Sunday, June 7, 2009

Terry Pratchett: Wee Free Men

One Word Summary: Crivens!
More Words: Waily Waily! Not being of an extremely intellectual bent I don't know if I can explain the higher meaning in this story, but I did like it. It was silly and thought provoking and interesting. I simply loved the Nac Mac Feegle, and their war cry. "Nae king! Nae quin! Nae laird! Nae master! We willna be fooled again!" The ladies in my book group spent a lot of time discussing two things. The first item we talked about (actually I listened) was how our perception of reality might not always be accurate. The second thing we talked about (again I just listened) was about how crazy our male children are. We also ate a lot of chocolate fondue. In general everyone enjoyed the book. One person didn't, she said it was soft-core fantasy and it didn't grab her attention. Incidentally she didn't' like A Wrinkle in Time either. As for me, I thought there was some irony in spending a good portion of a day reading a fantasy story about not dreaming your life away. I'm still wondering what Pratchett meant by 'waking up', it seems he meant a lot of things. Ultimately, I need to read more Shakespeare.

p.s. I read the illustrated version. Some of the pictures were purposely unpleasant. Revolting, actually. My daughter liked sneaking peaks. She's three. I'm not quite ready for her to fight monsters. And I believe she is still too young to grow up. However the pictures are facinating so... Beware. Little eyes are seeking. and Be ready to answer their questions.


  1. What makes a person a hero? What is a witch?
  2. Is it possible for everyone to be "awake"? All the time?
  3. How does the author feel about education? Does it keep us from thinking? Does make us useless?
  4. Do you think this book says men are less smart than women? What's your opinion?
  5. How did Tiffany's anger help her overcome the Queen?
  6. Is there a difference between duty and love?
  7. Why didn't Granny talk much? Why didn't Tiffany insist on being the Hero at the end? Do you think she was right to blackmail Roland? Did she blackmail Roland? What exactly happened?


They looked like tinkers, but there wasn't one among them, she knew, who could mend a kettle. What they did was sell invisible things. And after they'd sold what they had, they still had it. They sold what everyone needed but often didn't want. They sold the key to the universe to people who didn't even know it was locked.

"You think... that you sort of died somewhere else and then came here?" said Tiffany. "You mean this is like...heaven?"
"Aye! Just as advertised!" said Rob Anybody. "Lovely sunshine, good huntin', nice pretty flowers, and wee burdies goin' cheep."
"Aye, and then there's the fightin'," said another Feegle. Then they all joined in.
"An' the stealin'!"
"An' the drinkin' an' fightin'!"
"An' the kebabs!" said Daft Wullie.
"But there's bad things here!" said Tiffany. "There's monsters!"
"Aye," said Rob, beaming happily. "Grand, isn't it? Everythin' laid on, even things to fight!"

If I was a world that didn't have enough reality to go around, Tiffany
thought, then snow would be quite handy. It doesn't take a lot of effort. It's
just white stuff. Everything looks white and simple. But I can make it
complicated. I'm more real than this place.

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