Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: October 1, 2004
Format Reviewed: Hardcover
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Genre:   Science Fiction

Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde

Reviewer Notes: Contains some violence and bad language

Hardcover Review One
Audio Book Review


Going Postal
Disc World
By Terry Pratchett

   Few people look less like an angel than Lord Vetinari, but arch conman Moist von Lipwig has to see him in that light when he offers him a job after having him hanged. The job is that of Posmaster General, but the post office hasn't actually been running for years. Instead, people have been making do with the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company (aka The Clacks) but there is now something very, very wrong with it that needs fixing. They say set a thief to catch a thief, and Moist is suddenly the Man of the Hour, and the only person for the job.

    The difference between Terry Patchett and virtually all other comic fantasy is that although the story might have wizards, and golems and banshees, the story itself is not about fantasy. This one is ostensibly a satire on the post office, collecting hobbies and the evils of big business, but it is also about how easy it is to con people and the nature of hope. Pratchett's totally inimitable style works best when it has a real story to hang itself on, and the difference between something like this and some of his less polished work is the difference between a suit on a coat hanger and a suit on the right body. In between the laughs (and there are plenty of those, no worries) there is much to ponder on and a nice mix of comedy, satire and actual plot. Moist discovers his true worth beyond merely being a conman, and at the same time shows why con tricks work too well most of the time.

    By now the Discworld (going for twenty-one years) is so well realized that at times it seems almost too real, and holding up a fairground mirror to our own world and showing us some startling truths. As with Monstrous Regiment (also reviewed on this site) this is one of Pratchett's best, and that is a dizzy height indeed.