Back of the book: On the day the world ends...
...Mau is on his way home from the Boys' Island. Soon he will be a man.
And then the wave comes -- a huge wave, dragging black night behind it and bringing a schooner which sails over and through the island rainforest.
The village has gone.
The Nation as it was has gone.
Now there's just Mau, who wears barely anything, a trouserman girl who wears far too much, and an awful lot of big misunderstandings.
Wise, witty, and filled with Terry Pratchett's inimitable comic satire, this is a terrific adventure that -- quite literally -- turns the world upside down.
Thoughts: I admit that I hadn't read much Pratchett before buying this book, but now that I've finished reading Nation, I want to see more of what this man has done and can do. (Shame for now I have other more pressing books to get to.)
Nation was an enjoyable read from start to finish. It's a book that presents thinking in an intelligent and wonderful way and messes with the perception of meaning, right, and wrong. It's a culture clash seen from both ends, and by the end you can't help but see both sides as right, wrong, and foolish at the same time. It challenges faith, ignorance, history, culture, and a whole host of other issues in such pleasant ways that you could have spent the last 50 pages being preached at and you'd have enjoyed every word of it!
Now that takes skill!
The final chapter (or epilogue, depending on how you really want to look at it) was quite powerful to me, as it expressed how an entire culture can not only be remade, but made in the first place, by chance encounters, and that the smallest things have the biggest consequences.
I think that if more young people read books like this, they'd enjoy reading more in general. Which is exactly what I'm going to tell R when I pass it off to him to read.