Vimes Snuffs Out the Bad Dude

Yon Bigjobs Vimsey gave that skunner wut fur.


Nae. Wut fur!

I’ve been putting off writing this review for quite a while. It’s probably been several weeks by now. I just don’t know what to say about Snuff.

It’s not that I dislike the story. After all, it’s Discworld, so it’s likable almost by default.

It’s not that there’s no message that Terry wanted to tell us. The goblins were in a tight spot – to say the least – and had been for a long time. They were a race that needed help and got it.

It’s not that there’s a lack of interesting conflict (as in Heidi). Stratford and others provide plenty of that.

I wonder…maybe it’s the abundance of characters in the narrative. By my count, there are almost 150. Granted, many of them are only mentioned in passing, but that amounts to about one new character every 2.5 pages.

That quantity leaves little time to go into great depth on many of them. And again, not that that’s a requirement for a good story, but it is what it is.

I wonder…maybe it’s that Vimes is on vacation, even though you just know from the start that he’ll always be on duty…or at least he’ll feel like he is.

He even manages, while not being on duty, to train up an eager, young copper in Feeney Upshot. And Feeney does not disappoint in the end.

I wonder…maybe it’s that I can’t really figure out who this story is really about. Is it Vimes, who gets the most attention? Is it the goblin race? Is it one of the goblins in particular, like Tears of the Mushroom? Is it Feeney?

Can you, dear reader, solve my problem? True, I’m sorta solving it by writing about not writing, but still….

Meeting a Goblin

I would like to meet a goblin someday. I think I could get past the odor. Most everyone else seems to sooner or later.

I really like their (original) names.

  • Tears of the Mushroom
  • Sound of the Rain on Hard Ground
  • The Pleasant Contrast of the Orange and Yellow Petals in the Flower of the Gorse
  • The Cold Bone Wakes
  • Regret of the Falling Leaf

(Spoiler alert: I’m almost done (re)reading Raising Steam. There are more neat goblin names to come.)

Oh! And the harp music of Tears of the Mushroom! I wish I could hear what that really sounded like. Being a musician – mainly keyboard, not harp – myself, I would certainly appreciate her composition. If I may quote Knatchbull Harrington’s complete review….

Whence came it, that ethereal music, from what hidden grot or secret cell? From what dark cave? From what window into paradise? We watched the tiny figure under the spotlight and the music poured over us, sometimes soothing, sometimes blessing, sometimes accusing. Every one of us confronting ghosts, demons and old memories. The recital by Tears of the Mushroom, a young lady of the goblin persuasion, took but half an hour or, perhaps, it took a lifetime, and then it was over, to a silence which spread and grew and expanded until at last it exploded. Every single patron standing and clapping their hands raw, tears running down our faces. We had been taken somewhere and brought back and we were different people, longing for another journey into paradise, no matter what hell we had to atone for on the way.

Perhaps you had to be there.

By the way, as I hinted at the top, Vimes did take care of the bad guy(s). But I won’t spoil that part of the narrativium for you.

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