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17 December 2008 @ 11:03 pm
take a chance tonight  
Nation, by Terry Pratchett

I wondered where Terry Pratchett was going after Making Money. I'm glad he went here.

When I finished this book, I sat at my desk and hugged it for at least five minutes. I had those bubbles you get when something inside you wants to cry, but the visceral connections just aren't there. It's a good feeling.

Which is not to say I didn't think this book had faults. Pterry is not usually Captain Obvious, but he could have had a lighter touch with the romance here. I figured out for myself that it was Doomed Love, but the bits where Daphne 'wondered, later, what would happen if ... she'd thrown Mau to the ground and made babies with him' were superfluous. It also removed any suspense, because it was CRYSTAL CLEAR they were not going to end up together.

Also, the ages of the characters were never stated. I reckon this is because they were initially much younger and then needed to be older for the sex, drugs and videotape parts to carry any relevance. Same for the fact that this is an alternate universe. In the beginning it read like our universe, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it started out that way. Obviously it would have been impossible to reconcile the actual British Empire with the Empire in Nation, which wasn't nearly so flag-happy.

He mostly stayed away from writing down to the target audience - he probably realises everyone's going to read this, not just 'kids' - except in the character of Daphne's father. That's my personal opinion.

Mad-root tubers had to be roasted before they could be eaten, though, or else you went mad. Pigs ate them raw, but pigs probably didn't notice if they were mad or not.

Oh, I do love your sense of humour. I want to buy it and squeeze it like a marshmallow.

'Are you here to blaspheme against the gods, demon boy?' said Ataba.
'No. It would only be blasphemy to say they didn't exist if they were real,' said Mau, keeping his voice level.

I don't know where Pterry gets his philosophy from, but I LOVE it. It makes so much sense.

'Are you trying to be smart, boy?'
'Trying not to be dumb, sir.'


He's frightened of me, Mau thought. I haven't hit him or even raised my hand. I've just tried to make him think differently, and now he's scared. Of thinking. It's magic.

That's certainly one way of putting it. 'Words - why, he could almost make 'em speak.'

This book contains some. Whether you try it at home is up to you.

That's the very last line. Even now my nose is fizzing with all those backed-up tears.


Previously, on Book Glomp 2008:
#1Middlemarch | #2Invisible Monsters | #3A Thousand Splendid Suns | #4Love in the Time of Cholera | #5Oscar and Lucinda | #6Kim | #7Breakfast at Tiffany's | #8Atonement | #9To the Lighthouse | #10On the Road | #11Brideshead Revisited | #12Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance | #13Bonjour Tristesse | #14A Passage to India | #15Three Men in a Boat | #16Vile Bodies | #17Prozac Nation | #18The Heart of the Matter | #19Jinx; #20Airhead | #21Doomsday Book | #22The Gum Thief | #23Choke | #24The Stone Gods | #25Beauty | #26Before They Are Hanged | #27The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation | #28Franny and Zooey | #29Girl in a Blue Dress | #30A Doll's House
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: the (shipped) gold standard // fall out boy
Sorry we said fuck so much: quiet please20thcenturyvole on December 18th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)
Nation! *glomps* I won't get to read it until Christmas (oh, why couldn't I have asked the parents to get me something else and bought it myself?), but I am greatly looking forward to it. I love his stealth-philosophy - there's no better feeling than finishing a Pratchett and sitting there with your brain fizzing for an hour afterwards.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: Christmasscoradh on December 18th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC)
I love him because he's the first writer who really made me think ... and I haven't stopped since. &pterry;
trichinopoly ash: wolverine: waking upaldehyde on December 18th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC)
NATION! i haven't read it yet but am looking forward to it. pratchett is the greatest philosopher of my time, i think. he's just genius!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: maskscoradh on December 18th, 2008 01:01 pm (UTC)
I absolutely agree! I think we'll be reading about him in histories of philosophy in the not-too-distant future.
Merit: Disney Proud to be Fairiesmeritjubet on December 18th, 2008 07:45 am (UTC)
My love for Pratchett will never die. His books are ones that I can reread again and again and find the same things funny. But also find new things to laugh at each read. I do love a dry, witty tone :) his work, while the genre is usually fantasy/comedy, covers so many themes and ideas and expresses them so well.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: bands: PATD: Ryan's geetarscoradh on December 18th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
I've got to the point where I know my favourites off by heart, and rereading them is like revisiting a place that retains everything I love about it no matter how old it gets. He's a great humanist - as in, he really believes in humanity. It's inspiring.
jehnt: bones - angela - good on youjehnt on December 18th, 2008 09:31 am (UTC)
Oh, I love Pterry tons too. I want to read this book SO BADLY now. Will have to go to the store to get it asap!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: frangipaniscoradh on December 18th, 2008 01:03 pm (UTC)
DO!! and tell me what you think. Guess who I want to be when I grow up?
Sarah Rees Brennansarahtales on December 19th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
Oh, I loved Nation - I loved the love story too, but then I am a big, big sap, and smiled until my face hurt at Mau's last line to Daphne.

I so hope Pratchett gets the chance to write many more books like this. Many more books period. *anxious face*
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Scene girls: mad girl in mad dressscoradh on December 21st, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
The funny thing is! I ADORE Doomed Romance, and would prefer it to the prosaic dullness (imo) of Happily Ever Afters any day. I just felt he signposted it a little too much. But it's hardly the worst thing I've ever said about a book. :P

When I found out I sobbed down the phone to my mom, who was sympathetic but baffled. I kind of wish I didn't know so much about diseases...