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Heartless Lyn @ Great Imaginations

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost"

Nation - Terry Pratchett Pratchett is nearly believed to be an author god in my circle of friends. I often fail to understand British humor, so I have put his books on the back burner for some time now (longer than Harry Potter). I lent this book to my sister when she was looking for a nice novel. After she was done with it, she claimed that it was one of her favorite books and nominated the book for our first group read. After I finished the book, I discovered why she raved over Nation.I will warn everyone that 1. this book is a heavy blow to religion and 2. I myself tend to lean more towards a nihilist POV on religion. I was raised as in the Church of Christ in a town of Baptists when I was younger, and the whole experience left a bitter taste in my mouth afterwards. I have no problems with Christians (I have some very close Christian friends) but I also exercise my right of freedom of religion, or lack of religion.Pratchett is sarcastically sharp on religion and the idea of grace. The main character of the story, Mau, witnessed the decimation of his entire society when a large wave swept over his island nation. Throughout the rest of the story, he begins to question the sanctuary of religion and what is the difference between a miracle and a tragedy. As he slowly begins to develop his own sense of theology involving gods and people, and finally settles into a sense that people invent gods to explain the unknown and to fill the gaps of human knowledge. Many times, he is disgusted with the worship of any thought or object, unless it is one's own common sense and resolution that he or she places the most importance. Even the European female lead, Daphne, helps convince him that rules and religion simply exist because of tradition and fear. The best portion of the book was Mau's embitterment to the people of his nation seeking easy and simply answers to complex questions, and how easy these fears were mollified with theology. Overall, Pratchett urged his reader to think and explore as the story, which took a backseat to the self-discovery, unraveled. In the end, he leaves the audience with the curiosity whether or not Mau and Daphne's story was indeed a legend celebrating the death of religion and the worship of the world that surrounds us.