Friday, November 04, 2005

Going Postal - by Terry Pratchett

We're back in Ankh-Morpork with Going Postal, the 29th instalment in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and this is definitely one of the good one's - I was practically crying with laughter at some points...

Moist von Lipwig is a con-man, one of the best in the game but as Albert Spangler, he's now languishing in a condemned cell in Ankh-Morpork. He may not have ever hurt anyone in his life but he's stolen from some of the most powerful people and everyone knows that's far more serious than murder so he's to be hung at dawn.

While Albert is almost certainly for the drop, Lord Vetinari offers Moist a choice - revive the city's ailing postal service or well, die! Simple choice you might think but, faced with a seriously run down postal business, a staff of two (three if you count the cat), Mr Pump his parole officer and the unscrupulous chairman of the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company, there are times when Moist almost wishes he hadn't accepted it.

Basically the story is about Moist's attempts to get the Postal Service back up and running in the face of lethal opposition from the Grand Trunk Semaphore clacks service but it's so much more than that and seriously funny too.

Pratchett is excellent at describing characters and scenes in the most humorous ways - Lord Vetinari is a well known fixture to Discworld fans and these new characters of Moist, Groat, Stanley, Adora Bell (Killer) and Mr. Pump fit so well into the mix that you can easily visualize them. There's also an Igor in there and we get a fleeting appearance from a couple of the Night Watch favourites and good old DEATH himself.

The story is well composed from several diverse threads and the relevance of some earlier sections only emerge as the tale progresses along its hilarious path. From the moment we meet Moist trying to escape the cell, you just know it's going to be a good one. Definitely one to read for Discworld fans and easy enough for the casual reader to pick up and enjoy.

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
ISBN: 0-552-14943-8
My Rating: 9/10

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