To all appearances, Terry Pratchett writes books for kids but I’m yet to find any evidence that could define his writing so simplistically. Yes, he often uses stories and myths we were familiar with as children as the basis of his convoluted tales but it’s never just that … oh no!
Ever since I read my first Terry Pratchett I was completely bowled over by his storytelling; from the style of it to the content of it, I found it riveting and the love has not waned. I love the way he takes simple things we know and turns them on their head or twists them till everything is facing the other way; and how even his twisted and undeniable humour cannot hide the gentle, unbending wisdom that runs through his tales. I wouldn’t care if Pratchett wrote for 5-year olds I’d still read his books!
Speaking of this one in particular … well, Jingo is a book about everything and nothing. No, I’m not getting philosophical on you. But unless people fighting over an uninhabitable island that grew out of the sea is an everyday incident for you then yes, it is about nothing. And yet, the metaphor is one that cannot be missed.
From two nations brought to war for reasons most don’t understand (though they very adroitly refuse to accept this) to (mostly misplaced) racial superiority and mistrust
and sheer stubborn refusal of another’s point of view, you just can’t miss the ironical similarity with the nations of today (“our fisherman saw that horrible, uninhabited island first and even though we don’t want that disgusting place it’s our duty to not let you have it either lest you ruin it!”).
However, as the crisis is brought to strangely unexpected solutions (yes, more than one and unexpected if you’re not reading a Pratchett novel) you can’t help but wonder if there are some unlikely heroes amongst us too who’ll rise when we need them most and miraculously everything will be just peachy. We wish. … In the meantime, there’s Jingo! Sprinkled with plenty of laugh out loud moments and enough plot twists for a circle, read this book if you’re looking for a laugh and appreciate satires on mankind.
Prejudiced or not, I give this book a 5/5. Hope you enjoy it!