7 Nov 2011

snuff

7 Nov 2011 09:39 pm
mayoraasei: (Reflective)
Working life is coming home exhausted and realise with a horror that it is only Monday. LOL.

I finally finished reading Snuff. Getting old these days, can't even read books as fast as I used to (or perhaps the real reason is my shortening attention span...)

It is probably the best Pratchett book I've read for a long time, and that says a lot...perhaps a lot more about my shortening attention span than how good the book is Orz

I mean I love Going Postal!, always will, but Snuff is in another category altogether. I thought Going Postal marked a new level of sophistication in his writing. The humour was always the trademark, but the plot has always been a little lacking until maybe Going Postal (although I still felt a smidgen let down by the climax...but forgiven because Moist was so loveable).

Snuff incorporates everything that made the Citywatch series so readable, and adds more. The continuity of multiple distinctive characters is interspersed with the introduction of a large cohort of new support characters who are equally memorable. The wry but always gentle humour is there as usual. The plot is brisk and with a heightened sense of drama that suits the genre it both emulates and satirises so well.

But what I loved most was, once again for the Citywatch series, the introduction of a deep moral message, human failings that have been present since the beginning of time. The underpinning story and message will resonate with all but the most callous of us - the slavery of a disadvantaged race, legitimisation of cruelty by dehumanising the victims, and the criminal act of apathetic or fearful inaction. We don't need to look far back, or indeed, far abroad to see similar events happening in our world.

I liked how this book made a note of continuity from Thud!, as Vimes continues to confront the Summoning Dark. In a way both Vimes and Moist are similar, both keeping their inner criminals at bay - but where as Moist's is merely an impish devil, Vimes has a giant roaring beast.

But as Willikins says, Vimes is as squeaky clean as a choirboy. It was a bit startling to see Willikins suddenly elevated to his perfect "akumade shitsuji"-esque role in Snuff, but it is incredibly enjoyable and creates a wonderful partnership...but still a bit startling. Vimes has completely come into his own as the Duke of Ankh-Morpork, propped up by Commander Vimes of the Watch, with a side load of help from Sir Samuel Vimes and a last ditch effort by Blackboard Monitor Vimes...and I suppose Vetinari would smile inwardly at the thought that Vimes learned artfulness from all the interviews with the Patrician. The leopard changes his shorts after all, or perhaps...just his pants? >_>;

This is an incredibly optimistic book, in that such a terrible issue was able to end in such happy terms. The world changed because of a song, "a thing of strangely tinkling tones and unbelievable cadences". Well, because, of course, of Vimes and Sybil and everyone else who put in little efforts to get the snowball rolling, but it did, and it upended the world in one night.

It is unbelievably optimistic, but I do not dislike it.

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