Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nation by Terry Pratchett - Review

I'm a huge Pratchett fan - have been for years - and today I'm posting Megan's review of Nation (runner up for the Guardian Fiction Prize this year).

Terry Pratchett is one of those authors who are so good that I will read anything that he has written. He is always funny, sometimes sad, and exuberantly intelligent throughout. His stories have serious things in them--religion, for instance, or death, or the misunderstanding of foreign culture--but he presents them with such humor, and in the hands of such likable characters, that you don't notice when they punch you in the stomach.

Nation is about two young people: a shipwrecked girl from England named Ermintrude, and a boy named Mau whose entire tribe is lost in a tsunami. Together, they have to survive, despite the discovery that not speaking the same language is sometimes like standing on opposite sides of a very thick wall. They are sensible young people though, and their adventures turn them into heroes, despite the foul-mouthed parrot, the insistent ghosts, and the impending tribe of cannibals.

This is a different kind of Terry Pratchett book--it's not set in his famous Discworld, and its world could almost be ours, a long time ago--but it's still full of his familiar wit and good humor.

Reviewed by Megan

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