Nation - A first personal impression (No spoilers)

Discussion in 'MORE TERRY PRATCHETT NOVELS' started by Joculator, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Joculator The 'Old' Fool

    I've only just got into Terry's latest book (five chapters) and I'm a little unsure what to make of it. I was totally prepared for the lack of 'Discworld-ness' although I get the impression that it has been written with the US market in mind.

    Having said that, it has been a long time since Terry has written a totally, non-Discworld novel (I'm talking Johhny Maxwell series here) which means there is not a lot of his other work that can be used as a comparison.

    The early reviews hinted at a Lord of the Flies theme or any other 'Desert Island Adventure' type novel, but I can't make that work for me; and I don't think that was Terry's intention either.

    The time period is around mid 19th century (not a favourite subject of mine) and unlike the rest of Terry's books, Nation has so far not 'grabbed me by the throat'. The Pratchett humour is still there without doubt as is the familiar fantasy but, for me, the storyline is a lot slower.

    Maybe a short break with Dostoevsky's 'The Possessed' will give me a chance to come back to Nation and appreciate it better.
    If not there's always 'Unseen Academicals' to look forward to.
  2. Hsing Moderator

    Thanks for the impression... I think when I am going to read this book, I'll just try as hard as I can to forget that it has been written by Terry Pratchett and try to imagine it was the debut novel of an aspiring Albanian writer. Otherwise I won't be able to be objective about it's quality at all, just looking for recognizable patterns.
  3. TheJackal Member

    Bought an arc edition a few months ago & on the whole was unimpressed. It's clearly well written, etc but not the biggest fan of the story.

    First time I've not really liked a Pratchett book since his very early, pre-Discworld days
  4. redneck New Member

    I enjoyed it. There again, I have the whole of Patrick o'Brians Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin series (The movie Master and Commander, with Russle Crowe, was adapted from the novel The Far Side of the World). So, the time period was of interest to me.

    I liked the feel of it as well. I read it in two big blocks of time and like most of Pratchett's books, it read rather quickly. I haven't read any of the Johnny books in a while, but it seemed to be in a similar style with them. Or at least Only You can save Mankind.

    I'm not saying that it's the best book that he's written, but I did like it quite well.
  5. roisindubh211 New Member

    I really liked it, actually. It quite reminded me of E. Nesbit's stories, particularly Ermintrude's view of life and how she changed through the book. Mau actually reminded me a bit of William de Worde, now that I think of it.

    Any ideas on what Pterry had in mind with the grandfather birds? I was picturing toucans but they don't have white feathers near their legs.
  6. Marcia Executive Onion

    I'm reading it now and I'm enjoying it immensely.

    I'm not looking at it as a "Terry Pratchett" novel, that is, as another one in a Terry Pratchett series, but as a piece of work on its own.
  7. Katcal I Aten't French !

    Due to sheer laziness, I shall merely quote Mrs Mal. I'm a few chapters in and liking it. I like the sort of easter-egg-like bits like the Pacific Tree Octopus and so-on, that you have to know about to find funny, and if you don't they are intriguing enough to make you want to look them up.
  8. Rewr New Member

    My OH treated me to the book when it first came out. I received another copy at Christmas!

    I enjoyed the book, when I had peace to read it! Gone are the days where I can just sit and read and ignore the world around me :wink:
  9. Katcal I Aten't French !

    Well I have now finished it and must say I enjoyed it a lot. That doesn't necessarily mean much as I liked Strata and DSotS as well, and I know most diskiples don't usually. It was nice not only to meet new characters but to discover a whole new context, a different world. And it is a good self-contained story too, there is no sense of unfinishedness as if we really need a Nation 2: Son of Nation to get to know the characters better...

    Obviously the usual Pterry themes are all there, the power of belief, Death, the world maybe not being quite what it seems and certainly not what other people want you to think it is... But then would we love him if they weren't?

    I found it a very refreshing and enjoyable read myself and would highly recommend it.
  10. SQUEAK New Member

    i read this when it first came out...was straight down the shops, but i didnt feel it. I kept waiting for something..not sure what but it never arrived and i was quite disappointed.

    I understand it was well written but it wasnt me. when you go to read books by your favourite author, you do kind of have certain expectations and this wasnt mine.
  11. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    Interesting to read the different opinions. I enjoyed the book (although I wanted to argue with some of the ideas in it!) and found it to be very Pratchettian - typical themes, typical plot devices, typical characterisation. I was intrigued by his rather obvious avatar insertion at the end, with the old guy and the telescope. Is Pterry veering towards the spiritual side of agnosticism these days?
  12. mowgli New Member

    I enjoyed it, even while certain sections seemed to sag a bit under a load of their own introspectiveness. (For example, when one of the characters is suffering from whether or not what they did was officially murder... Maybe I need a smack upside the head, but the situation seemed pretty cut and dry to begin with, so all the self-torture felt contrived) But overall, I thought it was awesome, and definitely not a disappointment :):cough:: Monstrous Regiment ::cough::). I mailed it to Brad yesterday morning, can't wait to see how he liked it.
  13. willbaforce New Member

    I liked it. It was slow at points, but I think that only added to its atmosphere of picking up and starting again-ness.
    I think personally that the story could have followed a different direction than the one it took, but that aside it was very enjoyable. Will be re-reading it, that's for sure!

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