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A Hat Full of Sky Audio CD – Unabridged, May 25, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
In the previous volume, Tiffany Aching, a young independent farmgirl with witch-like powers, overcomes an evil queen to rescue her brother with the help of a clan of drunken, riotous "Pictsies," six-inch kilt-wearing men painted blue and swearing like truckers. In "Hat Full of Sky," Tiffany goes off for formal witch training, only to be taken over by a "hiver," an evil being who stirs up all one's worst urges. Under the hiver's temporary influence, Tiffany becomes a kind of "mean girl," pushy, self-interested, inconsiderate, and obsessed with clothes.
It strikes me as remarkable that Pratchett (a middle-aged man, after all) could get the internal struggle of the pre-teen so exactly right: wanting to be popular and able to satisfy every urge, but with a wee small voice inside, fighting those urges in favor of a better self.
As in "Wee Free Men," the Pictsies are terrifically funny; the best bit is when the Pictsies climb over each other like acrobats and throw on human clothes to disguise themselves (as a single human) for a journey: they confound their fellow-travelers when the stomach complains out loud to the head, and the gloved hands walk off in opposite directions.
Both full- and pint-sized readers will laugh and enjoy this book!
Most of the authors on my Top 10 list got there on the basis of a few good books; Robin McKinnley's "The Blue Sword" and "The Hero and the Crown"; Tolkein's "The Hobbit"; Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarion Trilogy; David Webber's "Mutineer's Moon" Trilogy...
With Pratchett, it's easier to list those of his books that I don't like. There's only one ("Eric!"), and even it has its moments.
I suppose that now I have to explain why I like him so much. The reason is simple. He is wise. He is ALSO funny, which allows him to present his wisdom in a way that is readily accessible.
As a case in point, I am a soldier. I know the nature of my peers. Pratchett's books about CDR Vimes, which I collectively refer to as The Watch Trilogy (although there's now more than three volumes) is a masterpiece of insight into the nature of wearing a uniform. There is nothing at all heroic about CPL Nobbs or SGT Colon, and I've known many individuals very like both of them. Yet, when the time comes, and society needs someone to stand in the gap, they're there. Flaws and all. And beside them are people like CPT Carrot, who is virtue personified. CDR Vimes may not be virtuous, and he'd be horribly offended at being called noble, but he is good. And he does what he does because he loves his people. (I recall the comic scene where he states that the city is a woman, and he loved her even when she kicked him in his teeth.) The armed forces have the same mix of personalities that intermingle with complex interaction. We're not heros. We're people. Pratchett is one of the few authors who understands that enough to write it believably.Read more ›
There's plenty of Terry's whimsical humor and wry satire to keep readers smiling and chuckling. Especially when the Nac Mac Feegle make their appearance in the story, of course! These little blue-tattooed Pictsies are delightfully irreverent and contentious, causing havoc and hilarity wherever they go. Along with the humor, however is a good solid dose of heart. I do believe Mr. Pratchett has done an exemplary job of making us care about the characters and creating believable, fallible and lovable. I was surprised at how much I came to care about the Mac Feegles new kelda, Jeanie as she struggles to take on the role she's been born for. Jeanie isn't a main character in the story, but her presence and other little touches like her, fill Pratchett's story with echoes of meaning and magic.
If I have one complaint about this book, it's that it felt too short. Events happened so quickly that before I knew it I was at the last page of the story. I did feel as though there were places where the narrative could have been expanded upon, characters who were not as fully fleshed out as they could have otherwise been.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As in many of Pratchett's books, view of a world and human nature as we would like it to be not as it is likely to be. Read morePublished 3 days ago by William Clodius
Easily as good as the first in the series. Tiffany's development as an adolescent and a witch are so relatable and exciting.Published 4 days ago by Leah
My favorite thing about Pratchett's writing is his humor. The books are filled with adventure, fear, magic, instruction, and humor in perfect proportions. Read morePublished 6 days ago by C. Simmons
Pratchett's books are all liquid light! I find t discover something extremely funny each time I re-read another of his delightful books.Published 1 month ago by Stephanie Lee-Scott