A Hat Full Of Sky Read Along Part III

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Tofu on the headboard. Yes, he does sleep there...and occasionally falls off.
Tofu on the headboard. Yes, he does sleep there…and occasionally falls off.

Welcome back Pratchettites! We’re already 3/4 of the way through A Hat Full Of Sky. It has gone by so damn quickly! This week, The Little Red Reviewer is hosting, so make sure to stop by her place and read her whimsical, entertaining, and insightful comments. This week covers chapters 6-9 and next week we’ll be covering chapters 10-END.

1) I got a chuckle out of Tiffany’s visit to ZakZak’s shop, especially the bit about the different styles of witch hats. What kind of witchy goodies would YOU buy there?

I was really into crystals when I was younger. Now, it is rocks, and crystals the showy kind of rocks. So, I would want to walk into ZakZak’s, stroll over the crystals display, and start doing some rudimentary field guesses as to what types of crystals they are. Such field tests involve tapping them with a geologists hammer, lightly, to get a feel for how hard they hard; attempting to scratch their surface; licking them; and singing in variously (but always annoying) high notes to see if and when they resonate. I would probably get strong armed out by the bouncer, that frog who has a large pink balloon tied to his wrist.

2) Inside Tiffany’s head might be the strangest place the Feegle have ever been. What did you think of Pratchett’s imagery of her mind, and of her safe place?

Even the first time I read this book, I totally got it that Granny Aching’s place we her safe place. I love that old, dead, ghosty woman. Given the over growth and mess the Hiver is making of her mind, I sure am glad the Feelge bathed first. Tho perhaps unclean Feegle might have shocked the real Tiffany out of her safe place to do something about it. Hmmm…..Perhaps that was plan B (PLN B?).

3) Poor Miss Level. Do you think she’ll ever recover from what happened to her? How is this going to change her relationship with Tiffany?

Since I have read this book more than once, I already know. But I distinctly remember being shocked dumb that Pratchett actually killed someone, and such a central character to this book, and not in a Death story. (By the way, the Discworld books that feature Death are my second favorites to the Tiffany Aching quadrology). And I remember thinking that first time around that Tiffany was going to have a very hard time forgiving herself……and I actually didn’t think too much on how Miss Level was going to treat Tiffany from then on. Shallow of me? Perhaps.

4) In the discussion Tiffany has with Mistress Weatherwax at the end of chapter 9, Weatherwax gives Tiffany some very important information about how to be a witch. Who would you rather study with to become a witch? Weatherwax or Level?

Perhaps I could start off with Weatherwax, get all the my bad habits beaten out of me, and then move on to someone easier, like Miss Level or even Miss Tick?

‘You hold that anger,’ Mistress Weatherwax said, as if reading all of her mind. ‘Cup it in your heart, remember where it came from, remember the shape of it, save it until you need it.’

I love how these few sentences take what most would call a negative emotion and shape into a tool to be used for good. Pratchett, and perhaps Mistress Weatherwax, get me, and they haven’t even met me. For that, they rock.

5) Any thoughts on how the story might end? Do you think the Hiver is gone for good?

Now I remember thinking that Pratchett’s editor must have cut out some pretty interesting stuff. I mean, we are left with Rob Anybody swinging like mad, Weatherwax showing up after consorting with bees, and then the next day dawns bright and clear, and oh, by the way Tiffany, here’s the milk bucket – go harass the goats! I figured Pratchett must be spinning in anger at his editor for having cut out how we got from Point A to Point B. But then I decided work be damned, and stayed up way too late reading to see how things ended. I won’t spoil anything, but I found the ending extremely satisfying.

Other Tidbits:

Who else felt a bit righteous at what the Hiver did to Annagramma, giving her such a scare?

Tiffany’s Hiver harsh description of Petulia nearly matches me. I will leave you too guess which point isn’t me: none too clever, fat, still has a teddy bear, believes in fairies.

Mrs. Ah-wij (Earwig) would drive me nuts! Full of vapors, she is.

A trick ladder, the clown Floppo, and custard. Well, there’s a story of Miss Level’s past.

Daft Wullie has the brains of a beetle. Perhaps.

Some favorite lines from this sections:

‘Wash oot yer mouth wi’ hedgehog pee, Big Yan!’

‘All we need tae do is frannit a wheelstone on it and it’ll tak’ us right where she is.’

‘Aye, it’s no’ that good for the ship, havin’ tae drink oout o’ that pond after we’ve been bathing. It’s terrible, hearing a ship tryin’ to spit.’

11 thoughts on “A Hat Full Of Sky Read Along Part III”

  1. I was stunned with the whole death scene – I literally couldn’t believe it. I was all like ‘no, what just happened’. I thought I’d missed something for a moment!.
    I’m thinking we’re all going to want a spell (actually no pun intended there!) of time with both witches. Why not – it’s a more rounded holistic approach.
    I also would make a beeline for the Crystal but I’d be more wiggling my eyebrows and fingers around trying to get it to work – not sure that wiggling your eyebrows really helps at all.
    Lynn ūüėÄ

    1. I think the fact that Hiver Tiffany only scared Annagramma showed that the real Tiffany deep down was still exerting some control at that point. Hooray!

  2. wouldn’t that have been hilarious, if the Feegle hadn’t bathed first, and they get into Tiffany’s mind and her little voice shrieks “what is that awful stench!”

    Annagramma deserved it. She’s a snobbish little brat who needs to spend a few years working alongside Miss Level to cancel out all that uppityness.

    I did feel a bit jostled about, all that action with the Hiver and Weatherwax coming to take care of Miss Level, and then suddenly it’s “go milk the goats”. sometimes when I’m all stressed or freaked out, or shocked by something, the only thing to do is to scrub the bathroom and then wash out all the kitchen cupboards. It’s a physical activity my hands can do without even thinking about it, and it’s a nice distraction that keeps my shocked brain from dwelling. Maybe Weatherwax was trying to keep Tiffany focused on easy stuff, so she wouldn’t sit there all day dwelling on all the bad stuff?

    1. totally agree about doing chores when something shocking or nasty happens. We had a break in and robbery years ago and my response, after calling the police and securing the house and verifying all my beasties were OK, was to do the laundry. And the bastards had tossed my panty draw. And stole my Hot Date bra. Bastards.

  3. 2. I love the way that Granny Aching is such a pivotal character in these stories, even though she is long dead. We all need an aged relative like her in our lives.

    3. I think the shock was perfect and added the darkness needed to make us really fear the Hiver.

    4. I think that Sir Terry gets so many of us, and that is what makes him such a great writer.

    5. I’m glad to hear that the ending works properly (not that I’m surprised) because I was a little worried that the end of my kindle book would be full of blank pages . . .

    I was actually surprised that Annagramma got away so lightly . . . but then I am a little vindictive . . . and Mrs Earwig . . . I don’t believe that she is even a real witch!

    1. I have my questions about Mrs. Earwig too. How much of it is simply presentation and how much witchy-ness can she actually do? If she is afraid to get her hands messy, I am guessing that she may not be much of a witch at all.

      I may have to adopt Granny Aching as my stand in for senior beloved relative who made a very strong, positive impression on me. I don’t think she will mind too much as sheep people and goat people are much alike.

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