Going Postal (Discworld Novel 33)

by Terry Pratchett | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 0552167681 Global Overview for this book
Registered by erinacea of Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on 6/30/2019
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Journal Entry 1 by erinacea from Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Sunday, June 30, 2019
The first book in the Discworld series since I started following Mark Oshiro's reading spree that I read entirely without checking the site. I'm afraid I'm lagging too far behind now to join in the commentary.

For some reason, this was the first book in the entire series I was unable to find at my English bookstore and had to order instead.

The plot:
When the economically hugely important clacks system threatens to break down, Vetenari decides to revive the old Post Office on the basis that competition is good for business. And who could be better suit to lead the enterprise and outcon the shadiest of businessmen than professional crook and conman Moist von Lipwig?

Who, indeed? (Was Vetenari planning on things turning out this way? Or did he merely consider Moist's possible failure as acceptable option?)

I'd never really considered reading any of the Moist von Lipwig books, mostly due to an intense aversion to the name, but also because I had (from somewhere) picked up the expectation that he was an ambitious schemer (he is!) who does whatever it takes to get ahead (sort of true), and that's exactly the kind of character I don't want to read about.

The only reason I read this book at all is because now I've come so far that I want to complete the series (minus the Rincewind books, I'm probably not going back to finish those).

I thus was pleasantly surprised that not only I got used to the name quickly (which, in my more mature moments, I had expected) but that I found Moist to be quite likeable even in his shadier moments.

The criticism of Capitalism that underlies the plot feels like it's aimed at the desastrous consequences of privatizing Britain's government agencies, such as the railroad (Rising Steam, anyone?). Not sure if the Royal Mail underwent the same...

I found both Gilt's financial shenanigans and some of Moist's more outrageous schemes hard to follow. Maybe that was intentional, maybe it's just me, but either way that did detract a bit from my reading enjoyment. As did the technical mumblejumble explaining (or attempting to explain, to a bewildered Moist) how the semaphores work.

I did appreciate how Moist had to learn that yes, his petty crimes that "didn't really hurt anyone" did end up hurting the innocent. It's not the bank that paid the price, it's their employees who lost their job. And I liked how, ultimately, he found a way to defeat his opponent that would not harm the workers.

Pratchett placed an obvious sequel hook for Making Money but while I'm sort of curious to see Moist and Adora Belle again, they simply cannot compare to the Watch or Witches.

Next up: Thud!

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