Thursday, 29 July 2010

Nation by Terry Pratchett

Book review, I haven't done one of those for a while.

I've just finished reading Nation by Terry Pratchett, which I read some months after seeing the National Theatre Live version, which I loved by the way.

Nation tells the story of two teenagers thrown together after a storm. Mau is an island boy who returns to who home island to find that he's the only one left, Daphne is a young British girl travelling home whose ship is wrecked by the storm. They don't speak the same language and know nothing about each other.

The book, despite being a Pratchett fan I took a while to warm to, it's a book that I seem to have faded in and out of, I'll enjoy it for a while, then get bored for a while, then back to enjoying it for a while, and so on. It's difficult having seen the live version that I really enjoyed because a character I loved on stage, was nothing like that in the book.

But, the book, opening chapter is very cryptic, you're trying to catch up and work out what's going on, but I think that's intentional, it does grab your interest.

I like Daphne, she's been bought up in a traditional Victorian style way, this is no use to her when she suddenly finds herself shipwrecked. She and Mau eventually learn to communicate, in a roundabout sort of way, and she starts to realise that just because she's been told something is right, doens't necessarily mean that something is.

Eventually more people arrive on the island, building up a bigger character base, giving a bit more interest to the action. The more westerners from the ship that Daphne was travelling on arrive on the island throwing them into chaos.

This book is aimed at children, and handles some pretty big concepts. Mau learns his way around religion and belief, Daphne touches on right and wrong, not just in the simple form of 'it is wrong to lie' but in the form of what is an acceptable form of retaliation when something wrong is done to you. They're big concepts for children to handle, although I actually find them quite interesting. Daphne's morality story more so than Mau's religios story.

As the whole the book was shorter on laughs than I'd expect from Pratchett, but I did enjoy it as a whole.

1 comment:

Topcho said...

A Pratchett fan! :D I really enjoyed your review on the book! I can't wait for this one to get translated so I can read it too :)
Mmm, about the cross stitch you said you're working on too! :3 You're right there are lots of flowers and such on both bottom pages which makes stitching them kinda hard, but I like how it looks in the end. Good luck with your work too!