Pratchett, Terry: (39) Snuff (audiobook)

We are now roughly at the point in the Discworld re-read where I paused for the most recent Discworld book, Snuff. I’d wanted to save this for the end, but I was on a panel at Arisia this January on Discworld at 30 (years) and so thought I should really skip ahead. I listened to about half of this as an audiobook (read by the ever-excellent Stephen Briggs) because I didn’t have time to read it, and then skimmed the last half.

This is a bad book. I switched to skimming when I hit my last straw of things making me furious, to keep myself from actually grabbing my iPod and flinging it at the car’s windshield. And I had a very long list of things that were bad: internally inconsistent, out of character, offensive, cheap. But then I realized that under any other circumstances I would characterize the book’s fundamental sin as laziness of thought, and then I remembered what the actual circumstances were, and then I was just sad.

Don’t read this book. I wish I hadn’t.


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  1. I haven’t loved a Pratchett book since Going Postal and the books are becoming more and more problematic for me (Wintersmith had Tiffany admit that witches were bullies). But Sam and Sybil were especially bad in this one.
    I think the biggest problem is that Pratchett is asking his readers to examine his characters’ morals, so it’s a lot harder to overlook these things, especially on rereads. Can you name some other author who is less problematic when discussing class, authority, or ethnic groups?

  2. I really loved the Rivers of London books (several entries down) for their matter-of-fact treatment of London’s diversity, racial and otherwise.
    And any book that doesn’t use species as a metaphor for race is doing better than Discworld on that axis, at least.

  3. You have all gravely missed the point. His characters have been aging as the series progresses. The way they view the world is changing in small ways that have been very consistent through the books. if you notice he points this out.

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