This book tells the story of a race of teeny tiny people, called Nomes, who are completely unknown to us. The story begins with a diminishing tribe of them who live a hard life outside, who one day hop on a truck and find themselves in a supermarket, which is inhabited by more Nomes than they’ve ever seen before. Unfortunately for them all, the supermarket is closing down and very soon will be demolished, unless they leave. And leaving the supermarket is just the beginning.
My edition is three books in one, clocking in at just over 500 pages, so I expected it to take me a while to get through. It took me five days, which really surprised me. I managed the first two in two days each, while the third took me a single day to get through. I just didn’t want to put it down.
I’m fairly certain that I started reading Truckers before because I recognised bits of it. The only bits that were really familiar to me were the quotes from The Book of Nome, everything else in the story seemed brand new. Speaking of The Book of Nome, some of those quotes were my favourite bits in the book. They were a brilliant play on religious texts, if religious texts were written by tiny people who believe that their gods are responsible for the supermarket that they live in.
Obviously there were a lot of really funny quotes throughout the book. In true Terry Pratchett style, there were loads that ran over several pages, with the punch line falling some time after the quote initially started. Even in the legalise at the beginning of the book there are funny bits, like this quote from the beginning of Wings:
No character in this book is intended to resemble any living creature of whatever size on any continent, especially if they’ve got lawyers.
I suspect that this is because one of the human characters in Wings very closely resembles Richard Branson.
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud frequently through the book, as well as reading chunks to Mr Click. I think it’s the sort of book that he would probably quite enjoy and he has agreed to try it at some point. It’d make a good introduction to Terry Pratchett for someone who’s not quite ready for visiting Discworld yet but who would like to see what all the fuss is about.
Terry Pratchett did a fantastic job of creating the world of the Nomes. I guess he honed his teeth for this on The Carpet People, with the idea of writing about how very small people would see our world and explain away different things that happen in it. I think anyone who ever read or watched The Borrowers has wondered about whether there might be little people living in our walls, just beyond our sight. Pratchett really nailed what their life might be like.
Reading this book has reminded me that I don’t currently own a copy of The Carpet People so I guess that’ll be one I’ll have to get my hands on and reread at some point. It’s one of the only non-Discworld ones I still have left to get and it’s been about eighteen years since I last read it, so I’d say it’s really about time I remedy that.