Thursday, 2 April 2009

Truckers

I'm wondering how I'm going to feel when I have no Terry Pratchett left to read. I think the Bromeliad is the last of his series that I haven't read, I still have a couple of the Sam Vimes books, and several of his latest novels. I'm saving them and savouring them as I honestly don't want to be in a position where I can't pick up a Pratchett I haven't already read. Oh well, I reckon it won't be such a terrible thing to read them all over again. And learning to be patient and wait for new books to come out is not so awful. Much.

Anyway, Truckers is book one of Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad trilogy and my second book for Carl's Once Upon a Time III challenge.



The small group of nomes who live out in the country are struggling. Their numbers are dwindling and, aside from Masklin and Grimma, are all elderly. Masklin is the only male fit enough to hunt and is reaching the point where he just cannot cope. He wants to leave, to find somewhere where life is not so hard but the others won't hear of it. There's a row one night amd Masklin goes off in a strop. While he's sulking the others are attacked by a fox and afterwards reluctantly agree to leave. They end up on a lorry which takes them to a place the like of which they've never seen before: the Store. To be precise: Arnold Bros (est. 1905).

Here they find more nomes than they've ever seen, in one place, before. The big shock is that these nomes do not believe in the existance of the Outside. All they know is the Store and will not believe that Masklin and his friends are Outsiders. The store nomes live in various departments such as Ironmongri, Millineri, Haberdasheri, Del icatessen, or the secretive Stationeri, and seem to live in a state of undeclared war with each other. The Outsiders eventually settle with the Stationeri but things come to a head when The Thing - an artifact they've owned for centuries - warns them that the store is about to be demolished and they'd better get out... fast! How can Masklin get the store nomes to believe him and even worse, work together to solve this terrible problem?

People seem to be divided about this series. Some I know are not struck, others love them. After reading just the first book I fancy I'm going to fall into the latter category. I really did enjoy it. It's classic Pratchett to my mind - a book about another species which really holds up a mirror for us to look at ourselves. You think the stores nomes are ridiculous until you suddenly realise they're exactly like us. It would be sobering if it wasn't so funny. Terry pokes gentle fun at just about everything, I particularly like his use of Arnold Bros. (est. 1905) as a sort of nome god, and the 'bible' quotes at the beginning of each chapter are brilliant.

'iv. On the Moving Stairs, let the sign be: Dogs and Pushchairs must be Carried;'

'v. And Arnold Bros (est. 1905) waxed wroth, for many carried neither dog nor pushchair;

'vi. On the Lifts let the Sign Be: This Lift to Carry Ten Persons;'

'vii. And Arnold Bros (est. 1905) waxed wroth, for oftimes the Lifts carried only two or three;'

'viii. And Arnold Bros (est. 1905) said, Truly Humans are Stupid, who do not understand plain language.'

I giggled all the way through the book to be honest. Every time I read one of his books I'm torn between laughing and marvelling at the man's sheer genius. He's unique; I can't think of another writer who writes like he does. Certainly I think his humour is uniquely British, as are the characters who inhabit his stories... I'm constantly amazed that the books appeal to anyone outside of the UK, but they clearly *do*. Truthfully, I think that one of the best ways for foreigners to understand us Brits is to read Terry Pratchett.

And now I have to wait to read book two, Diggers, because I don't have it. I have to grab it from my eldest daughter next time I see her so I'll just have to be patient. Oh dear.

15 comments:

Masha said...

I also loved truckers. It was one of the first Terry Pratchett's I read. I had been put off by the Josh Kirby covers before...

But have you read his "Johnny" books? They are really excellent. They are set in our world, but just as good (or better) than the diskworld books. There is "Johnny and the Bomb", "Johnny and the Dead" and "Only You can Save Mankind". Not sure which comes first... Highly recomended!

DesLily said...

never read any Pratchett though all reviews on his Diskworld books are more than favorable. Just never got around to it.. but glad you enjoy them so much.. giggling is a good thing!!

Cath said...

Masha: I think the Kirby covers are a bit of an acquired taste to be honest and I've never been mad about them.

No, I haven't read his 'Johnny' books. The BBC dramatised them a couple of years ago and saw one or two. I planned to read the books then and never did get around to it, so thanks for the reminder.

Pat: you'll get to him eventually I'm sure. Sometimes there's a right time for particular books and it's not worth pushing it until that time arrives. The other problem with Terry is, of course, that there is *so* much to catch up on.

Kailana said...

I only have read like three Terry Pratchett's, so I have a long way to go! I hadn't even heard of this one before... But, then, he does have a lot of books!

Cath said...

Kailana: yep, there are a *lot* of books. And the nice thing is, aside from the basic fantasy and humorous theme of most of his books, there's something for everyone: crime, horror, adventure, you name it. Not many authors can say that.

Jeane said...

I never did like Prachett. I had a college roommate who was a big fan and she loaned me a few to read, but I simply did not appreciate the humor. I didn't realize he published in such a wide variety of genres- perhaps I should try a different sort.

Nymeth said...

"I'm wondering how I'm going to feel when I have no Terry Pratchett left to read."

Sigh, me too. This trilogy is so brilliant. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! But no surprise there, of course :P

Cath said...

Jeane: my husband doesn't get Terry either. I think you either like his work or you don't. As to the genres I probably didn't explain that properly. Practically all his books are fantasy... the crime, horror etc. are genres 'within' his Discworld fantasy books. I know that sounds odd :-) but for Pratchett fans it really does work.

Nymeth: I've actually been avoiding this series - I think because of the titles. They sound like 'Boy's Toys' books. Then my son-in-law raved over them and we have similar tastes so I realised I needed to read them. I'm so glad I've started... although I have to wait until next Sunday to get my hands on the next one.

me said...

I guess I need to break out of my Diskworld rut...I can't wait to read this series.

Cath said...

Me: this series is *huge* fun and well worth breaking out of a Discworld rut to read. I can guarantee a lot of laughs!

Rhinoa said...

The was the first Pratchett book I read as a kid and I really enjoyed the series. If you like this series then I definitely recommend the Tiffany Aching books if you haven't already read them.

Jodie said...

Yay another Pratchett fan :) It sounds like you're an even bigger fan than me, because I still haven't read the new wizards offshoot or 'Maurice and His Amazing Rodents' I love this trilogy (but I'm missing the second one for some reason - I think I read a library copy).

Cath said...

Hi Rhinoa. I read the Tiffany Aching series last year. As a matter of fact I think it might have been for Carl's OUaT challenge as well, funnily enough. I thought they were wonderful quite frankly.

Jodie: Oh you really must read Maurice. It's one of the very best Pratchetts, in my opinion - creepy and entertaining but also with a strong moral point behind it. Brilliant. He won the Carnegie medal for it I believe.

Darla D said...

Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed this! It is such fun. I still need to read the other two. I'm in the midst of a Discworld reread/continue to read, but you've made me want to take a break and continue with this series soon.

Cath said...

Hi Darla! I need to go back to this series too. I have book 2 now so that helps. I might start it tonight for my bedtime read as my other book is good but rather serious, and I prefer something lighthearted for bedtime reading.