Friday, December 20, 2013
Review of Snuff by Terry Pratchett (Corgi 2011)
Both Terry Pratchett and Commander Sam Vimes are in fine form in Snuff. Pratchett uses Vimes’ visit to his wife’s ancestral home to parody rural high society and the novels of Jane Eyre and her contemporaries, as well as more recent productions such as Downton Abbey, as well as explore heavier issues such as racism, exploitation and slavery. To this end, Vimes performs his usual role of flawed emancipator and mediator, who believes in fairness and justice, but is happy to bend a few rules to combat prejudice and discrimination. The story lacks some of the light humour that pervades most of the Discworld series, instead relying on some fair obvious satire, but makes up for it in the fullness of the plot, the action sequences, and its thoughtful engagement with somewhat weighty themes. The characterisation is very nicely done, as are the keen social observations. Overall, a solid, entertaining edition to Vimes’ thread in the Discworld series.