Review of Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal

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imagesI’ve never read a book by Terry Pratchett I did not like. The humorous way to follow that line would be to say this book was the first, but even for the sake of wit, I can’t say that. Once again, I’m more than satisfied with this read.

For those who are not familiar with Pratchett, or who have not read many of his works, his series takes place in a place known as Disc World, more specifically the city of Ankh-Morpork. Most of his works focus around the guard and characters like Captain Vimes and Carrot, but this novel focuses on a condemned swindler known as Moist von Lipwig who finds himself sentenced to something worse than death . . . a government job. For his special talents and aptitude for the position, Moist is offered a position as Postmaster of a run-down post office by Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork, also one of my favorite characters in the series. The task proves to me more difficult and dangerous than Moist had expected. For starters, there are mountains of ancient undelivered mail choking every room of the post office, and on top of that, the building is under a curse. As Moist returns the post office to its old glory, he unintentionally sparks a deadly competition with the Grand Trunk clacks communication monopoly. It’s a story about love, perseverance, and especially hope.penny-large

It’s no surprise I loved this book. As usual, Pratchett’s wit makes this an enjoyable read. I’m impressed with how he takes such an ordinary and seemingly uninteresting subject matter and spins an interesting story around it. The subtle humor in the writing as well as the laugh-out-loud moments kept me going even when the plot slowed down. Pratchett takes full advantage of his subject matter and characters, even to the point of over-kill. Not that I’m complaining.

As a fan of Vimes, Carrot, and the rest of the guard, I was disappointed they only made minor cameo appearances; however, the new characters were well-worth the absence of canon characters. Moist is a clever and relatable protagonist, full of wit and charm, Miss Dearheart is delightfully cynical and sexy, and then there are the rest of the office staff, hard to put into words. It was nice to see my favorite dictator still pulling the strings and running the show. There were even golems and Igors, creatures not often highlighted in Pratchett’s universe.

All-in-all, I really enjoyed this novel. Though, there were a few problems with the book. For one, the plot had a tendency to drag at times and to labor on scenes that I personally did not find all that interesting. There were also a few redundant scenes that added to my boredom. The wrap-up at the end was a little of a let down, as well. It’s like Pratchett got burned out at the end when I would have liked to have more gradually ended the book. If those are the worse of my complaints, than I’m satisfied.

As an avid fan of Terry Pratchett and his works, I strongly encourage you to read at least one of his works. For those who are maybe only considering reading one or two of his books, Going Postal would be a good choice as it serves as a kind of stand alone novel in the series. For those wanting to fully immerse themselves into the universe, Guards, Guards is, in my opinion, the best one to start with. Regardless of which book you start with, Pratchett will have you laugh-out-laughing, but never going postal.

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5 thoughts on “Review of Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal

  1. My almost 14-year-old son loves these books, though I’ve never read any. I hope they’re appropriate for his age, but after consulting other fans of them on Goodreads, it seemed like they were. Not sure how far he’s made it in the series yet, but I’m sure they’ll be on his Christmas wishlist!

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