09/12/2008

Wings (by Terry Pratchett)

I've been reading books by Terry Pratchett for at least fifteen years. The earliest series I read was the Nome or Bromeliad trilogy, which I read aloud to my sons when they were around six and eight. We all enjoyed them then, but I don't think I read them again until recently.

This year, however, I read 'Truckers' in May, and 'Diggers' in August. So it was more than time to read the third book in the trilogy.

'Wings' follows the adventures of Masklin and his two companions Angalo and Gurder, who set off to the airport part-way through 'Diggers'. Unlikely though it may seem, they managed to get on board a plane that took them to Florida, in the hope of seeing 'Grandson Richard, 39', who was in fact the grandson of the founders of Arnold Bros, the store featured in the book 'Truckers'.

They take with them the 'Thing' - a small computer which knows that the nomes originally came from another planet, and that a spaceship has been waiting for them for about fifteen thousand years...

Yes, it's all slightly surreal, and entirely unbelievable. Yet in Pratchett's hands even the most bizarre storylines seem realistic and exciting. There's humour, there's the typical sideways glances at humanity and its quirks, and there are even things to think about. Why, for instance, do we have so many legends about 'little people'?

Although written for children, the language is not childish; thus it's an enjoyable light read for adults or teenagers as well as confident readers of about eight or nine upwards. And, as I remember from all those years ago, it works very well as a read-aloud for younger children so long as they have reasonable concentration span.

'Wings' would be hard to read as a standalone story; it is much best to read it after both 'Truckers' and 'Diggers', as the three are closely linked. Without knowledge of the first two, many of the references in 'wings' would be lost.

All three are excellent light reading, which I'd recommend to anyone who likes this style of book and doesn't mind a bit of nonsense.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 9th December 2008

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