Snuff by Terry Pratchett (review by Andrew R. ’17)

Snuff (Discworld, #39)Snuff by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

After starring in seven previous Discworld novels, it’s time for street urchin-turned-policeman-turned-nobleman Sam Vimes to take a vacation. But no reader will be surprised when Vimes uncovers a smuggling and trafficking business that’s thriving quietly in the countryside—after all, the policeman knows from years in the City Watch that everybody is guilty of something. Unfortunately, Snuff marks the degradation of some of the Discworld’s most complex characters. The city’s resident tyrant Vetinari, who in the past has embodied the role of the omniscient chessmaster, seems inexplicably to be losing his previously iron grip on his rule; meanwhile, Vimes’s butler Willikins, a nod to Jeeves from P. G. Wodehouse’s novels, has somehow morphed from the perfect “gentleman’s gentleman” to an unnecessary free-thinking, free-acting double of Vimes himself. And Vimes’s signature cynicism in believing that the policeman isn’t so very far removed from the criminal, while fresh six or seven novels ago, now feels stale and repetitive. So, while readers will recognize Pratchett’s style and wit in Snuff, those of us who have stuck with Vimes since Guards, Guards! so many books ago will find this novel uncomfortably familiar. – Andrew R. ’17

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