Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:01 pm

Welcome to the forum, Eric1002. :) I did like Snuff a little darker but still good.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Alexos » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:05 pm

Well, after a couple of years of lurking and I don't know how many Pratchett novels read and re-read, I've finally felt the need to create an account - and it's all Snuff's fault. Hi, by the way! And I know I'm late, but I just had to wait for the paperback version (the torture!) because I have them all on paperback and I wanted it to fit in with the others - and as it turns out, it's actually bigger so it doesn't fit in at all. Which, in hindsight, was quite the omen in itself. But anyway.

I didn't like it. And not because it's clearly a book with some serious problems (see raisindot's excellent post); I'm more than willing to ignore continuity errors, verbose dialogues in a language no human being would use and all those "yes indeedy" among other things; plus, I'm ignorant enough myself, so if someone tells me that it's all a parody of Jane Austen's (or whomever) style I'll happily go "oh, ah!" and file it under the "references I couldn't possibly get" category. And I'm not bothered by the, um, rather weak plot and the conversely Invincible Vimes (although the whole affair with the Summoning Dark did leave me a trifle puzzled), nor by the yet-another-mistreated-race thing, nor by the lack of laughing-out-loud moments, nor by Jeeves' - I mean, Willikins' - apparent and sudden logorrhoea; I am admittedly a bit bothered by the lack of Vetinari (as raisindot says, the one we see here isn't really him) and more importantly, by the lack of a meaningful subplot, but hey - they can't all be Night Watch-like masterpieces, can they.

But, willing as I am... All those wonderful moments where I'd find myself nodding at the page and suddenly realising that yes, that's exactly how it goes; all those characters that, despite living in an entirely different fictional universe and being, well, quite often not even human, were still so very alive you'd find the idea to meet one of them not entirely implausible after all; all those things that made me enjoy most (if not all) of Pratchett's books... I just couldn't find them in Snuff. Or in other words, I couldn't find Terry Pratchett; which is a damn shame, yes indeedy.

Oh, it might sound like I'm saying it's an awful book; it isn't. It's still a rather good read, and it does have a few excellent moments. But, and it might be just a coincidence, but -just look at the footnotes; they used to be integral to the novels - take them out and every single Discworld book would be diminished. Here, there's precious few and they're just... footnotes. Perhaps I need to re-read it (in fact, I did enjoy UA a lot more the second time) but right now, I'm a bit of a sad panda. Ah well.

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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:21 am

Hi Alexos! I'm glad you finally took the plunge. Sorry you didn't like the book. I thought it was excellent. :D
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Seimimac » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:37 pm

I'm almost finished reading SNUFF for the 5th time, and I have to say - it gets better every time.

I agree that it's not the best DW novel, but that's only my humble opinion. I've read terrible reviews of Night Watch and Monstrous Regiment, and they are 2 of my personal favourites. Snuff is a continuation of a theme. Vimes started off in the gutter, literally, in GG. An alcoholic, no-hoper, who solved the crime, found a good woman, found himself, and earned the respect of Vetinari. He has grown, matured and developed over the course of the books, until, in NW and Thud he suddenly has more to look after than himself and the city - firstly his expectant wife and the life they have, and then, more importantly, his son. At the end of NW he tells Vetinari that there is nothing, NOTHING, he can offer him. And he's right. Vimes has everything - more than he ever dreamed of having, and in THUD, the Deep-Downers try to take that away. They fail (naturally), and that's that storyline done and dusted. So what's next for Vimes? Vimes the drunk is now Vimes the wealthy landowner. A story where Sybil or young Sam in danger being the main plot would be re-hashing of older books, so TP turns to another theme he has used previously - racism.

As with Dwarves, Trolls, Vampires and Golems, there are constant references about their behaviour - they can't be trusted, they're filthy, they eat people/children/babies. Then, each one of these rumours/habits/customs is examined and clarified, and you very quickly see that it's the typical White Trash story - everyone needs someone to look down upon, and there's nothing lower than a Goblin. In UA, it was Orcs, but Orcs were too fierce, whereas Goblins are pitiful creatures, who actually believe the things humans say about them. And Vimes, who originally considered himself not to be racist/speciest, ie he hates them all equally, is again shown to be someone who doesn't care about race or species, and only sees the downtrodden and those who tread on them. Someone wrote way back at the start of this thread, something like - why be disappointed when the story sticks to the formula. They wrote that in relation to it being a mystery novel, but the same is true of it being a Vimes story. Vimes couldn't, and shouldn't, act any other way.

That said, I do have my own criticisms of the book. No Death (what!?); not enough Vetinari, and not enough indication that he is aware of what is going on re Goblin-smuggling; Stinky's role; Ach, there are quite a lot of things, but overall, I think it's a great story, and well worth a second, third, fourth and even fifth read! :)
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:57 pm

Hi, Alexos! Welcome to the forum.


And kudos on such a thoughtful, insightful, and persuasive post. :D
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby OrangeEyebrows » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:19 pm

There are things I very much like about Snuff, but I think they've been covered here.

I do have a major criticism of it, however. Much as I enjoyed it, the Willikins in Snuff isn't...my Willikins.

I loved the nose-eating and apologies for the lack of a biscuit in Jingo. I loved the ice-knife action in...Thud? Was it? But Willikins was a Cockstreet Boy who made good,went off to be Boot Boy at Lord Ramkin's (remember Nightwatch?), then moved up to be Butler. Right?

Here he seems to be someone who's been in prison several times as an adult, and whose patterns of speech are totally off from what I remember from even, say, Nightwatch, which was pretty recent. From a shiny-arsed gentleman's gentleman hiding his origins on Cockbill Street to a real, dirty bruiser? I dunno.

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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby raptornx01 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:44 pm

I just took it as Willikins getting more comfortable around Vimes. The way he talks in private is different then in public (often the case with alot of people). and it especially fits as what we are seeing is the off-duty world. not the "professional" watch world of AM.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby OrangeEyebrows » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 pm

Perhaps that was the intention - when I re-read I'll try to notice how he speaks when other people are around. It just struck a duff note with me. Obviously not with you, though, and you can't please all of the people all of the time - even if you're Terry Pratchett :)
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:03 am

It's a little hard to reconcile, but I think there were times and places where the Boy was a Boy regardless of whether he was fifteen or fifty. In Ireland in the 19th century, I think, a man had to be married to stop being a Boy. The "scullery boy" mentioned in Night Watch might have been hired at fifteen. With the attitude toward arresting people at that time, it's possible that he had been in the Tanty twice for short periods of time already. Nobby, who was younger, was afraid of being sent there. And who's to know what young Willikins got up to on his half-day off? At least the first time - after that no doubt he was told not to return showing any signs of having been fighting.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:11 pm

OrangeEyebrows wrote:
Here he seems to be someone who's been in prison several times as an adult, and whose patterns of speech are totally off from what I remember from even, say, Nightwatch, which was pretty recent. From a shiny-arsed gentleman's gentleman hiding his origins on Cockbill Street to a real, dirty bruiser? I dunno.


Agree with you. The Willikens of Jingo and Thud! seemed to be a Jeeves-with-a-switchblade. That was what was so appealing about his character--that he always acted like the typical gentleman's-gentleman even when he was hanging a dwarf on a hook. In Snuff, he's more of a Tonto to Vimes' Lone Ranger. There's almost nothing of the 'Jeeves-blade' in him here. Now, one could explain it away by saying that, given the five years that has passed between Thud! and Snuff that Willikens has become more relaxed and candid around Vimes and the bond the two men share is more about their common Cockbill Street upbringing that their 'master/server' relationship. However, it makes WIllikens' character far less interesting when his role is to serve as the Id Vimes himself can't release in public.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:53 am

In the minor altercation outside the pub, Willikins was Jeeves with a blade, very courteously informing someone that he (W) wasn't quite the gentleman that Vimes was, while holding a stiletto to the throat.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:40 pm

=Tamar wrote:In the minor altercation outside the pub, Willikins was Jeeves with a blade, very courteously informing someone that he (W) wasn't quite the gentleman that Vimes was, while holding a stiletto to the throat.


But that's the whole point--Willikins in Snuff is expository, whereas in earlier books he was more subtle and ironic. The Willikens of Thud would have said something like, "I apologize, sir, but it seems that while I was cleaning my blade, you somehow managed to accidentally trip into my grasp and my blade somehow got wedged against your throat."
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:35 am

raisindot wrote:
=Tamar wrote: outside the pub, Willikins was Jeeves with a blade, very courteously informing someone that he (W) wasn't quite the gentleman that Vimes was


But that's the whole point--Willikins in Snuff is expository, whereas in earlier books he was more subtle and ironic. The Willikins of Thud would have said something like, "I apologize, sir, but it seems that while I was cleaning my blade, you somehow managed to accidentally trip into my grasp and my blade somehow got wedged against your throat."


Willikins is a chameleon. Willikins was not always subtle and ironic in Jingo. When dealing with a subordinate, as for instance telling him to stop trying to kill Vimes, he was very plain-spoken; he was only butlery when speaking directly to Vimes. Remember the scene in Hogfather in the hut, when Albert (as Mr Heavy) has to remind someone that they are not to even dream of taking revenge on the old man for what Death did? That's identical to Willikins in the pub scene - the boss is doing something right, but somebody has to make sure that a particularly dim and uppity character understands the reality of the situation. Vimes had tried subtlety and it didn't get through. When you are dealing with a hot-tempered blacksmith whose daily experience is that the harder you hit the iron, the more result you get, well, all puns aside, irony isn't going to work. And Willikins is _still_ courteous and well-spoken, it's just that what he's saying has to be absolutely clear. Long complex sentences aren't going to be understood quickly enough.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby high eight » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:35 pm

=Tamar wrote:It's a little hard to reconcile, but I think there were times and places where the Boy was a Boy regardless of whether he was fifteen or fifty. In Ireland in the 19th century, I think, a man had to be married to stop being a Boy. The "scullery boy" mentioned in Night Watch might have been hired at fifteen. With the attitude toward arresting people at that time, it's possible that he had been in the Tanty twice for short periods of time already. Nobby, who was younger, was afraid of being sent there. And who's to know what young Willikins got up to on his half-day off? At least the first time - after that no doubt he was told not to return showing any signs of having been fighting.


In Kent and Sussex, any man whose father is still alive is referred to as 'the boy'.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby lidia25 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:34 pm

Hi everyone!
My first post - Iam really glad I've found this forum! Thanks for having created it and for adminstrating it ;)
I'm reading Snuff, agree that it's not the best Watch novel, but still...Me too, I suppose goblins are gypsies as some one here had already supposed!
I find that TP is decidedly one of best novelists ever - and more, he does not just create brilliant plots, he reminds us of our being all human beings who must struggle for a better world. At least, I read this in the DW books: humanness and kindness.
Also, it's just amazing how TP can refer to a whole range of situations, cultural references (the reference to the Watergate Affair in "The Truth" was just extraordinary) without being pedant..
Ok, I suppose, you've all heard this lots of times, so that's all for now, cheers to all and until the next topic :)
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