Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Snuff, or the almost sickening love between Same Vimes and Lady Sybil.

I love Sam Vimes, and I adore Lady Sybil. I loved them as single characters and then swooned with delight when they married and eagerly sought out all the little bits of interaction they shared in the various discworld books. Literally nothing delighted me more in each new installment. However, the new discworld book 'Snuff' has nothing but Sam and Sybil, and even I found it huge overkill.

We get far too much of them together. I can't believe I think that... I would have thought nothing would have given me more pleasure than that sort of discworld book, but there is just too much of them being all couply together. Sam Vimes was always willing to do what his wife told him, but I hated feeling he was hen-pecked, and poor old Sybil for I don't believe she is a hen-pecker. But in this book she is made to order him around rather, while there is even an implied sex scene... totally out of character for a discworld book and it just didn't feel right.

The book is just one long love letter to the marriage of Sam and Sybil and I found it a bit sickening by the end, much as I love them. Pratchett is a master writer but perhaps his strength is in juggling lots of different characters and plots within the same narrative, and so when he tackled only one plot and just a few characters it didn't work out so well. He has also changed the character of Wilikins in this book. I admit that just fleshing out the character would have been fine, but it felt like he had changed him somewhat, and although I did rather like his closeness to Vimes, I didn't believe in it after the other books.

But of course there are parts that work very well indeed, though interestingly these I found to be when the rest of the city watch were mentioned, which was not nearly often enough. It really could have done with a much greater cast and lots of the old favourite characters being shipped out to the countryside with Vimes and Sybil. However, even among the lovely city watch moments there was one dreadful scene where we get to hear the inner thoughts of Cheery the dwarf... have to try hard not to let that spoil her as a character for me.

I hate to write so critically of the man who is just about my favourite living author, but I must admit to being a tad disappointed by 'Snuff''. I like to think it is just that I hated reading about such a happy relationship, and that once all happily in love I can re-read it and enjoy it!

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