BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Rescued from the gallows by the Prince, Moist von Lipwig finds himself sentenced to running the postal service (which is only slightly better than being hanged.) The postal service has degenerated into nothing – no letters are delivered and the building is filled with literally mounds of undelivered mail. Mail has been replaced by the clacks, a series of signal towers that can move messages quickly over hundreds of miles. Who is going to pay to have a letter delivered in days when a they can send a message in hours? And what to do about all these stamps that keep getting misprinted?
PROS: Best use of language in a book I’ve read this year.
CONS: Too short, I wanted it to keep going.
BOTTOM LINE: Very well worth reading, and a great book to start with if you haven’t read Pratchett before.
Going Postal is an excellent book, and one that people new to Pratchett’s Discworld can get in on without having had to read any of the other books. There are a few throwbacks to earlier works, but they aren’t relevant to the plot – instead everything here is fresh and new and yet vintage Pratchett.
I’m certainly a fan of Pratchett’s work, but I never realized how great a writer he was until I read this book. Let me give you a small sample:
You had to admire the way perfectly innocent words were mugged, ravished, stripped of all true meaning and decency, and then sent to walk the gutter by Reacher Gilt …
and a bit of comedy
“Come on, Mr Spangler, you don’t want me to get into trouble, do you?” said the hangman, patting him on the shoulder. “Just a few words, and then we can all get on with our lives. Present company excepted, obviously.”
Brilliant. Just brilliant. And luckily the book is filled with excellent prose along with his patented humor. I highly recommend it, and the sequel.