Snuff – By Terry Pratchett
Snuff is the 37th novel in the Discworld series by Sir Terry Pratchett. If you’re already familiar with the Discworld novels then you’ll understand the brief description below immediately.
If you have not yet had the pleasure, then it probably won’t mean a great deal to you. I would certainly recommend the Discworld series – very funny with an occasional hard edge. However, starting with the 37th novel in the series might not be the absolute best way to introduce yourself to it. Grab yourself one of the early volumes and have fun catching up!
Samuel Vimes Goes Wild In The Country
Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the City Watch of Ankh Morpork, finds himself displaced from his normal urban environment. At the behest of his wife, and with some machination from Lord Vetinari, he is on holiday in the country.
Needless to say, when a policeman goes on holiday, he finds all sorts of crimes to keep him occupied, and Vimes is no exception to this rule. Terry Pratchett uses his hero as a vehicle to explore racism, the class system, corruption, police methods and a whole variety of societal mores – in a way that will leave you with a smile on your face.
That’s the beauty of Discworld. It may be populated by wizards, witches, goblins, vampires, werewolves, dwarves, goblins, trolls – and it may be a perfectly flat world which is supported on the back of four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle – but you will recognise it immediately and feel right at home. Here’s a quick primer:
Snuff is another triumph from Terry Pratchett and, as always, well worth the wait.
If you’re a fan, you can read an interesting interview of Terry Pratchett by Neil Gaiman on Amazon, where the two authors discuss Snuff and stuff.
Snuff On The Kindle
Terry Pratchett’s books are a good way to demonstrate just how much the Kindle has improved over the years. I hardly ever buy printed books these days, but Terry Pratchett books were among the last of my regular buys to transition over to the Kindle.
The thing is, Sir Terry uses a lot of footnotes – to great effect – in his works. They are very definitely part of the humor and an integral part of the book. The trouble was, on my old Kindle 2.0, handling footnotes wasn’t the most natural process.
You used to get taken to a separate page where you would read the footnote (along with all the other footnotes for that chapter) and then return, with a bit of luck, to where you left off. I quite often wound up somewhere else, or I would read the wrong footnote from the list. My fault I’m sure – but it wasn’t a very satisfying experience – and I read Terry Pratchett’s book in hard copy for a while.
These days, the modern touchscreen Kindles handle footnotes much better. You just tap the footnote and a window pops up with the relevant data in it. When you’re done, just close the window and you return to the main text where you left off. It’s pretty seamless actually – so now I have digitized even Sir Terry!
Anyway, whether you prefer to read Discworld on paper or an e-reader, here’s a video of a short interview with Terry Pratchett where he discusses “Snuff” – among other things: