Finding himself alone on a desert island when everything and everyone he knows and loved has been washed away in a huge storm, Mau is the last surviving member of his nation. He's also completely alone - or so he thinks until he finds the ghost girl. She has no toes, wears strange lacy trousers like the grandfather bird and gives him a stick that can make fire.
Daphne, sole survivor of the wreck of the Sweet Judy, almost immediately regrets trying to shoot the native boy. Thank goodness the powder was wet and the gun only produced a spark. She's certain her father, distant cousin of the Royal family, will come and rescue her, but it seems, for now, all she has for company is the boy and the foul-mouthed ship's parrot.
As it happens, they are not alone for long. Other survivors start to arrive to take refuge on the island they all call the Nation, and then raiders accompanied by murderous mutineers from the Sweet Judy. Together, Mau and Daphne discover some remarkable things - including how to milk a pig and why spitting in beer is a good thing - and start to forge a new Nation.
As can be expected from Terry Pratchett, the master story-teller, this new children's novel is both witty and wise, encompassing themes of death and nationhood, while being extremely funny. Mau's ancestors have something to teach us all. Mau just wishes they would shut up about it and let him get on with saving everyone's lives!
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Best Book Ever
In Nation, Pratchett dispenses with his usual Disc World plots and give us instead a This World plot from our not very distant past with, of course, a typical Pratchett-esque twist. Taking history on a slightly different course to emphasize a point, Pratchett does that which he does so very well - makes us look at ourselves a little differently. He does so with a great deal of wit and humor, giving us heroes and heroines to root for, and a cadre of supporting characters to completely charm us. And just maybe, if we aren't careful, we might end up learning something.
Read most excellently by Stephen Briggs, this is an audiobook for anyone who likes a good adventure yarn.
Briggs does an excellent job of narrating. It's clear that he is enjoying the story just as much as the listener, and he really brings all the characters to life. It's like listening to the best ever bedtime story-teller.
Mau's epiphany on the water, when he realizes that however flawed the gods of his world have proven to be, they serve a purpose.
Great Story, Great Performance
I'm a big fan of Terry Pratchett. This book has a great story and I really loved it, even though it isn't really similar to Discworld. I suppose it's more in line with Dodger (also a must read-listen).