Nation, By Terry Pratchett
Sunday 08 November 2009
Nation, Terry Pratchett's latest novel for younger readers, starts promisingly: with the creation myth of an island people in the South Pacific – sorry, in Pratchett's alternative world, that's the South Pelagic Ocean. Then Mau, a boy of the Island people, returns from a solitary ordeal on a neighbouring island to find his whole nation wiped out by a tidal wave. He loses his faith in the Nation's gods – though they will keep jabbering to him in his head – and braces himself to deal with an influx of refugees from the tsunami, including Daphne, daughter of the heir to the British throne. The stage is set for a clash of cultures.
So far, so good: Pratchett's customary light touch enlivens his big themes of religion and imperialism, and the two main characters are likeable. But – and it's a big but – the story loses impetus as it goes on. The pace of events slows, and there are pages of over-explanatory dialogue and arguments in which characters carefully spell out their positions. If the second half was as good as the first, we'd be looking at four stars, not two.
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Exeter to Edinburgh and back in a day: How one fresher's lost bet left him facing a 900-mile round trip
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >