Audiobook Review: Nation, by Terry Pratchett

I guess this is classified as Young Adult? Who cares--anything Pratchett wrote is worth reading. And more YA lit should be like this: long on thought, short on romance.



Title: Nation
Author: Terry Pratchett. Read by Stephen Briggs
Publication Info: Harper Collins, 2008, 9.5 hours. (367 pages in hardback).
Source: Library

Publisher's Blurb:
Alone on a desert island — everything and everyone he knows and loves has been washed away in a storm — Mau is the last surviving member of his nation. He’s completely alone — or so he thinks until he finds the ghost girl. She has no toes, wears strange lacy trousers like the grandfather bird, and gives him a stick that can make fire.
Daphne, sole survivor of the wreck of the Sweet Judy, almost immediately regrets trying to shoot the native boy. Thank goodness the powder was wet and the gun only produced a spark. She’s certain her father, distant cousin of the Royal family, will come and rescue her but it seems, for now, that all she has for company is the boy and the foul-mouthed ship’s parrot, until other survivors arrive to take refuge on the island. Together, Mau and Daphne discover some remarkable things (including how to milk a pig, and why spitting in beer is a good thing), and start to forge a new nation.

Encompassing themes of death and nationhood, Terry Pratchett’s new novel is, as can be expected, extremely funny, witty and wise. Mau’s ancestors have something to teach us all. Mau just wishes they would shut up about it and let him get on with saving everyone’s lives!

My Review:
I like everything Terry Pratchett wrote. I really do (well, except maybe the "Long Earth" series, after the first couple of books. I suspect Pratchett had less to do with those than did Stephen Baxter). But I'd been holding off on reading this, I guess because it's not part of Discworld? Anyway, I was listening to Pratchett's non-fiction (A Slip of the Keyboard), and he mentioned that he thought Nation was his best book. So I had to read it at last, and I'm glad I did.

I guess Nation is classed as Young Adult, but it is wonderfully unlike just about any YA I've read. Long on wisdom and short on romance, the book has a lot to say about grief and loss, about examining your unexamined beliefs, and about not letting other people dictate your life choices. It also has a lot to say about responsibility and determination and paying your debts. And more than all that, it's a consistently great yarn. Classic Pratchett, well read and presented by Stephen Briggs.

My Recommendation:
Read it. Of course :)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed an electronic copy of Nation from my library, and received nothing from the author or the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”   

 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2023
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.

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  1. I said something somewhere else about a certain blogger having a devastating effect on one's TBR. You are another who does that.


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