Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2015 TBR Reading Challenge: Truckers by Terry Pratchett

2015 TBR Reading Challenge
Book: Truckers by Terry Pratchett
My Categories: children's, fantasy, male author
Wendy Crutcher's Category: RITA book (That this book ain't!)

I loved this book. I laughed out loud in many places. I marveled at the intricate society and culture of the ordinary world that Pratchett build up.

The story's about these tiny, outer-worldly creatures called Nomes. Some of them live outdoors and are called Outsiders. The majority of the Nomes in this story live under a departmental store called the Store. This is their world. The ceiling is the sky, the departmental sections of Ironmongery, Stationeri, Corsetry, Millinery, and so on are the clans under which the Nomes have organized themselves. Within each clan, there's the head honcho, an advisory team, and other such titles. The clans war with each other and some are stronger / more dominant than others. There's a food hall where, by mutual agreement, everyone comes to the table as equals. Sensible!

Due to a problem with their habitat, the Outsiders hitch a ride on one of the lorries (trucks), which brings them to the Store. Almost all of the Nomes there are astounded by the presence of the Outsiders. Some refuse to believe in them and think they had simply been living elsewhere in the Store.

"It is very hard to meet someone who doesn't believe you exist."

Patriarchy is alive and well among the Nomes of the Store. Not so among the Outsiders.

Their exclamations of surprise or anger are "Grand Finale Sale" and "Everything Must Go." The villain of the story is "Prices Slashed," the security guard.

All the Nomes of the Store believe in a god called...wait for it...Arnold Bros (est. 1905). The Outsiders believe in a black Thing box that once it has access to electricity acts as an oracle and information supplier. It is the computer that came with the Nomes thousands of years ago when they left their planetary home.

And stranger still is that the Thing tells the hero of the tale, Masklin, that the days of the Store are numbered and the Nomes need to move elsewhere to survive. Slowly some of the clan leaders come to accept that the Black Thing and Masklin might have a point. The majority of the book is devoted to how Masklin achieves their removal via a lorry before the Store demolition deadline.

There are nuggets of Pratchett's writing that had me sticking Post-its all over the book.

"I don't know enough words, he thought. Some things you can't think unless you know the right words."

But the best part of the book is the humor. LOL was really L.O.L. Masklin decides that the best way for them to escape was to drive a lorry. Imagine the scale of things.

"It's too far up. It's a small step for a man, but a giant leap for nomekind."

So Masklin and a bunch of higher official Nomes stand on the dashboard and navigate by reading the book The High Way Code and a map from a pocket diary with areas marked "Europe" and "Asia." They tell the signaler to signal left or right. He in turn tells the conductor on the floor of the truck who orchestrates teams of Nomes on the gas pedal, the brake, the clutch, the gear stick, the turn indicator, and the steering wheel.

Imagine this. Hundreds of Nomes manage to maneuver a huge semi out of the garage, out on the city roads, and out into the boondocks. That whole process of coming together to make it work...my sides hurt, because...

"'Well, laddie,' he said. 'I've seen a lot of people, and I've got to tell you, if you lined up ten Nomes and shouted "Pull!," four of them would push and two of them would say "Pardon?" That's how people are. It's just nomish nature.'"

But they do it. They make it safely to outdoor caves. Huzzahs!


willaful said...

Yay for a children's book in the TBR challenge! I love this book! Did you know there are two sequels?

Keira Soleore said...

Yes! So glad there're sequels to this book. Both my husband and I are waiting for our current list of books to finish before we read them. I now well believe in Pratchett's loyal following.

Victoria Janssen said...

I really enjoyed this one...not sure where my copy got to. Should hunt it up.

Keira Soleore said...

Glad I'm inspiring you to re-read it. It is SO FUNNY!!

Keira Soleore said...
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