Book Review: Snuff, by Terry Pratchett

Harper
398 pp.

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In Snuff, Vimes is railroaded into going on vacation at his wife’s country estate. He is not very happy at the prospect of being out in the country away from the sights and sounds he is familiar with. (He is also not too keen on hob-nobbing with the local nobs.) There is also a severe lack of bacon sandwiches, but this is mostly because his wife is making him eat in a more healthy fashion. The idyllic countryside turns out to be not so very idyllic after all when he uncovers a great deal of criminal activity, and certain activities which are criminal but are not against the law.

While Vimes is getting himself involved with what turns out to be a murder case, the police force back in Ankh-Morpork are dealing with a drug smuggling operation. As the story unfolds, it turns out that there may be a connection between the smuggling and the case that Vimes is working on. Both cases in turn have quite a lot to do with goblins. (Who it turns out are an extremely oppressed minority with a very peculiar religion.)

There are some really fun moments here, with Vimes interacting with the local nobs in typical Vimes fashion. (Of course, this is then followed by Sybil attempting to wrangle her husband into being a little more presentable. Sometimes, she is even successful!) Vimes preaches the joy of choosing a career as a method of husband catching instead of mourning the lack of a dowry, and attempts to instill the correct policeman’s ethic in the local police force. (Said police force consists of one young man who is more acquainted with catching missing farm animals and wrangling drunks than more advanced forms of police work.)

There is a lot of humor in the book, and some funny moments, but there is definitely a darker tone to the writing. (This is entirely not surprising, since there are some very dark situations within the book.) Somehow, there still manages to be a fairly good balance between the darker aspects of the story and the humor. I enjoyed the moments where Vimes is interacting with his family, and with his “gentleman’s gentleman” Willikins and the various characters Vimes runs into.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the book. I recommend it to any long time Pratchett fans. (This would not be the best possible book to start with, as far as an introduction to the series is concerned.)

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Filed under book, fantasy, humor, non-earth, Review: Book, Terry Pratchett

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