Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Addition: Audiobook

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“Arch-swindler Moist Van Lipwig never believed his confidence crimes were hanging offenses – until he found himself with a noose tightly around his neck, dropping through a trapdoor, and falling into…a government job?” “By all rights, Moist should have met his maker. Instead, it’s Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork, who promptly offers him a job as Postmaster. Since his only other option is a nonliving one, Moist accepts the position – and the hulking golem watchdog who comes along with it, just in case Moist was considering abandoning his responsibilities prematurely.” “Getting the moribund Postal Service up and running again, however, may be a near-impossible task, what with literally mountains of decades-old undelivered mail clogging every nook and cranny of the broken-down post office building; and with only a few creaky old postmen and one rather unstable, pin-obsessed youth available to deliver it. Worse still, Moist could swear the mail is talking to him. Worst of all, it means taking on the gargantuan, money-hungry Grand Trunk clacks communication monopoly and its bloodthirsty piratical head, Mr. Reacher Gilt.” But it says on the building Neither Rain Nor Snow Nor Glo m of Ni t…Inspiring words (admittedly, some of the bronze letters have been stolen), and for once in his wretched life Moist is going to fight. And if the bold and impossible are what’s called for, he’ll do it – in order to move the mail, continue breathing, get the girl, and specially deliver that invaluable commodity that every human being (not to mention troll, dwarf, and, yes, even golem) requires: hope

This is number 33 in the Discworld series. As ever, it is full of action, comedy and adventure.

The star of this story is Moist van Lipwig. He is a conman, and is shocked to discover he didn’t die when they hanged him for his crimes. Lord Vetinari, the city’s leader has other plans for him. Instead of killing him, Moist is ordered to revive the Post Office. This seems a ridiculous task as the city has clacks. Yet a meeting with the questionable man who runs the clacks and the fact they keep breaking down leads him to take up the challenge. It is not easy – he has to contend with people trying to kill him, falling in love and fire.

This is another enjoyable Discworld instalment. There is great characters, competition, fire and angry women, and of course, the post! I liked Moist. He was a funny man, but also determined and clever. His previous crimes gave him a shady, yet ingenious mind that was very helpful for him, and very entertaining to read. Lord Vetinari was my favourite character in the book. His dry wit just made me laugh.

In the synopsis there is talk of hope. I didn’t find this a big theme throughout the book. I thought the main idea was to remember there are old fashioned ways to communicate! It seemed to me that Pratchett was having a sight a dig at modern technology, and I thought that was funny.

This is not my favourite Pratchett book but there was nothing wrong with it. It was funny and action-packed, and full of the genius that is Terry Pratchett.

As an aside, I just want to say that I really enjoyed the Sky adaptation of Going Postal, and if you can watch it, do!

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2 comments

  1. One major theme of Going Postal is that you are responsible for your actions, and your actions have consequences beyond the immediate ones. Another is that everyone has a key, a personality facet or an emotional connection by which they can be manipulated, something they hope for; that is what con men use to cheat people, and what politicians use to control the populace. It is also what businessmen use to create interest in new products, and to distract other businessmen from realizing the downside of a deal that is being offered. Stanley hopes to find his ideal pin, Groat hopes for promotion, Moist hopes for his freedom, Vetinari hopes for a working communication system.

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