Snuff (by Terry Pratchett)

I've been reading and enjoying Terry Pratchett's books, particularly the Discworld series, for about eighteen years, now. Discworld is fantasy of a kind - but more like satire, a thought-provoking (and humorous) way of looking at the world. They are particularly good to read aloud to older children or teens.

'Snuff' is the 39th Discworld book, and since I'm no longer reading aloud I was in no great hurry to get it - but put it on my wishlist some time ago. I was delighted to receive it as a Christmas present and started reading it five weeks ago.

Yes, it took me five weeks to finish this, reading just a section or two each evening. Having said that, I was often very tired and read only a few pages. And it didn't really grab me at first... however, Pratchett is always readable, and I found myself getting more and more involved as the story progressed. This book is not as overtly humorous as some of the earlier Discworld books, but it's quite thought-provoking and makes some excellent points in a way that should remain with the reader for a long time afterwards.

Sam Vimes of the Ankh Morpork watch is the main character - a somewhat mellow Sam who has settled into being a married Duke, and very much enjoys fatherhood, although he also still loves his job and rarely takes a break. He's not at all sure about taking a holiday, but everyone insists. Happily for Vimes, he finds plenty of crime in the countryside and, with the help of his wife Lady Sybil, manages to get the goblins, previously treated as vermin, to be recognised as sapient beings.

Some of the plotting was a bit over-complex; there was some fast action involving boats and contraband, and in places it rather lost me, but it didn't really matter. Overall I thought this a great addition to the Discworld series. Recommended to fans, although it would be very confusing as an introduction to the series, so it would definitely be best to read some of the earlier 'Watch' books featuring Vimes before tackling this one.

Available in hardback, paperback, and Kindle formats.

Review by copyright 2014 Sue's Book Reviews

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