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Nation by Terry Pratchett

Nation (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Terry Pratchett

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3,4002011,588 (4.11)225
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:HarperCollins (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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Nation by Terry Pratchett (2008)

Recently added bykazancapi, BookwormInDisguise, simd, private library, Jessiqa, zlmc, TurtleStampede
  1. 30
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    fastfinge: More thoughts on nationhood, and what makes a nation, pitched at young readers.
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» See also 225 mentions

English (197)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (200)
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
This is the story of survival after a tsunami hits an island. One native is left from the people living on the island and one girl is shipwrecked there. Others come and join them fleeing devastation on their islands.

How do you deal with catastrophe? How do you handle loss that is so big that there is no logic to it? There is a part of us that wants to rationalize the loss we see in the world. That person got cancer because they ate unhealthily for years or it was genetic and passed down. They failed to pay attention and caused a fatal car accident. But sometimes, bad things happen to good people and there is no logic. For those of us that believe in a higher being a natural question is, why? Why do bad things happen to good people? Personally I found more compelling address to this question in C.S. Lewis's book, The Problem with Pain. But the question remains a valid question and I am glad to see it asked in Pratchett's book. If you worship a higher being how strong is your god? Where is your god when bad things happen?

Overall, this was an enjoyable story. Pratchett's characters portray he wry humor he is well known for. The island has some mysteries and there are some interesting plot twists. While it was not my favorite Pratchett book I enjoyed reading it.
( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
Funny, fascinating, and the nicest book involving magical realism I've read yet. I've tried to read other things by Terry Pratchett, but none of them hit the right chord with me like this book did.

The characters and their world are distinctive and enjoyable, with constant allusions to depth and detail which make the world feel real without ever being tedious. This story is short and easy to get through, with themes and ideas which would appeal to a child while providing plenty of complex material for an adult to ponder. ( )
  wishanem | Jan 27, 2015 |
Definitely not my favorite Pratchett title, but definitely not a bad book either. Solidly in the center of the board for me at three stars. Refreshing take on religious themes for a YA audience. Enjoyable, often humorous. ( )
  bibliogypsy1127 | Jan 4, 2015 |
I have to admit, I sniffled a bit towards the end.

This book is probably more of a three-and-a-half than a four star book, but I bumped it up because it certainly isn't a three. I loved Mau and Ermintrude/Daphne and large parts of the story. I just felt the plot seemed to skip some vital explanations to make everything make sense. Also thematically the book was simultaneously heavy-handed and obscure.

It definitely didn't feel like a Terry Pratchett book - it's stylistically very different to any of the Discworld books I've read anyway, even the ones aimed at younger readers. This isn't a bad thing, but it's a little odd when you're so familiar with his work. It's... very matter of fact.

And in some ways, very, very sad. And yet uplifting. And I have no idea what I'm trying to say.

( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
I've never made a secret about my love of Terry Pratchett's writing. In the lottery of picking a good book, choosing one with Pratchett's name on the cover dramatically increases the odds of winning.

[b:Nation|2855034|Nation|Terry Pratchett|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1403133971s/2855034.jpg|34491] is no exception.

Orphaned by a giant wave on the way home from his coming of age ritual on a deserted island, Mau finds himself alone among the dead of his people, the wreckage of his village, and the flotsam left behind by the wave's receding foam...including a "trouser man" canoe, stranded high above the shoreline where the wave deposited it, carrying but one living inhabitant: a girl, the off-spring of royalty from far of England.

As Mau begins to rebuild, he faces the specter of Death, his fallen (and often annoying) ancestors, cannibals, crises of faith, and, ultimately, both his and the Nation's future. Daphne, the English girl awaiting rescue, will help him, giving him tools, companionship, and guidance, and both will face the prejudices and misconceptions of their cultures and history, remaking the world anew.

And, of course, because it is Pratchett, it will be funny.

Set in a world that is somewhere parallel to our own (that's Pratchett's description), Nation is full of the wonderful twists and plays on language that set Pratchett's writing apart. His characters and plots are full of the playful color and magic that leave you wondering if you just read a book of fantasy or have been enjoying the imagination of the characters themselves. In the end, it doesn't matter, really, because the characters have progressed in tandem with the events, real or imagined, and Pratchett's creative use of imagery, myth, fantasy, and conflict has become a well-woven fabric of the whole.

Nation is a fun read that felt targeted at a young adult audience, but can be easily enjoyed by the adult reader. The tone, even when dealing with difficult subjects, is never dark or depressing, but always seems calculated to bring the reader along with the characters. I can't wait to reread it along with my teenagers (once I have some),and to enjoy their journey to a little island in the long chain of islands in a world somewhere just to the left, or perhaps the right, of our own. ( )
  publiusdb | Aug 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 197 (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.
Imo set out one day to catch some fish, but there was no sea.
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 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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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