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.”

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snuffSnuff by Terry Pratchett

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Discworld #39, Ankh-Morpork City Watch #8

Publisher: DoubleDay UK (October 2011)

Author Info:

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.


17 Comments on “Book Review: Snuff by Terry Pratchett”

  1. That Quote! He’s not pulling any punches is her:0)! I think this may be the post that pushes me into reading Discworld. For a non fangirl to be this blow away by book 39 is pretty impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terry Pratchett is my favorite! This is actually one of if not my least favorite books of his, because it does take such a long time to get started. If you loved this one you really need to read the older ones when Pratchett was at his best! Vimes is one of my favorite characters! He’s grown so much from Guards Guards! (Sorry for all of my explanation points. Hehe)


  3. I believe I have shouted about Pratchett for years…

    He is awesome. And this IS a weak book by his standards; though I like it because b it let’s Sybil have some of the spot light. Have we seen the start of another person with a lifetime love?


  4. This sounds pretty amazing and I’m a fan of humor in my fantasy like this. I’ve yet to read Terry Pratchett but have so many great comments about the great writing – I need to change that. Great review – going to hunt down some Disworld 🙂


  5. I love Terry Pratchett and Sam Vimes is one of my favourite characters. You are in for a real treat when you read the other Discworld books too. Glad to see Pratchett is still gaining new fans of the Discworld 😀


  6. It’s not so much that the Pratchett books are a series, as much as a collection of series and standalones, all relating to the same world, with some sense of change and progression overall.

    The Sam Vimes ones are one of the best, and a clear favourite – try reading “Guards! Guards!” and then “Men at Arms” for a great introduction to these. The Vimes books are listed in serial order here on Wikipedia here:


  7. Welcome to the Discworld Lovers’ club.
    Snuff is one of the last books, and TP’s health seems to pop into that one, but yet I am amazed you gave it top score. I wonder how much would you give fan favourites “Small Gods” and “Night Watch”.

    Anyway, The Discworld novels are complete by themselves – TP would never expect you to have known the previous book in a series to enjoy the current one. Sure, some getting used to the characters helps, but when needed, he gives the context (and just as much as needed).

    There are some schools on how the books should be read. For me the correct way is “one after the otther, regardles of what series a book is in”. The other way is to keep in mind where each book sets. Here is an AMAZING visual guide:

    please note, that the larger version has the last books as they are. The small version is older and had listed books that never came to be (like “Raising Taxes”, that is barely hinted at the end of “MakingMoney”, but was replaced by “Raising Steam”). It also features Shepherd’s Crown – the last ever book, and some short stories where they fit into the storyline.

    Here is the large version:


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