Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett Read Along: Week 3

If you haven't read the book then, unfortunately, you have missed out on all the fun! You can find links to everyone else’s thoughts at Dab of Darkness. While you are there you could also hop through to sign up the second book: A Hat Full Of Sky . . . just an idea!

This week we read through to the end of the book.

1) What was your favorite part of the 'duel of dreams' between Tiffany and the Queen?

I loved the way that Tiffany drew on her familiarity with something that was very special to Granny Aching: it suggested that she had spent many long hours staring at the image. Having lost my own grandparents, I know that it is those silly little reminders that are so much more evocative of their presence than the big flashy stuff. I always enjoy the way that Mr Pratchett can take something so incredibly poignant and moving and make you laugh at it whilst appreciating the sub-text: pure genius.

I loved the whale and Tiffany’s determination to persuade Wentworth that it is not a fish. This is precisely the kind of annoying persistence that I showed as child and I was a great one for correcting people when I knew that they were in the wrong . . . and yet I was not a social pariah for some reason! :D

2) The last part of the book shows us a bit more of Roland's character. What did you make of him?

I thought that his reaction to his father’s assumptions was fairly decent. He realized that he would not be able to convince the Baron that Tiffany was the real hero, but felt bad that she was not receiving the credit that she deserved. I have a strong suspicion that he will be a far better Baron than his father, because he now has a real connection to the land and its people.

I wonder if he will reappear in the later books and how his relationship with Tiffany will progress. I found it interesting that she did not blame him for how the story was being spun, but I am sure that he feels as if he is in her debt now.

3) The Nac Mac Feegle never cease to make me laugh. What were some of your favorite scenes or lines from the Feegle (for this segment or the entire book)?

I really liked their interactions with Wentworth, and found it interesting that they were able to break through his candy / toilet obsession and convert him into a relatively nice child. Who would have thought that such rascally rascals could be great with kids? :D

Of course, their interactions with the lawyers were hilarious.

4) The finale of the book introduces us to Mistress Weatherwax and Mrs. Ogg. These are two of my all-time favorite Discworld characters. What did you think of them? Have you read other books featuring these two ladies?

There was a cartoon adaptation of Wyrd Sisters shown in the UK years ago that I really enjoyed, so I am slightly familiar with them. I found it rather uncomfortable not referring to them as Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg though.

I thought that their introduction at the end of the story was a nice touch, because it brought Tiffany into contact with familiar characters who have an established place in the Discworld. It also shows us a variety of Witches, so that we know that Tiffany will fit right in to their culture. I love that Granny Weatherwax appears to be so intimidating and yet she has to bump start her broom . . . such an undignified thing to do!

5) Tiffany's connection with Granny Aching is one of the most poignant throughout the book. Did you enjoy Granny Aching's brief appearance late in the book?

It was wonderful, and it really emphasized that special relationship that exists between grandparents and their grandchildren. However, I have to admit that I was also laughing at the mental image of Granny, with her wild hair, rough skin and huge boots in such a ridiculous outfit. Somehow, I think Granny would have worn the outfit just to make Tiffany smile, even though she knew precisely how silly she looked, because she understood the love and thought that went into choosing the gift.

Was I the only one who got a little bleary eyed at this point?


  1. OMG - did we all become bleary eyed! So funny. I thought it was just me being a bit odd or something.
    I must confess I didn't really like Roland - he came across as a bit superior, or maybe that's the wrong word, I mean, I can understand that he wasn't going to convince his father about Tiffany (and anyway she didn't want him to) but he then came across a bit hoity toity - luckily Tiffany put him in his place 'patapatpat'.
    The whole scene with the frog and the lawyers was brilliant 'he has a briefcase', 'he's opening the briefcase'!
    I'll be reading the next book but may be a little late as I'm going away for a few days.
    Lynn :D

    1. I'm glad I wasn't the only one!

      I have a new found respect fro briefcases . . . :D

  2. Oh yes, Weatherwax defintiely needs to upgrade her broom if she wants to be taken serious during take off. hehe!

    I also enjoyed that Wentworth is no longer screaming for candy or the toilette and is now using Feegle curses. Crivens!

    I too got a little bleary eyed towards the end with granny Aching appearing. Terry Pratchett truly is magnificent to write a story that can have me laughing so hard one moment, and then toughing my heart with a scene the next that nearly brings me to tears.

    So glad you will be joining us for book 2!

  3. Yep! Sir Terry is a true genius. He can use such silly elements for his stories and yet still include very moving characterization. I am so glad I joined in as it has reminded me of how much I love his work . . . so there wasn't much doubt that I would carry on to book 2! :D

  4. Hello Sue, nice blog :) I am sorry for the late reply, I am following you back! I love the name of your blog :)


  5. Yup, totally started all out weeping when Granny showed up and I realized what she was wearing. I tend to read in public - at restaurants, in the staff lounge at work, at the park, at the library, and now i've got to add this book to the list of "books not to read the end of in public: there is crying".

  6. When I was still volunteering at the library I had a very embarrassing incident when I burst out weeping whilst reading (because an aged dog died) . . . the people phoning in must have wondered what on Earth was going on! :D


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