Musings on writing, lessons learned by an aspiring professional, book reviews, movie reviews, an occasional t.v. show review, and unashamed opinion.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Going Postal

I'm nearly done with Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett, and I've got to say: everyone should read this book... or another one of Pratchett's, anyway.  GP is the funniest things since Japanese game shows, and you're missing out if you haven't tried Pratchett yet.  I've never been a fan of "funny fantasy," but I'm thinking now is as good a time as any to start.

Here are some quotes from the book that had me rolling... well, I would have been rolling, that is--if I hadn't been listening to the book at work.

1. ...hell, once he'd ridden without pants too, but luckily, all the tar and feathers helped him stick to the horse.

2. It was no good... old habits died too hard.  They were bred in the bone.  Something warm and feathery fluttered up in front of you, and of course, you snapped at it... They were so tasty, you couldn't stop at one.  And, five minutes later, you remembered why you should have.  These were feral, urban birds, that lived on what they could find on the streets... They were bobbing, cooing, plague pits.  You might as well eat a dog turd burger, and wash it down with a jumbo cup of septic tank.

3. "...I'll just kill him and join you for the pudding."
"You can't do that," hissed Moist.
"Oh, why not?"
"You're using the wrong knife.  That's for the fish.  You'll get into trouble."
She glared at him, but her hand relaxed, and something like a smile appeared on her face.  "They don't have a knife for stabbing rich, murdering bastards?" she said.
"They bring it to the table when you order one," said Moist..."

(I added the punctuation and emphasis that I thought would read most naturally from the narrator's voice.  Sorry if there's errors: I haven't actually read the book).

So now you see why Going Postal is freakin hilarious.  If you didn't laugh at any of those lines, you're STUPID.  I would have written down more quotes, but, like I said, I was listening to this at work, and I didn't really think it honest to take the time as often as I would have liked.

The gist of the story is this: Moist von Lipwig is slated to die.  He has been caught pulling a con, and is hanged for his crimes.  He isn't killed, though, only forced into the government position of Postmaster.  He tries to get out of the job a few times, but a golem by the name of Mr. Pump (named this because he worked at a water pump for like a thousand years) is set to guard him and make sure he does the job.  Lipwig eventually settles into the job and starts doing things that people claim is fulfilling some prophecy.  Like a true conman, Lipwig never really gives up his past life, and invents the postage stamp in order to make some cash.  He comes up with all sorts of ways to make collectible postage that people will pay big money for.  I won't give the whole plot away, since it is always fun to see where a story will go.

Going Postal gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Now I have to decide which Pratchett to try out next.  Any suggestions?  All of you need to get off your hiny and try some Pratchett.

That's all.


  1. You could always follow it up with, 'Making Money.' It's the sequel to 'Going Postal.' This time he's in charge of the treasury and the currency system.

    I've always been partial to 'Wee Free Men.' But regardless which one you choose, even when Pratchett is slow... he's stinkin' funny!

  2. Going Postal is probably my favorite! Glad you joined us on the funny side.

    I'd suggest Good Omens if you haven't read it. The four horsemen of the apocalypse on motorcycles. And that's the dull bit.

  3. I've always had a soft spot for Night Watch. I don't know if it would mean as much if I hadn't already read a book or two about Vimes. It has a bit of a different tone that most other Discworld books, but I love it dearly. I've re-read it more times than I've re-read Going Postal, and that's saying something.

    Good Omens, though is also a good next choice. ;-)