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Diggers

Annotations | Information | Quotes

- [title] Diggers

In the Corgi paperback editions I have, Diggers and Wings are subtitled "The Second [respectively Third] Book Of The Nomes".

Apparently, in the first edition(s), the trilogy was called The Bromeliad (and the last two books accordingly subtitled).

This refers to the central theme of the frogs living in a bromeliad, but is also a pun on The Belgariad, a well-known fantasy series by David Eddings. And of course both names have their origin in Homer's Iliad.

This subtitle was dropped from the British editions, because the editor didn't like it. In the US, there were no objections, so to this day US editions of the Nome trilogy are subtitled The Bromeliad.

- People have commented on the similarity between the Nome trilogy and other childrens stories involving "little people". In particular, the question has arisen a few times whether Terry was inspired by the Borrowers books.

Terry answers: "I know about the Borrowers, and read one of the books in my teens, but I disliked them; they seemed unreal, with no historical background, and it seemed odd that they lived this cosy family life more or less without any supporting 'civilisation'. The nomes are communal, and have to think in terms of nomekind. No. Any influence at all is from Swift, in this case."

"I'll pass on whether Truckers is funnier than the Borrowers, but I'll defend them as being more serious than the Borrowers. It depends on how you define 'serious'."

- The American version of the Nome trilogy is not word-for-word the same as the original one.

Terry says: "The Truckers trilogy has a fair amount of changes of a 'pavement = sidewalk' nature which is understandable in a book which should be accessible to kids. They also excised the word 'damn' so's not to get banned in Alabama, which is a shame because I've always wanted to be banned in Alabama, ever since I first heard of the place."

- [p. 60/54] "iii. And the Mark of the Dragon was on it. iv. And the Mark was Jekub."

'Jekub' was the Nomes' attempted pronunciation of JCB, the name of a well-known manufacturer of tractors, diggers, and the like, whose logo of course appears on all its products. Jekub, incidentally, appears to be a thing called a 'back-hoe loader'. In the American version of the Nomes trilogy 'JCB' was changed to 'CAT', standing for 'Caterpillar'.

- [p. 82/73] "'We shall fight them in the lane. We shall fight them at the gates. We shall fight them in the quarry. And we shall never surrender.'"

Paraphrases one of Winston Churchill's famous WW II speeches. Possibly the easiest way to get to hear the original version is to listen to Supertramp's 'Fool's Overture'.

- [p. 142/126] "'Jcb? Jekub? It's got no vowels in it. What sort of name is that?'"

This is a play on 'YHWH', the classical Hebrew spelling of Yahweh, i.e. Jehovah.


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