Study Guide

Nation Chapter 8

By Terry Pratchett

Chapter 8

It Takes a Lifetime to Learn How to Die

  • Chewing food for Mrs. Gurgle, who has no teeth, Daphne starts hearing voices like Mau does.
  • They don't TALK LIKE THIS; they're much quieter. And they want her to bring Mau to the Women's Place.
  • Mau seems to have succumbed to exhaustion and gone cold and comatose. Dude, Daphne asks, what happened?
  • With the skill of some of the world's best storytellers (think Garrison Keillor, David Sedaris, and LeVar Burton), Pilu tells the story of Mau and the shark. Sorry, Mau: unfortunately he leaves in the part where Mau pees himself.
  • Actually, this works out for Mau, because now people realize that he's not a demon but actually a human.
  • Unfortunate thing about humans: they die. And Mau is rapidly doing just that.
  • Cahle says the Sky Woman, a woman of great power, can help. Who is this woman? Why, the toothless Mrs. Gurgle, of course!
  • She prepares a concoction that will kill Daphne. No, no, it's totally cool. Daphne will only die for a second, and during that time she can rescue Mau from Locaha.
  • At the end of the chapter, we visit Mau in the Dark Current, the space between life and death. He's trying to outrun Locaha.
  • This is one game of tag that you do not want to lose.
  • Daphne appears to save him, but Mau is slowing down. She shouts out a funeral prayer.
  • We practically rip the page trying to get to the next chapter to see what happens next.