In my experience, reviews have to be written shortly after finishing a book, or not at all. Otherwise, I lose the close relationship to the text. It is almost as if I have not, in fact, read it myself; but rather as if I had talked to someone who has read it.

It has been several weeks that I have finished Bromeliad, the Nome trilogy. Nevertheless, I will try and commit to paper the thoughts I encountered while reading it.

A space ship lands on a distant platen, but the crew are unable to leave: for good or evil, they have to prepare for a permanent stay. In reality, their survival would be quite unlikely; in fiction, many a civilisation has been founded in this way. Personally, I will always think of this theme as that of  Bradley's Darkover series.

I digress, but the history of Pratchett's Bromeliad is quite similar, but backwards: the extraterrestrial Nomes are stranded on Earth, and over the course of a few millennia, they devolve from a star-faring people to a pre-technological one. Knowing the author's sense of humour, it is hardly surprising to see their only surviving artefact being passed on to a lonesome group of hillbillies that will die out presently. Communication with the indigenous populace (us) has failed, too, and the Nomes soon discover caricatures of themselves as, well, garden gnomes.

If everything ends well, they may thank Luck, but also a several people among their own who show courage and perseverance. In the meantime, the reader may enjoy Pratchett's typical jokes and puns; and just as typically, the author holds a mirror up to our society -- in fact, he does so twice: we may take a look at ourselves through the eyes of the Nomes, lurking beneath the floorboards and discussing whether humans are intelligent; and we have the Nomes themselves and their very human ways. It may be in the eye of the beholder, but I get the impression that Pratchett is especially poking fun at (Christian) religion and its rituals.

If you like Pratchett and would like to look beyond the Disc, I can recommend the trilogy; it may be a good starting point for those who do not yet know him, and who have been put off by the Discworld hype so far.

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von kirjoittaessani

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