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Snuff (Discworld #39)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  22,616 ratings  ·  1,909 reviews
According to the writer of the best-selling crime novel ever to have been published in the city of Ankh-Morpork, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse.

And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countrysid...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 378 pages
Published October 13th 2011 by Doubleday UK (first published 2011)
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Laura
We saw Terry Pratchett at Town Hall Tuesday. He’s frail compared to the man I saw at Kane Hall back in the 1990s, but still sharp. He took questions, and one, predictably enough, was which of his characters he was most like. “In my heart I know it’s Rincewind,” he said, grinning. But then he continued in a more thoughtful vein:

“Twice I’ve kneeled in front of the Queen and she’s swished a very large sword over my head and fortunately, she’s missed every time. When I stood up a knight, a ferrier,...more
Dan Schwent
Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch and his wife Sybil take Young Sam and go on vacation to Sybil's ancestral lands in the country. Fortunately for the Commander, crime soon rears its ugly head and he soon finds himself ensnared in a web of lies, smuggling, and murder! Can Vimes get to the bottom of things before he finds himself at the bottom of the river known as Old Treachery?

I always forget how good Terry Pratchett is during the year or years between new books. To the outsider...more
Patrick
Enjoyed it immensely. Not the best Discworld book I've read. But whinging about this not being the Best Pratchett Book Evar is sort of like complaining that the diamond ring you've been given is only three/quarters of a carat.

It's easily worth five stars. I was often amused, occasionally teary-eyed, and never bored.

Tfitoby
#4 Favourite Read of 2012
“Little crimes breed big crimes. You smile at little crimes and then big crimes blow your head off.”

There was a PC game released back when a PC was still a relevant piece of computing technology going by the name of Discworld Noir, I only played it a little while before my machine gave up the ghost but I suspect that even a Discworld title called noir was not as dark at its heart as this novel.

There's still an awful lot of humour to contend with but Sam Vimes is up agai...more
Saga
Pratchett's latest induced a fair few laughs, but felt structurally weak, even a tad disjointed. While Vimes still upholds the position of one of my favorite Discworld characters ever, his role was a tad overdone in an almost superhuman-ish fashion, which makes it harder to identify with the rugged, stubborn cob character I originally fell in love with. The whole Goblin rights issue seemed also like an infirmer repetition of Unseen Academicals' acceptance of Orcs, topped with one of the most uni...more
Kate O'Hanlon
Okay it's Pratchett, so the fact that it's good is a given.
And yet... I think Pratchett has overmined the seam of 'oppressed species shows that they are as human as you or I'.
And... I thought so when I read Unseen Academicals so to see him retread this ground again is a little disappointing.

There is also some very clunky writing and a lot of characterization that seems very at odds with previous books. I found it hard not to read without thinking constantly about Pratchett's illness and wonderi...more
Mark Lawrence
Terry Pratchett has a way with words. Like the children’s entertainer with the balloons, he can take a familiar phrase and with a few deft twists create some new plaything better than all the contents of your party bag. To do that trick once or twice is good. To sustain it throughout a whole book is remarkable. To keep it fresh into the 39th volume of a series deserves a knighthood.

Snuff is Sir Terry Pratchett’s 50th novel. That’s a lot! It’s also the most recent foray into Discworld series, a l...more
Curt Hopkins Hopkins
Even battling early-onset Alzheimer's, Pratchet is as good as any 10 novelists fighting ennui and indigestion. "Snuff" is the latest City Watch story in the Discworld series. The only other story that rivals it is the witches and I still prefer Commander Sam Vimes. "Snuff" is as good as any book in the series.

The City Watch series is the best set of police procedurals ever written. The emotional realism and detail is beyond compare despite the fact that the aforementioned watch consists, in add...more
Marian Allen
Every author has the right to produce the book he or she has inside. It doesn't have to meet reader expectations or desires. What disappoints one reader will delight another. The only responsibility a writer has is to the work.

Other Terry Pratchett fans have told me that SNUFF is wonderful; they loved it.

I can't argue with that. All I can say is, if the rating is based on whether or not I, me, myself liked the book, the answer is no. I didn't.

Is Pratchett's signature sideways humor almost totall...more
Michael
With the news of Terry Pratchett's declining health, it feels as if each new Discworld novel could be his last. It also made you want to savor each entry a bit more.

Unfortunately, the last couple of entries haven't been quite among Pratchett's best.

Thankfully, Snuff is a return to form for Pratchett and while I hope we get more, if this is the last Discworld entry we get, it will be a solid, entertaining high note for the series to go out on.

As I've said in other Pratchett reviews, Pratchett...more
Lightreads
Yeah, so I’m always excited to get a new Discworld, and particularly a new Vimes. But…

So it’s about Vimes going on vacation, which for him means foiling a goblin trafficking ring. And I think I like Pratchett better when he’s making fun of systems and institutions – the Death books, Making Money etc. Because sometimes he winds up and he pitches at some great evil, and I have to cover my eyes for a little bit. I had a lot of problems with this one, most of which boil down to how the book wasn’t a...more
Erastes
about ¾ of the way through and enjoying myself immensely. You'd have to be a real Sam Vimes fan I think though to truly "get" the book and to enjoy it as much as I am, it's classic Vimes and it shines a light on him away from Ankh and his job there. I know he's been away before, to Uberwald--but he was on official business at the time and here he's acting under his own steam even though he's justifying it! :D

Willikins is brilliant, as is Sybil as ever and Young Sam is exactly how he should be--t...more
Tana
Spring, 2011

OH MY GOD, just logged on and saw that this finally has cover art.




I've been waiting for this book since...well, for a really long time. Not nearly as long as some people, I know, but GOOD LORD this wait might actually be worse than the tension and neuroses that afflicted me while counting down to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.




Also, chickens! A lifetimer! VIMES IS ON A SHIP! I'm not really sure what's going on.



September 28, 2011

Also, to whomever put that quote over there on the...more
An Odd1
"Snuff" (Discworld series 39) by Terry Pratchett has double meanings: extinguish (candle, life) or tobacco to sniff (cause sneeze). Serious issues, humanity and sorcery, are tackled with humor. Commander (and reluctant Lord) Sam Vimes, arrives with family for holiday at his wife Sybil's country estate, and senses evil afoot. Amid son Sam's silly pre-occupation with poo, encouraged by meeting his favorite author Miss Beedle, are base crimes: kidnapping, murder. But the submissive goblin class are...more
Chris
Terry Pratchett is, perhaps, the world's best humanist. Terry Pratchett should also win the Nobel and Booker prizes, but odds are, he never will.

But at least, the Queen as knighted him.

Snuff is Pratchett's latest novel, an installment in the Discworld, and features Sam Vimes, Pratchett's everyman copper hero and one of his alter-egos. Forced to go on vaccation at his wife's estate, Sam discovers there has been a murder.

And any follower of the Discworld knows what that means.

Snuff is more in the...more
Matthew Lippart
This book made me sad. Which isn't to say it's a bad book, or a sad book (it is still reasonably funny)- but it made me aware that this is the end of the road for Discworld, or getting very close to it. When he announced some years back that he had begun to suffer from Alzheimer's, I'm sure I wasn't along in dreading the day when the awesome books would stop, when we would have to say goodbye to Discworld. The last book (Unseen Academicals) was not one of the strongest, but still pretty good. T...more
Emily
I'm a huge fan of the Discworld and the City Watch books in particular but I didn't care for Snuff as much as I could have -- or should have. Down in my gut I feel Commander Sam Vimes has had a great run but now he's so over-powerful, so unbeatable, and full of so many powerful allies (Vetinari, Lady Sybil, his unstoppable assassin-butler, the demon who lives in his head, every City Watch post ever, etc) he's no longer much of a joy to read. He has no challenge. He has no mountain to climb. The...more
Kathleen
It looks like Ankh-Morpork is going to have to do without City Watch Commander Sir Samuel Vimes for a couple of weeks. Lady Sybil has decided that Young Sam, now an inquisitive six-year-old, needs some fresh country air and healthy outdoor recreation at Ramkin Hall, the family's country estate. It's the last thing that Vimes wants: trees and daffodils and chirping birds and his wife supervising his every meal for two whole weeks. No bacon sandwiches? Some vacation.

But Lady Sybil has a way of ge...more
Nick Johnson
One day, one very sad day, Sir Terry Pratchett will be taken from us by the progression of Alzheimer's disease. I hope that day is a long time in coming though, since as he gets older and fights against the dimming of the light he simply gets better. I have read all his books and in this tale he returns to one of my favourite characters in the bizarre world on Amkh Morpork; Sam Vimes, Commander of the City Watch. Actually that His Grace, The Duke of Ankh, Samuel Vimes to you lot (but don't call...more
Siria
I didn't not enjoy Snuff, but I wonder if perhaps this will be the last Discworld novel I read. I've been reading Pratchett's work when I was eight years old and was first given a copy of Witches Abroad, and have long loved them for how smart they are; for the layers of meaning and historical allusions and the carefully crafted, intricate plots that were always, at their core, about what it is to be human. Snuff read like an average fanfic—a good attempt at the old Pratchett voice, but missing t...more
Heidi Cullinan
Shortly after finishing this book, I took a nap, and as I drifted off I had the thought that if I ever met Sir Terry, I very probably would fall to my knees and start crying and other things that would embarrass us both. The truth is, if we're lucky each of us finds a writer who speaks to our souls and makes our entire being and parts we didn't even know reverberate with something that to describe it as "joy" is a ridiculous understatement. If I were Sir Terry, I would probably describe it as a...more
Kathleen
4 solid stars for Snuff. I posted a 15-question quiz for this book (some clues herein). I listened to the Audible version, narrated nicely by Stephen Briggs. Snuff is the latest addition to the City Watch series, a subset of The Discworld Series (City Watch books listed below).

Plot in broad terms, no spoilers: Along with his wife and son, Commander Samuel Vimes arrives at Ramkin Estate in the shire to find a brooding evil and a raw recruit, Constable Feenie Upshot. Vimes immediately sets out to...more
Sesana
I went back and forth on my rating for this book so many times. It isn't the greatest Discworld book, even the greatest Watch book. And yet there's still something of greatness in here.

First, the less-than-great. I like Vimes, immensely. But I still feel like he's getting to be a bit too much of a Batman character, if you will. Almost too smart, too powerful, too good at what he does. He's getting a little beyond belief. Here, I could still buy him, but I'm wondering if maybe he's getting honed...more
PopcornReads
I am one of Terry Pratchett’s biggest fans – well, maybe not technically his biggest fan since I’m only 5 feet tall but I’m definitely a fan in the truest meaning of the term. Any author who has sold over 45 million books and received countless awards has a lot more fans than just me, and very rightfully so. I have read every Terry Pratchett book published in the U.S., and always await the next one with great anticipation.

Snuff is Pratchett’s latest Discworld novel, the 39th Discworld novel to...more
J.D.
Sam Vimes has always been my favorite Discworld main character because he's easily the richest and most complex: a good man and a good copper who's always aware just how thin the barrier is between that and becoming bad. It doesn't help that he's taken on a rider in his head (possibly imaginary, but very possibly all too real) who would cheerfully give him a shove through that barrier.

In this book, Vimes takes a holiday at the insistence of his adoring (and incredibly rich) wife Sybil. Vimes be...more
Scurra
This one is a tough call. Whilst I enjoyed it a lot, and it's certainly clear that Pratchett has settled into his new writing style well (some books back I was seriously worried that his well-advertised condition was proving too much for him), there is also the growing sense that he is running out of places to go with his well-established characters. We lost Death a long time ago, and the Witches had to be diminished to a supporting cast for Tiffany, who has now come to the end of her story.
In...more
Naiya
Snuff is Terry Pratchett's 39th Discworld novel. After decades of loyal service, Watch Commander Samuel Vimes is putting down his badge and riding out of the great and dingy city of Ankh-Morpork. His wife, Sybil, has put her foot down. The time had come...for Vimes to take a vacation.

"There was no point in arguing with Sybil, because even if you thought that you'd won, it would turn out, by some magic unavailable to husbands, that you had, in fact, been totally misinformed."


But on his country es...more
Peter Chandler
I do find there is something of a peculiarity to reading Pratchett these days. It's tricky to tell whether it is me that has changed, or more to do with the author. Possibly though, in the case of Snuff, it's just the nature of the book on its own. The story still contains much of the usual trademark humour and parodies of the real world that tends to make the Discworld such a joyful place to visit. Certainly the book is an enjoyable read. Within the humour there also remains the same endeavour...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
3.5

As I settled down into the book, the first 30 pages or so made me think that this had the potential to be one of my favorite Discworld books. Lots of quotable lines and a wry grin stretched across my face.

But as the story progressed, things got bogged down. Not just some of the humor sort of diminishing, or even the repetition of themes across books (and, really, considering the fact that our world sort of seems stuck in its cycles, it's not like the issues of race, class and "outsiderness" e...more
Amy L. Campbell
Note: advanced review copy provided by Netgalley.

Not one of the top level Pratchetts, but fans will certainly enjoy this episode of Vimes Goes to the Country, Sniffs Out a Dirty Deed, and Saves the Day, Again. As usual, Pratchett manages to espouse egalitarian values via Vimes without hitting one over the head too hard, but also making it blatantly clear that these are worthy values to have and encourage in others. In this case, Vimes contemplates the state of the goblins, who are generally trea...more
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,...more
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