A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:11 am

**Warning**

This thread is for discussing A Hat Full of Sky in some depth. If you haven’t read the book then read on at your own risk – or, better still, go and read the book and join in the fun.

For those of us that are going to join in the discussion, here are a few guidelines:

Please feel free to make comparisons to other Discworld books, making sure you identify the book and the passage you are referring to. Others may not be as familiar with the book you are referencing, so think before you post.

Sometimes we’ll need to agree to disagree – only Terry knows for sure what he was thinking when he wrote the books and individuals members may have widely different interpretations – so try to keep the discussion friendly.

We may be discussing a book that you don’t much care for – don’t be put off joining in the discussion. If you didn’t care for the book, then that in itself is a good topic for discussion.

Please note: there is no time limit to this discussion. Please feel free to add to it at any time - especially if you've just read the book.

And finally:

Please endeavour to keep the discussion on topic. If necessary I will step in and steer it back to the original topic – so no digressions please!

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*



A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
Originally published 2004

Image


Introduction by swreader

swreader wrote: A Hat Full of Sky will always hold a very special place in my heart because it was this book that brought Tony and I together for the first time. And the rest of that story is history.

This book is also, clearly, a very special book to Terry. In the ARC and re-printed in the 1st American paperback Pratchett wrote something called “To the Readers” which reads, in part, as follows:


I had to write this book. In fact, other projects had to go on hold to let it past.

This was because certain scenes and characters just turned up and camped in my head and wouldn’t go away. When Miss Level said, “I left my long-distance spectacles on my other nose,” I knew I had to write more about this woman. I wanted to see what the Nac Mac Feegles would try this time. I wanted to do the “dancing with bees” scene. And writing The Wee Free Men had been fun.

You can’t start on your next planned book when another one is bumping gently but insistently against your brain.

This is it. . . . I know there’s going to be at least one more book about Tiffany because I know the title and some of the scenes. But it can wait . . . I hope.
Terry Pratchett



While I do not think (honestly) that this is the best book Pratchett ever wrote, it is one of the most important because it is with this book that the Tiffany books clearly (in Terry’s mind) became a four part series. It’s also important because Tiffany is used to introduce more fully and to develop some of Pratchett’s major themes and ideas.

The idea that people are far more important in the scheme of things than anything else, finds its fullest expression thus far in this book. In this book Pratchett develops fully the difference between the “fake” witch (Mrs. Earwig and her pupil Annagramma) and the true witch. Granny makes the startling statement about Miss Level (and about who the best witch is) at the end of the fiery confrontation between Granny and Tiffany. Granny says of Miss Level, “We all do that, in our own way, and she does it better’n me, if I was to put my hand on my heart. That is the root and heart and soul and center of witchcraft, that is. The soul and center!” . . . Then speaking of Mrs Earwig’s penchant for occult jewellery, Granny summarizes the most important truth about witchcraft. “Oh, I daresay they’re all very well as decoration, somethin’ nice to look at while you’re workin’, somethin’ for show, but the start and finish, the start and finish, is helpin’ people when life is on the edge. Even people you don’t like. Stars is easy, people is hard.”

The book is full of ideas which Pratchett will develop further in other books (the concept of 2nd sight, gods and humans, true religion, understanding other people or species). But probably the most important one of this book is that to understand that we are all more alike than different is to lose fear and hatred for others. The Hiver isn’t some kind of monster—it’s like a frightened lost child that Tiffany finds the door to Death for. If all people really understood this concept, wars would be impossible.





-------------------------------------
Thanks Sharlene! :D

I’ve always liked this book and the more I read it, the more I like it. It’s about (amongst other things) the difference between wishing for something and working for it. It’s about how impractical magic is when it comes to helping people and how the real magic is getting people to help themselves. I also think the Feegles, with the arrival of Jeanie, are far more developed from the first book.


But what did you think? :)
----------------------------------

Want to write the introduction for the next discussion (Sourcery)? PM me and let me know if you’d like to – first come first served. :wink:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28683
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby author3 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:53 pm

This book was one of the first Discworld books I read and I really enjoyed it.I loved the character of Miss Level and the girl that was kind of mean towards Tiffany(I can't remember her name).But I honestly never really liked The Hiver I didn't think he was as scary as he could has been.
Do you know the Buffy fan?The Buffy fan,the Buffy fan.Do you know the Buffy fan?The one who is extremely obsessed.
User avatar
author3
Member
 
Posts: 2358
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 8:46 am
Location: Sunnydale Highschool

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raisindot » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:17 pm

I probably need to read this again, because after the mastery of "Wee Free Men" I found this to be a bit of a letdown. Other than the bits with Granny in it I didn't find it all that compelling. The whole thing just seemed like a witches' boot camp designed simply to lead up to the confrontation between the hiver and Tiffany, which she 'won' with barely any difficulty at all. There was no huge revelation there was there was when Tiffany faced the Elf Queen in WFM.
raisindot
Member
 
Posts: 3170
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Boston, MA USA

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby michelanCello » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:51 pm

I rather liked Hat full of sky :D There was something I wanted to ask but I forgot... :P
Listen.
User avatar
michelanCello
Member
 
Posts: 8747
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: Budapest, Hungary (and yes, I'm sure it's Budapest, not Bucharest)

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby meerkat » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:44 am

Whilst I wasn't enamoured of WFM, I did enjoy HFS a little more because Tiffany had grown up. WFM seemed a little babyish but by HFS Tiffany was becoming more of a young girl and more of a witch in the making, far more enthralling a story line.
Just a meerkat from The Effing Forest
User avatar
meerkat
Member
 
Posts: 13475
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:32 pm
Location: Wilberfoss East Riding Yorkshire

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:26 pm

This one is definitely a move on from the first book. Although we've had quite a few 'Witch' books, this one really starts to explore what being a Discworld witch is all about. In WFM, Tiffany discovered that she could be a witch, in this one she finds the reality of that and it's not what she expected.

The message seems to be that anything worth having is worth working for, and anything achieved by wishing or magic is ultimately flawed. So a Discworld witch doesn't use magic unless she has no choice, and rather than wishing for something, she sees things as they really are and works to make them better.

I think the hiver is somewhat scary. It gives people what they want but subconsciously hide. It works on all those thoughts that we keep buried because we know they are wrong. But the hiver isn't evil, the bad things that Tiffany does are her bad things, not the hiver's. He just makes it possible for her to achieve them.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28683
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby meerkat » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:37 pm

What I really like, after having thought about this book, indeed all the Tiffany books, is the description of the land.
The Chalk. It is so evocative and as someone whose Grandfather was a Head Shepherd in Wiltshire, perhaps I have a feel for it. But I can see it and sometimes feel it. It has a character all of it's own. If only the chalk could speak! :D
Just a meerkat from The Effing Forest
User avatar
meerkat
Member
 
Posts: 13475
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:32 pm
Location: Wilberfoss East Riding Yorkshire

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:16 pm

So can we call you Granny Meerkat now Meer. ;) :)
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
User avatar
Who's Wee Dug
Member
 
Posts: 14535
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Stirlingshire, Scotland

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby meerkat » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:40 pm

Why not Nanny? ;) Mind you, I am more the maid...not married you see, no kids,.... no, anyone needed that it was probably my granny who was the shepherds wife... that's Wiltshire for you! ;)
Just a meerkat from The Effing Forest
User avatar
meerkat
Member
 
Posts: 13475
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:32 pm
Location: Wilberfoss East Riding Yorkshire

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:39 pm

Did anyone else find Granny's stumble as disturbing as I did when I first read this book?
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28683
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby meerkat » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:16 pm

I thought, OMG she's finally losing it! Fortunately she got over it! Phew!
Just a meerkat from The Effing Forest
User avatar
meerkat
Member
 
Posts: 13475
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:32 pm
Location: Wilberfoss East Riding Yorkshire

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raptornx01 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:53 pm

I thought it was -ing funny. i loled when i read that. i wonder if tiff would have called her on it if she had realized.
"The reason an author needs to know the rules of grammar isn't so he or she never breaks them, but so the author knows how to break them."
User avatar
raptornx01
Member
 
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:03 am
Location: South florida, US

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby author3 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:02 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Did anyone else find Granny's stumble as disturbing as I did when I first read this book?

I don't remember Granny stumbling :? Can someone please post the paragraph when this happens?
Do you know the Buffy fan?The Buffy fan,the Buffy fan.Do you know the Buffy fan?The one who is extremely obsessed.
User avatar
author3
Member
 
Posts: 2358
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 8:46 am
Location: Sunnydale Highschool

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:23 pm

It's in the chapter 'The Late Bloomer' where Tiffany and Granny are walking from Miss Level's cottage to the high plain. Tiffany is having First and Second Thoughts.

Her Second Thoughts thought: Yes, but which one was the real shepherdess? The shiny lady in the nice clean dress and buckled shoes, or the old lady who stumped around in the snow with boots filled with straw and a sack across her shoulders?

At which point Mistress Weatherwax stumbled. She caught her balance very quickly.


in a passage a few pages later, just before they arrive at the Trials, there's this bit:

"Are you all right, mistress?" said Tiffany.
"Sound as a bell," said Mistress Weatherwax, wheezing slightly. "Just getting my second wind. Anyway, it's only another six miles."
"I notice you're limping a bit," said Tiffany.
"Do you, indeed? Then stop noticing!"
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28683
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: A Hat Full of Sky Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby raptornx01 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:37 pm

what i meant was realizing Granny had been listening in :lol:
"The reason an author needs to know the rules of grammar isn't so he or she never breaks them, but so the author knows how to break them."
User avatar
raptornx01
Member
 
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:03 am
Location: South florida, US

Next

Return to Discworld novels

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests