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Mass Market Paperback Going Postal Book

ISBN: 0060502932

ISBN13: 9780060502935

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Book Overview

" Pratchett's] books are almost always better than they have to be, and Going Postal is no exception, full of nimble wordplay, devious plotting and outrageous situations, but always grounded in an... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Great introduction to Pratchett's work, quick read

This was my first of Terry Pratchett's novels and I am so thrilled that I gave it a chance. I bought this book knowing nothing of the plot and only one quote. I was absolutely proven that this book was worth it. Pratchett's dry humor, wordiness, and overall wit, is perfect for the plot. Each character has their flaws and quirks that make them relatable and funny. Going Postal is definitely a slow going book but at the same time is a quick read. I urge you to buy this and keep reading more of Pratchett's work.

Philately, finance, fraud, and . . . fun!

One aspect of Terry Pratchett's genius as a writer is innovation. Lately, he's turned away from what might have become a rut - for both reader and writer - to launch a string of stand-alone books. We've had the introduction of a newspaper to Ankh-Morpork, a man falling through time to encounter himself, and an army of females ["women" would hardly be appropriate, here]. With this book, yet another declaration of independence has been issued. It's still the Discworld. A few known characters flit through cameo appearances - even if only virtually or even silently. One new persona emerges who will capture your attention, your sympathy, and, if you're not careful, your wallet. If Moist van Lipwig has a personal Hell, its label is "Honesty". He's a confidence trickster, but we mustn't judge him too harshly for that. It's a career that any "businessperson" will identify with. Good Things are: a growing economy, minimal government interference while providing essential services and avoiding violence. Bad Things are: officials poking into private affairs, low profits and a soiled public image. Moist takes advantage of the Good Things while simply avoiding the Bad. He's been on the run for years, even while accumulating a stash of ill-gotten gains. A means of avoiding capture is being someone else. As this book opens one of his persona is facing hanging - which takes place. Yet it wasn't Moist that died, but one of his aliases - Albert Spangler. With Spangler gone, it would seem Moist has a clear path to elsewhere to make a new start. Unfortunately for Moist, Ankh-Morpork's Patrician, Lord Vetinari, has other plans for him. Part of the scenario includes Moist being employed by Vetinari. Not only must he assume the mantle of honesty, he's now a Civil Servant! The job is the restoration of the defunct Ankh-Morpork Post Office. The PO's laggardly pace has been outstripped by a new technology - a form of semaphore known as the "clacks". Owned and operated by the Grand Trunk corporation, the firm incorporates the philosophy of Good and Bad Things listed above. As we all know, or are often told, "downsizing" means "efficiency". The businessman's mind equates "Overhead" with "Profit Loss" and there is no worse sacrilege found in the balance sheet. "Overhead" includes "maintenance", which becomes the key to this story. How many have died or been damaged due to faulty views of how much must be spent on "Overhead"? How important is "Overhead"? Is it important at all. Pratchett's genius goes beyond innovative thinking. He has penetrated the financier's mind and practices, exposing them to public view and assessment. This, he shows us, is a necessary and ongoing task. He further exhibits that there is but only one social force capable of the task - an enlightened government with the power to enforce. It takes a government interested in the public good, which remains an elusive goal. This is hardly the stuff usually found in "fantas

Simply the cleverest Prachett books

The trouble with clever characters, is that the author typically needs to be just as clever. This is why books like "Silence of the Lambs," are much better than books like "Hannibal." If the author isn't as smart as his characters, then he shouldn't risk making his prized creation the main protagonist. "Going Postal" doesn't have just a clever protagonist, it also has a supporting Patrician, whom one can argue, can give Hannibal Lecter a run for his money when it comes to intellect. On a few occasions, "Going Postal" finds itself in danger of being too clever to have a satisfying ending. But rest assured future reader, you will not be disappointed. Pratchett's storylines are funny and can stand on their own. However, I became a fan because of his satires and metaphors, which bubbles underneath his stories. Since I work with internet technologies, I find the clacks metaphor hits close to home. The fact that "Granddad" is only 26 years old is a hilarious detail. Pratchett books are usually riddled with gems like these. You don't have to be familiar with the Discworld series to appreciate this book. I have read all of the Discworld novels and this one is definitely the top ones on my list. For Pratchett readers, you can gauge my review's usefulness by what books I liked and disliked. My top ones are: Reaper Man Witches Abroad Feet of Clay Mens at Arms Books low on my list are: Monstrous Regiment Maskerade Lords and Ladies Eric Last word: Enjoy.

Twelve and a Half Percent

You can read this story as Pratchett's commentary on criminal capitalism, ala Enron. Or you can read it as a caper story, featuring two, perhaps three con men. But however you read it, this novel will please, delight and enthrall you. This is masterful, this is a master's work. It's time to recognize Pratchett as a great writer in the finest British tradition. The pseudonymous Alfred Spangler is dead, hung by neck to dance the rope fandango. But a very surprised Moist van Lipwig awakes in the Patrician's office. When offered the choice of becoming Postmaster of the dead-as-a-dinosaur Ankh-Morpork postal service or the right to leave the Patrician's office by the door behind him, the bright young con man accepts the duties of Postmaster. When running away doesn't work, Moist settles in to the challenge. To his surprise, running a big operation like the Post Office is a lot like running a con; to his greater surprise, he even starts to enjoy it. But the competition to the Postal Service - the Grand Trunk Clacks, a kind of Middle Ages internet - is run by Reacher Gilt, a one-eyed, black-haired chairman who has a parrot trained to call, "Twelve and a half percent." Gilt takes competition to new extremes. Moist, who has always disdained violence, and Gilt, who will stop at nothing, engage in an escalating struggle. Moist can't seem to help himself, his reaction to a challenge is to up the stakes. And in a game of Find the Lady, no one is better than Moist. As a caper story, the setup is perfect. Pratchett shows you all the cups, and defies you to find the pea. It makes the ending immensely satisfying. As an indictment of the immorality of capitalism, the part that works best is your laughter. Nothing that takes itself so seriously, and is so self-important, can stand ridicule. Including Reacher Gilt. As in all Pratchett novels, there are very funny scenes, but the mature Pratchett uses humor for a purpose beyond entertainment. This is using the Discworld as a mirror to reveal the parts of our world we otherwise cannot or will not see. This is a superb book, nearly flawless, and a delight from beginning to end. Highly recommended.

The Sting: Terry Pratchett Style

Terry Pratchett's ("TP") legions of fans do not need a review of Going Postal. They have no doubt already purchased Going Postal or eagerly await its arrival in paperback. This review is for those new to TP. Background: Terry Pratchett: Rafael Sabatini begins his swashbuckler "Scaramouche" with the line "he was born with a gift for laughter and a sense that the world was mad and this was his patrimony". TP shares this patrimony. It is accomplishment enough to produce the sheer volume of work put out by TP. However, to combine this volume with a consistently high level of brilliant, funny, and original prose is simply amazing. Discworld: Discworld is the alternate universe created by TP in his many books on the subject. Although this universe may share about 95% of our genetic code it is populated by a series of characters not really known to us here on this planet (at least as far as we know). TP's world travels through space like a frisbee, supported by four giant elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle. Living amongst the mere mortals is a cast of characters that include trolls, dwarfs, zombies, and more than a few wizards. They are not thought of as being particularly unusual, they are just there and live and work just like everyone else. The capital of Discworld is Ankh-Morpork ("A-M"), ruled by a rather witty despot known as the Patrician Vetinari. There is a recurring cast of characters. Although the books do tend to reflect the development of these characters each book does stand on its own and does not need to be read in any particular order. Going Postal: Going Postal is TP's most recent effort. It is hilariously funny. Think of the movie The Sting with Redford and Newman as if it had been directed by Hunter S Thompson and you will have some idea of the plot. A very successful, if generally low level con man named Moist Van Lipwig has been caught, sentenced to die by hanging, and been hung. However, he did not quite die. He wakes up to find himself in the chambers of the Patrician Vetinari and told he may live if he decides to take over the operation of the A-M post office. Understandably enough, he accepts the assignment. His work is overseen by the A-M equivalent of a parole officer, a clay Golem (an ancient life like monster in medieval and Jewish mythology). Moist has never spent an honest day in his life and does not really intend to begin now. The postal service has basically ceased operations for years and the post office headquarters is drowning in undelivered mail. Gradually, Moist feels compelled to actually re-start the mail service. Gradually, and more than a bit grudgingly, Moist's rather narcissistic view of the world changes a bit as well. Moist's effort is not well received by the owners of the Grant Trunk clack system, the semaphore-based message delivery service run by Reacher Gilt. The last thing Gilt wants is competition. While Moist may see himself as a low-level con artist, Moist see

A bureaucratic point of view

As a bureaucrat myself, I can appreciate Mr. Moist von Lipwig's predicament. He's literally saved from perdition by an "Angel" who just happens to be Lord Vetinari, duly-elected ruler of the city of Ankh-Morpork (one man, one vote, he's the man and he's got the vote!). Whether Vetinari is an "Angel of Light" or a really dark angel remains to be seen. Certainly, the job is no prize. Who would want the job of resurrecting a moribund Post Office? Only a convicted criminal, once hanged, who now faces a life of servitude to the state. Oh, it's a paid job - after all, we bureaucrats do INSIST on fair days' wage for a fair days' labor, but getting a "bodyguard" that is nearly indestructable (a golem) and may not have all the "safeguards" against harming a human? Moist has his problems... but also, he's a talker. And, as any bureaucrat can vouch for, if you can talk in government, you can go far indeed! An excellent book overall, with an interesting premise, good character (!) development, and enough inside humor to keep even the dryest of bureaucrats chuckling.
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