"Snuff": A Novel of Discworld

Sir Terry Pratchett's 39th Discworld Title

 Snuff by Terry Pratchett Discworld is not really a planet; it is, not surprisingly, a disc -- very large, and riding on the back of four elephants, which ride on the back of the Great A'Tuin, an even larger tortoise. Hubward are mountains. Edgeward the oceans fall off. Discworld has evolved over time from a send-up of fantasy novels [one of the first introduced "Cohen the Barbarian"] to some very wise, and still very funny observations on life itself, the universe, and all that. A.S. Byatt insists that one of Sir Terry's earlier books deserved a Booker Prize.

Sam Vimes [once Captain Vimes, then Commander Vimes, now Lord Vimes] is one of a number of regular main characters in the Discworld canon. Vimes has an innate sense of justice, a distrust of privilege, and a strong sense of where he came from. On the subject of "money can't buy happiness": "Yes, Vimes thought, so did my ma, but she was glad enough when I gave her my first wages, because it meant that we could have a meal with meat in it, even if we didn't know what kind of meat it was. That's happiness, isn't it?"

The character Willikins, Vimes' gentleman's gentleman, has evolved from an annoyance of privilege to Vimes' point man: "'Willikins' said Vimes, just as the man had his hand on the doorknob. 'You appear to think my brass knuckles are inferior to yours. Is that so?' Wllikins smiled, 'You've never really agreed with the idea of the spiked ones, have you sir?'"

As other reviews have mentioned, there is also quite a bit of exposition regarding bodily secretions. Vimes has a six-year-old boy, Young Sam, who quite looks up to a character in the book -- Miss Felicity Beedle, a writer of children's books. She writes mostly about bodily detritus because she knows her audience very well.

There is some good detecting, a ripping river chase, and a newfound sympathy for goblins among the better sort of characters. One of the best things about Sir Terry is that, while his books are hugely enjoyable and very popular [second only to J.K. Rowling in the UK], they rarely have a waiting list. 

- Bruce Snyder, Adult Services Librarian