Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is a guilty pleasure of mine. I’m not quite sure why I consider it a guilty one, by the way, other than the fact that occasionally I feel self conscious about reading books dealing with life on a world riding across the cosmos as it rests upon on the back of the great space turtle Atuin. Oh, and I’m doing it while no longer in my 20s or 30s.
Having said that, my infatuation with this series has gone hot and cold numerous times. From the beginning Pratchett was smart and dead perfect in taking the piss out of the fantasy genre while still being incredibly true to the very best said genre has to offer. Somewhere after a dozen books, though, the stories seemed to go flat for me and I lost interest in the denizens of Pratchett’s imagination.
Luckily for me, Pratchett must have realized this as he’s managed to not only right ship and make the last 10 books in the series fun but also some of the best written fantasy slash humor novels being put out anywhere.
Snuff, the upcoming Discworld novel (his 38th) not only keeps up the revival but might just be my favorite book of Pratchett’s in quite some time. It’s certainly my favorite within the last 25 in the series.
Snuff focuses on Commander Sam Vines of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch as he takes a vacation at the ::cough:: insistence of his wife. As this is a Pratchett book, after all, the vacation goes nothing like what was planned and we are faced with mayhem, murder, mystery and amazingly musical goblins (don’t ask).
While I may just be singing the praises of this book due to the fact that I love Pratchett’s writing so and I want to share it with the world of Blogcritics, let me assure you that I am not lying about how masterful the writing is in this book. Judging by the work alone you would never know that this was written by someone dealing a personal battle against early Alzheimer’s.
Strong, clear and deftly economical in approach (doubtless few others would be as clear-eyed in knowing the grammatical moment for appropriate placement of a fart joke during a raging battle on the water where wind and rain threaten to tear everything apart), I can only hope that the next 38 Discworld books are even half as entertaining as this one.
Snuff is a very solid entry into the discworld oeuvre and if you are a fan at all (or not at all, really) it should not be missed.
Terry Pratchett’s Snuff is scheduled to be released 10/11/2011by HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN: 0062011847