“Midsummer murders Pratchett style! great if your a fan of sir Terry or the detective novel genre.”Peter Sallis-Smith wrote this review 13 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good Discworld book.”CuriousGIS wrote this review Tuesday, April 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I just never really got into the story. Even by the end I didn't particularly have much interest in what was happening and I'd have struggled even straight afterwards to summarise the plot. My favourite thing about the book after I've struggled through it is still the cover, which is a shame really. It's not vintage Terry Pratchett that's for sure - although all the right elements are there it never really gelled together in any kind of satisfactory way for me.”David Gibson wrote this review Monday, April 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Brilliant! One of Terry Pratchett's best - highly recommended!”Technophobe01 wrote this review Sunday, March 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“As for my comments on Thud. I saw this at Exclusive Books at the airport on the way to CT, and bought it on the Kindle. It was finished before the week was over”Andrew wrote this review Sunday, March 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Commander Vimes is being sent on vacation. To the country.
For this workaholic police commander, the news can't get much worse. Leave the city? Stop working? And most devastating is that this is Sybil's country mansion, leaving Vimes to act as befits a Duke to staff and visitors alike.
But what Vimes can't get away from is himself---the eyes that spot the little details, the mind that turns over every word or act for hints of a crime, the reputation that sets people for or against him before he's even met them. And soon enough, he's found enough crime to rival any day in the city.
This is, on the whole, an excellent continuation of the Discworld series. Vimes on vacation is comically tragic as the born-and-bred city boy suddenly confronts nature, and his natural paranoia combined with the number of things he doesn't know keeps him on his toes.
Although the humor was, in large part, equally good, it also felt very uneven. The middle of the book is stuffed with the character-driven jokes and cultural skewers that make reading Pratchett's books so much fun. But the bracketing portions particularly rely more on cheap innuendo and one-line jokes that felt more forced than natural. The epilogue feels rather tacked on and the last sentence is a real groaner. And backing up just a tad, Vetinari is unusually chatty and forthcoming at both the beginning and the end, which seems out of character both for his political savvy and his background as an assassin. He's always been the sort to let the gaps say more than the words.
On the whole it's a decent read, although the very beginning and very end were rather lackluster. Like other Discworld books, this one can be read without any prior knowledge of the world or the characters, but longtime fans will see many familiar faces. I rate this book Neutral.”
“I am glad to see that Terry Pratchett has lost none of his wit, even though he is battling Alzheimer's disease. This book takes the venerable Sam Vimes, Duke of Ankh Morpork, Commander of the City Watch and Blackboard Monitor (an old honorific) on a vacation. His wife, Lady Sybil, has told him in no uncertain terms that they are going to the country for a holiday. When the book started, I thought it wouldn't be as good as a typical Discworld book, since they would spend little time in Ankh Morpork. As usual, I was wrong. Sam may be on vacation, but he never really is. He is a copper, through and through, and can smell trouble in the air. He is a Duke and married to a wealthy woman, hence he is the local nob in the Shires (where Sybil has the ancestral home and lands). He is called Your Grace (with all that entails), which is foreign to him, but he makes the best of it. Sam gets entangled in a crime against goblins, who are not thought of as people; they are vermin, according to the laws. Sam disagrees and helps out the local country constable to thwart the bad guys, in a fashion, through all kinds of insanity that makes the Discworld one of the funniest places around. He engages his own Ankh Morpork City Watch and the Quirm City Watch to help track down and arrest the perpetrators. Sam's son, Young Sam, is fascinated with poo - specifically animal poo. He's read a series of children's books on the subject, and just loves the topic. His collection is growing and he wants to get some elephant poo. Through a wonderful coincidence, as Sam is chasing the bad guys (you have to read the story to figure out who is who), he winds up in Quirm, which has a zoo with some elephants. Young Sam is in heaven. The story doesn't focus on Young Sam, but he is one of the side stories to add to the fun. Even though the bulk of the story takes place in the country, many of the City Watch are in the story, including Nobby, Fred Colon, Captains Carrot and Angua, Sergeant Detritus, Corporal Cheery and Wee Mad Arthur. Lord Vetinari appears at the beginning and end of the story to lend the appropriate gravitas to the proceedings. Needless to say, the good guys get the bad guys and all is right again in the Disc, or as right as things could be. There is nothing better than a Discworld book to brighten ones day and realize that things could be much worse.”Ron Arden wrote this review Monday, March 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wow. Just... wow. This was my least favorite Discworld novel, even worse than Monstrous Regiment. I make allowances for the author because the poor guy has Alzheimer's, but I just wish he could have someone, I don't know, co write with him or something. Or at least edit the book, and stop him from sticking in swears. I heard he wanted to pass the reigns of the Discworld series to his daughter, but she didn't think it would be right. I couldn't actually finish the book in one go... I had to put it down and pick it back up after many months.
It is amazing that this is the 39th book of the series though, and for the longest time each book was better than the last! The first books really got the ball rolling, introducing the setting and a bevy of awesome characters, like the wizards, the witches, Lord Vetinari, the assassin's guild, the Ankh-Morpork city guard, and so on, interspersed with a few standalone books. Then the series changed tone, and since then each book has picked one modern trait and showed how the Discworld became similarly modern. There was a book where they set up long distance communication, another where they started a newspaper, the watch became more racially tolerant, and so on.
Unfortunately, the last few books haven't hit their mark. Monstrous Regiment was not my favorite because it was the first to become too wordy, where instead of action and some wry humor we are treated to long winded explanations as to why something should be important. Thankfully, after that came a bunch of totally awesome books like Going Postal and the rest of the Wee Free Men series.
However, Unseen Academicals was kind of iffy, and Snuff here is just sad. In this book, Vimes goes to the countryside, makes a bunch of snotty nobles get jobs, and stops a local practice of selling goblins off as slaves by getting them to be considered 'not vermin anymore'. Not only are there quite a few unanswered questions, but for every sentence of action there is two pages of wordy exposition about how awesome Vimes is, or how witty his words were and why. The whole book is like that! Vimes isn't just a regular guy anymore, he's like an aging, unstoppable, mystical force of nature (with darkness powers). They actually used him like that at the end of Monstrous Regiment too... he was the Deus Ex Machina of that book, but here he acted that way in every scene!
Then, at the end of the book, he managed to misuse Vetinari as well. Instead of the cold, calculating master schemer, he's just another wordy guy caught up in it all.
Also, what happened to Lady Ramkin? She has zero personality here! She's just been pigeonholed as a 'fiercely doting mother' type, and what's left over is devoted to making sure Sam Vimes doesn't eat bacon or smoke cigars. (And why not? Pratchett hasn't written a book about how modern it would be to not do those things, or about an Igor creating the first hospital! Everyone without access to an Igor still goes to the vet!) Most of all, what the heck happened to all of her pet swamp dragons! Did a magic spell come down and make them forget about all of that? Is that why they are so surprised at their son's interest in ex food biology?
I want there to be more Discworld, but I'm not sure there can be. I know Pratchett wrote another non discworld book after this one, a sequel to 'Nation' callled 'Dodger', so I'll see how that is. Maybe he could write a few more Tiffany Aching books like the Wee Free Men which were still good too. And maybe he could co-write a few books with his daughter so she gets the hang of it and doesn't feel like she's disrespecting her father's legacy by continuing his series after he passes away. Hell, maybe someone could cure Alzheimer's too, that would be ideal. Until then... I hope his next few books are better than this one.”
“the watch keeps evolving. This time TP takes the topic of slavery, and completely exposes the attitudes towards it. As usual, he makes you laugh and think and laugh and... you get the idea.”ryanreader wrote this review Wednesday, February 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No