him back.

Mau, Irmintrude (who chooses to tell him her name is Daphne, instead, because who wants to be called Irmintrude?), and the other survivors who trickle in to join them learn to communicate, learn to understand each other, and build a functioning new community. And then the cannibals arrive.

This is a really enjoyable, satisfying story. Mau and Daphne each have a lot of assumptions to overcome, but they're good kids, and they're moreover smart and tough and ready to grow up as much as they have to in order to survive and make things work. The story goes in some unexpected places, and while this is intended for younger readers, adults will find plenty to enjoy and think about here, too.

Recommended.

I borrowed this book from the library. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Nation is a stand-alone story from a master of story-telling, Terry Pratchett. If you only know Pratchett's work from his Discworld series then you are missing out.

Nation starts out with a simple, yet tragic, situation. A great tsunami sweeps across the ocean wiping out life on many islands. The only apparent survivor is a young boy - Mau, who is returning from his time on the Boy's Island so that he can become a man. He returns home to find that everybody he knew and loved has been killed by the wave. Now Mau is the only survivor of what was once the largest and most powerful people in the region - the Nation. Oh, and since nobody is waiting for Mau when he arrives to complete the ceremony with the very sharp knife, and the tattoos, Mau is stuck between worlds without a soul and he just might be a demon in disguise. Mau is not alone as he soon meets Daphne - the ghost girl - the only survivor of the ill-fated ship Sweet Judy that was washed up onto the island of the Nation by the tsunami. Daphne is certain that her father - a governor in His Majesty's Government - will soon send out ships to rescue her, but in the meantime she must learn how to survive on an island with a strange boy and no common language. As Mau and Daphne begin to understand each other more survivors of the tsunami show up and soon both are put into situations neither has prepared for, and they then learn about the secrets being kept hidden on the island.

Nation is a wonderful story, filled with great and compelling characters and more than just a touch of humor. Mau and Daphne are unique and compelling characters, each struggling to rise above the challenges they face together, while each also struggles to rise above the shadows of their ancestors that seem to loom over their shoulders throughout the story. For Mau it is the insistent chatter of his dead ancestors, the Grandfathers, who harangue Mau at every opportunity to restore the Godstones, to defend the Nation. For Daphne, it is to come out of the shadow of her overbearing grandmother and the expectation to only do what is "proper" and correct as a lady would do. Both Mau and Daphne come to terms with their own place in the world and by the end are able to stand up to their ancestors and tell them where they can go.

Nation also serves as a mirror that allows the reader to reflect and examine our own lives and how we'd react to an incomprehensible tragedy. Mau's world has been dominated by the Gods and his ancestors, and Pratchett doesn't pull any punches as Mau begins to question the sanity of any God or Gods who would allow such destruction and pain to happen. This is a question that many people - including myself - have struggled with. If God (or Gods) is all powerful and benevolent why does God allow tragedy to happen? Why are their earthquakes and tsunami that kill off our loved ones? Why is their disease and death? Because of God's will? Because of sin? Does an innocent child deserve to feel God's wrath? What sin did the child commit? These are the questions that Mau struggles with in the story in a way that only Sir Terry can deliver. It allows the reader to reflect upon these same questions in their own life and maybe help them find the answers they are seeking.

As usual with Sir Terry's work I found nothing that detracted from the story. The characters were well-developed, even the minor ones, and the story and plot were spot on. Pratchett delivers a sort of sermon on belief and faith that does not come across as preachy.

I listened to the audiobook version of Nation, narrated by the wonderful Stephen Briggs. As usual Briggs brings the world that Pratchett has created to vibrant life and delivers a masterful performance.

If you are a fan of Terry Pratchett's work, and have never read outside of the Discworld books, or if you are looking for a great story with strong and compelling characters, a little bit of humor, and are not afraid of reflecting on the questions posed by the author, then I highly recommend Nation. ( )
  GeoffHabiger | Aug 2, 2018 |
I loved the final map of the world. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 224 (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 (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brehnkmann, PederTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Couton, PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duddle, JonnyIllustratorsecondary 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. - Chapter 1
Imo set out one day to catch some fish, but there was no sea. - How Imo Made The World, In The Time When Things Were Otherwise And The Moon Was Different
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It was like being in a Jane Austen novel, but one with far less clothing.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:10 -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 8 descriptions

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