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Fantasy Faction Book Clubs => 2015 Book Club => Book Club Archives => Fantasy Faction Book Club => [APR 2015] - Wee Free Men => Topic started by: Nighteyes on April 06, 2015, 10:09:02 PM

Title: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Nighteyes on April 06, 2015, 10:09:02 PM
I broke and read the whole book in a day. Sorry peeps!  But from some random notes I made on my phone I can see that I wanted us to discuss the Nac Mac Feegles.  Pratchett aficionados will of course know that they made their first appearance in Carpe Jugulum, but like a new alien race being introduced in Star Trek, they are far better developed the second time around. In terms of a Pratchett novel this one actually plays things relatively straight as a YA adventure and lesson on grief, and the Nac Mac Feegle provide much needed comic relief.  Whether they are dressing up as birds to teach a farm cat a lesson, or sheepishly returning a stolen sheep, they are fluffin' hilarious.  Who is your favourite, Rob Anybody, Daft Wullie, Hamish, William the gonnagle, or my personal favourite Not-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock?   Also I think Pratchett has out Tolkiened Tolkien here.  By not giving an actual number to the Nac Mac Feegle, and just focusing on a few of them, I feel more attached to the Nac Mac Feegles as a group to go adventuring with, then the dwarves of Hobbit.  And woah what a twish, "'Ach, no' said Rob.  'We're the ones who's deid.  Did ye not know that?'"  M Night Shamayalan eat your heart out. 

What else?  I highlighted some text on First sight and second thoughts:

Quote
Ye've got that little bitty bit inside o' you that holds on, right?  'Tis the First Sight and Second thoughts ye have, and 'tis a wee gift an' a big curse to ye.  You see and hear what others canna', the world opens up its secrets to ye, but ye're always like the person at the party with the wee drink in the corner who cannae join in.  There's a little bitty bit inside ye that willnae melt and flow.

And

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First sight is when you can see what's really there, not what your heid tells you ought to be there...  Because in truth there are more worlds than stars in the sky.  Understand?  They are everywhere, big and small, close as your skin. They are everywhere.  Some you can see an' some ye cannae but there are doors, Tiffan.  They might be a hill or a tree or astone or a turn in the road or they might e'en be a thought in yer heid, but they are there, all aroound you.  You'll have to learn to see 'em, because you walk amongst them and dinnae know it.  And some of them ... is poisonous.


I can imagine many  readers screaming at the book at this point, I HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS and damn it do I wish I had first sight!  Though the description of first sight could be seen as a metaphor for the adventures and misadventures that await a young teenage girl or boy in life. 

We also learn a lot more about Granny Aching and her importance to not just Tiffany but to the entire community.  As Rob Anybody so aptly puts it
Quote
What's magic, eh?  Just wavin' a stick an sayin' a few magical words.  An' what is clever aboot that,eh? But lookin' at things, really lookin' at 'em,and workin' 'em oout, now that's a real skill.
  In these chapters we see through flashbacks, how Granny tackled the baron and his troublesome dog who had been killing sheep.  No magic is used, instead more of the famous headology, but surely as Rob would say, that's real magic, as opposed to waving a magic wand for a quick fix?

The figurine of the Shepherdess is important as well.
Quote
It was a lovely thing but it was a joke of a shepherdess, made by someone who'd probably never seen a sheep up close.
  How we perceive things, and they really are is a recurring theme in this book, think of how the witches are not dressed all in black with pointed hats, and my heart went out to poor Tiffany as she beat herself up inside for fearing she had inadvertently insulted her grand mother. 

Anyway thoughts? Must be quite a few. I would particularly be intrigued to how you all think the thoughtson the novel being about coming to terms with loss.


 
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Lady Ty on April 07, 2015, 03:11:34 AM
I haven't joined in because I won't keep up, but adore the Wee Free Men and enjoying comments. I am intruding to mention that unless you are Scots you may not appreciate why William is called the gonnagle.
Google William McGonagall and all will be explained. ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Nighteyes on April 07, 2015, 12:08:18 PM
I haven't joined in because I won't keep up, but adore the Wee Free Men and enjoying comments. I am intruding to mention that unless you are Scots you may not appreciate why William is called the gonnagle.
Google William McGonagall and all will be explained. ;D ;D ;D

Thank you for that titbit. Absolutely fascinating! I recommend everyone to do the same now!
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Raptori on April 07, 2015, 10:18:34 PM
Just started reading these chapters (only read a couple of pages while having a cup of tea, then went back to writing), so I won't read your posts yet. Just wanted to highlight this quote, which made me laugh out loud:

Quote
Never cross a woman with a star on a stick, young lady. They’ve got a mean streak.
Love it.  ;D
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: JMack on April 09, 2015, 12:28:41 AM
I think the theme of grief is greatly enriched by the episode with the kenda, and then we get the discussion of Wee Men and Bigjob sex a few pages later. From fascinating and touching to ridiculous and hysterical.  ;D

I tried to imagine reading that section to a child,Mand just figured it would all go right past. Unless I was addressing a hag.

Anyway, I loved the whole kenda death sequence. The bizarre cultural /biological stuff was grand, but mainly a chance to have a voice for Granny through her friend and a passing of the torch to Tiffany.

(As usual, my posts sort of wander. Sorry about that.)

This will be a favorite book, I think.
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: ultamentkiller on April 13, 2015, 10:51:53 PM
Still enjoying it.
Tiffany's first talk with the Wee Free Men was definitely amusing. I also enjoyed the scene where she simply stepped off the snow, and let the dogs charge after her. Made perfect sense. I was wondering why she didn't do that and then, well, she did.
Chapter 7 dragged for me. Sure, it was interesting, but slow. Maybe that's just me though.
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Raptori on April 15, 2015, 07:14:20 AM
I had a bit of trouble with these chapters. I read small sections every now and then, and since I spent a lot more time reading other books it was really difficult to get into it... Because I wasn't really immersed in the story, every time it skipped to a flashback or another scene I lost the motivation to carry on. I guess I'm just not cut out for reading things slowly.  :-\
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Arry on April 17, 2015, 09:38:37 PM
Who is your favourite, Rob Anybody, Daft Wullie, Hamish, William the gonnagle, or my personal favourite Not-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock? 
I may have to go with Not-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock. Not to copy, just because. :)

Quote
also learn a lot more about Granny Aching and her importance to not just Tiffany but to the entire community.  As Rob Anybody so aptly puts it
Quote
What's magic, eh?  Just wavin' a stick an sayin' a few magical words.  An' what is clever aboot that,eh? But lookin' at things, really lookin' at 'em,and workin' 'em oout, now that's a real skill.
  In these chapters we see through flashbacks, how Granny tackled the baron and his troublesome dog who had been killing sheep.  No magic is used, instead more of the famous headology, but surely as Rob would say, that's real magic, as opposed to waving a magic wand for a quick fix?

The figurine of the Shepherdess is important as well.
Quote
It was a lovely thing but it was a joke of a shepherdess, made by someone who'd probably never seen a sheep up close.
  How we perceive things, and they really are is a recurring theme in this book, think of how the witches are not dressed all in black with pointed hats, and my heart went out to poor Tiffany as she beat herself up inside for fearing she had inadvertently insulted her grand mother. 

Anyway thoughts? Must be quite a few. I would particularly be intrigued to how you all think the thoughtson the novel being about coming to terms with loss.


I like the the perception versus reality aspect. There can often be a large disparity between them and often people have a hard time reconciling that their perception is not in fact in alignment with reality.  I think this is a particularly good lesson for kids to think about as it can really be important in understanding relationships and respect.
Title: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Nino on April 24, 2015, 05:07:14 PM
It seems like this book also refers to wisdom a lot in the form of headology... For instance in the way Tiffany got out of marrying. For a moment there I did not know how she woould get out of that. And I quite like the way she did.

I think Tiffany is going to have a hard time keeping the Feegles focussed on the task at hand. I am curious to see how she is going to manage that.

I must say that this book is lot deeper than I initially anticipated it to be. Especially for a YA book. Wisdom/Headology and grief are big topics. I wouldn't mind if my daughter read this book one day.

I don't have a favourite Feegle yet although William is growing on me.
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Nighteyes on April 24, 2015, 05:31:40 PM
Great points Nino. Tiffany is certainly a great role model for young girls.
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Arry on April 24, 2015, 06:29:48 PM
Great points Nino. Tiffany is certainly a great role model for young girls.

Not just young girls. I think it is terribly important for young boys to also see girls like this.
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Nighteyes on April 24, 2015, 06:32:42 PM
Great points Nino. Tiffany is certainly a great role model for young girls.

Not just young girls. I think it is terribly important for young boys to also see girls like this.

Very true.
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: xiagan on May 05, 2015, 09:33:05 PM
I broke and read the whole book in a day. Sorry peeps!  But from some random notes I made on my phone I can see that I wanted us to discuss the Nac Mac Feegles.  Pratchett aficionados will of course know that they made their first appearance in Carpe Jugulum, but like a new alien race being introduced in Star Trek, they are far better developed the second time around. In terms of a Pratchett novel this one actually plays things relatively straight as a YA adventure and lesson on grief, and the Nac Mac Feegle provide much needed comic relief.  Whether they are dressing up as birds to teach a farm cat a lesson, or sheepishly returning a stolen sheep, they are fluffin' hilarious.  Who is your favourite, Rob Anybody, Daft Wullie, Hamish, William the gonnagle, or my personal favourite Not-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock?   Also I think Pratchett has out Tolkiened Tolkien here.  By not giving an actual number to the Nac Mac Feegle, and just focusing on a few of them, I feel more attached to the Nac Mac Feegles as a group to go adventuring with, then the dwarves of Hobbit.  And woah what a twish, "'Ach, no' said Rob.  'We're the ones who's deid.  Did ye not know that?'"  M Night Shamayalan eat your heart out.
Love the Feegles. They're wise in their own way and act a lot like we would sometimes if we could (but unfortunately we're too grown up to do so - and not as indestructible).
They wear their hearts on their sleeves and are true to themselves (remember Sieh from the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms? He was one of the most powerful godlings because he was true to his nature - so are the Feegles).
I have a soft spot for Daft Wullie.

Quote
I can imagine many readers screaming at the book at this point, I HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS and damn it do I wish I had first sight!  Though the description of first sight could be seen as a metaphor for the adventures and misadventures that await a young teenage girl or boy in life. 
Absolutely. I think a lot of the insecurity teenagers (and a lot of older peoples too) feel can be described as second thoughts. It's awesome that with Tiffany, it becomes a strength.

Quote
We also learn a lot more about Granny Aching and her importance to not just Tiffany but to the entire community.
If they weren't so practical on the Chalk, they would've put a statue up of her. Which would've been entirely the wrong thing to do.
Pratchett is a master in making you feel the atmosphere of events or places. Granny Aching was what the Chalk is all about.

Quote
and my heart went out to poor Tiffany as she beat herself up inside for fearing she had inadvertently insulted her grand mother. 
Yes. And besides advancing the plot this may help people come to terms with own regrets.
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Idlewilder on May 08, 2015, 09:32:09 AM
Apologies for the very late posts to this, I'm really struggling with time as in the final month of my honours degree, but will keep coming back as and when I catch up with each part.

The Feegles are just hilarious, I do hope they manage to get the film off the ground. With the right director and possibly Rhianna Pratchett writing it would go down so well with people of all ages I reckon.

I enjoyed the flashbacks in this section actually as they wonderfully characterised Granny Aching as well as Tiffany's relationship with her. Pratchett's ability to turn your emotions with a click of his fingers, from laughter to sadness, as we realise Tiffany is grieving for her Granny still, is incredible.

This is shaping up to be a real diamond in the whole Discworld pantheon.
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Nighteyes on May 08, 2015, 07:26:48 PM
Is this really your first time reading this one, Windy?
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Idlewilder on May 08, 2015, 07:30:07 PM
No I read it when it originally came out like what...12 years ago? Completely forgotten most of it and never got round to the sequels.
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Nighteyes on May 08, 2015, 07:59:55 PM
Pretty much the same story as me but turns I had read A Hat Full of Sky! (Just couldn't remember till I started reading it again!) And yes. I am definitely appreciated it more as an older reader which is ironic as it is a YA. 

There is a brilliant blog called The Pratchett Job where a blogger is rereading a Pratchett book a week and then reviewing it.  Wee Free Men belongs in what he is calling a 2nd Pratchett golden era - starting at the The Fifth Elephant, including The Truth, Thief of Time, The Last Hero and Nightwatch, Going Postal. 

The first golden era he had as going from Wyrd Sisters to Men at Arms.
Title: Re: The Wee Free Men - Chapters 4 -7
Post by: Idlewilder on May 08, 2015, 08:17:25 PM
Yes, I'm subscribed to it and have been following along weekly. Really good. I mostly agree with him though I'm curious about what my thoughts on some I don't remember as fondly, like Thief of Time which he loved. Wonder what I'd think now, I don't think it clicked with me way back when.