24 April 2012

Snuff, by Terry Pratchett (Audio Review)

I am so conflicted on this one.

I really, really, and I mean really wanted to love this one. There is a Terry Pratchett fandom that is obviously out there for  a reason, and I know others have read or listened to the audio who absolutely loved it and I so wish I fell into that camp. Undeniably, there were so many elements that I enjoyed about it (particularly the surprising humor), but unfortunately, I am left slightly undecided on this one.

Sam Vines is finally going to take a vacation. As the commander of the City Watch for Ankh-Morpork, he religiously shirks vacation time since there's always something he needs to fix in his city, but his own wife, Lady Sibyl convinces him that a trip to the country is important for them.

While on vacation, Sam really can't shy away from the need to solve a crime, even if it's not in his jurisdiction. When a murdered goblin is discovered, it's Sam who not only needs to solve the murder, but he does have to somehow set right the long-standing misconception that goblins were talentless, disgusting, (not to mention smelly) and all-around useless beings in existence. Well, disgusting at times they may be, but they are still members of society, and no amount of disgust should make them not regarded as individuals afforded the same rights as everybody else.

I knew this was part of a very large series, but I heard Snuff was easily read as a stand-alone. After all, this is book THIRTY-THREE in an extremely popular series called Discworld, which I've never heard of before. *ducks* I realize a ton of choked guffaws are now occurring in the science fiction fan world, but please bear with me, I'm relatively new to this genre (or this type of sci-fi fantasy) so don't give me a virtual smackdown. Snuff absolutely was extremely, and surprisingly, funny and not tough to follow as a stand-alone, but I haven't developed the love for these characters and sci-fi as I would hope to have at this point. I mean, I'm almost there, but I'm not all the way there yet. Does that make sense? Don't answer that.

I did enjoy Terry Pratchett's ability to create this very unique and distinct world. It was certainly an escape for me, and I really appreciated how racism, objectification, infidelity, murder, and more social issues were incorporated into this fictional land. Pratchett brings this to the forefront in Snuff and surprisingly, I did find myself giggling away at all of the hidden meanings, especially Sam Vines' perspective on marriages, interactions with fellow pub-drinkers, and more.

Ultimately, I'd have to say that while I'm certainly not going to walk completely away from Terry Pratchett stories, I think the next time I read one of the books from the Discworld series, I'll stick with the printed version first to get comfortable with the rhythm before diving into the audio. That's probably what it is. The audio was just a bit tougher to get into, even though I did enjoy the narrator's voice.

Audio Notes: I enjoyed Stephen Briggs' narration, even though his voice was very tough to get used to right off the bat. I do feel he had just the right British accent that tended to scoff at the ridicule of unbecoming traits in others. Click here for the five-minute Audible.com sample (click the play button beneath the book cover picture).

Others said:

Publisher: Harper Audio
Release Date: 10/11/2011
Audio Time: 11 hours, 29 minutes
Narrator: Stephen Briggs

About the Author
Sir Terry Pratchett is the celebrated author of the long-running fantasy Discworld series. With over 65 million books sold worldwide in 37 languages, his place in publishing history is undeniable.

Visit the author:
This is another selection for Teresa's 2012 Audio Book Challenge.

FTC Disclosure: I purchased this audiobook on Audible.com


  1. I have the first three Discworld novels, because I bought them for my husband, who really got a kick out of them. I have heard the first one wasn't the best, but that they get better as they go along. I haven't tried one yet, but I know that Pratchett is a favorite of many, so I want to try one soon. This was a great review because it was thorough and truthful, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts with us.

  2. I know a lot of people love Prachett's work but I figure it's not for me since it's sci-fi. I give you credit for trying it!

  3. I've tried to read a few of the Discworld books and failed. I know many people love the series but I can't get into it. Fantasy doesn't always work for me. Some of it I love and some of it just doesn't click. I have the first couple of books and one of these days, when I'm in the mood, I'll try again.

    Audio would be more difficult for me too. I like to be able to flip back and re-read until the I get the 'world' straight in my head.

  4. This author has always been on my list to read and I have never gotten around to it. I'm not generally drawn to sci-fi but I do think I would enjoy it, just haven't got much experience reading it. Maybe another of his books would work better for you?

  5. I have never read Pratchett because I have absolutely NO idea where to start. Not with this one. :D