Hi! long time lurker, first time poster.
Just seen how long this post is. Apologies. Just..had...to...let..it..out!
I have read through some of the comments in this topic and I have to say two things first off:
1) I'm not the sort of chap to kick someone while they're down. Especially when they are physically ill.
2) I'm not the sort of chap that makes a habit of complaining.
I have been reading TP since the late 80's and - this is no word of a lie - have read a TP every single night since then for at least 20 minutes (much longer depending on what sort of a day I have had). Discworld is the last conscious thing I am thinking about before I sleep and that has been the case every single night (without fail) for pretty much 20 years now and it long ago reached the point where I always know what's coming, I know the books that well. Please, don't ask me how many times I have read each book; I couldn't even give you a ballpark figure, but suffice it to say I have - thanks to dogs chewing them, my daughter chewing them and then, as she became a toddler, tearing them, and general wear and tear - bought each book in the series a number of times.
It's my 40th birthday in a few days and I caught myself thinking the other day "wow, how sad am I that a man my age is reading about witches, wizards, unicorns, golems, geriatric barbarians, lusty haidresser master thief barbarians daughters...." you get the picture.
I shouldn't feel the least bit ashamed. If reading about silly things that make me smile makes me a bit of a tit, well, call me a nipple.
Fact is, that whatever life has thrown at me, death of relatives, relationship breakups, financial worries, career concerns....I have gone to sleep on a lighter note because of TPs work.
Apart from 3 occasions.
Monstrous regiment, although good, didn't really do it for me. I felt a bit out of my TP comfort zone. And that's ok, but after I've finished one book and I'm looking through the others for the one that I'm going to read next (and for the next few nights) monstrous regiment is not one that I really consider. In fact it is the only TP book in my collection that I have not had to buy more than one copy of. It doesn't get much wear and tear.
Unseen Academicals. A bit preachy, the characters were no longer talking to me, but making speeches at me. Coupled with the fact that I hate football (definitely NOT TPs fault) this - again - is one I havent read more than 3 or 4 times.
This is the only time I have actually put a TP book up for sale on amazon and is one I no longer own. I don't intend to replace it.
There are so many things that make this a book I would not read again, I'm really at a loss to start. Another reviewer said it better that I probably can, but I will at least air my views because I have been labouring for a while now about letting a little of my frustration out.
1) All the poo stuff. Found it a bit out of sorts, but then I rationalised it by thinking that - assuming a rough time period that it could / would be set in - there would be a distinct lack of other scientific pursuits for a young man to readily engage in. Moreover, people seem fond of forgetting that a lot of animal husbandry must have - originally - been about analysing animal crap. My own daughter went through a phase of being fascinated by boogers. So I'm not that phased by it, I just felt too much was made of it and it didn't really "fit" as such.
2) The unggue pots...ok. I can understand the idea that some cultures do things so far out that they are considered icky by our standards (bearing in mind that there are - in our own world - still cannibals out there). To me, this was actually a clever plot mechanic and I found it interesting.
3) The pot of tears or whatever it was called. This had a profound effect on the whole book for me. It created a very dark tone that affected all of the story to the point that even the funny(ish) bits couldn't drag it back. And my first thought - for the first time since reading discworld books - was "jesus. What kind of a dark place must he be in to write this?!".
This overshot by a long way and immediately made me not want to continue reading. Killing and eating ones own children doesn't really mesh that well with light-hearted humour to say the least. Im sure there will be people that say "well, its happened in the past" etc etc but I reserve the right not to want to read about it.
4) Cheery Littlebottom. The picture I have always had in my mind is of a tough, sharp, on the ball, intelligent career professional that was trusted by vimes because she could be relied upon to do the right thing. Furthermore I always had the impression that a lot more was going on inside her head than she ever communicated; of wheels turning at lightning speed (except in the case of her fashion sense!) but her communication skills being economic, accurate and straight to the point. In Snuff, her character seems to have completely changed and not for the better.
5) Vimes. Superman (all of a sudden?!). I always imagined him as a slightly scruffy, slightly vulnerable, socially aware, working class lad come good with a good grasp of right from wrong. In Snuff he seems to have developed superhuman strength and other abilities but - much more sinister - seems to be capable of turning a blind eye to actual murder by his butler willikins (as opposed to genuine self defence). As a parent I dread the thought of some sick madman going after my little girl. But even I thought "hang on..." when willikins cut the guys throat. To stab someone in the heat of a fight - and especially in self defence - is understandable. To cut their throat is not self defence; that's murder pure and simple and to cut someones throat, you have to be one step over the line between normal argy-bargy and psycho.
There is little point in my going on. But I have stopped buying discworld books for the time being because what has happened to TP is sad enough and I want to remember his stories as they were: the things that have helped me go to sleep with a smile on my face for the last 20 years. I would be really disappointed to buy another book and find even more dark, depressing nonsense or plots and dialogue (speeches) that are at-odds with the characters I've grown to know and love.
I will keep an eye out for any releases in the coming months and years but I will be sure to do something I've never done before: read the reviews (and possibly some of the books) before I actually buy them.