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Snuff by Terry Pratchett Stephen Send a noteboard - 01/11/2011 06:33:03 PM
Snuff, Wikipedia tells me, is the 39th Discworld book written by Terry Pratchett which is frankly quite an achievement considering it is only 28 years since The Colour of Magic, the very first book in the series, was released. That Pratchett has maintained such a high standard throughout his output compounds this amazing fact.

Snuff is the ninth book in the City Watch sub-sequence and features the mighty Sir Samuel Vimes, Duke of Ankh, Commander of the City Watch and Blackboard Monitor. The book harks back to Jingo and The Fifth Elephant by for the most part not actually taking place in Ankh Morpork. Instead the action focuses on VImes and family's holiday to the Ramkin country estate.

Here Pratchett indulges in what have become common themes in the Discworld books and especially the Watch tales, namely the need to respect the sanctity of life no matter what form it comes in and the general inadequecy of the aristocracy.

After the discovery of a large amount of blood on a hill, Vimes uncovers the murder of a goblin and the subjugation of the enitre species. Goblins, yet another sentient species to be added to the highly populated Discworld, are bizarre creatures, monstrous in appearence ressembling something configured from left over scrapes at the point of Creation. Indeed this belief of being inferior and second rate is a key part of the goblin religion Unggue.

Vimes discovers that local self appointed magistrates have been ordering the removal and transportation of local goblin populations, to which nobody appears to have objected. Vimes' impassioned need to uncover crime sees him fighting the status quo that has left the continued plight and exploitation of the goblins unchecked.

All this seriousness doesn't mean the book has lost the joyious humour which also characterises the Discworld books. Young Sam Vimes, now aged 5, has developed a supreme curiousness in poo which Vimes the Elder indulges in his son showing a tender relationship that was also noticeable in previous Vimes-starring book Thud. Ms Felicity Beedle, young Sam's favourite author on his favourite subject is key to Vimes senior's efforts to uncover the truth about goblins and improving their status in the world. Ms Beedle has taught some goblins to read and to play music and a performance by one of the goblins ensures they will soon be held in greater status and have much of the discrimination they face ended.

In spite of the fact that Pratchett is for much of the story repeating themes he has already adressed in previous books, this is still a highly enjoyable and riviting, page-turner of a book. It is not quite Pratchett at his utmost best but certainly would not disappoint even the most casual of Pratchett fans.
"I mean, if everyone had a soul, there would be no contrast by which we could appreciate it. For giving us this perspective, we thank you." - Nate
This message last edited by Stephen on 01/11/2011 at 07:47:01 PM
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Snuff by Terry Pratchett - 01/11/2011 06:33:03 PM 6687 Views
Cool. Thanks, Stephen. I'll have to pick this up at some point. - 01/11/2011 06:42:20 PM 691 Views
That's great. - 01/11/2011 06:45:05 PM 714 Views
Okay, Camilla alerted me to my failure to properly identify the creature present in the books *NM* - 01/11/2011 07:48:30 PM 362 Views
Sorted. *NM* - 01/11/2011 07:53:29 PM 337 Views
Gnoblins? - 01/11/2011 06:45:23 PM 722 Views
Re: Gnoblins? - 01/11/2011 07:57:35 PM 695 Views
Re: Gnoblins? - 01/11/2011 08:17:50 PM 659 Views

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