A Hat Full of Sky Read Along, we’ve come to the end.
Posted April 4, 2013on:
thanks so much to Susan over at Dab of Darkness for suggesting we do this read along. I hadn’t read Terry Pratchett in years, and had been rather ho-hum about the Discworld books of his I had read. So when Susan suggested a Discworld related book, I was a smidgen apprehensive. But, she’s my friend, and nearly everytime a friend has said “try this, you’ll like it”, I’ve usually fallen in love with it.
The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky are by far the best Terry Pratchett books I’ve ever read. I know it sounds hokey, and I don’t care, but I laughed, I cried, I thought about my life and my friends and my relationships and how I treat other people. Sometimes I did all of that in the same paragraph.
It was a tough winter for me. I had some S.A.D. mixed in with some other crappy stuff. I was pretty much checked out of my life for most of January and February. Terry Pratchett is now on my list of things that help the winter end earlier.
Ok, enough with the maudlin, let’s get to the final batch of questions, which everyone else has already answered and discussed, because I’m late!
1) Mistress Weatherwax has a philosophy of her job is to make sure everyone today can get to tomorrow – such as letting people believe in water sprites and goblins if it lets them lead a better life. Do you see yourself somewhere in this philosophy?
If you believe something, then it’s true for you. and she’s right, climbing up all those stairs is going to give that one guy a healthier heart more than his sacrifices to the water sprites. But if she’d told him to walk a lot for a healthier heart, she knows he wouldn’t do it. Put a story behind something, and it gives it more weight. it makes it more important to the person because they see themselves in the story.
Yikes, is that the secret to how to make friends and influence people? tell stories??? I’m a total chatterbox, but I never actually get anything useful said. maybe I better learn how to tell stories.
And hmmm… maybe I need to find some exercise or yoga sprites that need sacrifices from me. I hate exercising and I’m really lazy, but if 20 minutes sacrificed to the exercise sprites will keep them from doing horrible things. . . .
2) Do you think Mr. Weavall will be successful with the Widow Tussy? Do you think Tiffany got off light concerning Mr. Weavall’s stash?
That was the cutest scene ever!! He’d been wanting to marry her forever, but he was embarrassed that all he had was enough to be buried, not enough to be married. Now that he’s got money, he has something he can give her, something he can help her with. He didn’t want to propose with nothing to offer.
Did Tiffany get off light? oh hell yeah she did! I was expecting some kind of punishment, but it was a very light hearted scene, so it shouldn’t have surprised me that even that portion was handled in a lighthearted way. And come on, she’s only eleven!
3) What was your favorite part of Mistress Weatherwax’s and Tiffany’s bonding time in the mountains with the little picnic and the owls and such?
Pickles that give people gas. I was laughing so hard I think I woke the neighbors!
4) Petulia Gristle heard Tiffany was going to face something nasty and went out to see if she could use some help. Have you ever had an awkward situation like that?
I am the queen of biting off more than I can chew and thinking I have more professional experience than I actually do, so it happens to me all the time. I’ve been very lucky that when it’s become painfully obvious I don’t belong there, I’ve been given the opportunity to excuse myself, or been given some softball job that even I can’t fuck up, and then at least I can feel like I’ve helped out in some way.
5) Tiffany has her first and last conversation with the Hiver/Arthur. Did you see Tiffany’s answer to the Hiver dilemma coming or were you taken by surprise?
I loved that entire scene, and I was completely surprised by it. Leave it to Tiffany to ask a destructive creature “what do you want? can I help?”. yes, she’s a kid, and she shouldn’t have been able to do what she did, but because she’ a kid she didn’t have the life experience to know she was supposed to be scared shitless. she just picked up her proverbial frying pan, and did what needed doing. Ever read Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walks Through Walls? the titular cat, Pixel, doesn’t understand that he’s unable to walk through walls. Since he doesn’t get that he can’t do it. . . poof, he can do it. Tiffany doesn’t know she’s supposed to be afraid, or not supposed to talk to the Hiver, so she’s able to do all these things. I loved it. And I loved her conversation with Death, and that Death regretted not wearing protective clothing. Even Death knew about the Feegles!
6) The Witch Trials are almost like a county fair, a happy outing for the entire family, or so Granny Weatherwax was grumbling about. What about the affair caught your attention?
I was cracked up by the bickering of Annagramma and Petulia. Only a handful of junior high school girls sounds like that, and there’s nothing like it! It sounds like a room full of flamingoes!
7) In the final chapter, we learn the meaning of the title of the book. Did you feel this was a good wrap up to the novel?
I’d been asking myself about the title since well, since starting the book. I thought maybe Granny Weatherwax gives her another hat? or she buys a hat that’s the color of the sky? I was thinking too small, and too simple.
Pratchett’s ending and the meaning of the hat full of sky was so absolutely perfect. It would have even made Granny Aching proud.
Tiffany’s hat even has stars, which is the best kind of witches hat imaginable. it’s not the hat that makes the witch, it’s the person under the hat.
I’d put some final thoughts down here, but I kinda put them up at the top instead. so they were like nearly-final thoughts. I’m happy to have my faith in Discworld restored. In the past I’ve read The Color of Magic, The Truth, Monsterous Regiment, and one or two others. They were so-so. These were fucking brilliant and perfect, and the Discworld books I’d suggest to someone who wants to get into Pratchett but doesn’t know where to start.