Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby tourosspoon » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:41 pm

Tony, not sure what your point is by reiterating that you like the book, but good for you.
Just one small detail, I think what you mean to say was that it is a good book in YOUR opinion. Shockingly, your comment on my opinion hasn't altered my opinion any. But thanks for your contribution.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby tourosspoon » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:52 pm

Who's Wee Dug wrote:Hi tourosspoon,
I think you will find there are people a lot older than you reading Pterry's books afterall he writes them and is in his mid sixties, come to a Discworld convention and see for yourself, and Terry is not a football fan either, it's more about the mentality of a crowd or pack who follow suchlike.

Welcome to the forum :)


Hi! thanks for the welcome!

Glad to hear I'm not the only big kid. Conventions aren't my kind of thing really and taking time out to do something like that would mean sacrificing some family time (which is precious). I'm sure its very interesting though and thank you for the suggestion. Perhaps when my family are older and daddy is no longer required to be taxi, pack mule and general dogsbody, I will take some time to come see what weird and wonderful costumes other TP fans are wearing :D

Yes, I got that about the football side of UA. It's largely the pack mentality that irks me about football which is - lets face it - 22 people chasing a ball up and down a field. And I'll admit some prejudice based on the select few violent idiots that insist on turning a sport into an excuse to be, well, idiots.
The fact that footballers are put on pedestals and yet the average nurse or teacher is treated like a necessary evil is not lost on me either.

I would like to see TP write about the race to get airborne. I imagine ponder or the librarian on the discworld equivalent of a hang glider and - as a flyer myself - find the idea hilarious. Perhaps Rincewind would not like the idea however...especially given that he already wakes up in cold sweat around 3am...
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby The Mad Collector » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:06 pm

You need to read The Last Hero, Rincewind, Carrot, Leonard of Quirm and the Librarian do quite a lot of flying in that :D

and you're right Rincewind doesn't like it much
One of those? Oh I'm sure I have one somewhere..

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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:58 pm

tourosspoon wrote:Tony, not sure what your point is by reiterating that you like the book, but good for you.
Just one small detail, I think what you mean to say was that it is a good book in YOUR opinion. Shockingly, your comment on my opinion hasn't altered my opinion any. But thanks for your contribution.

:lol: :lol: :lol: I didn't expect for one minute that my opinion would change your mind. I was merely stating that I was reading it at the moment and enjoying it. Sorry if you thought I was dissing your opinion. :)
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Dotsie » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:03 pm

tourosspoon wrote:Tony, not sure what your point is by reiterating that you like the book, but good for you.
Just one small detail, I think what you mean to say was that it is a good book in YOUR opinion. Shockingly, your comment on my opinion hasn't altered my opinion any. But thanks for your contribution.

Ouch! :lol: You have to remember that although you might have just read our posts on this thread, it's months since we wrote them. So when someone new shows up, we 'reiterate' ;) I don't think there can be any doubt that opinions expressed on here are indeed opinions. And we all like to share them without invitation!

Welcome to the site :)
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:16 pm

tourosspoon wrote:Tony, not sure what your point is by reiterating that you like the book, but good for you.
Just one small detail, I think what you mean to say was that it is a good book in YOUR opinion. Shockingly, your comment on my opinion hasn't altered my opinion any. But thanks for your contribution.


Welcome Tour. One thing about this site is people are NOT hesitant about giving their opinions and restating them when others post contrary viewpoints (me being one of the foulest offenders in this regard). Occasionally, some of the debates can get rather heated (by online discussion standards) and sometimes new posters whose opinions are dissed RHETORICALLY get a bit defensive (I was one of these when I first started). This hasn't happened to you, but it might at some point, and the best way to deal with it is to remember not to take this whole thing too seriously. At some point, someone may shoot down an argument you've made, and may be a little patronizing. That's just who were are around here--a very friendly lot, but also a bit cantankerous and ornery at times. That's what makes it never boring.

And, for the record, I agree with all your point on Snuff and Unseen [i]Academicals[/i]. And I have no problem attributing the decline in his writing partly to his illness. It's a given that few prolific writers can keep up the quality of their work forever. As far as I'm concerned, Pterry's illness has changed the way he writers--he is now dictating, rather than writing, and this has resulted in a sharp decline in the quality of his recent adult DW books--that and the fact that it appears that no one is editing his adult DW books at all. I don't think it is wrong to speculate on why a best-selling author's works have declined. He is a public personality, he knows that everything he published is fair game for critics of all kinds. And nothing that I or you or anyone else says here will hurt or hinder him in any way.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:21 pm

It isn't all Sir Terry's fault. They never have copyedited his work properly. Discworld began during the 1980s, just as the publishing world slid deeply into the pit of not bothering to copyedit much. For instance, Wyrd Sisters has a place or two where somebody - whether the author or the copyeditor - couldn't keep track of who was speaking, Granny vs Nanny, and that problem has continued right up through Carpe Jugulum. Sir Terry has had to defend his work against the meddlers who change things just to prove they have a job, and there's only so much time and effort available. Try comparing a UK hardback 1st edition with a US hardback 1st edition published at the same time and see how many differences there are. I did that with The Truth. Some changes were minor, some were substantial, and at least one very subtle change made a major difference in a character.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:52 pm

Tamar, I have all of the British Corgi paperbacks up to "The Fifth Elephant" and they are riddled with typos, so I agree that there definitely is a lack of copyediting on many of these books--even the British ones. Maybe the original hardcovers are better.

But what I'm really talking about is a lack of a strong editor's presence in Pterry's recent adult DW books. UA and Snuff are terribly overwritten and full of continuity and other errors that a strong editorial presence would have caught and curbed. It's my belief, which I can't prove, that he has some kind of agreement whereby editors aren't allowed to make changes to the text other than correcting grammatical efforts. The writing problems themselves are left as is.

The only "evidence" I have to support this theory (and it's not strong evidence at all) is the greatness of "I Shall Wear Midnight." To me, that's his last great work. There's not an ounce of literary fat on it at all. Which makes me think that, because it is a YA book and thus requires a strong YA editorial hand to make sure the content is neither inappropriate or beyond YA reading levels, that the editor might have trimmed out some of the excesses that could have been in the original draft. Again, nothing more than a theory.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:05 pm

raisindot wrote: It's my belief, which I can't prove, that he has some kind of agreement whereby editors aren't allowed to make changes to the text other than correcting grammatical efforts. The writing problems themselves are left as is.


Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that the editors make wholesale changes. It isn't just changing "trainers" to "sneakers", though as I recall it, Sir Terry did say once that he "had to go to the mat" for "biscuit" instead of "cookie" in, if I recall correctly, Thief of Time. When The Truth came out, they came out at the same time (instead of waiting several months or years for the US edition), and I compared them line by line and word by word. There were dozens of changes - not typos, changes. For instance, Otto's accent was meddled with in virtually every line he had, some words made more accented, others made less accented. There was no rhyme or reason to it. The two changes that made me the most annoyed were the removal of one of Mr Tulip's most important lines ("Good." - the line which indicated that he approved of his having to work off his karma.) and a change that softened Lord de Worde's characterization. Even aside from those, there were paragraphs rewritten, rearranged paragraphs on a page, and so on, so it looked almost as though the two editors had received different manuscripts.

raisindot wrote:... "I Shall Wear Midnight." To me, that's his last great work. There's not an ounce of literary fat on it at all. Which makes me think that, because it is a YA book and thus requires a strong YA editorial hand to make sure the content is neither inappropriate or beyond YA reading levels, that the editor might have trimmed out some of the excesses that could have been in the original draft. Again, nothing more than a theory.


It's interesting that you say that, because (although I like the book myself) I've read opinions online that there were "digressions" that could have been cut from ISWM; usually they are complaints about the scenes in Ankh-Morpork.
Similarly, there are a full spectrum of opinions about Snuff available online.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Aquamarine » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:21 pm

I remember reading this one a while back. I found it entertaining as ever, but I felt bits of it were rushed or too convenient for Sam Vimes' character, so I never got the impression that the stakes were as high as they were in books like Guards! Guards!, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, and Thud!. For instance, when the guy from the magistrates came in person - I think he was the lawyer or something - it just felt like he was introduced only to be soundly outmatched by Vimes' force of personality.

Another thing I didn't enjoy was the weakness of the villains. Having them be "offscreen" made the work feel weaker, because Vimes was just opposing a character-less nebulous thing rather than a face. I prefer the books in which there is a recognizable villain with a personality, because it's more enjoyable to watch them face off against the heroes than it is to read about the awful stuff a bunch of anonymous people are doing or have done "offscreen", so to speak.

I also felt that the one villain with a face, Stratford, was undermined by the fact that he just kept losing over and over, so it was hard to feel the dread that his character should have invoked. By comparison, Carcer was a much more effective antagonist because he had the upper hand a fair few times, and you really got a sense of what a monster he was because we were constantly reminded of how efficient he can be at killing people (up until the climax at the graveyard) and of just how twisted his mind and behaviour was.

It had some good bits. I didn't mind that the goblins were a bit one-dimensional, because I think it let Terry focus on the point that they were being unfairly judged for their stereotypical appearances and for being different, and it was interesting to see Vimes in another culture clash situation. But overall, I think this is not one of Terry's best works. I'd probably read it again once or twice, or at least bits of it.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:31 am

Aquamarine wrote:Another thing I didn't enjoy was the weakness of the villains. Having them be "offscreen" made the work feel weaker, because Vimes was just opposing a character-less nebulous thing rather than a face. I prefer the books in which there is a recognizable villain with a personality, because it's more enjoyable to watch them face off against the heroes than it is to read about the awful stuff a bunch of anonymous people are doing or have done "offscreen", so to speak.


So many people talk about the "weak" villain. I see the real villain in Snuff as extremely powerful. The real villain is, of course, the entrenched society that thinks they ought to be able to say what the law is and to whom it applies. They proclaim themselves magistrates, jail anyone who disagrees with them, or have them conveniently "disappear" like the blacksmith, and send an organized mob against the only local policeman when he begins to stand up against them. The only person who can fight them only has the strength to do it because he, too, has become rich and a "noble" - Sam Vimes. His qualities as a policeman would mean nothing if he weren't also rich and titled. If he had been given money and a title but they were new, instead of being "old money", he would have still been ignored. The villagers are exhibiting Stockholm syndrome, trained to believe the system is good because they know what'll happen to them if they object. Finally, even when Gravid Rust, the "faceless" (dare we say corporate) villain in charge, is arrested, because of political influence, he is only exiled, and we are left with an ambiguous statement that maybe, must maybe, an assassin will get rid of him by an "accident" - because the law can't touch him; even Vetinari the tyrant can't.

Aquamarine wrote:I also felt that the one villain with a face, Stratford, was undermined by the fact that he just kept losing over and over, so it was hard to feel the dread that his character should have invoked. By comparison, Carcer was a much more effective antagonist because he had the upper hand a fair few times, and you really got a sense of what a monster he was because we were constantly reminded of how efficient he can be at killing people (up until the climax at the graveyard) and of just how twisted his mind and behaviour was.


Stratford, losing? He kept escaping. He murdered one goblin on-page, so to speak. He took over a boat full of strong people. He escaped on the river, he invaded the ship, he attempted to kill a small child, he escaped yet again, and murdered the guards. Finally the only way to get rid of him was the trained killer on "our" side.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Freebie » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:37 pm

Sorry, I couldn't bear to go back through 40 pages-worth of' opinions!

The interesting thing about this book for me was that it had suddenly appeared on the desk beside my bed when I'd returned home from being in London for a few months. My mother and father denied having got me it (assuming it was cheaper than usual from a supermarket or so). Even if one of them had got me it, they didn't even know then that I had any particular liking for Terry Pratchett books; especially not my father. So to this day I still don't know where it came from. I am, of course, most appreciative for receiving this free book.

Unfortunately, I can't say I got so much from reading this one. The story didn't seem too engaging, aside from a few amusing things about being in the countryside, and the ending chapters were even quite dull, in my thoughts.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:57 am

Freebie wrote:Sorry, I couldn't bear to go back through 40 pages-worth of' opinions!

Too bad. You miss a lot that way. 40 pages is usually a hint that there's something to learn.
Freebie wrote:Unfortunately, I can't say I got so much from reading this one. The story didn't seem too engaging, aside from a few amusing things about being in the countryside, and the ending chapters were even quite dull, in my thoughts.

Perhaps you might try rereading them. People often get more out of Sir Terry's books on a second or third reading.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby steeljam » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:02 am

Freebie wrote:Sorry, I couldn't bear to go back through 40 pages-worth of' opinions!
The interesting thing about this book for me was that it had suddenly appeared on the desk beside my bed when I'd returned home from being in London for a few months. My mother and father denied having got me it (assuming it was cheaper than usual from a supermarket or so). Even if one of them had got me it, they didn't even know then that I had any particular liking for Terry Pratchett books; especially not my father. So to this day I still don't know where it came from. I am, of course, most appreciative for receiving this free book.
Unfortunately, I can't say I got so much from reading this one. The story didn't seem too engaging, aside from a few amusing things about being in the countryside, and the ending chapters were even quite dull, in my thoughts.
I'm currently decorating and listening to the ISIS audio books. Just finished Interesting Times and started on Men at Arms. Great way of getting the fix while not getting nagged by the wife.
...
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:14 am

For me it's the only way I listen to them, unabridged nothing is missed out then. :mrgreen:
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
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