Saturday 30 January 2010

Review: Nation - Terry Pratchett

On the day the world ends...

...Mau is on his way home from the Boy's Island.
Soon he will be a man.

And then the wave comes - a huge wave, dragging black night behind it and bringing a schooner which sails over and through the island rainforest.

The village has gone.

The Nation has gone.

Now there's just Mau, who wears barely anything, a trouserman girl who wears far too much, and an awful lot of big misunderstandings...

Visit Terry Pratchett's website for more information

I'm a big fan of Terry Pratchett but this is the first of his books that I've read that isn't a Discworld story.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I certianly wasn't disappointed.  This book takes you through a full range of emotions - from incredibly sad, to laughing out loud and everything in between.  It is a book that makes you think - about love, loss, joy, despair, growing up, faith, religion and much more.

The story is set in a parallel universe in the equivalent of Victorian times - Mau comes from a small Island in the southern ocean and Daphne is a young lady from London who is travelling to stay with her father.  Mau has been alone on the Boy's Island as part of his coming of age ceremony and is travelling back to The Nation to finally become a man when the Tsunami hits.  Daphne is the only survivor when the ship she was travelling on is wrecked on the island by the storm.

Mau's entire village has been wiped out by the wave - everyone he knew and loved are dead.  He is also worried about his soul as he hasn't completed the coming of age ceremony.  He has to learn to deal with his loss and questions his religion - how could the God's have allowed this tragedy to happen?  Daphne has been brought up to believe that the islanders are "savages" but as more and more survivors turn up in need of assistance she begins to question everything she thought she knew.

This is a story of great loss but there is a lot of hope too as the survivors work together to re-build their lives.  This is a thought provoking book that will have you questioning everything and make you grateful to be human.  It is more serious than Terry Pratchett's Discworld series but his humor still shines through alongside a facinating insight into human nature, religion and philosophy.  This really is a book not to be missed.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. I haven't read this book but I saw it adapted on stage at the National. I found it a bit bizarre and surprisingly dark. I love the parrot though. Great review.

  2. Great review. I am currently reading this along side another book and i think it's so funny. I love it. Me too am a huge fan of Terry. His writing is so beautiful and yet funny at the same time. Have you read Johnny and the dead?

  3. This sounds wonderful! I don't read much fantasy, but your review really intrigues me.

  4. @ Becky - this was a lot darker than Pratchett's usual books but I really enjoyed it :o) What did you think of the play? Would you recommend it? The parrot was funny but it was the conversations about coconut shys & trousers that had me in tears of laughter LOL

    @ Nina - I'm glad you're enjoying it :o) I'll be looking forward to reading your review! I've not read Johnny & the Dead, would you recommend it?

    @ Stephanie - I'd really recommend you give it a try. It's not really a full on fantasy, I was struggling to work out how to catagorise it! I ended up calling it fantasy as it's set in a parallel universe & does have a little magic in there :o)

  5. Hi Sarah,

    Great review - I look after Terry Pratchett's books at Transworld - if you'd like to review anymore? Or any of our other titles please get in touch, you can find me on twitter.

    Lynsey Dalladay

  6. Hi Lynsey, thanks for your message. I'd love to review more of Terry Pratchett's books. I've contacted you on twitter!



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