Heidi Cullinan's Reviews > Snuff

Snuff by Terry Pratchett
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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 twang and surround it with descriptors both profound and giggle-inducing at once. Because that, in essence, is Sir Terry Pratchett, may the gods bless his soul.

I've said before and will hold Snuff up as further evidence that Pratchett is the Shakespeare of our time, borrowing from here there and everywhere, pinning human nature to the wall and freeing it at once, and never letting a pun go by without a quick flirt and a kiss. Probably this book is best read after having digested the other Vimes books, but maybe not. Thankfully, I'm so versed in Watch books I forget which bit happened in what book because they're just all part of my internal memory now, real people in a real place doing real things. Snuff reminded me of Thud! and not just because of the Summoning Dark; once again Sir Terry took us on a journey of social prejudice while at the same time exploring the never-ending depths of Vimes both as the wonderfulness of Vimes and of good men and humanity in general. I think I prefer Snuff only slightly and because of the Goblins. Leave it to Pratchett to emotionally align you with people who smell like latrines and to once again reveal humans to be both wonderful and hideous at the same time.

Perhaps my favorite part of this book, though, was that unlike every book Sir Terry has published since his diagnosis of Alzheimer's, it didn't feel like a goodbye. It was just another Vimes book, as brilliantly done as any other. And by god, I hope any idiot prattering yet again about "I can tell he's sick" gets a visit from Wilikins and his comb. (In double-checking the spelling of that on Google, I see that Rob Wilkins is Sir Terry's real life PA. I did get tears, sap that I am.) Yes, I know that my very favorite writer in the world who has taught me more about writing and story and life than anyone alive or dead, is ill. But like Granny, he aen't dead, and I wish people would quit trying to pluck around him like vultures and diagnose where his disease is getting into his art. Fucking hell -- we are all sick in some way or another, and yes, everything we are and were and shall be influences in our art. That's why they fucking call it art. We take pain and turn it into beauty and stuff that lasts. Tak indeed.

Sir Terry, every word you write fills my heart with joy. Selfishly I hope you are able to write many, many more books before Granny holds the door open for you and Death takes you on a walk across the sand. But mostly I hope you are happy and full of the wonder your books give us as much as possible. And I hope you get your wish to meet your end on your terms and not that of your disease.

May Anoia keep your drawers sliding freely, and may all your bacon sandwiches be without avec.

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Quotes Heidi Liked

Terry Pratchett
“Goodness is about what you do. Not who you pray to.”
Terry Pratchett, Snuff


Reading Progress

October 24, 2011 – Started Reading
October 24, 2011 – Shelved
October 26, 2011 – Shelved as: absolute-favorites
October 26, 2011 – Shelved as: book-that-influenced-my-writing
October 26, 2011 – Shelved as: comfort-fun-reads
October 26, 2011 – Shelved as: omfg
October 26, 2011 – Shelved as: plot-character-perfection
October 26, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Rowan (new)

Rowan Brava, Heidi. Bravo, Sir Terry.


Becky Black I have met him at signings, and rarely managed to say anything coherent, though never actually started crying. :) He was always lovely.

And yes, anyone who claims that Snuff shows evidence of his illness is talking bollocks, frankly. That's very easy to say when you already know he's ill!


message 3: by Laura M (new)

Laura M I love Discworld - it's my favorite place to visit!!


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