February 24th, 2011


Book Review: Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

One-line summary: An irredeemable swindler gets redeemed in a funny fantasy farce that proves some series can go on forever without getting stale.

HarperTorch, 2005, 394 pages

Suddenly, condemned arch-swindler Moist von Lipwig found himself with a noose around his neck and dropping through a trapdoor into...a government job?

By all rights, Moist should be meeting his maker rather than being offered a position as Postmaster by Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork. Getting the moribund Postal Service up and running again, however, may prove an impossible task, what with literally mountains of decades-old undelivered mail clogging every nook and cranny of the broken-down post office. Worse still, Moist could swear the mail is talking to him. Worst of all, it means taking on the gargantuan, greedy Grand Trunk clacks communication monopoly and its bloodthirsty piratical headman. But if the bold and undoable are what's called for, Moist's the man for the job -- to move the mail, continue breathing, get the girl, and specially deliver that invaluable commodity that every being, human or otherwise, requires: hope.

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Verdict: Don't worry about it being the bajillionth book in a series; Going Postal works just fine as a stand-alone novel. If you're in the mood for something light and fun with a stand-up-and-cheer ending, this book delivers more bang for the buck than it has any right to. Terry Pratchett is a go-to author for books that don't require a whole lot of intellectual engagement but aren't stupid, and are guaranteed to cheer you up.