Going Postal (Terry Pratchett, 2004)

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Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett (2004).

Score: contastic!

Moist von Lipwig, conman extraordinaire, has pulled the glass ring swindle for the last time: his alter ego Albert Spangler gets hung in the town square in Ankh-Morpork. But Moist is secretly saved by Lord Vetinari, who makes a point that he’s Moist’s saviour angel and tasks him with getting the old Post Office up and running. It’s not like Moist has much of a choice; Pump the golem is assigned as his parole officer and no matter how fast your horse is, golems need no sleep. The Post Office is literally stuffed with undelivered mail and the only two remaining civil servants are Tolliver Groat, an old man who only trusts all-natural remedies such as sulphur, saltpetre and dead voles and doesn’t believe in bathing, and Stanley Howler, who might have lost his grip on his passion for collecting pins.

The thirty-third Discworld novel, Going Postal is much closer to the satirical pole than other of the novels from this series I have read. It’s not so much about silly situations and having a witty narrator, but much more about social satire targeting bureaucracy, corporate takeovers, workplace exploitation, and, to a lesser degree, collectors, hackers and charlatans. Some people make it look like if you like one Discworld novel, you’re going to like them all, but I’ve found them to be quite different from one another, and I have only read a few. So it’s a good idea to do some reading around if you’re new to the series.

Though it’s not meant to be a purely funny book, it’s quite enjoyable. Moist, a completely new character at this point, is quite interesting for his inventiveness and boldness, and the plot stays fresh and interesting, though the first act is maybe a bit too long and it takes some time to get immersed.

To wrap it up, recommended.

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