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193 of 204 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real world comes to Discworld in a moral fable.
Commander Vimes is sent to the Shires to his wife's estate for a holiday. But crime seems to follow him anyway and when he finds that a murder has been committed he starts to bring city justice to the country. This means dealing with hot-headed blacksmiths, the poo lady and a Chief Constable who is an expert in Bhangbhangduc, and those are just the "good guys"...
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by Andrew Dalby

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't feel like a final draft
Probably the least satisfying of Pratchett's many, many books. He's produced better since, as well as before, this one.

There's an entertaining story in there but it's hidden behind lots of superfluous verbiage and at times you have to put it down to gather the energy and inclination to find out what happens next. It really feels like an early draft. Lots of...
Published 18 months ago by MLC


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193 of 204 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real world comes to Discworld in a moral fable., 21 Oct 2011
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Andrew Dalby "ardalby" (oxford) - See all my reviews
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Commander Vimes is sent to the Shires to his wife's estate for a holiday. But crime seems to follow him anyway and when he finds that a murder has been committed he starts to bring city justice to the country. This means dealing with hot-headed blacksmiths, the poo lady and a Chief Constable who is an expert in Bhangbhangduc, and those are just the "good guys".

Reviewers have said that Sir Terry's books of late are very hit and miss, that they are not as funny as they used to be. They are certainly much longer and less punchy. The humour is much more droll, but more importantly the books are much more thoughtful. Unseen Academicals started the story of racism, with an Orcish footballer who had all the traits of a certain England forward. This time it is the Goblins and how attitudes can be changed, taking them from being vermin to being people. They reflect the times they are written and the issues that are important to Sir Terry.

These are much more serious books, there always was an underlying moral sense to Discworld but in these latest books it is the morality that is more important than the humour. These are morality tales with the real bits left in. In Vimes' world he cannot wave a magic wand so everything turns our better - so he has to take a much more pragmatic route. This makes the book much more thoughtful and much slower than the mad-cap early Discworld, so while they are no longer 5 stars for humour, they are 5 stars for their emotional commitment and making you think.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't feel like a final draft, 6 Jan 2013
Probably the least satisfying of Pratchett's many, many books. He's produced better since, as well as before, this one.

There's an entertaining story in there but it's hidden behind lots of superfluous verbiage and at times you have to put it down to gather the energy and inclination to find out what happens next. It really feels like an early draft. Lots of ideas have been thrown in, the story-line wanders all over the place and there's too much 'top of the head' dialogue that needs to be trimmed down. Plus all the explanations of items relating to other books, which haven't been seen as necessary in other books.

This one really cries out for proper editing and then reissuing.
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92 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pride and Prejudice on Discworld, 23 Oct 2011
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I am a Pratchett addict; I took my first dose in 1976 with 'Dark Side of the Sun' and have read everything he's written since (and went back to read 'The Carpet People' and Strata') I read the Nome Trilogy - I even bought 'The Unadulterated Cat'!

For a time in the 90s he spoiled me for other fantasy writers; his style was (to me) so accomplished that others couldn't begin to match him. The earlier Discworld books, from #01 'The Colour of Magic' to #10 'Moving Pictures' were wonderful romps with a hugely imaginative drive. 'Equal Rites,' 'Wyrd Sisters' and 'Guards! Guards!' were the absolute pinnacle of comic fantasy.

Later books (with occasional returns to the earlier broad humour) were darker, more thoughtful and with a more philosophical edge. Gradually the humour became less important to the story - the books were still funny in parts, but the Discworld became less magical and more a distortion of our own world, tackling in more detail real issues such as class, racism and sexism - prejudice in all its ugly forms. He even created a new 'ism' - speciesism. He was at his best in this period when he was angry about prejudice in books like 'Small Gods,' 'Lords and Ladies' and 'Feet of Clay'.

Even the 'lesser' works (again, to me! I know it's subjective) such as 'Soul Music', 'Hogfather' and 'The Last Continent' had enough of the classic Pratchett mix of wisdom and gags to satisfy most of us.

I feel the last great Discworld book (for adults) was 'Thief of Time'. The last great book for younger readers was 'The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents'. Both of these were classic Pratchett, filled with imagination and brio.

And then... things started to change. The Tiffany Aching books were, increasingly, becoming just a little less vivid and gripping in their execution. The Moist von Lipwig books were pretty good, but a little too long and under-edited. 'Monstrous Regiment' was (to me!) muddled and the characterisation was weak. The lightness of touch that characterised earlier books was gone; the moralising in the stories became more blatant and heavy-handed.

'Unseen Academicals' - well I hate football so maybe some of the humour went over my head. Not bad, but not great.

Now, this book... well, it's ok. I like Vimes a lot, and thought he acquitted himself well in 'Snuff'. The plot was as usual fairly convoluted but worked well. The pacing was a little off - some passages went at a snail's pace, others seemed rushed and incomplete. Young Sam is a great character, developing nicely, and it was nice to see Willikins in all his bruiser glory.

The dialogue is the greatest change in Pratchett's style - where it used to zing off the page and allow you to really identify with the characters, it now seems a little stilted and over-complex.

Having said all this - even a substandard Pratchett is considerably better than most other writers' masterworks... I will always buy a new Terry Pratchett book and take what enjoyment I can - and there is always a great deal of enjoyment, just a little less than in the past. I still must have my regular Pratchett fix...
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68 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a little disappointing, 30 Oct 2011
I've been a long-time fan of Pratchett ever since getting his first novel The Colour of Magic back in my early teens, and I can honestly say that it's a rare thing to come away with a slight sense of disappointment after finishing one of his books. The sheer fun and whimsy of the early Discworld novels seems to me to have given way to a slightly more darker more muted world, and where once you could expect gag after gag spilling off nearly every single page, now there is a bit more slightly heavy-handed moralising and exposition to get through before you find any gems to remind you of those earlier stories.

Don't get me wrong, I still liked Snuff and there is still much to enjoy in the characters, old favourites like Vimes in particular, but in terms of where I'd rank this in the Discworld series as a whole, I'd have to say somewhere around the middle of the list, tending towards the lower half.

My son is reading the book at the moment and appears to be enjoying it (though some of the more adult ideas pass him by) so even if Snuff is slightly below par for Pratchett, it's still got plenty to offer and, if you're a fan of the series, still worth a read. If you're new to Pratchett, well you're probably better off going right back to the beginning and enjoying the pure unadulterated fun of those early novels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snuff - a great story, 11 April 2013
This review is from: Snuff: (Discworld Novel 39) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
As a big fan of Sam Vimes, I thought I'd enjoy this book, and I did. It's a well-crafted story with great characters,and situations. Sometimes it made me laugh and bits of Terry's trademark tragic-relief added to the enjoyment mix. Though I don't think this is one of his very best, it was very good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh Terry, 28 Nov 2012
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I love Terry Pratchett and have read every one of his novels but every now and again I there's one I struggle to get through. Vimes used to be my favourite character but with Thud and now this I'm struggling. This is just my opinion and no doubt most readers will feel differently and I certainly don't want to put anyone off. I will carry on reading his novels after all there is only about 3 that I wouldn't give 5 stars to. By all means read and enjoy
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the real Terry Pratchett, 19 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Snuff: (Discworld Novel 39) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
I found this book terribly depressing. Terry Pratchett is one of my very favourite authors and seems to be a true gent to boot. I have been amazed by his ability to keep writing high quality fiction even with his ever-worsening condition. I thought I detected a slight drop-off in "Making Money" - compared to his own high standards - but that and the following couple of books were still pretty good, to me preferable even to some of his early work. With Snuff this is no longer the case. It feels at once terribly simplistic and at the same time incoherent and directionless, but in the sense of drifting rather than the off-the-wall zaniness of, say, The Light Fantastic, Most importantly, although there were attempts at whimsy, I barely cracked a smile throughout. I understand he has started to dictate a lot of his work, which could in some cases explain the problem - a liberal scattering of exclamation marks can completely spoil what would normally be dry wit.

I couldn't honestly recommend this book to anyone. But the good news is that he's written dozens of other books that are mostly brilliant. If you haven't already, go and read Jingo, Night Watch, The Truth, Going Postal, Soul Music, or in fact whichever other one you like (the first couple are pretty zany and not everyone's cup of tea and watch out for the kids ones, which are basically the same as the others but simpler, shorter and not nearly as funny).
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Any Vimes is better than no Vimes, but..., 17 Oct 2011
I was so excited about the release of Snuff. I love the Discworld books, the Watch series constitute my favourite story arc and Vimes is my favourite character within them (and probably my favourite literary character), however I found this book slightly... different.

I found it took a quite a long time to get going; there is a lot of reflection at the beginning rather than the action which is traditional of the Watch books. I think the initial slow pace is linked to Vimes' discomfort with the boring countryside; it only really starts to get going after the first hundred and fifty pages or so.

I also found that a lot of the characters seemed a little out of character. Willikins really comes into his own, and is developed brilliantly, but his characterisation is quite different to the Willikins of the other books. Sybil seems a lot more, uh, forceful in this book. The other guards felt kind of tacked on, the villains were faceless, Vimes felt...weird.

I really enjoyed Thud! and Vimes' battle with the Summoning Dark. At first I welcomed the Dark's cameo, but I think it was a little overplayed. What happened to the Guarding Dark anyway? Vimes seemed to be deviating a bit from Lawful Good in this book; I thought he was supposed to carry the law like a beacon wherever he went!

Snuff takes a rather more serious tone with fewer laugh-out-loud gags, and some occasional clunky writing, I feel terrible for saying this but I found it hard not to read without thinking about Pratchett's illness and wondering how much it was affecting his writing. Snuff is not one of the best Discworld books but having said this I did finish it in a day and I did still enjoy it despite my quibbles.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmmph, 14 Nov 2011
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aok666 "aok666" (Guildford, Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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As so many have said, it's better than the average book but nowhere near as good as the average Pratchett. (I confess to having a soft spot for Reaper Man and Pyramids, which nobody else seems to like.)
May I also point out that one reviewer was correct in saying that the drop in humour doesn't necessarily lead to a worse book (just look at Night Watch).
My main niggles:
1) Since when did Willikins have that past? He's been working for the Ramkins for at least 30 years (Night Watch - he's mentioned as the bootboy). He's also very abruptly come out of his shell.
2) Vetinari is TOTALLY out of character. Far too emotional and uncertain.
3) Moral of the story is RAMMED IN WITH A SLEDGEHAMMER. Rather like Unseen Academicals but worse.
4) Villain totally undeveloped. Even Carcer had more depth - he'd realised that the rules of normal people didn't actually have to apply to him if he didn't want them to.
5) As someone else on here said, where's the Guarding Dark? Also, the Summoning Dark LEFT Vimes, acknowledging defeat by a worthy opponent, and the mark on his wrist was a scald from lamp oil (shaped by the Dark).
6) No Death cameo, but neither did The Wee Free Men.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hate crime investigation., 13 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Snuff: (Discworld Novel 39) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
In this 39th Discworld novel, Samuel Vimes is coerced by his wife Lady Sybil into taking a holiday in Crundells, their estate in the Quirmian countryside.

Whereas his 6-year-old son Young Sam is delighted to discover a whole new world of animal poo, far from the hustle and bustle of Ankh-Morpork, the Commander of the City Watch is feeling totally at odds and out of his depth.

However, Vimes's copper instincts tell him something unlawful is going on. And soon he discovers that a young goblin girl has been violently murdered and that Jefferson, the village smith, is missing. With the help of Feeney Upshot, the local pig farmer-cum-constable, he starts to investigate. An adventure that will take them underground and above water, even as far as Howondaland.

This is a very enjoyable story, reminiscent of crime fiction. Vimes's arrival in Crundells reminded me of Downton Abbey, and I also loved exploring the Goblin cave and learning about its people. But the part I enjoyed the most is the middle of the book, when the thrilling murder investigation is in full swing.
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Snuff: (Discworld Novel 39) (Discworld Novels)
Snuff: (Discworld Novel 39) (Discworld Novels) by Terry Pratchett (Paperback - 7 Jun 2012)
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