Book Review: Snuff

So here’s the thing about Terry Pratchett. If Douglas Adams and Jonathan Swift were a two-daddy family who raised a child made from the DNA of Virginia Woolf and Mark Twain…and that child grew up reading the best of fantasy, detective fiction and journalism…Terry Pratchett would be the guy that kid wished he could write like.

Snuff is the latest (and sadly, likely the last) installment in Pratchett’s Sam Vimes novels. Sam is a copper, head of Ankh Morpork’s City Watch, who struggles under the weight of being a far better man than he imagines himself to be. This particular novel has him solving a murder in the countryside while quite accidentally freeing an entire species from enslavement.

The action and humor of Pratchett’s books are liberally seasoned with philosophy and biting social commentary. Snuff is no exception, this time aiming mostly at ideas of class, status and privilege.

In the spectrum of City Watch novels, Snuff falls between Thud and Jingo. In the spectrum of fiction I’ve read this year, it lands between The Bobby Gold Stories and Bite Me — placing it at #3 on the list.

If you’ve read Pratchett before, you won’t be disappointed. If not, you’re in for a treat — and not just because of how good Snuff is. Pratchett has turned out dozens of books, all of which are worth an afternoon or two of your undivided attention.

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