Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pratchett: Going Postal

Terry Pratchett's recent death reminded me that I had yet to read one of his books. I had tried The Colour of Magic a couple of years ago, but couldn't get past the first couple of chapters. Back then a friend said, "Perhaps you should try Going Postal." At first I thought she was crazy, as I couldn't do that to my friends, but then I realized she was saying the name of another Discworld book.

Hearing of the author's death, I finally took up my friend's suggestion, and was pleasantly surprised. Well, maybe not that surprised. Could all my fantasy-loving friends be so wrong in their love for him?

Going Postal is full of out-loud laughing moments, so be careful reading around solemn people. Even though this book is written late in the whole slew of Discworld books, I only came across a couple pieces of mythology I didn't understand. I've found that my friends were happy to explain without spoiling anything.

The book features Moist Van Lipwig, one of the most successful con artists ever born. This is until he was caught and hanged, and then ... brought back to life? I'm not sure how that part worked, but Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, saved his life so that he could be voluntold into becoming the new Postmaster. The only problem? The Post Office had gone defunct decades before, with letters piled high, busting through walls, and all that good stuff.

Moist comes across a motley crew of unforgettable characters, a sorting machine no one can touch because someone accidentally built it such that pi equaled only three, golems who never sleep, and even a cat.

Torn between trying to find a way to escape and actually wanting to do some good in his life, Moist tries his best to resurrect the past, even if it means using his awesome con skills.

Overall, it was a satisfying read, though I thought the ending was a little too easy. Maybe it was just that I didn't want it to end.

If you're looking to enter the worlds of Pratchett, I concur with my friends. Going Postal is a good place to start. Plus ... I just learned that there's a TV series based on the book, and with high-ish ratings. Maybe I'll check it out ...

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