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Snuff (Discworld Series #39)

Snuff (Discworld Series #39)

4.5 122
by Terry Pratchett

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“Pratchett . . . has a satirist's instinct for the absurd and a cartoonist's eye for the telling detail."
Daily Telegraph (London)

“The purely funniest English writer since Wodehouse.”
Washington Post Book World

Sam Vimes, watch commander of Ankh-Morpork, is at long last taking a much-needed


“Pratchett . . . has a satirist's instinct for the absurd and a cartoonist's eye for the telling detail."
Daily Telegraph (London)

“The purely funniest English writer since Wodehouse.”
Washington Post Book World

Sam Vimes, watch commander of Ankh-Morpork, is at long last taking a much-needed (and well deserved) vacation. But, of course, this is Discworld®, where nothing goes as planned—and before Vimes can even change his cardboard-soled boots for vacationer’s slippers, the gruff watch commander soon finds himself enmeshed in a fresh fiasco fraught with magic, cunning, daring, and (for the reader more than for poor Vimes) endless hilarity. Did he really expect time off? As Vimes himself says in Feet of Clay, “there’s some magical creature called ‘overtime,’ only no one’s even seen its footprints.” Following the New York Times bestselling Unseen Academichals, Terry Pratchett delivers an enthralling new tale from a place of insuperable adventure: Discworld.

Discworld® is a registered trademark.

Editorial Reviews

Terry Pratchett, or more properly Sir Terry Pratchett, continues to brighten our days and nights with his mega-popular Discworld series, which already tallies more than sixty-five million copies sold. With this rollicking vacation adventure of Commander Sam Vimes, Snuff extends the winning streak of the man the Washington Post Book World called "the purely funniest English writer since Wodehouse." Born to be a bestseller.

Kerry Fried
…[Pratchett] continue[s] to surpass readers' expectations. A full-on Vimes vehicle…Snuff daringly links the demonization of goblins to two of the worst crimes in human history: slavery and the Holocaust. Some might be offended, but Pratchett doesn't make such connections lightly. His first Discworld book may have been a frolic, but his magic has long since been set in strong moral mortar.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Pratchett’s 39th Discworld novel (after 2010’s I Shall Wear Midnight) brings back fan favorite Sam Vimes, the cynical yet extraordinarily honorable Ankh-Morpork City Watch commander also known (if unenthusiastically) as His Grace Sir Samuel, the Duke of Ankh. Vimes faces an onerous task: two weeks off in the country at his wife’s family estate. It’s not the thought of spending time with his beloved Sybil or precocious six-year-old Young Sam that bothers him; it’s just that a copper can’t stop being a copper. Fortunately, even in this conservative hamlet, there’s plenty of skullduggery to investigate, beginning with the brutal murder of a goblin girl. With the help of untried local constable Feeney Upshot and gentleman’s gentleman Willikens, Vimes takes on a fiendish murderer as well as the case for (in)human rights and social justice in this lively outing, complete with sly shout-outs to Jane Austen and gritty police procedurals. (Oct.)
The Independent
“A triumphant effort.”
The Guardian
“Thirty-seven books in and ... Discworld is still going strong...and doing so with undimmed, triumphant exuberance. ”
“In short, this is as busy and as daft as any other Discworld yarn, which means it is the quintessence of daft. Nobody writes fantasy funnier than Pratchett.”
“The humor is sharp and the characters are charming, and the plight of the goblins creates moments of genuine pathos that are the highlight of the book.”
tor.com on SNUFF
“The humor is sharp and the characters are charming, and the plight of the goblins creates moments of genuine pathos that are the highlight of the book.”
The Independent on Sunday
“A triumphant effort.”
“The humor is sharp and the characters are charming, and the plight of the goblins creates moments of genuine pathos that are the highlight of the book.”
The Straits Times
“Brilliantly complex.”
Wall Street Journal
“In the history of comic fantasy, Mr. Pratchett has no equals for invention or for range. ”
Library Journal
Sam Vimes, Commander of the City Watch and reluctant Duke of Ankh, has faced down trolls, vampires, and the implacable politics of the Patrician, Lord Vetinari. But in Pratchett's newest Discworld (Unseen Academicals) novel, Sam is forced to do something he swore he would never do: take a vacation. At the insistence of his wife, Lady Sibyl, Sam is dragged to her family's country estate, far from the familiar crime and pollution of his beloved Ankh-Morpork. But the country is far from idyllic. Sam's instincts quickly send him on the trail of something rotten among the posh and elite. The Duke of Ankh may have been sent to the county for rest and relaxation, but perhaps the Commander of the City Watch was sent for justice. VERDICT Series followers will delight in this latest entry as it offers them a chance to catch up with Pratchett's recurring protagonist while enjoying a tight, fast-paced take on the traditional police procedural novel. As often happens, Pratchett's fun, irreverent-seeming story line masks a larger discussion of social inequalities and the courage it takes to stand up for the voiceless.—Jennifer Beach, Cumberland Cty. P.L., VA
Kirkus Reviews

Pratchett's new Discworld (Unseen Academicals, 2009, etc.) novel—the umpteenth, but who's counting?—features the Duke of Ankh, otherwise known as Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, whose estimable wife, Lady Sybil, decrees that they shall take a vacation at her ancestral estate in the country.

Sam meets the local aristocracy and receives invitations to a lot of balls. He introduces six-year old Sam Junior to the author of young Sam's favorite book,The World of Poo. He faces down the irascible, aristocracy-hating local blacksmith and dines on Bung Ming Suck Dog. And, canny copper that he is, Vines, though out of his jurisdiction and out of his depth in a most alarming environment, senses wrongdoing. Sure enough, he's soon contemplating the slaughtered corpse of a goblin girl. Problem is, the law doesn't recognize the killing of goblins as murder. Still, there's smuggling going on, much of it involving substances far less innocent than tobacco. Crime or no crime, Sam determines to investigate, even to the rank, fetid caves where the last few goblins, starving, hunted and miserable, live. Sam doesn't fear the underground, being the Blackboard Monitor of the Dwarves. And tattooed on his wrist is a dreadful yet illuminating demon called the Summoning Dark, an entity that's as determined as Sam to bring justice to the poor goblins, despite the law and those who have decided to make their own rules. Funny, of course, but with plenty of hard edges; and, along with the excellent lessons in practical police work, genuine sympathy for the ordinary copper's lot.

A treat no fan of Discworld—and there are boatloads of them—will want to miss.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Discworld Series
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File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett, OBE, was the author of more than 70 books, including the internationally bestselling Discworld series of novels. His books have been adapted for stage and screen, and he was the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal. In January 2009, Pratchett was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry, who lived in England, died in March 2015 at the age of 66.

Brief Biography

Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Date of Birth:
April 28, 1948
Place of Birth:
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

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Snuff 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 122 reviews.
cmjny More than 1 year ago
Terry Pratchett has, as usual, told a great story. Sadly, Harper Collins released an ebook/nook version full of typos (kindle owners are complaining, too). There are words mashed together on every page; it's nearly unreadable. Buy the paper copy!
WonkyChewbacca More than 1 year ago
While a long-time reader and steadfast zealot of Pratchett's works, his latest three books nearly bring me to tears at times. His illness is becoming more and more evident. Snuff rambled along its plotline in a disjointed fashion, and the characters we have grown so familiar with practically seemed strangers at times in the uncharacteristic manner in which they behaved. Willikins in particular behaves and speaks in a manner completely at odds with every previous portrayal of the character, as the most clear example. Further, the sense of clarity and incisiveness that always made Pratchett stand above his fellow writers so clearly has dimmed. While there were humorous moments, he never really wrung more than a bitter smile from me compared to the previous laughter he once evoked. While I will treasure his books and contribution to the world with all my heart, for all my life, I believe I will not read any future works of his. It would be too much like watching the slow death of a treasured grandparent.
Lee Johnson More than 1 year ago
Terry Pratchett has another gem! The story and characters are excellent. I can not give this eBook Nook version four stars as it is full of typos! How could the publisher release this? I am reading it with the Nook app on the iPad. The publisher should proof read and test these out before charging $12.99 for a digital copy. Next time I will get the Kindle version!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Ankh-Morpork City Watch Commander Sam Vimes faces his most difficult assignment in years. His Grace Sir Samuel, the Duke of Ankh, will spend two torturious weeks rusticating with his wife Sybil and their six years old son Young Sam at her family's estate. Sam loves the idea of spending time with his beloved spouse and son, but his in-laws make a boring vacation worse and not worth changing from his cardboard soles. However, life picks up as Vimes quickly gets involved with the locals when someone brutally murders a female goblin. Feeney the inexperienced local copper and Willikens the gentleman's gentleman assist Vimes as he works vacation time for no pay investigating the homicide. The latest Discworld satire (see I Shall Wear Midnight) is a wonderful entry that looks deeply at inalienable human (and other species) rights and bigotry to take away those accepted rights. Fast-paced Vimes is at his cynical best as he learns life in the country means a female woodcutter works with woodies and that rural does not mean crime free; as he leads the inquiry into the vicious murder of the Goblin Girl. Terry Pratchett provides a strong entry filled with social commentary intertwined into an exciting thriller. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fine additon to the Discword opus. As usual, it seems to start out slow. But he's building the groundwork for the maelstrom that soon follows. I enjoyed seeing the continued development of the characters, especially Sibyl and Willkins. They probably would not have acted like this in the earlier books, but the characters have changed and grown through the series, and here is the result. And of course Sam Vimes is just, well, Sam. Gods love him.
aysquared More than 1 year ago
A longtime reader of Sir Terry will enjoy the next installment in the Discworld series. The old characters are back, growing in believable ways, and new characters enter the story to make for an exciting adventure. There's action, there's romance, there's mystery - and as always, great insight to human nature. And a lot of laughs. If you've read other Discworld novels, grab this one quickly. If you haven't read any others...well, what are you waiting for?!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another amazing (albeit darker) Discworld offering. May we have Pratchett and Vimes for years to come!
twgage More than 1 year ago
Now that I've read the book in its entirety, I can recommend it wholeheartedly. Myself a long-time reader of Terry Pratchett's stories, I found this book to be absolutely wonderful. It was truly satisfying to read of real hope- to have such a clear description narrated of the actual good that all sentient beings can do. I also find the always-present realistic observations on the business of life very comforting. I hope Terry's books, especially the more recent ones- that illuminate such strong positive possibilities for our future- make it into everyone's home. And that people will actually think when they read them... but then, humans are humans, I suppose. What I *really* hope for is more from Terry Pratchett! - T. William Gage
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read although the development of charcters moves in a direction I would not agree with. Still an excellent read!
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Terry Pratchett never fails to deliver and humorous and fascinating story that often parallels our own quirky social existence. I highly recommend you check out this or any Discworld series books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vimes grows over the years that Pratchett has told his story
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mrmodel-t More than 1 year ago
Pratchett's 'asides' have always been at least as entertaining as the primary plot line and "Snuff" just doesn't seem to have the same zing as previous works. The book is true to the characters and the plot line is entertaining but it didn't measure-up to my expectations.
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