Monday, December 12, 2011

Snuff (Discworld Book 39) by Terry Pratchett

Rating 4.5 out of 5
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 670 KB
Print Length: 382 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 038561926X
Publisher: Transworld Digital (October 13, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B00563M11M

Vimes is back! but he is a man living on the edge, his time is up, he is going on a holiday. Sybill, Vimes and young Sam are off to the Ramkin country estate for some fresh air and relaxation. Vimes is miserable, and at a loss until a Goblin girl is murdered on his property. Then the local blacksmith disappears and someone tells Vimes he CANT do something (which goes down about as well as a ferret does in trousers). This all adds up to Vimes doing what he does best being a police man and chasing the bad guy.

Snuff deals with some heavy themes wrapped up in the guise of fantasy. The Goblin race is subjected to some terrible treatment which to me seemed to mirror how colonists in the 1800's treated Indigenous cultures in their colonised lands. Pratchett has tackled racism (or specisim as it happens to be in Discworld) before but this book seemed to really drill the point home. The darker theme though is not off putting and it suits the subject matter. Also Vimes is darker in this book but more because he is grappling with what is right or wrong and how far can you go for the "right" cause.

Having said that Terry Pratchett was able to tell the story with humour, word puns, satire, and "life" observations. The best example of this is how Pratchett manages to capture, and bring humour too; the mind of a six year old boy (obsessed with poo). But Practhett also mange to shed bring humour to the interactions between husband and wife, and interactions between the elite and servants. I found myself laughing and chortling in many places.

This is not a City Watch novel, it is more of a Sam Vimes novel. The rest of the City Watch do not feature much in this book, we really only see a glimpse of the beloved characters of Carrot, Angua, Nobbs, Colon, Cheery, (and Detritus is not there at all). Wee Mad Arthur though left his mark even though he was a minor character. As always the Nac Mac Feegle steal the show (literally if they work out how) and Wee Mad Arthur was such a laugh. He was easily my favourite characters.

As with all Discworld books you dont necessarily have needed all the books before it. But it is a very good idea, especially in this book as it refers to events that happened in the book Thud! which will spoil Thud! for you if you have not read it yet.

I have seen reviews which criticise the direction Pratchett took with this book. I personally dont have a problem with. It showed the internal struggle Vimes has been moving towards for a long time as he tries to reconcile his old life and who he thinks he is, with his new life and what others think he is.

In all honesty I think the last few Discworld books have been getting better. But after writing 39 books there are bound to be some in there that don't quite shine as well as the others. I really hope we get to see a Rincewind or Witches novel again soon.

Here is an interview of Terry Pratchett talking about all of his books, some potential spoilers here if you have not read the series.

No comments:

Post a Comment