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Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Going Postal (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Terry Pratchett

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9,486169490 (4.24)261
Title:Going Postal
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:HarperTorch (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, To read, Reference
Tags:Science Fiction & Fantasy, Discworld, scifi_fantasy, owned

Work details

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett (2004)

  1. 50
    Making Money by Terry Pratchett (kinsey_m)
    kinsey_m: Same protagonist, just as fun.
  2. 30
    Thud! by Terry Pratchett (ChillnND)
    ChillnND: One of Pratchett's best Discworld books, a fast paced detective novel set in his fantastic world. There's plenty of wry, satirical social commentary in Thud! as there is in "Going Postal"

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English (161)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (168)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
The technical details of semaphore and clacks is quite hard to understand but this doesn't spoil the joy and fun of reading this book. Moist throws down challenges impulsively but always finds a way to meet them. The plot is also like a parody of the modern world, especially of how corporates are run. Moist utilizes his people skills to get the postmen listening to him and develop their full potential, and he comes up with modern ways to earn money and get people excited eg. selling stamps. ( )
  siok | May 17, 2019 |
What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.

Moist von Lipwig's life of crime has finally caught up with him. With his neck in the noose, Moist watches the hangman pull the lever and wakes up... not dead and offered a job? Lord Vetinari offers Moist the chance at redemption by being named Postmaster and getting the old Postal Service back up and running again. The mail must be delivered.

Going Postal is the 33rd book in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. This is the first book to feature Moist von Lipwig and the fourth in the Industrial Revolution sub-series. It's interesting that for a 33rd book in the series you can almost use it as an entry point without missing out on much more than a couple character cameos.

For a character that should have been despicable, I found Moist to be quite likable and sympathetic. Pratchett does a great job of letting us see that Moist has a underlying decency when dealing with most people at an individual level even though technically he's a con man. Moist also has some of the most wonderful conversations with Vetinari, which highlights just how brilliant a character Vetinari is. I'm glad he's given more page time in this installment. The supporting cast we're introduced to is enjoyable and quirky and human, even the golem Mr. Pump.

As with most Discworld novels my favorite part is how Pratchett deftly works in deeper themes into his books while still keeping them funny. This time he plays with the idea of Hope and its opposite, fear, corporate greed, collecting mania, doing the impossible, pokes fun at professional wrestling in the most highly organized bar brawl ever and more. Pratchett was a genius. His creativity is sorely missed. ( )
1 vote Narilka | Apr 2, 2019 |
Terry Pratchett has done a lot with his Discworld novels, and his creative output showed no sign of stopping as the 'aughts' rolled past. Most of his novels, if not all, are good and all are fun to read, but to tell the truth, many of his early ones were extended riffs on pop culture realities such as Shopping Malls, Hollywood and Tourism with only glimpses of the character and insight he was capable of showing, great fun to read, but nothing to floor you.

Pratchett built up his cast of characters: Rincewind, Granny Weatherwax, Commander Vimes, with, of course, Death, at the forefront, and with each novel Pratchett experimented with the tropes of fantasy and science fiction, but increasingly that became window dressing for what Pratchett wanted to say about us. In some cases he revealed whole new depths to his 'stock' characters that had never seemed willing to be 'stock'. When he had an idea that didn't suit the regular cast he made up new ones. This sometimes came up with OK results, but more often he was inspired.

With 'Going Postal' and one Moist von Lipwig, it was clear this was a character who was not going to be finished with one book. This was one of the Discworld books I read first, and inspired me to go back the beginning and read them all. Moist is an example of the lengths Pratchett will go to beat a joke, and not a very funny one to begin with, into the ground until suddenly it's much more funny then it has a right to be. Moist von Lipvig, our hero with Adora Belle Dearheart, his love interest, and the villainous Reacher Gilt. The names are so stupid, so obvious, it's much like Pratchett having Moist wonder in exasperation why people, told they're being tricked, smile and continue to love it.

Because 'Going Postal' is about much more than making fun of the Post Office, in fact, that's hardly present. Pratchett's really using Moist and his attempts to compete with the clacks and revive the postal service as a way of exploring human motivation and hope. If I didn't know better, I'd think Pratchett had become a respectable novelist.


Next: 'Thud!'

Previous: 'A Hat Full of Sky' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Going Postal takes us deep into the vibrantly fetid streets of Ankh-Morpork for a tale of skulduggery, ambition, fiscal irresponsibility and the Royal Mail. Our hero, Moist von Lipwig, is a leading conman who has been just a little too successful. Unfortunately, this means that he’s come to the attention of Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, who makes Moist an offer he can’t refuse. (Well, he could, because the Patrician believes in freedom of choice, but it would be unwise.) Before he quite understands what’s happened, Moist finds himself invested as Ankh-Morpork’s new Postmaster, charged with revitalising a faded part of the city’s history. This is a tale of nostalgia, of dreams and of the importance of writing. Stories, as ever, are at the heart of Pratchett’s fiction, just waiting to be unleashed…

For the full review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2019/02/06/going-postal-terry-pratchett/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Feb 10, 2019 |
Moist von Lipwig is given the chance of a life time to get the Ankh-Morpork post office functioning again. Since saving his life requires saving the post office we get to see a con man reinvent himself and the institution in which he has been embedded, all with that delightful Discworld slant. ( )
  quondame | Jan 27, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cholewa, Piotr W.Tł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKowen, ScottCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The flotillas of the dead sailed around the world on underwater rivers.
'Can I not?' said Vetinari. 'I am a tyrant. It's what we do.'
'Oh, *please* sue the University!' Ridcully bellowed. 'We've got a *pond* full of people who tried to sue the University--'
'Neither Deluge Nor Ice Storm Nor The Black Silence Of The Netherhells Shall Stay These Messengers About Their Sacred Business. Do Not Ask Us About Sabre-Tooth Tigers, Tar Pits, Big Green Things With Teeth Or The Goddess Czol.'
'What? Funning? I never fun! I do not fun, Miss Maccalariat, and have no history of funning, and even if I were inclined to funning, Miss Maccalariat, I would not dream of funning with you.'
The man going to be hanged had been named Moist von Lipwig by doting if unwise parents, but he was not going to embarrass the name, insofar as that was possible, by being hung under it.
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Haiku summary
It seems criminals
Are government workers, but
Are they any good?

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060502932, Mass Market Paperback)

Suddenly, condemned arch-swindler Moist von Lipwig found himself with a noose around his neck and dropping through a trapdoor into ... a government job?

By all rights, Moist should be meeting his maker rather than being offered a position as Postmaster by Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork. Getting the moribund Postal Service up and running again, however, may prove an impossible task, what with literally mountains of decades-old undelivered mail clogging every nook and cranny of the broken-down post office. Worse still, Moist could swear the mail is talking to him. Worst of all, it means taking on the gargantuan, greedy Grand Trunk clacks communication monopoly and its bloodthirsty piratical headman. But if the bold and undoable are what's called for, Moist's the man for the job -- to move the mail, continue breathing, get the girl, and specially deliver that invaluable commodity that every being, human or otherwise, requires: hope.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:28 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Arch-swindler Moist Van Lipwig never believed his confidence crimes were hanging offenses-until he found himself with a noose tightly around his neck, dropping through a trapdoor, and falling into-a government job? By all rights, Moist should have met his maker. Instead, it's Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork, who promptly offers him a job as Postmaster. Since his only other option is a nonliving one, Moist accepts the position-and the hulking golem watchdog who comes along with it, just in case Moist was considering abandoning his responsibilities prematurely. Getting the moribund Postal Service up and running again, however, may be a near-impossible task, what with literally mountains of decades-old undelivered mail clogging every nook and cranny of the broken-down post office building; and with only a few creaky old postmen and one rather unstable, pin-obsessed youth available to deliver it. Worse still, Moist could swear the mail is talking to him.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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