Mark Reads ‘Snuff’: Part 10

In the tenth part of Snuff, Vimes follows Stinky. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld. 

Of course I still don’t know what’s going on. OF COURSE I AM STILL FLAILING WILDLY IN THE DARK.

Heh heh. Get it? Cuz Vimes is in the— oh, nevermind.

Into the Darkness
My first question that I hope this book answers: How much of the “knowledge” around goblins isn’t actually true? How much of it is based on a misunderstanding of their culture or a misinterpretation of it? The first long scene of this split shows us a number of things that immediately expand what we know of the goblins. They might smell bad to humans, but that doesn’t mean that they’re inherently dirty. They do collect objects, perhaps either through theft of because they’re left behind/discarded by humans. They have a hierarchal structure, and perhaps it is based on age/seniority, given that Stinky and the two guards defer to the older goblin once they get to Hangman’s Hill and the cave that’s their lair. They are certainly observant, too, and now I’m wondering if part of the sensation that Vimes has felt—of being watched in the country—is also because goblins have been watching him. He hasn’t exactly been there a long time, and yet the goblins know his name, they know he’s a “po-leess-maan,” and they know to seek him out for justice. I am also guessing that the goblins know about the Summoning Dark, right? Is that what the old goblin meant by “dark inside dark”? or that “dark must come”? 

Even if it’s not and I’m just immensely unprepared again, I still like that Vimes goes because he feels like he has to. It’s his instinct kicking in; it’s the prickle under his skin telling him that some great terrible wrong has been done; it’s him recognizing that the goblins’ desire for him to follow them must be coming from a genuine place because otherwise this would be the most absurd trap of all time. So Vimes follows, he brings Upshot along with him, and he heads into the darkness and into the unknown. And I love that Pratchett jokes about this! Once again, Vimes is going to a dark place within humanity, a place that was once a deep part of his own life. There’s a villain inside Vimes, but he seeks it out in the world around him.

The Cigar

I don’t get it.

I mean, I’m not supposed to yet, but Pratchett gives a few key details in the brief scene with Nobbs, Colon, and Mr. Gumption to lead us towards something. This is how we find out about the new “tax,” which applies to Mr. Gumption’s industry, tobacco. Mr. Gumption should be struggling, but all the signs point to a thriving business that is eager to grow. This points to two possible explanations: 1) they aren’t paying the tax at all, or 2) they found some secret way of MASSIVELY saving or making more money. And… goblins? It has something to do with the goblins, maybe? It has to be connected to the main plot, right???

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

OH MY GOD IT WAS TOTALLY FORESHADOWED EARLIER. I love that Pratchett calls back to the events of Thud! by having the Summoning Dark “return” to Pratchett. Stinky touched Vimes’s arm!!! In the spot where the Summoning Dark left a mark!!!! It’s why he spoke so strangely and made the goblins run off once they entered the cage. But this also implies something terrible, doesn’t it? When I think about the awful crime that brought about the Summoning Dark in Thud!, that means that something truly fucking evil is going on here, right? Why else would the residual remains of the Dark reappear here? Why is Vimes going to have to tap into the dark side within him to solve this case? Y’all, this is such a brilliant way to build dread because I am already trying to anticipate just how fucked up this case is, and I still don’t know what’s actually going on. 

Actually, not just that. Yeah, a whole cavern room full of goblins staring at you without saying a word? Absolutely unnerving, and that feels like a conservative reading of the situation. So is the presence of a bunch of flowers that appeared to have been dropped as someone ran away, along with evidence of a stampede. I don’t even have the slightest guess what that is, y’all. OR HOW ABOUT THE SUMMONING DARK ACTUALLY TALKING TO VIMES??? Calling him a “brother”???

This is so much. I know I just said that, but when that crowd of goblins parted to reveal a corpse of one of their own, I was both freaked out and weirdly overjoyed. Because as Vimes put it, it was a body. A piece of evidence that could be solved. So, I’m going to assume that the body was found on top of Hangman’s Hill, that someone murdered a goblin… for something? And where’s Jethro???

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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