Books Blog: Nation

The latest in Freddie Marshall‘s series of book recommendations.

Terry Pratchett is renowned for his imaginative and creative series: Discworld. Many people know him for this series and will only read his Discworld books. What people don’t know is that he has written many solo novels, one of which being Nation. If you have never read any Terry Pratchett but don’t fancy plunging yourself into the marathon series Discworld then I suggest starting with Nation.

Nation is set on a small island in the middle of the great southern Pelagic Ocean. It is a world very similar to ours but, while the people are nineteenth century people, the geography of the world is 50 years in advance. Mau, a small island boy is making the ritual journey to a dark, desolate island and making his own way back. This will take him from boyhood into manhood. On his return to his home island a tsunami catapults itself over Mau and towards his island. Mau survives but when he returns home, his friends, family and every living human on the island has been massacred by the tsunami. We learn much more about his religion and beliefs and later meet a stranded British girl called Ermintrude. Her ship has been wrecked and she has swum to Mau’s Island. Pratchett uses the communication barrier between Mau and Ermintrude to inject some comedy into the serious book. He also includes many quirky jokes which you will be familiar with if you have already read his other novels. Mau’s island begins to fill with immigrants which proves very difficult for Mau. They learn about many different cultures and start to build their own nation. After Mau has almost built his nation they are attacked by raiders and Mau realises he is going to have to lead his Nation if they want to survive. This is a brilliant book for all years as it has many interesting topics on what a civilized nation would be but there are also plenty of jokes and action to entice any reader. I think it is also an excellent book as it talks about religion and ghosts and asks philosophical questions about faith.

I would definitely recommend Nation to any audience of eager readers especially if they haven’t read any Terry Pratchett before.