Thursday, October 8, 2015

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

As always, I bought a book when I was coming back to Fukuoka from Singapore. This time, I was had to transfer at Hong Kong (and Taipei), and while I wasn't enthused about the transfers, I was happy to be able to stop by Page One in Hong Kong. I remember buying Unseen Academicals there, and this time, I bought Snuff.

Snuff is a City Watch book, staring Sam Vines (who's Sir Sam Vines by now). Only this time, he's not in Ankh-Morpork. He's in the country, and it's as uncomfortable as you think it is. But, Lady Sybil has decided that Sam and young Sam needs a vacation in the country, and there's nothing to be done. While young Sam discovers a new interest in poo, Sam finds what happens to be a murder.

And you know what happens when a copper has too much time on his hands.

Do you know something really strange? I was halfway through this book before I realised there were no chapters. Basically, I just read it for as much as I could, and didn't even notice that there were nothing more than section breaks.

Ok, but back to the book. As usual, I laughed at many, many places. What's not usual was the fact that I was touched by the book too. It deals with Goblins, a somewhat 'new' species (or rather, I've never really heard of them). The City Watch has many diverse beings in it, but goblins are a first. The way Sam basically fights for goblins, who were seen as less than human, was unexpectedly touching. That is a nob with a heart of gold.

If I had a complaint, it would be that not enough of the City Watch appears. There's a well-meaning and will probably be a good policeman in the countryside, but he isn't Nobby Nobbs or Carrot or any of the usual gang (though that is probably for the best for the countryside). I also really enjoyed reading about the different Watches in the different cities - that was amusing.

The first half was very much a city vs countryside kind of thing, and if you're not familiar with the countryside (like me!) or how the people are normally seen, it may be a bit strange. I get that he was lampooning the stereotypes, but I wasn't familiar enough with them to actually laugh. I started laughing a lot more in the later part of the book, when the investigating gets underway and more of the Watch appear.

If you like the City Watch series of Discworld, you'll probably enjoy this. If you don't know the characters - well, you may not want to read this first. I think it's best to enjoy this book after you've gotten to know the Watch and the people in it.

No comments :

Post a Comment

I really do appreciate all comments, and I'll try my best to reply within 24 hours!