The central figure in the Discworld series has changed over the years as Sir Terry Pratchett has found himself focusing on different characters. The original lead character of Rincewind has barely featured in recent books and this time around, correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think even DEATH made his usual cameo appearance. Instead Pratchett is clearly most interested in the world-weary figure of Watch Commander Sam Vimes, who with his strong but conflicted sense of morality is one of the most complex characters in the fantasy sequence. This time around, in Snuff, Vimes is on holiday but has to conform to the rules of literary detectives, i.e. a case has to appear even when he’s supposed to be off-duty. As usual Pratchett’s gently anarchic comedy is exactly my sense of humour, and with a story about goblins being sold into slavery it’s also as moving as his recent books tend to be, the author’s strong sense of right and wrong and equality being ever-present. I’m aware that knowing the author’s sad circumstances makes it easy to project an interpretation onto someone else’s work, but I have felt lately as if not knowing how many more books he’ll be able to write has made him determined to get his message out that people should stop being such dicks to each other. It may seem like an old hippie telling fairytales about peace and love, but there’s worse messages to leave behind.