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.
"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.
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?
"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.
"Fabulous and hilarious"
The first of the Tiffany Aching stories - all about her no nonsense approach to witching and learning what "being a witch" is all about. The voices of the Wee Free Men are hilariously Scottish too which makes the references to their love of fights/drinking/partying that little bit funnier :P (no offence intended to anyone Scottish - those are attributes to be proud of). Another gem of a discworld book and a great one to start if you want to learn more about the witches - even if Sam Vimes will always be my favourite!
Yet again Sir Terry does it again. Humour and pathos mixed together with good old-fashioned observational story telling! Crivens
"A Family Favourite"
We all love this one. I've listened to this repeatedly and so have both the kids. It's a first puck for long car journeys. Excellent story. Wonderful characters and a stunning performance (as usual) by Stephen Briggs.
"A great introduction"
these little blue men and their hag are the rib tickling best, their future is guaranteed.
you must read the three following stories they're just as brilliant.
A combination of great characters a solid performance and a strong story made this a real pleasure to listen to.
Terry Pratchett's trademark asides make me laugh every time.
He copes well with a wide variety of accents
I laughed constantly throughout the book.
"Great for mixed gender listening (Crivens!)"
Apparently, boys are put off reading if the main character is a girl. Personally I think that's rubbish. It's more about finding female characters that boys can relate too.
My two boys (aged 6 and 8) loved the antics of the Nac Mac Feegle but they were also pretty impressed by the fact that Tiffany was handy with a frying pan. As a weapon. So I was happy - strong female lead - and they were happy - stealing, fighting, action.
This is definitely the longest audio-book we've ever had in the car (usually I stick with about 4 hours), and they drove me mad asking to have it put on. I think it would probably work best if you've got a long drive to do, but that was my problem not the audiobook. Seriously ... we'd be having it on for less than a minute. They would then refuse to get out of the car at Sainsbury so they could listen to some more. It's a great advert for the book, but not very useful if you want to get the shopping done.
I've only give the performance 3 stars as the volume seemed to ebb and flow in places. Whether it was my car stereo or the audio file I'm not sure. Also some of the accents sound a little similar. Small complaints though. I'm off to get the next one.
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