Going Postal: (Discworld Novel 33) (Discworld Novels) Paperback – 4 Jun 2007
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"Pratchett can make you giggle helplessly and then grin grimly at the sharpness of his wit" (A.S. Byatt Daily Mail)
"His world, increasingly subtle and thoughtful, has become as allegorical and satirical as a painting by Bosch ... Pratchett's joy in his creations, in jokes, puns, the idea of letters and language itself makes Going Postal one of the best expressions of his unstoppable flow of comic invention" (The Times)
"Like many of Pratchett's best comic novels, it is a book about redemption ... There's a moral toughness here, which is one of the reasons why Pratchett is never merely frivolous" (Time Out)
"With all the puns, strange names and quick-fire jokes about captive letters demanding to be delivered, it's easy to miss how cross about injustice Terry Pratchett can be. This darkness and concrete morality sets his work apart from imitators of his English Absurd school of comic fantasy" (Guardian)
"Pratchett ... is the missing link between Douglas Adams and J.K. Rowling. To non-initiates his work is gobbledygook, but dig deeper and you find the wit and imaginationthat have gained him a fanatical readership - among them is A.S. Byatt" (FT MAGAZINE)
Terry Pratchett puts his stamp on the thirty-third Discworld novel.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This book follows the story of a con artist as he tries, with the flair of a natural showman, to get the Ankh-Morpork post office up and running against the competition: the clacks, semaphore towers which can send a message across country and next to no time, but are run by a bunch of money grabbers who don't care about the clacks themselves, only what the towers can do for them.
Old favourite discworld characters make small appearances. Vimes is seen, but not heard. Carrot and Angua pop in briefly for a chat, Colon loiters outside a building, the librarian is seen in the background. But the patrician....ahh...gotta love that man. Many of Ankh-Morpork's inhabitants seem to forget that he is actually a tyrant, and therefore doesn't have to justify himself to anyone. And there are the golems, and they always make me smile.
You've got the fantastic clash between the bad guy and the bad guy. The bad guy who really is a good guy, just not interested in honest work, and the bad guy who appears to do honest work, but really is a bad guy.
Before you think that this makes it sound too grand, this is actually a very accessible book and yet another mystery bus tour where the Author chooses to take us to rather thoughtful and unexpected locations.
Centering around the Post Office and Clacks (i.e. the Grand Trunk semaphore system) of Ankh-Morpock and the Discworld, and the characters involved in the revival of the former in the face of the latter, it does not truly lie within either of the Watch or Wizard story-arcs within the series, containing cameos of each but, as with The Truth, mainly centering around new key players within an aspect of the city's civil and public life, interacting with the city itself and the surrounding environs.
And within all of this, that particular brand of refined Pratchett humour can be found, even while the astute social commentary and sideways examination of the global condition is finely crafted to make you think, along with the chapter-headings.
I have enjoyed reading this book and will certainly be re-reading it again almost as soon as I get through another couple of books on my current reading list. I commend this work to you as yet another significant addition to the Discworld canon, though even newcomers should be able to handle the story without too many problems.
As the book opens, fraudster extraordinaire Moist von Lipwig is about to be hanged when he is offered a chance of redemption by Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of the city of Ankh-Morpork. Only by agreeing to become Postmaster General and restoring the all-but-defunct Post Office to its former glory can he win his freedom. A number of obstacles stand in his way, but largest of them all is the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company, which controls the network of 'clacks' that provide telecommunications across the continent. Its unscrupulous chairman, Reacher Gilt, is determined to thwart the upstart Moist and to maintain at all costs his monopoly on the communications business.
As we have come to expect from Pratchett's writing the humour is sharp, the dialogue strong and the pace fast. Pratchett knows how to keep a story moving and draw the reader in to the story. Amidst the humour "Going Postal" has a serious undertone too regarding the nature of politics, big business and the growth of technology, as well as about the ability of even hardened criminals to redeem themselves. Though still very funny, this book is therefore slightly grittier and less playful than many of Pratchett's other novels. There is something decidedly edgy about those scenes which involve the technical jargon and workings of the clacks system. In this respect "Going Postal" reminded me of "Night Watch" - another very fine read although much darker again.
All in all, "Going Postal" is an excellent book. Readers coming to the Discworld for the first time would do well to start here, while returning visitors will find a number of pleasing references to earlier novels in the series. As for Moist, I look forward to his return in the forthcoming "Making Money".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yet another brilliant read from the one and only wordsmith Terry PratchetPublished 3 months ago by Mrs A J Brown
Excellently written story. True pratchett style. One of his best for a long time. Anyone who enjoys witty social commentary will enjoy this book.Published 3 months ago by c19
Enjoyed reading this immensely. A likeable hero; Vetinari being...well, Vetinari; and the wizards to boot. Almost made me want to learn semaphore. Read morePublished 3 months ago by James T.