REVIEW: The Bromeliad Trilogy by Terry Pratchett (Truckers, Diggers, Wings)

REVIEW: The Bromeliad Trilogy by Terry Pratchett (Truckers, Diggers, Wings)Truckers, Diggers, Wings by Terry Pratchett
Published: Harper Collins (1989), Paperback, 512pg
Source: Library
Genres: Fiction, Humor, Sci-fi

In a world whose seasons are defined by Christmas sales and Spring Fashions, hundreds of tiny nomes live in the corners and crannies of a human-run department store. They have made their homes beneath the floorboards for generations and no longer remember -- or even believe in -- life beyond the Store walls.

Until the day a small band of nomes arrives at the Store from the Outside. Led by a young nome named Masklin, the Outsiders carry a mysterious black box (called the Thing), and they deliver devastating news: In twenty-one days, the Store will be destroyed.

Now all the nomes must learn to work together, and they must learn to think -- and to think BIG. (from Goodreads)

I always associate Terry Pratchett with fantasy books, although he’s written quite a few scifi ones as well. To be fair, even his most scifi-ish books have elements of fantasy to them– or maybe just the aura of fantasy? Either way, he’s an awesome writer and you should all be reading his books (except for you Jenny because I know he’s not your thing and I totally accept that).

The Bromeliad trilogy is about a bunch of tiny nomes. See! Nomes = fantasy, right? Well, yes, but also no. Because these nomes are tiny aliens who go around the universe exploring and stuff. Thousands of years ago they crash landed on earth, got separated from their ship, and proceeded to live their lives as best they could in a world full of giant, slow-moving creatures who spend a lot of time mooing at one another (humans).

There is SO MUCH STUFF in this trilogy; I’d need several pages and a desire to return to college essay writing to get to it all. However, here’s the highlights (in question form, because I’m awesome):

  • what makes a person a person? (What makes a human a human?)
  • what is gender equality and why is it important not to tell women their brains will overheat if they read books?
  • what does belief mean and is there any benefit to religion/faith/etc.?
  • how do you deal with people who believe in VASTLY DIFFERENT things than you? For example, a goose god vs. a department store god?
  • does not having technology/not knowing how to read/etc. mean you’re of less worth than someone who has a computer and knows how to use it? And does it make any difference if you KNOW you’re ignorant?
  • does staying stagnant necessarily mean staying safe?

All that, PLUS some amazing characters and a very cool story about aliens and humans and super intelligent computers! If I compared this book to other Pterry books, I’d say it’s something like Nation mixed with The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. Nation for the what makes us human/what is faith and why do we need it stuff, The Amazing Maurice for adventure/how do you make yourself a person stuff. My very favorite thing about the Bromeliad trilogy is watching the nomes learn about themselves (and, through the nomes, I learned about humans) and figure out what makes them nomish.

It’s also a seriously funny (/slightly heartbreaking) series. For one thing, they live in a store and think Arnold Bros (est. 1905) is their god. Funny! (And heartbreaking when they find out he’s…uh, not.) Also, any time a human shows up is hilarious because of how nomes see us– sort of like giant moving foghorns. A lot of Pterry’s humor is in absurdities, not outright jokes (except for the puns), so if you like that sort of thing you’d love these books.

If you’ve never read a Terry Pratchett book before, the Bromeliad trilogy might be a good place to start. They’re short books, so you can read all three super fast. They’re funny, and sweet, and totally heartwarming (with a side of -breaking). I enjoyed reading this series and I think you would, too! (Except you, Jenny.)

Read: July 5-9, 2013

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