9 of 26 people found the following review helpful
, 30 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Snuff: (Discworld Novel 39) (Discworld Novels) (Paperback)
Very well off home counties author writes very dull political fiction about how someone suddenly decides to hate all his neighbours and picks something they all dislike as a pretext to do so and screams that they all must like it or else. That's pretty much a summary of the book.
This is the first Pratchett that I could not finish. The author seems to have forgotten how to write, which is depressing since the sheer power of writing has been the keynote of all Pratchett's books since I don't know how long.
The book doesn't actually have much of a plot. It's dull to read. The characters are all stilted and unengaging, including those we have met before.
Worse, the book simply stinks of hate. So much of it evinces the author's very obvious seething hatred for decent ordinary people who don't happen to share his (leftist) identity politics. I don't want to read about hate, still less hate that only a very wealthy and fortunate man could afford. I read light fiction for escapism. Who doesn't?
This nastiness towards others has been present before in this series for some time, and the charm of the writing has allowed it to pass. But here the writing is poor, the characterisation is lazy, and the ranting is quite sickening to read, and terribly, terribly unengaging.
I have enjoyed all the Vimes novels up to this point. This one I couldn't get through. It isn't funny. It's also desperately immoral -- unless a well-off and powerful man suddenly deciding to like something just because everyone else loathes it, and viciously attacking them because they don't suddenly agree with you is moral -- and frankly ... who needs it?
I suspect that something must be allowed for Pratchett's illness, in all this. The man can't help his unamiable views and dislike of others, of course. But the last couple of books have been rather poorly written, and for no evident reason. You need only compare "Gone Postal" with "Making Money" to see the deterioration in writing skills (and the political rubbish doesn't really differ in the two, so it isn't just that).
But I can't help thinking that the old Pratchett wouldn't have allowed this volume out of the door.
So ... don't go anywhere near this novel unless you too are a hater of the same narrow kind, and you also don't demand much of a book. If you don't possess both of those, erm, qualities, then I think you will find that you're wasting your money. And that is a rare thing to say about a Pratchett novel.
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