- Paperback: 424 pages
- Publisher: ISIS Large Print Books; Large type / large print edition edition (May 1 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0753184338
- ISBN-13: 978-0753184332
- Shipping Weight: 503 g
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
Nation Paperback – May 1 2010
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|Paperback, May 1 2010||
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“A wonderful story, by turns harrowing and triumphant.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Pratchett’s examination of questions about religious belief, the nature of culture and what it means to be human [...] is a terrific, thought-provoking book.” (Washington Post Book World)
“A searching exploration of good and evil, fate and free will, both as broad and as deep as anything this brilliant author has produced so far. ” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Neatly balancing the somber and the wildly humorous in a riveting tale of discovery, Pratchett shows himself at the height of his powers.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“It is hard to imagine a reader who won’t feel welcomed into this nation.” (Horn Book (starred review))
“Quirky wit and broad vision make this a fascinating survival story on many levels.” (Booklist (starred review))
“A rich and thought-provoking read.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“A classic survival tale that offers laughs and much to mull over, this is a wonderfully entertaining novel.” (starred review) (KLIATT) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Terry Pratchett is one of the world's most popular authors. He is the winner of numerous literary prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, and he was awarded a knighthood in recognition of his services to literature. Pratchett lives in England.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
How do you rebuild a "nation" from but one survivor? The wave that destroyed so many communities left a tithe of survivors from other islands. In small groups, they begin to accumulate on Mau's island, forcing him - at thirteen years - to become the new "chief". He has already coped with the job of burying his relatives and other members of his nation. Even that propitiating task doesn't seem to quell the demands of The Grandfathers who visit him in dreams and visions. They express unfulfilled needs which he cannot comprehend. One of the refugees Mau must deal with is a Ataba, a priest who had trained on Mau's island. Ataba knows about the gods - and the white god anchors - which are to be kept nearby and bring good luck to the people of the Nation. This idea eludes Mau who wants to know which god brought the Great Wave and why he should be thankful for it.
Another of the wave's spared tithes is "Daphne", the sole survivor of the shipwreck. She's an Unbaked One from a distant land, daughter of one of the "trousermen". Pale skin and pants were known only by rumour in Mau's Nation prior to the wave. "Daphne", who has listened to Prof Aggasize's lectures and shaken hands with Mr Darwin, is rather a special person. She's in line to ascend the throne - but only after the deaths of 139 people, including of course, her father. In the Nation, "Daphne" finds a new life - she delivers babies, amputates limbs, kills a man . . . not what she'd been "trained" to do by her Gran. Above all, she must learn about Mau, his Nation and The Grandfathers residing somewhere in Mau's mind. A considerable challenge for a girl of but thirteen.
There aren't sufficient words of praise for this book. Pratchett builds his characters with his practiced finesse, keeping the tensions of their interacting lives taut but flexible enough for negotiation. After all, these two children begin their lives together without a word of communication. More seriously, however, Pratchett has those "children" begin thinking in ways that even close adults fail to grasp. "Daphne's" confrontation with her father at the conclusion is rich with implications - even for today. Mau, beset with the responsibility of keeping the refugee community in order, ascends to the role of chief, making him the builder of a new Nation, almost by accident. Can such an endeavour actually succeed? In many ways this is one of the most subversive works of fiction for "young adults" available. It portrays not only a world that is other than the one we live in now, but offers a means to achieve it. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
Daphne finds herself the lone survivor when the ship she was traveling on crashes into Mau's island on the same wave. With little to guide her but her grandmother's training for high society, she isn't sure whether to approach Mau as a potential friend or foe.
As other survivors gather on the island, Mau and Daphne form a bond and work to create a society that's all their own. Mau begins to believe in himself despite his fear that he lacks a soul. Daphne realizes there are far more important things than propriety.
But when all they've gained is threatened by an outside enemy, will their makeshift community be able to hold steady?
NATION has everything you could ask for in a novel. Its dramatic scenes are both poignant and moving, with Pratchettt's customary humor keeping the proceedings from straying into melodrama. Both main characters are distinctive, and it's a pleasure watching them come into their own throughout the story. The villains are suitably creepy and brutal. Little details of the setting and cultures make it all feel so real.
Highly recommended to both teens and adults.
Reviewed by: Lynn Crow