For nearly three decades, Terry Pratchett has enthralled millions of fans worldwide with his irreverent, wonderfully funny satires set in the fabulously imaginative Discworld, a universe remarkably similar to our own. From sports to religion, politics to education, science to capitalism, and everything in between, Pratchett has skewered sacred cows with both laughter and wisdom, and exposed our warts, foibles, and eccentricities in a unique, entertaining, and ultimately serious way.
At long last, Lady Sybil has lured her husband, Sam Vimes, on a well-deserved holiday away from the crime and grime of Ankh-Morpork. But for the commander of the City Watch, a vacation in the country is anything but relaxing. The balls, the teas, the muck - not to mention all that fresh air and birdsong - are more than a bit taxing on a cynical city-born and -bred copper.
Yet a policeman will find a crime anywhere if he decides to look hard enough, and it’s not long before a body is discovered, and Sam - out of his jurisdiction, out of his element, and out of bacon sandwiches (thanks to his well-meaning wife) - must rely on his instincts, guile, and street smarts to see justice done. As he sets off on the chase, though, he must remember to watch where he steps... This is the countryside, after all, and the streets most definitely are not paved with gold.
Hailed as the “purely funniest English writer since Wodehouse” (Washington Post Book World), with a “satirist’s instinct for the absurd and a cartoonist’s eye for the telling detail” (Daily Telegraph, London), Terry Pratchett offers a novel of crime, class, prejudice, and punishment that shows this master at his dazzling best.
©2011 Terry and Lyn Pratchett (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
This definitely isn't one of my favorites, but I can't not like Vimes. On the downside, it's pretty dark, Fred Colon is remarkably unlikable, and like Vimes, I don't especially enjoy the countryside. On the plus side, Vimes is kickass, Wilikins finally gets rounded out as a character, and young Sam is surprisingly entertaining. Wish we could see him grow up more.
I love Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and this was my first foray into an audio version. I loved every minute. The narrator did a great job!
It was entertaining!
No, this is my first. I'd be willing to see what else he does and would buy other versions of Discworld books.
Sam Vines, of course followed closely by Vetinari, whose character is a favorite of mine.
I am a 27 year old nurse pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. My favorite book genres are: fantasy, science fiction, medicine and sociology
I have read all the Discworld novels, and listened to all the audio books, and I must say that this one is among the top 3 for me for this series.
One stand out thing is that a particular detail about the very, very sad use of little jars (people who listened to this audio book will know what I refer to) brought me to tears. I have laughed out loud often as I read Discworld, but this was the first time I had fears fill my eyes, and that is certainly worth noting.
The character development of Vimes over the course of the series culminates in this book, and you are left with a profound respect for him as a human being. He is flawed, but his many fine qualities make him a very likeable person.
I admit that there were many little details that Pratchett masterfully included that had me worrying for Vimes' health as much as his wife does. He feels very real as a person, and he is in his fifties and has some cardiac issues so gets chest pains (though not often), he gets short of breath, he feels exhausted... His wife watches his diet like a hawk, and after subtle cardiac symptoms through the whole book,I found myself holding my breath in concern when he finally indulges in a less-than-healthy meal, I was afraid the book may have been building up to a horrible end in which he dies of a gigantic heart attack. I won't spoil it, but just know that after 39 books, you find yourself worrying about your favorite characters like they are your own family. It is so rare to read a book series that affects me that deeply.
What more is there to be said! Pratchett is a master story teller, his tale is complicated but all the threads are tied together at the end, and the only negative thing I have to say is that this was the last book in the Discworld series (as far as I know at least - I have not seen any news on more Discworld books.)
A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
Once again, Stephen Briggs did a bang-up job narrating Discworld. The story is also good, with Sam Vimes at the helm from start to finish, ably supported by Willikins, his valet. Filled with Pratchett's customary satire, puns, and social commentaries, Snuff felt like the old City Watch. Lots of action scenes, including a "dam slam" on a river dubbed Old Treachery, a bonfire, gallows hill, brass knuckles, knives, crossbows, bullocks, bullets, and blood.
It may be slightly darker than most of the series, involving enslavement, drugs, smuggling, kidnapping, murder, and the summoning dark. It's also a little bittersweet, as Commander Vimes must face a personal watershed.
The plot in broad terms:
Reluctantly, Vimes takes a "repairing lease" to the Ramkin Estate, accompanied eagerly by Sybil and son Sam, now six. Young Sam finds plenty to interest him in the country, including a human skull and poo. Plenty of poo. Sammy is obsessed with scat.
Likewise, his daddy smells something that stinks to high heaven. With reliable Willikins at his side, and supported staunchly by his duchess, he deals with the dark secrets hidden in the shire, along the way teaching police procedures to a young rookie constable. But Freeny Upshot isn't totally green, and sometimes he surprises his new mentor.
Meanwhile, and unbeknownst to Vimes, his mates at Pseudopolis Yard are pulling on another end of the smuggling string. This means we get to see old friends like Cheery Littlebottom, Sergeant Colon, Nobby Nobs, Igor, Wee Mad Arthur, Carrott, and Lord Vetinari.
Lady Sybil also plays a role, dropping "notes" in the right ears, exercising her political clout and social savvy to transform goblins from trash to treasures in the eyes of society.
By the time everyone's collective efforts yield results, a new species is added to the Shire Watch. A goblin. (And something chuckle-worthy happens to Nobby and even Colon!)
Throughout the entire narrative, Sam uneasily accepts his uncomfortable intimacy with the summoning dark (see Thud).
Mild complaints: I grew tired of young Sam's focus on poo. Ewww. Also, the moralizing is occasionally overdone, when Vimes gets on his soapbox.
Good story, nicely narrated and easy to follow.
Like Mr. Pratchett, Sam Vimes is my favorite Discworld character. I love to see Vimes out of his element. It's so interesting and real, the way he uses what he knows in alien situations.
Stephen Briggs absolutely "gets" all of the characters in the Discworld books. He comprehends them and then he shows them to you. He makes me feel like I could meet these people on the street.
I could listen to this book in one sitting.
The Vimes/City Watch story line has a lot of amazing stories , this sadly isn't one of them. The pacing feels forced , and it is just neither really funny nor engrossing . Stephen Briggs does his usual wonderful job with it , and it is still an order of magnitude better than Unseen Academicals . It isn't a bad story , just not up to the standards of most of the classic Discworld stories .
'Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins.'
Terry Pratchett is amazing. His stories always go right to the heart, using great fantasy writing to make moral comparisons against today's world. All his books are fantastic. Stephen Briggs brings all those great characters to life, giving each one the perfect distinct voice and personality.
Yes. I love Terry Pratchett and Vimes is one of my favorite characters.
He has excellent delivery and is very good at doing different voices so you can follow the dialog without wondering who is speaking.
Funny entetaining fantasy.
I like Twoflower, he is just so optimisticly positive about evrything you can't help but like him. His is just like the way Rincewind describes him "a puppy." And like a puppy you can't help them despite the dumb things they do.
I really enjoyed they he protrayed the different character voices. He wasn't just reading the story he trully makes it a performance.
There is already a great movie out there for this book, which is what intrested me in this book.
It was not what I expected. Very dry since of humor. Could not relate to this
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