Audiobook: The Wee Free Men

by Terry Pratchett
read by Stephen Briggs
ages: 9+
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I first read The Wee Free Men two years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the time I spent with the book. It’s hilarious, adventuresome, cool, and Tiffany Aching, even when she’s just 11 years old, is a force to be reckoned with. There’s a power in her, a determination. I love that in this world, all it takes to be a witch is powers of observation and the knowledge that you’re the only one who can do anything about the situation.

There’s magic, of course, but it’s not flashy magic. It’s quite, subtle, and still there, even after you know how it’s done.

That said, I loved hearing this book read aloud. Even more so than when I read it. It’s fine reading it and all, but nothing — nothing! — is funnier than someone doing a spot-on Scottish accent for the Nac Mac Feegle. And the voice for Toad? So deadpan, so hilarious. I laughed. So hard. Often. And I actually got the section near the end when Tiffany goes up against the Queen; something which I remember eluding me when I read it. Perhaps because listening to it means I go through things more carefully than when I read them? Whatever it is, listening to the audiobook made this books so much more loveable and enjoyable than it already was.

Which means, of course, that I’m going to have to listen to the rest of the Tiffany Aching books.

8 thoughts on “Audiobook: The Wee Free Men

  1. I really need to read this! I know what you mean about great audio renditions of Terry Pratchett. I listened to “Nation” not too long ago and it was great. I sometimes wonder what people think when they see me walking by myself and laughing! Oh well, Nation was great! Thanks for the review!


  2. I really should listen to these books instead of read them… Pratchett's, I mean. I have all ready finished this sub-series. I hear good things about the audio versions.


  3. So, I was trying to NOT be depressed about driving to NC MYSELF with my three children and I think is the solution to my problem! Question: do you think all 4 of us can enjoy (kids are 11, 8.5 and 6) or should I put it on my ipod for solo listening?


  4. I enjoyed the book, although I haven't heard it. Sounds hilarious and fun though… like it really does bring the book to life.

    I don't really do audio though. Think the only book I've “read” in audio is one of the Harry Potters, narrated by Stephen Fry, which was brilliant, but… it took sooo loooong.


  5. @ anothercookiecrumbles, I thought that Jim Dale narrated all the Harry Potter books. Stephen Fry's a good narrator. He narrated the first of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker books before Adams took over and did the rest.

    Stephen Briggs is a brilliant Pratchett narrator. I listened to Nation first, then moved on to the Tiffany Aching series. I did read I Shall Wear Midnight with my eyes though and want to reread it with my ears. I think by that time, I had Briggs' voice in my head.


  6. The Wee Free Men and A Hatful of Sky audiobooks are nothing short of fabulous. On a 12 hour road trip, these two books held the attention of our 12 and 8 year old kids (who can't agree on anything) and their parents. Much like the best Pixar films, there's something for everyone. Kids will love the plot and Briggs' gift for dialect. Adults will love the deadpan humor, subtle (and often not so subtle) social commentary, and surprisingly astute and tender observations on the human condition. Five stars.


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