Up on the chalk downs they call The Wold, witches are banned - ever since the Baron's son vanished in the woods. Anyway, as all witches know, chalk's no good for magic.
Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching thinks her Granny Aching - a wise shepherd - might have been a witch, but now Granny Aching is dead, and it's up to Tiffany to work it all out when strange things begin happening: a fairy-tale monster in the stream, a headless horseman, and, strangest of all, the tiny blue men in kilts, the Wee Free Men, who have come looking for the new 'hag'. These are the Nac Mac Feegles, the pictsies, who like nothing better than thievin', fightin' and drinkin'.
Then Tiffany's young brother goes missing and Tiffany and the Wee Free Men must join forces to save him from the Queen of the Fairies.
©2003 Terry and Lyn Pratchett (P)2003 Random House Audio
This was a great pick for a bookish 11-year-old who is a big Monty Python and Douglas Adams fan. It gets the big thumbs-up from me (his mother), too.
Characteristically Terry Pratchett--funny and sharp, and deceptively wise and touching in parts. Tiffany, who is 9 when this starts, is a terrific girl character: brave, resourceful and the hero of the piece. The Wee Free Men are hilarious; just part of the charm of Stephen Briggs' excellent narration.
You do have to be on your game: the Men, aka Nac Mac Feegles aka pictsies, have thick Scottish accents. And Pratchett trusts his readers to keep up, rather than spoon-feeding them. For me, that makes it all the more enjoyable.
I chose this hoping it would work for my 9-y-o daughter as well. She enjoyed the first few hours, but did lose interest a little, perhaps due to listening in interrupted sessions rather than on a long car journey. But the 11-y-o just loved it, and is still quoting from it.
Very very enjoyable. I laughed out loud a number of time. The Wee Free Men are really funny and have made all English into Scottish in my head today. I can strongly recommend the audiobook. Stephen Briggs has done a great job with this one!
Really funny story, which in my opinion is his funniest!
This performance did the story justice!
Rarely do I enjoy listening to performances of a material more than actually reading the book. This was one case. The narrator was amazing, hilarious, and engaging.
Quirky fun story, as most Pratchett novels are. I laughed out loud in quite a few places. Well worth the read, especially for any Pratchett fan.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
Nasty, naughty and nice
Its difficult to say. I think the
His Discworld performances are very much the same - excellent. I don't think you can add much to his performance. He is a good narrator that bring the text alive as if the Nag Mac Feegle might just crawl out of your ears.
Big surprises come in small packages... except for cats
Its worthwhile to listen to, but definitely one of the Discworld novels that are not so much of a page turner. The humour is sharp, but maybe one can say same old same old, nothing much to think over... maybe that is what makes it a children's book, but I don't think children is so stupid.
I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)
Wee Free men is set in the discword but is start of Pratcett's childern books which in someways are a little bit different take on the witches then in Equal Rites. In many ways this book works on Pratcett view of books for Childern : If they don't know it too hard then it might not be and a hint of blood is only offence to the people reading the story to the children.
Actually this is a very clean story and rather more true to English Folklore about Pixies and Elves then some of the more sugaring stuff pressed out.
I buy these books for my 12 year old, and am happy to have an excuse to listen to YA stories, which I secretly really enjoy. Pratchett was recommended to me, and I very much enjoyed this first book in this series. The books are funny, the characters engaging and the narration is great. There is nothing in them to worry a parent and my daughter gives it a two thumbs-up rating - "wonderful, loved-it."
I did, however, find myself wondering what happened to the editor. There were mouth noises throughout this recording, which is why I docked this book one star in the overall rating. As an audiobook publisher myself, this was actually somewhat of a relief (so good to know that we all make mistakes sort of thing), and really, while it was a bit distracting, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book. And I do note that the second book is absolutely clean - I'm half way through and not one lip smack.
Terry Pratchett doesn't disaapoint in this hugely entertaining book. My son, age 10, seemed to cope with most of the slight anachronisms...what is space invaders Mum?, Why is he called Yo-less? ... and enjoyed the book. Is there a sequel Mum?
"Well worth a listen"
Great plot, links well with favourites from the main Discword novels, all ages should enjoy. The narration by Stephen Briggs is excellent, looking forward to the sequels.
"Great fun - and wise too"
I discovered the Tiffany Aching series when I was nearly 60, and couldn't imagine why it was classified as a children's book. It is so complex and layered and hilarious and wise - I recommend to any adult who is still able to suspend disbelief and dive into a world of imagination. But children also love it. I just listened to the audiobook with my 9 year old grandson who grinned during nearly every paragraph and often squealed with delight. Didn't bother him in the least that the hero is a girl - although I suspect that may keep it off the list of books recommended for boys. My husband (nearly 70 and doesn't usually like fantasy) also listened and loved it for its wisdom, humour and complexity - and the absolutely fabulous reader.
"Thoughtful, charming and wickedly funny"
Fabulous story, brilliantly read by Stephen Briggs. Don't be put off by it being a 'Children's Book' either... yes, youngsters will love it, but anyone who loves fairy tales, adventures, drama and comedy will love it too.
Strangely familiar characters appear and you'll find yourself in the midst of a dream world... and if you're like me, then you'll savour the end and feel a bit sad when it's finished.
"Terry Prachett for older children"
I listened to this with my older children on a series of long car journeys. I am already a fan of the Discworld novels and wanted to introduce them to his work. It was a great success, they really enjoyed the story and the characters in it. And as in all the author's work there are a few moral points hidden and not so hidden within them. This is pitched at children rather than adults however would recommend to anyone 10+ years.
We are looking forward to the next in the series.
"Wish Tony Robnson did the unabridged versions"
Brilliant characters and fantastic story telling.
The Nac Mac Feegles moved me to giggles
I love all TP's books and have read them all, many several times. This was the 1st I've listened to, bought after listening to a sample of the abridged version by Tony Robinson. mr Briggs wasn't bad but his Scottish accent leaves much to be desired as did most of his voices and I would much rather have had Tony Robinson reading my book. Having said that, not much could spoil my enjoyment of this wonderful book which I am hoping will introduce my children to the genius that is Sir Terry Pratchett.
"More Please Terry."
Yes I would, I have read the book several times as well as listening to it in the car. Stephen Briggs is my preferred narrator, he gives the story so much, my apologies to Tony Robinson and Nigel Planer but your narrative style does not do the books justice. I love the Wee Free Men books despite them being written for the younger generation, they are so full of life and vigour and just a touch of pathos in certain parts.I would encourage anyone to try the books.
The Wee Free Men, Tiffany, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, the context of the story? It's difficult to say.
His excellent portrayal of the Nac Mac Feegles, their accents were brilliantly done. He made the story come to life and so very interesting to listen to.
I listen to these books whilst driving instead of music but, given the opportunity to sit and listen from start to finish in one session would be no hardship.
I've several Terry Pratchett books but after hearing other people narrating some of them I prefer the ones narrated by Stephen Briggs, other narrators don't bring the characters to life in the same way that he does.
"Not just a children's book."
The Wee Free Men is, in my opinion, up there with the best of Terry Pratchett's writing. Although I would rate this author's other children's books as well worth the read, they often loose a lot of the humor that makes Pratchett so different from other fantasy authors. This is not the case in this series. The Wee Free Man introduces us to another brilliant and well defined character in the witches series. Tiffany is intelligent, fascinating and unconventional and all the more interesting for being a child. The Wee Free Men are funny and endearing. Don't be put off by the children's story status of this book, here Pratchett has written something that should appeal to everyone.
Stephen Briggs is brilliant as ever as the narrator. As a genuine Pratchett fan and talented voice actor he is able to bring the works to life, conveying all the humor, intelligence and imagination of Pratchett's books into his narrating.
"As fairytale… with and edge"
Wonderfully read, giving life to different characters that make up this witty saga. It is the first of a series but totally independent. Bought it for my daughter, and enjoy listening to it again and again, and that's even though I got the book which I read both to myself and my children ;)
"Superb story and narration"
Firstly, the book which as always with TP is superb and supremely brought to life by Mr Stephen Briggs who, personally, I have always felt has MUCH more depth to his interpretation to the characters voices and idiosyncrasies than either of his main predecessors. Please, this is just a personal view and I respect totally the other comments in other reviews. Once again a great listen and thank you Mr Pratchett.
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