122 of 134 people found the following review helpful
In which Sam Vimes takes a vacation,
This review is from: Snuff: A Novel of Discworld (Hardcover)
But, as usual, brings his work with him.
His Grace, Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the City Watch of Ankh Morpork, and Blackboard Monitor has given himself over to the will of a higher power, his wife, Lady Sybil Vimes, née Ramkin. She has determined that their son should see their country residence and where food comes from (hint: meat does not spontaneously appear in the butcher shop), so Sam finds himself in a new and unnerving place; the rolling hills outside his beloved (and often beloathed, but it is HIS city regardless) Ankh Morpork. But Sybil has arranged this sabbatical with Lord Vetinari (the tyrant of Ankh Morpork, and the most subtle and nuanced absolute ruler ever portrayed), so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the quiet countryside is full of surprises for Sam Vimes.
In this, the latest chronicle of Discworld, we learn more of the intricacies of marriage (and if you are not yet married, "Jesters do oft prove prophets"), the belief system of goblins is expounded upon, the qualifications of a gentleman's gentleman are illustrated, the difficulties of life for the nobility, the diverse and fascinating world of poo, the influence of Dwarf substition (substition: a thing that is true, but not generally believed), the intimidation and menace wielded by an accountant, and the budding romance of Nobby Nobbs (Corporal, Ankh Morpork City Watch, and alleged human). Police procedural, Victorian scientific inquiry, race relations, novelists, river boats, the expectations of the landed gentry, privilege, and smuggling are at the top of the list of things parodied, poked at, and presented in "Snuff".
It was brilliant. New characters were introduced, old characters brought back and developed, and several names were unexpectedly revived, including some from the earliest volumes of the Discworld series. Several story lines were deftly woven together, spanning the Disc and its cultures. I got the impression more characters were incorporated into this story than previous, but all contributed to the story and shaped the conclusion.
The width and breadth of this story made it a bit overwhelming, but in a good way. The range of settings, characters, and themes made reading this one a powerful experience, while retaining Pratchett's trademark humor and on-going cultural literacy test. The closest thing to criticism is that it felt as if Pratchett was trying to put too much into a single book, but this is a manifestation of the rich world that he has created.
"Snuff" is a brilliant success by Terry Pratchett, and well worth the wait.
E.M. Van Court
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 12, 2011 8:39:43 AM PDT
Great review, thanks!
Posted on Nov 7, 2011 1:01:39 AM PST
Were you paid to write this review? It was the worst discworld novel ever and if this had been the quality of the earlier books,Discworld would never have become the cult series it is today.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2011 12:11:35 PM PST
E. M. Van Court says:
Nope, I am pretty clear if I've been given a book or product to review. I disagree with your opinion about this Discworld book. Why do you think this one was a problem?
But if you're unwilling discuss this reasonably, this is for you-
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2011 5:52:28 PM PST
Posted on Nov 16, 2011 4:59:11 PM PST
Amazon Customer says:
Hang, indeed, E.M.
I thoroughly enjoyed Snuff. Although I wouldn't call it my favourite Discworld book, like you I enjoyed the development of the characters and I thought that Nobby's budding romance was an excellent touch. Maybe there is someone out there for everyone after all.
I know that others have criticized the amount of dialogue in the book but I thought that it was well written and certainly didn't slow the story down at all.
A very enjoyable book and a must read for Pratchett fans.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011 11:15:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2011 12:37:04 AM PST
@Edward.I didnt look at that link you put up in answer to me until today. So you pre-emptively call me a troll and then expect me to spend the time and energy courteously discussing this book with you. Not to mention the fact that someone set a troll to harass me? I wonder who that could be? One of your fans perhaps? Rather ironic since you are the one screaming troll first off. PS I am not a Vine troll that is trying to downgrade you...only found about about this Vine thing today....I think the Vine system is open to abuse. It reminds me of payola in radio.Did you get Snuff for free to review? Actually, I have to thank you, due to that troll, I uncovered a scam going on amongst certain Vine reviewers.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2011 10:54:54 AM PST
Gesine Betker says:
Folks, please calm down. If I may ask one thing of all of you, try to discuss this as if you were sitting in the same room, aka actually seeing each other, and stay calm.
One thing I have to add, though:
Many of the positive reviews for Snuff DO read as if someone was paid to write it. A good review is capable of also listing flaws and things the reader did not like or that at least appeared off.
A review full of pure praise is always a fishy one, as there is nothing in the whole that can be so perfect. Left alone perfect to everyone.
You may call me a troll, you may call me jealous if you think I am for not liking this book as much as others (personal favourites: Last Continent, Feet of Clay, Reaper Man, Lords&Ladies and Going Postal, on a sidenote), but I do ask you to think about your words first, then think about the words of those not having pure praise for the book and and then speak.
Posted on Nov 29, 2011 6:17:45 AM PST
Stephen C. Coyle says:
Okay, I will admit that this book was nowhere near as enjoyable as other Terry Pratchett books, such as "Thud!" or "Men at Arms" or "Thief of Time" or even "Going Postal", however for Pagan to say that it was the WORST DISCWORLD NOVEL EVER is going way over the top!
"Unseen Academicals" was easily less enjoyable than "Snuff". Also some of his earlier books such as "Pyramids" and "Small Gods" are easily in the running for title of Worst Discworld Novel ever.
Although even the WORST novel by Terry Pratchett will tend to outshine the BEST literary work by other authors such as Simon R. Green. I attempted to develop a taste for his work after many months of Amazon recommending his books to me, but he's just not as good as Terry Pratchett.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 6:53:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 6:54:46 PM PST
Work In Progress says:
Pagan - If you don't like a review you are free to click the "NO" button. If you really really dislike the book, then write a review and tell us why you don't like it. Then people can vote on YOUR review. There's no need to be rude and accuse someone of being a schill. I'm sure there may be schills on Amazon or any kind of rating system. But going by the other reviews, you are in the minority.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 5:09:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2013 5:10:44 PM PST
Thank you for inserting a note of realism and courtesy. "Snuff" is not my favorite Discworld novel, but far from my least favorite. I must admit that I am not crazy about Sam Vines in general--certainly not the sober Sam Vines. But that being said, I must admit that this novel succeeded in drawing me in, in making me see Sam Vines a little more accurately. In other words, I read it with increasing pleasure. It is not the book that one should read as a start. But certainly as one of the, alas, last Discworld volumes, it is certainly worth reading everything else to get to it. BTW: I, too, think that "Reaper Man" is one of the best novels in the series and one of the best novels I have read in this genre.
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