Haunting novel **Possible Spoilers for Nation**

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Haunting novel **Possible Spoilers for Nation**

Postby Peter Hussey » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:15 pm

What a wonderful novel. I have been reading Terry Practchett since the mid 1980's and I love every one of them (perhaps not so much the wizards wandering in the desert - Lost Continent?). But this book, Nation, is just beautiful. Mau is a complex and gorgeous character, trying to build a life and a new country out of the old. So many resonances for me reading this, particularly being Irish, and having worked with the issue of develpment/aid for years. Even in the end they broke up the ancient golden door just to fit it on the ship. There's barbarity everywhere.
I think it's wonderful that, in children's fiction, Terry Practchett - along with Philip Pullman - really establishes a humanistic basis as a valid alternative framework for reading the world. More power to them both. And long may they continue to write.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:30 pm

Hi Peter and welcome to the forum. I'm waiting until I finish The Two Towers before I start Nation, but I'm itching to get my fingers on it. :D

I hope you don't mind that I'm going to mark this thread as containing possible spoilers. We don't want to give anything away. :wink:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Postby Peter Hussey » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:51 am

Hi Tony. Thanks for the welcome. No. I don't mind at all that the thread is marked as containing spoilers. Sorry about that. In all my years reading Pratchett I have not until now looked up such a place as this. But Nation moved me to do it. I'm sure you'll enjoy it when you get to it. It marks a new departure for TP, and despite the fact that I adore the discworld series (my favourite being Wyrd Sisters), I think there's a certain psychological complexity to the characters fleshed out here that was emerging with Tiffany Aching. Really inetersting moral dilemmas and acute insights into colonisation and tradition. I'm not so sure about the assertion in the Times review linked here that the novel can be read as a metaphor for TP's developing Altzeimer's, but it can surely be seen as a reflection on the tsunami that devestated so many lives some years back, and perhaps as a commentary on global warming. But maybe not. Inthe end it's a really good story! P
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:40 am

:D You've got me itching to read it now!

Glad you sought the site out to make your comments and I hope you'll stick around and join in the other discussions. :)
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:41 am

You might want to check your Inbox as I've sent you a personal message to say I was changing the title and I see from my outbox that you haven't opened it yet. :wink:
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Postby sgt-Angua » Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:18 am

Haven't got too far into it yet (work keeps getting in the way) but so far it sort of reminds me of Krakatoa exploding.
So far I hvae to say I love the book though...... can't wait to get home and start reading it again :D
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Postby Tonyblack » Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:07 am

I'll try not to read this thread until I've finished the book - although I have to start it first... :(
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Postby Jinx » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:34 am

I'm with you sarge. I've only read 3 chapters, but then it's in work I'm mainly getting to read it. It's just that sadly they keep expecting me to do stuff while I'm in there. I keep hearing words like "productivity" and "appraisal", I'm sure their making some sort of threat, but I can't imagine what they can possibly be threatening me with!? lol
Last edited by Jinx on Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sgt-Angua » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:57 pm

Hmmmm Threatening you with more work by the sounds of it!

I have to admit I was told to put the book down at work yetserday when it arrived courtesy of Amazon.........
:oops:

and now sadly I have to wait till I get home to read more :(
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Postby Jinx » Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:25 pm

This isn't really a spoiler but thought I'd post here anyway to be safe.

There's a bit where Daphne wonders if the noding and shaking of the head is an instinct we're born with. I remembered reading something along these lines very recently so I searched through my web history and whatnot to find it. I've finally found what I was looking for. It was an article in a newsletter I subscribe to.

The article is titled "Worldwide, pride and shame are expressed in the same way". It goes into detail about how the same expressions are shown among athletes from around the world and how even those blind from birth have the same expressions to show pride and shame.
I won't copy and paste the article, but I will share the link at the bottom of the article for anyone interested.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/08/08/0802686105

((Yes - I do have a big interest in psychology.))

I thought it was an interesting thought to have been expressed in the novel and it's interesting to see the idea verified in this study.
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:03 pm

I finished this afternoon! :D

What a wonderfully thoughtful novel. There are quite a few themes here that Terry has has explored in previous books, not least being the nature of belief. But he's looking at them in a new way and it certainly works.

I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed with Making Money, but I'm not at all disappointed with Nation.

I also think it was the right decision to set this on Earth (sort of) rather than Discworld.

Bravo Terry! :D
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Postby Dotsie » Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:37 pm

I loved it, I thought it was a beautiful story. And yes, I cried (and I'm not ashamed to say so :oops: )

I loved the language misunderstandings, they were so sweet. I used to work in a lab where no two people had the same first language, and even though everyone's spoken English was excellent, didn't mean there weren't still problems. The English don't speak so much in words, as metaphors, colloquialisms and euphemisms!
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Postby Jarmara » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:03 pm

Wow.

My copy arrived mid-week but I deliberately didn't start it until yesterday so that I could read it uninterrupted. I've just finished it now and it was wonderful.

I always describe myself as being 'vaguely pagan' by which I mean that I'm a Pagan as far as I'm concerned but I don't fit the typical descriptions of being pagan that many others use as a benchmark. Other pagans often read Discworld novels and insist that Terry is a pagan too, just because of how well he writes the Lancre witches. I don't believe that myself, not just because he always states otherwise himself.

If people won't take his word for it that he's more Humanist than anything else, reading all his books rather than just the ones about witches should do it. His books are full of his observations of people, his love for what people can do when they use their brains rather than follow the herd.

My overall impression, having just closed the book, is that even if you can't be bothered to read everything he's written in order to know a little of what Terry believes in this world, read this one. This is not the scolding of Dawkins, telling us that gods are a crutch for those who didn't know the real answers. This is the love of a kind man, gently suggesting that while we need gods in our lives, we need to recognise that we can't rely on gods alone. That man and god will eternally represent the chicken and the egg.

My gosh, I've gone terribly soppy and probably am not making much sense but I've just been terribly moved.
Contains Strong Language, Fantasy Violence and Mild Peril

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Postby Tonyblack » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:23 pm

Makes perfect sense to me. :D

This was very much a book of questions and I think that's one of the beauties of it. It poses so many questions, not just for the characters, but for the readers as well.
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Postby Twankydillo » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:22 am

I really liked Nation. It wasn't a light story but it was very sweet at times, and very thought-provoking and deep at times (many more times) too. Oddly, it sometimes didn't feel like reading Terry Pratchett (probably because the last non-Discworld he did was quite some time ago and I was young when I read that) until you came across some tell tale signs, like the excitement for scientific discovery, religious discussion, and Mrs Gurgle.
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