This was an enjoyable novel, a pleasure to listen to. As a Pratchett novel, it is very funny, with just the right amount of thoughtful and disturbing ..Show More »bits, as it plays with genre clich??s and expectations and wittily blurs the differences between "story" and "reality."
Maurice is an amazing cat: self-centered, cocky, scheming, sarcastic, possessed of a good conscience???and sentient. The various rats in "the Clan" are neat, too, Dangerous Beans (the physically weak seer and spiritual leader), Peaches (the irritatingly ethical conscience), Darktan (the experienced and brave trap removal squad leader), Sardines (the entertainer), and so on. The rats' coming to terms with becoming sentient is vividly, humorously, and often poignantly depicted. The animals' stupid looking boy, Keith, has some surprises inside him. The far too imaginative, budding grim fairy tale authoress the Mayor's daughter, Malicia, is an appealing character. And the "evil" villain has a convincing and sad origin. The violent, scheming, arrogant, callous, and cruel side of human nature is tellingly exposed, too. And there are countless guffaw, chuckle, or smile points sprinkled throughout the story.
And Stephen Briggs does a marvelous job reading all the voices of the various characters, giving each one its own accent or pitch or personality and injecting plenty of wit into the already witty novel.
My 9-year old daughter and I listen to audiobooks any time we have a drive longer than 15 minutes and this has been one of our favorites. I find myse..Show More »lf chuckling just thinking about Rob Anybody and Not-so-big-as-medium-sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-wee-Jock Jock and their escapades. Humor aside, I love the message that looking at things and thinking them through is more important than being able to do magic. We should all have First Sight and Second Thoughts. Especially since they generally help Tiffany sort things out for herself before the Nac Mac Feegle arrive back on the scene from whatever carousing has distracted them from the crisis at hand.
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. ..Show More »
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.
This is the second of the books about Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men. Although they are listed as children's books, they are definitely aimed at ..Show More »the older literate child who loves words. I found this, as I usually do with Pratchett, difficult to 'put down' - it contains plenty to keep the more mature adult intrigued and amused.
This is the story of Tiffany's journey off the Chalk to begin her witches' apprenticeship with Miss Level. In it she defeats a Hiver, a creature that cannot be killed. While it is possible to 'read' Pratchett's Discworld books in any order and still find them entertaining, they do build on one another, so I would recommend reading or listening to "The Wee Free Men" first, especially if you haven't read any Pratchett before. A nodding acquaintence with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg from any of the witch-focussed books in the series would also help. "Equal Rites" would be a good place to start.
Stephen Briggs does an excellent job of reading quite complex material with a large cast of characters. He finds consistent recognisable voices for the main characters, using a range of regional accents from the UK. He clearly enjoys reading Pratchett and understands his material well.
My one problem is that Pratchett starts of with a glossary of characters and it is very difficult to flip back to this in an audiobook when you want to know who or what a particular person represents.
This book is great. It might be my favorite of the Nac Mac Feegle Discworld books. I'm really enjoying reading about Tiffany Aching's journey through ..Show More »adolescence with the (sometimes unfortunate) companionship of the Wee Free Men. Stephen Briggs's reading is fantastic as always. He is excellent at differentiating character voices without making them too ridiculous. He is always able to pace his reading style to match the urgency of the story. This SHOULD be a 5-star review.
Except for the twinkly, horrible music that pops up periodically. It doesn't fit with the tone of the book. It really takes me out of the story whenever it comes on. It doesn't even seem to fall at appropriate intervals, like chapter breaks. It just comes in, seemingly at random. I wish I could easily advance through it, but unfortunately, it often seems to overlap the storytelling. I want it to be gone so that I could fully enjoy this audiobook.
Pratchett returns to the idea of belief and seasons. This should not off put anyone with strong views about what do believe in; rather this is about t..Show More »he effects of belief and how societies work with belief through charity; exchange and tradition.
It's also light and funny. Morals without preaching but a dose of guilt. If you enjoy the others go right and head and dive in.
Every book Terry Pratchett writes is a treasure, and this book is no exception. In Pratchett's fourth book in the TIffany Aching series, he again prod..Show More »uces an astutely clever and astounding narrative reflecting the basic natures of humanity, both the good and bad, the just and unjust, the altruistic and spiteful. The nearly 16-year-old Tiffany must navigate the superstitious hatred and violence that is targeting "witches" in general and Tiffany in particular and stop the Clever Man who is generating it. This book delves into the meaner side of humanity, including family-directed violence. Pratchett skillfully navigates these issues in this YA book in such a manner that while the material itself may be considered as for a mature audience, the presentation is ideal for both YA and mature readers alike. Stephen Brigg's performance, as usual, is brilliant and fabulously entertaining, especially his performance of the Nac Mac Feegles. If you enjoyed the other Tiffany Aching novels, i think you will thoroughly enjoy this one, too.