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Cespinarve said on October 23rd, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I think my biggest problem with Snuff is how insufferable I’ve found Vimes’ ‘I used to not be rich” quirk to be.

Yes, Sam. We get it. You used to be poor, but many people who used to be poor and no longer are don’t define themselves by this like you seem too. To me it feels like his character has largely stalled – he still sees himself as the outside man long, long, long, loooong after this stopped being remotely true. I’m not asking him to start spitting on peasent, i’m asking him to realize that the “us and them” mindset of his is wrong. Sam, you’re the ‘them’ now, and you’ve been that way for ages. You might not share all their prejudices and awfulness, but in all the ways that truly matter, you’re ‘them.’ If I were your wife, I’d slap you for feeling the need to constantly snark and belittle everything about my family, peer group, friends, and life in general. It’s not like Sibyl goes around constantly bemoaning how gutter rats always like to spit upon the sewer dregs, does she now?

I will admit I didn’t get very far into the book, but not because I hated it, but university came up and I’ve been too busy to finish it.

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As said, it doesn’t read in the way that Pratchett wrote at his peak…

So what, in your opinion, is Pratchett’s “peak”?

I really liked “Mort”, but honestly I’ve found many of the Discworld books to be a bit repetitive.

I’ve heard “Nation” was good. I am, however, one of the five people on the planet who thought “Good Omens” was unfunny and dull, but I blame that mainly on Gaiman’s involvement in the story, not Pratchett’s.

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So what, in your opinion, is Pratchett’s “peak”?

Peak #1 is from Small Gods to Interesting Times (1992-1994). He drops off a bit after that but is still good, and then gets back to peak form from Night Watch through to Thud! (2002-2005).

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“Thud!” is such a fantastic novel in that you don’t really have to read his earlier stuff to enjoy it. All the history you need is in there, and I’d say it’s as good a point as any to jump into the Discworld series.

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highlyverbal said on October 23rd, 2012 at 5:18 pm

@Steph: So what, in your opinion, is Pratchett’s “peak”?

87-88: Discworld #3: Equal Rites, #4 Mort, & #6 Wyrd Sisters

I am sorry that I stopped reading Discworld way before Thud! but I may take a look at it with such a strong recommendation from -evan.

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So what, in your opinion, is Pratchett’s “peak”?

Peak #1 is from Small Gods to Interesting Times (1992-1994).

The last couple of times I’ve read through the whole Discworld series, one of my absolute favourites has been Jingo – which a lot of people list as one of their least favourites. *shrug* Nonetheless, I agree more or less with the general range of the selection.

Also, don’t neglect his two early standalone SF works, Strata and Dark Side of the Sun – both quite enjoyable, and in my opinion better than his Discworld stuff before Pyramids. (One of them also explains the joke behind The Broken Drum.)

My problem with Snuff, and to a similar extent Unseen Academicals, is that Pratchett used to be excellent at the building of plot and mood through the implied – the actions of the character, the natural conversations they have, their thoughts and so on. Snuff especially seems to have forgotten “show, don’t tell” and tends to stop the plot for great chunks of expository dialogue.
Also, there’s an awkwardness to the language that is jarring when compared to his earlier stuff.

Oddly enough, I didn’t have such problems with I Shall Wear Midnight – it felt a bit woolly and disjointed, but by no means as disappointing as the last two “adult” novels.

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JP Cardier said on October 24th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I didn’t find it bad at all, but far from amazing. I’ve read almost every Pratchett novel, seeing the evolution of his writing has been very interesting. My favorite novel of his is Nation. I’ll admit I was hoping for something on the quality of Nation, and it’s just not that good. But better than Unseen Academicals, maybe better than Snuff? Not quite sure. It is paced a lot slower than his other work. Tough for me say what his peak is.

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