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
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
This was my first experience with Terry Pratchett. The story was good fun and the narration excellent. Very enjoyable overall, with perhaps a bit more depth and poignancy in the end than I expected. Similar to some of Neil Gaiman's work, but perhaps not quite as moving or "literary" in some respects.
Avid reader. Baker. Musician. Did I say avid reader?
YES. I love Terry Pratchett's books, and this is one of the better ones.
Fabulous character development, excellent story, lots of philosophical conundra
Stephen Briggs performance and all of the voices that he does makes this such and engrossing audio experience. So far this has been the best audio book I have heard yet!
The setting of a Victorianish human world with smart humor and language. The fantastical creatures of trolls, goblins and dwarves just make things so much more interesting.
Just the shear and subtle changes he does that leads to a great performance. Each character sounds different than the others.
Stinky the goblin. I don't know if it would be the most sanitary dinner but I could really go for a conversation learning more about the goblin race. I'd also love to know what his hopes and aspirations would be!
I'm hooked on Terry Pratchett now. The style, setting and characters are just so well done and fleshed out. I've enjoyed each and every one of the characters that the book has presented to me.
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