79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
It seems, after reading Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld novel "Making Money", that money does make the world go `round, even if that world is flat and balanced on the backs of four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle.
In "Making Money", Terry Pratchett and his `hero' Moist von Lipwig do for and to the monetary system exactly what they did for and to the postal service in "Going Postal". The result is the same - a slapstick romp through the strange and wonderful world of Discworld.
It is impossible to detail the plot of this book without giving away spoilers so I think it best just to say that Lord Vetinari has determined that Ankh-Morpork's monetary system is in dire straits and in need of improvement. Vetinari picks, in his inimitable way, Moist von Lipwig to lead the way. The result is - well just about what you'd expect.
"Making Money" features a cast of mostly new characters. As to established characters, Vetinari is featured and he is as delightfully Machiavellian as ever. There are cameo appearances by DEATH, the Watch, and CMOT Dibbler. However, new or newer characters play the largest roles. Moist's second appearance is terrific. Pratchett does a very nice job turning him into what I hope is a recurring role. Moist's girlfriend the chain-smoking Adore Belle Dearheart makes her presence felt, especially when she puts her foot down. Mr. Bent, the oh-so serious bank manager plays straight man to Moist's light-hearted con-man character. Bent is tied to the old ways - where money must be based on gold and nothing but gold. He is serious, has never been known to laugh, and has a head for numbers that is astonishing. In some (admittedly very superficial) respects you could argue that Bent is to Moist what Gordon was to Tony.
Moist's antagonists are the Lavish family, particularly Cosmo Lavish and his rather large sister Pucci (of whom Pratchett says in a great line, "she had no idea how to handle people and she tried to make self-esteem do the work of self-respect, but the girl could flounce better than a fat turkey on a trampoline".) They make good foils for Moist and Vetinari.
As always the plot has many twists and turns and one-liners fly almost as fast as the slings and arrows of the Assassins' Guild. Pratchett has a great way with humour and manages to combine that humour with a good deal of insight into how `things' work in the real world. His look at the monetary system in "Making Money" can now stand with Pratchett's look at rock music, religion, the post office, and movies as some very funny looks at our world through the prism of Discworld.
"Making Money" was a fun book for me to read. It was typical Pratchett (high praise) and I think most Pratchett fans will enjoy it. I certainly did. L. Fleisig
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2008
While some may say it doesn't live up to Terry's past works I would dissagree. I found it wonderful!
In the same way that we've been able to follow Sam Vimes through his adventures and growth we can now see how falling out with Lord Vetinari Havelock has a longer lasting effect than one might think. Rather than just a one adventure wonder we see how Mr Von Lipwig applies his very special skills to an even greater challenge.
I found the storyline good and as always Terry has you in there living every moment. As always the story appears over two thirds of the way through but as always the final twist has you entrapped so you can't put it down.
For me an excellant addition to the Discworld series and one I can reread again and again so excellant value as always!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2007
It's always difficult when introducing a new character. I feel that Pterry loves Moist perhaps more than a lot of us do, and he's almost trying too hard to make us love him too. I like Moist, I do - but he's no Vimes.
I am not sure that I really quite GOT this one, it kind of seemed two books shunted together, I'm probably missing the point about the gold and the golems or something.
But the character who makes this book live is Vetinari. For the first time (other than a brief glimpse in Night Watch) we see Vetinari as he really works behind the scenes to achieve the city's survival. I devoured every speech of his and was just thrilled to bits to see him out of the shadows. Perhaps it is because Moist would be a great Patrician and Vetinari is grooming him for such? Who can say?
More Vimes please, Pterry.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2007
After reading the synopsis and some of the reviews on this site, I was expecting Making Money to be essentially Going Postal with 'post office' crossed out and replaced with 'bank'. Happily, my preconceptions were wrong.
Making Money is a return to an older form, lighter in tone (and plot) than any Discworld since at least Night Watch. Moist is left in charge of the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork where he faces the seemingly gold-obsessed Chief Clerk, his predecessor's disinherited family and the conservative Ankh-Morpork public in his drive for reform. The villain of the piece is Cosmo Lavish, whose obsessions make him a more credible threat to himself than to Moist Von Lipwig. As Nobby Nobbs observes early on, there is never any doubt that he will succeed. Moist Von Lipwig looks set to become Ankh-Morpork's resident reformer, with the tax office next on the list. (I'll reserve judgement on how funny even Terry Pratchett can make taxation.)
Making Money is probably not going to be many fans' absolute favourite Discworld books, but reading an average Discworld is still a very pleasant way to spend a rainy day.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I've said elsewhere that I think that the opening chapter of "Going Postal" is one of the finest pieces of comic writing I've read, on a par with anything P G Wodehouse or Evelyn Waugh wrote (I doubt you'd have read anything by Wodehouse about a hanging, although it might well have fallen within Waugh's range). So I had high hopes for the second appearance of Moist von Lipwig. My first impression was that this wasn't really all that good; the golem subplot seemed to sit awkwardly with the rest of the book, the old acquaintance threatening to expose Moist seemed a little superfluous, and I felt sorry for Cosmo rather than seeing him as a threat. It still seems a bit that way after a second reading. But having said that, there are still many parts of this that made me laugh immoderately, especially the scenes involving Mr Fusspot and his new toy. And Vetinari seems to be getting fleshed out nicely as a character nowadays.
If you're a devotee of Discworld, you'll forgive the flaws and maybe knock off a star. If you're not, then the best place to start is somewhere in the 20-30 range, where the writing and plotting has matured, and Terry has got into his philosophical and satirical stride. (I've never understood those people who want him to return to writing books like "The Colour of Magic", which has always seemed to me to carry far too much fantasy baggage. It didn't take long for him to get over this though - Pyramids, Mort, and Wyrd Sisters are all fine pieces of work).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2008
Making Money is a Discworld novel and features the Man in the Golden Suit, Ankh-Morpork's Postmaster Moist von Lipwig.
Moist is bored. He misses his old, more adventurous life, back when he was Albert Spangler the con artist. So when he's not running the Post Office, he likes climbing to its roof at night, and has already picked all its locks.
But when Mrs Topsy Lavish, chairwoman and owner of 50% of the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork, but owner also of Mr. Fusspot the dog who owns 1%, dies and leaves her shares to her dog and bequeaths Mr. Fusspot to Moist... he has no choice but try and make it work again.
It starts with the Mint, which actually runs at a loss. Since making coins costs too much and people are already using stamps as currency, Moist devises the first bank notes, which soon have the same success as his stamps.
In the meantime, Cosmo Lavish tries to take Vetinari's identity and Moist's girlfriend Adora Belle Dearheart uncovers ancient golems buried in the desert. And all the while the Glooper gloops.
I really like the character of Moist von Lipwig and was glad to read about him again. The book is of course filled with references that make you chuckle twice: when you get them, and when you find yourself clever because to got them... it's the Discworld double effect!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2011
I'm new to Discworld. Read this on a recommendation it had something interesting to say on the power of money.
The hero, Moist Lipwig (moustache?), is a thief who tries to set up a money system separate from gold. He had some success with stamps, so the local dictator forces him to become minder to the central bank's chairman (a dog).
The banking family opposes the hero. There is a pointless plot where the baddie-in-chief calls on magic in the form of a counterfeit ring to occupy the body of the dictator. The gold disappears, along with the bank's accountant, and Lipwig is arrested. In a public trial it turns out the reserves have been stolen by the family: the baddie-in-chief is revealed as a nutter with ... Actually, I'm tired of describing this.
The hero's idea is to base the currency on some strange discworld grunt creatures that do all the real work - the Chinese? energy resources? - but his system is foiled by the gloop machine (economists?) - the machine magics the stolen gold back into "pretend" existence so merchants can feel safe again. Huh?
In the end the dictator is really in charge, manipulating things beyond everyone else's comprehension. OMG!
I guess the point is that the means of exchange should be based on real production, not useless shiny metal, but our expectations will always defeat this so we end up getting robbed every time.
Didn't really grab me. The place and atmosphere were weak, which made for a could-put-this-down read. Lipwig and Vetinari were interesting characters, but Adora Belle was a waste of space. Plus Monty Python humour is a bit old. Putting a cross-word clue into the text is just annoying.
My first Pratchett read, and last. Can't believe he's so popular.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Moist von Lipwig, tired after making the Post Office such as success in "Going Postal", is itching for a new challenge - Vetinari sees this and turns Lipwig onto the banks and currency. Thusly Moist enters into a similar story to his last one where instead of the post, he is tasked with rejuvenating the money. The usual cast of new characters who seem familiarly like some previous new characters are present as are stock favourites, Vetinari, Vimes, Carrot, and a cameo by Death.
As others have pointed out the similarities to "Going Postal" are glaring and this is the problem with "Making Money" in that it has the feeling that we've been here before, not 2 years ago in fact! Sadly, it's very predictable fare. As Nobbs points out to Colon in the first third of the book: "Odds, sarge?" "You're running a book, Nobby. You always run a book" "Can't get any takers, sarge. Foregone conclusion. Everyone thinks he'll win" (p.132). And he does. A foregone conclusion. Yawn.
It wouldn't be so bad if Pratchett had made some interesting villains or obstacles but what we get is a rich guy who wants to be Vetinari, and something ominous but vague about golems which is quickly resolved in a paragraph at the end. Hardly edge of the seat stuff. Even the "secret" of Mr Bent, one of the new characters, is poor stuff. It's built up throughout the book and then revealed in a very weak punchline at the end. Vetinari disappointingly is present through much of the book when before he would have a couple of pages at the beginning and a couple at the end. His menace and mystique goes from interesting and dark to being that of a stern headmaster who is nonetheless approachable.
Also, there isn't much satire here. What exactly is he lampooning? Pratchett's always very sharp on his targets in Discworld but there doesn't seem to be a target here except that he wanted to introduce paper money to the citizens of Ankh Morpork which, really, he could have mentioned in a throwaway line in a better Discworld book ("What's this paper money for? Where's the gold?" "Y'know that Lipwig fellow? Vetinari put him in charge of the banks, so that's what we've got now" "Oh").
Who'd have thought it with Pratchett's ingenuinty - a by-the-numbers Discworld book? And it's hinted at the end that Moist will reappear to re-do the Ankh Morpork tax system! Dear me, I sincerely hope that book never materialises. The character of Moist was good for one book, two is stretching it, three is too much.
I can't bash this too much being a lifelong Discworld fan. It's well written and has enough going on to hold the interest even if you can see what's going to happen a mile off. Still, a visit to Ankh Morpork is always welcome and it's fun to see the familiar characters once again. Ideally a new Death book would be best but hey ho I guess Terry's lost interest in him and is content to churn out Young Adult Discworld like the atrocious Tiffany Aching/Nac Mac Feegle books. I just hope Terry goes with two of his other ideas "Snuff" featuring Vimes, and/or "Scouting for Trolls" a riff on "Scouting for Boys" instead of rounding off the trilogy of Moist (Moist! That name!) books.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2008
Firstly, I enjoyed this book. Its the second Moist story- I found him to be a likeable character- a rouge, but paradoxically an honest rogue. Pratchett writes with a great deal of skill to develop this character- and it works- you WANT him to win, you like him... you would trust your money with him. Which is, of course, exactly what this story is about. Its about a bank being run by a con man, the key issue is trust. What is money WORTH? How do you trust paper money over gold? Well, Moist has his way...
What I found different about this book was the large number of sub plots- really just sub-stories that had a rather vauge (and ultimatly irrelevant) conenction to the main plot. They were, never the less, interesting strands, all of which came to funny and amusing endings. Cosmo Lavish has an interesting scheme, for example, which just seemed to fizzle. There is the dog, Mr Fusspot, who is probably involved in what is Pratchetts most risque little joke ever (what HAS he got in his mouth)- and its very funny. The ending to Mr Fusspot's story is hearwarming, and totally unexpected. The reader is left to speculate exactly what is going on there- almost certainly two things, in fact. We also have Hubert, who is a bit mad, building some sort of computer and Adora Bell Dearheart's work with the gollums - which in fairness is relevant. Add to this a female lovestruck gollum, and finally a horny 300 year old dead wizard....
Pratchett clearly had a lot of ideas and new characters and as such it seems a lot was squeezed into this despite the fact that most really weren't required as part of the main plot. There is also a new central character- Mr Bent- with a very unusual background, who proves to be a key figure.
We may indeed see a lot of these charatcers again, maybe even developed a little more (the Hubert strand for example went nowhere) although the wizard now seems happy to stay where he is.
If I have any criticisms of this book it is that the dramatic ending seems a little rushed and unspectacular. I also feel that the watch, especially Vimes and Carrot, shouldn't have been here at all. Their roles appear here as nothing more than bog-standard policemen whoes job is just to arrest people, boring and irrelvant extras. Pratchett is playing a dangerous game by using the stars of his other books in such a mundane fashion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2007
Indeed, given the fact that the series has sold over 45 million copies worldwide, Pratchett's latest requires very little in the way of hype. By now, when one purchases a Disworld novel, one should know what to expect. And though making people laugh is not an easy gig, the author, somehow, always rises up to the challenge and delivers a book that lives up to the high expectations which are inherent to any Pratchett new release.
Following up on Going Postal, Terry Pratchett lets Moist Von Lipwig, he of the golden suit and new Postmaster General, the man notorious for introducing the commemorative cabbage stamp with the cabbage-flavored glue, once again shine in the spotlight. Naturally, familiar faces from various Discworld novels make appearances throughout Making Money.
When Lord Vetinari informs the Postmaster General that he plans to put him in charge of the Royal Mint, Lipwig is acutely aware that this is a man he can't say no to, and thus his life becomes more complicated. As if this predicament wasn't enough, to his dismay he suddenly finds himself running the bank next door. He soon realizes that the mint runs at a loss. He also discovers that a panoply of people want him dead. And, to add to his woes, he must take the Chairman of the bank, a dog named Mr Fusspot, for walks. But Moist Von Lipwig is always up for a challenge, even though he is about to be exposed as a fraud.
Witty humor permeates the narrative and the dialogues, of course. Which is not surprising, for this aspect has become Pratchett's trademark. Like a majority of the Discworld novels, Making Money is, in light of the current market, "light" fantasy fare. Still, after plowing through Thiong'o's Wizard of the Crow and then reading the first half of Donaldson's Fatal Revenant, I found Pratchett's latest to be oh so satisfying! You will find yourself smirking and chuckling in every single chapter, and there is not a boring moment in this one.
Watching Moist Von Lipwig trying to dig himself out of this hole makes for an enjoyable reading experience. In addition, it was interesting to witness Pratchett's introduction of the paper denominations instead of gold, as well as the parallel between the repercussions this causes on Ankh-Morpork's national economy and our own, if only from an historical standpoint. Though the Discworld installments can at times feel a little absurd, there is an underlying intelligence which pervades every page. This, in my humble opinion, is nothing short of brilliant.
The timing for Making Money's release is perfect. Summer is all but over, and everyone is back in school or at work. Hence, we could all use a few laughs, something that Making Money provides in industrial quantity.
This book should please Terry Pratchett's legions of fans and anyone looking for a light fantasy offering. As is the case with most Discworld books, you can enjoy this one even if you're not familiar with the entire saga.
Making Money appears to contain all the necessary ingredients to make it yet another memorable Discworld novel! I'd also recommend reading Tino Georgiou's bestselling novel--The Fates--if you haven't yet!