45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Any Vimes is better than no Vimes, but...,
This review is from: Snuff: (Discworld Novel 39) (Discworld Novels) (Hardcover)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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Initial post: 18 Oct 2011 16:06:24 BDT
An honest and thoughtful review - I'm in total agreement.
Posted on 20 Oct 2011 13:55:56 BDT
Louise O'Neill says:
Exactly what I think. Looked it up online now to see if it was just me (and very nearly thought it was - other reviewers seem to have passed by the huge difference in style and characterisation).
Posted on 29 Oct 2011 08:25:23 BDT
Absolutely agree. I felt dismay and unease - the wit and genius of his earlier work seems to be ebbing away. Nevertheless, I'll buy anything he publishes in thanks for the countless hours of reading pleasure he's given at his best.
Posted on 29 Oct 2011 20:29:21 BDT
Mr. JV Denning says:
Agree - overall the book still has that Discorld magic but some of the dialogues, especially in the first quarter of the book or so were a tad extended - but as the story unfolded they were soon forgotten.
Posted on 7 Nov 2011 01:32:00 GMT
Boo Diddley says:
I see where you are coming from with your review, however I found this self reflection of the story one of the things that made it for me. It was definitely a lot darker than normal, but perhaps Pratchett is becoming more reflective himself as he goes thru his trials?
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2011 22:01:14 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Nov 2011 07:59:08 GMT
John Mccartney says:
Yes - this book was written within a context. Our knowledge of the context makes reading it a richer experience. Pratchett's characters have always changed from book to book, but then they (the books) are not a roman fleuve. Each stands alone as a story, and - in my opinion - this one hits a new high.
Posted on 12 Jan 2012 23:26:33 GMT
Yep, fair play, you've hit the nail on the head with this review. Couldn't agree more with your views on the characters especially the villains being 'faceless' as you os accurately put it. I've read everything TP has written for the last twenty odd years, he's given me so much pleasure during that time but I can't help feeling that maybe the time has come to 'quit whilst you're ahead' so to speak. I'd hate for him to keep churning out weak books, sullying his reputation in the process. After all, you're only as good as the last thing you did.
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