On signs and myths

truckersA few weeks ago I ready Terry Pratchett’s ‘Truckers’. I have already told you about how I discovered that Terry Pratchett is a great author to read while travelling, but this was the first book of Terry Pratchett’s that I read that is on the 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. It’s about a species called Nomes, little men who live in a department store, and think that the entire world is a department store. ‘Outside’ is a myth that only strange Nomes believe in – until Nomes from outside stumble into the department store and reveal that there is an outside world, and discover that the department store is being closed down.

In true Terry Pratchett style, the book is full of quirky quips, peculiar characters and down-right silliness. But something that I really love this the Nomes interpretation of signs and posters in the department stores. Not many nomes can read, and the ones that can aren’t great at interpreting what they can read. My favourite might be when they see a sign when driving (yes, these tiny little people drive a lorry – it takes a few dozen of them to drive it) that says ‘Road Works Ahead’ and they think that it means that the road is working. And when you think about it, it kind of makes sense. To me, the way Nomes interpret the world around them, while hilarious, is understandable. It is kind of the way I would interpret the world too if there wasn’t a grown up to explain to me the ‘real’ way the world works. Truckers was great because it reminded me that there is not only one way to look at the world. Looking at the world through nomes’ eyes, children’s eyes, or really, any manner of different eyes, makes the world a much more interesting place.



  1. This sounds quite hilarious!

  2. J.R.Barker

    I love Pratchett’s gnome books. Have you read the carpet people?

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