Book Review: Snuff by Terry Pratchett
“I tell you, commander, it’s true that some of the most terrible things in the world are done by people who think, genuinely think, that they’re doing it for the best, especially if there is some god involved.”
Series: Discworld #39, Ankh-Morpork City Watch #8
Publisher: DoubleDay UK (October 2011)
Author Info: terrypratchettbooks.com
Wendy’s Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Why did no one tell me Terry Pratchett was so awesome??? No, that’s not fair. A few people have said so, and a trusted advisor on all things geeky did recommend a few of Pratchett’s Discworld books to me, but only now am I finally getting around to reading one. And I am just about blown away!
As I understand it, this isn’t necessarily the best of Pratchett’s Discworld work, and as far as cop fiction goes, it is fairly rote. But after getting through 20% of the book with no actual plot happening, yet loving it all anyway, I figure Pratchett is definitely doing something right. I was immediately charmed by Pratchett’s dry wit and found myself genuinely LOLing several times, particularly in relation to poop, a subject which I certainly had not expected to learn quite so much about.
The story centres on Sam Vimes, commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, who is off on vacation in the country side. As with any cop drama, it is impossible for a cop not to cop, even while on vacation, and especially when murder inconveniently happens during that time. In this case, the victim is a goblin. According to the mainly human perspective, goblins are barely worth anyone’s time, but Vimes is a man that respects life in its many forms, and especially in its living, breathing, thinking, feeling forms.
As my first introduction to Vimes, I am equally charmed by the man as I am with his creator. I am also quite fond of the relationship between Vimes and his not so gentlemanly gentleman, Willikins. The pair reminded me of Cesare and Micheletto from The Borgias, only, older, with more humour, less giving of fucks, and fewer angst-ridden forbidden romances.
Dropping into part 39/8 of a long-standing series isn’t generally wise, but the book does a fine job of not making me feel completely out of sorts. Certainly there are historical, political, and personal references, as well as some inside jokes, that I likely missed out on, but it was nothing that kept me from enjoying the book on its own. It just means that I have something to look forward to when I pick up more from the series.