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Snuff – Book Review

It’s probably more like fangirl squee, but never mind.

This weekend involved reading Terry Pratchett’s latest novel, Snuff. As usual I finished up awed by the man’s skill and wondering why I bothered when I can’t hope to ever get close to that. Then all the layered bits started clicking together, which means I’m even more in awe, especially as the man freely admits he’s an extreme pantser (he doesn’t exactly use those words, but that’s what it comes down to).

The story, which of course isn’t what the book ended up actually being about, is the mayhem that results when Vimes takes a vacation in the countryside with his wife and son – young Sam now being at the age where all things scatological are hugely fascinating, this is rather like paradise, only with all sorts of fascinating poo to examine. Vimes of course is something of a trouble magnet, and promptly finds himself in the middle of some major malfeasance, which, being Vimes, ends up cascading into Even More So. Quaint countryside habits are examined through wobbly distorted panes of glass (this being one of the hazards of quaint, it would appear), sheep and other livestock are harassed, the social order gets a jolly good shaking, and ultimately Vimes sorts it all out. Sort of. More or less.

Mixed into this is a lovely little dig at Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice (one of the sisters is a lumberjack), an author who writes children’s books about poo and wee – and is naturally immensely popular with her audience – and a lurking examination of what makes people people.

This is one of Pratchett’s best, possibly even his best so far, and it had me between laughing and reaching for the kleenex.

A word of warning. Don’t start it in the evening unless you’re prepared for a very late night. Yes, it really is that good.

10 Comments
  1. twopenny #

    Yep. Lost the entire day to Snuff. Love the ending. And Sarge and Knobby and….

    October 27, 2011
    • Oh, yes! It was so hard to write a review without serious spoilerage.

      October 27, 2011
      • I have it. Am putting off reading it till I have time to do so.

        October 27, 2011
      • Kate Paulk #

        Sarah – make it your reward for whichever of the novels is currently eating your life. You won’t regret it.

        October 30, 2011
  2. Kate, you’re right about this book. I have to say it is one of my favorites by PTerry. And yes, I did stay up way too late the other night reading it.

    October 27, 2011
    • Kate Paulk #

      I warned you.

      Kate

      October 30, 2011
  3. Laine #

    I loved this book. He just gets better. I do admire how he gets across moral viewpoints with no preaching to put readers off. I bought and read the ebook. I bought the audiobook from Audible for my husband. Then I got the abridged audiobook for my husband because he loves Tony Robinson. (He’s a Time Team fanatic.) I’d buy them all at twice the price. He is one of only 2 writers who can maintain a really long series of books. (The other is J.D. Robb.)

    October 29, 2011
    • Kate Paulk #

      The man is brilliant – the moral viewpoints rise naturally from the characters and who they are, which is how it’s supposed to be.

      October 30, 2011
  4. Alison Weathers #

    Kate, I can’t agree more. I keep re-reading and re-reading Snuff and finding more layers and more TOTAL AWESOMENESS every time — Ali

    October 30, 2011
    • Kate Paulk #

      Oh, yeah. Just when you think you’ve gotten all the layers, you realize there’s something more in there.

      October 30, 2011

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