- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Corgi (Oct. 13 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552551015
- ISBN-13: 978-0552551014
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,119,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Diggers Paperback – Oct 13 2009
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"Slapstick romp laced with some sharp, satirical barbs" * Publishers Weekly * "A well-written comic fantasy that blends an off-beat but believable plot with strong but quirky characters, lots of entertaining adventures and a liberal dose of humour . . . Highly recommended" * The School Librarian *
About the Author
TERRY PRATCHETT was the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. His fortieth Discworld novel, Raising Steam, was published in 2013. His books have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. He died in March 2015.
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"'Perhaps we should have talked to the humans,' she said aloud.
"'No, you were right,' said Dorcas. 'In this world everything belongs to the humans and we would belong to them, too. There wouldn't be any room for us to be us.'"
"Diggers" is the delightful continuation to the trilogy begun by "Truckers." As you would expect from a Pratchett book, there's plenty of zaniness action, with the final action sequence featuring a bunch of tiny gnomes trying to escape from human predation by making off in a JCB (a front-end loader) they've named Jekub. It's silly, it's over the top, and it's also a meditation on sapience, self-awareness, and, for lack of a better word, the human spirit. Maybe "perseverance" would be more appropriate. Anyway, it's about how the Nomes are aware of the humans, but the humans are not aware of the Nomes, and would destroy their habitat and enslave them if they could. In response, the Nomes have to fight back.
Pratchett always had an uneasy relationship with the non-human world, and the whole problem of Other consciousnesses. He often featured Other humans, non-humans with human-esque consciousnesses, and machines that took on some of the features of consciousness or life, and was fascinated both with the creative possibilities such stories offered, and the moral/ethical issues they raised. Interestingly, if somewhat depressingly, he was in general more empathetic and interested in the non-human earlier in his career, and "Diggers" is one of the high points in his fascination with the Other that is still us.
But don't let that deter you from reading what is basically a middle grade fantasy book. "Diggers" is short, funny, and easy to follow, and the philosophy is easily disguised as just more action. Not the Discworld, but very worth reading even so.
After escaping from the doomed Store of Arnold Bros (est. 1905), the nomes find refuge in a disused quarry. And although life's harder Outside than it was in the Store, after a while everything goes well... until they find out that the quarry is going to be reopened.
At the same time, they also learn that Grandson Richard, 39, an heir to the Arnold Bros (est. 1905) fortune, is going to Florida to watch the launch of his first telecom satellite. To Masklin it's an oportunity to send the Thing back into space where it could contact the Ship which will bring them back HOME. And so he sets out, with Gurder and Angalo, on a trip to the airport.
And as the rest of the nomes are waiting for them to come back, their food reserves are inexorably running out and the humans' presence is starting to be a real nuisance. Are they going to flee and hide or are they going to stand up to them?
As expected, Diggers is brilliant and extremely funny. And again, the confrontation between the nomes' and our view of the world is the source of many of the typically "Pratchettian" puns we've all come to love!
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