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Books: Nation by Pratchett


On my way to Devoxx, I managed to pick two books with a multiverse theme to keep me company on the train ride. The first one was Nation, by Terry Pratchett.

In an amusing way, this book shares something with Emmerich's latest end of days movie: there is a lot of water involved in both. And that's where the similarities end. Emmerich spends most of his time pulling up neat CGI showing how some part of the world or the other gets swamped in a cataclysmic flood. His story ends where Nation's more subjective just gets started. Pratchett spends a couple of pages on a tsunami that washes over a world of islands, and then his protagonist spends the rest of the book growing up fast.

Starting off as a robinsonade, it rapidly turns into a discussion of the roots and purposes of culture, society, language and all the other fun philosophical topping that Pratchett likes to layer over a simple, funny growing-up story. In some parts, it's like Small Gods revisited.

The other book is Anathem by Stephenson. I'm still enjoying it, so more on that one later.