17/12/2007

Making Money (by Terry Pratchett)

I've been a low-key fan of Terry Pratchett for at least fifteen years, so was saddened recently to hear of his being struck by a rare version of Alzheimer's disease. We have bought all the Discworld books - in recent years, shortly after publication, so we have them in hardback.

It took me a few months to get around to reading 'Making Money', although I actually began reading it aloud to my teenage sons back in October. But we didn't have time to finish it, so they read it separately and I've had it sitting on a shelf ever since.

Pratchett works best read aloud, in my view, but it's still an enjoyable book, on the whole. It took me over a week to read it, but that's partly because I've been fairly busy recently. It's also because it takes awhile to get going, and I can only take so much Discworld at one sitting.

It's a sequel to 'Going Postal', although complete in itself. Moist von Lipwig, a conman who survived a hanging and then made the Ankh Morpork Post Office successful, is offered the job of revitalising the General Bank. He doesn't want it - and yet, he's become a bit bored, maintaining the Post Office. He takes risks just for fun, so as not to go stagnant. At least, he does while is girlfriend is away on her mission to recover and free as many golems as possible.

Golems? They're the Discworld equivalent of robots, more or less. You'd need to read 'Feet of Clay' to understand properly what golems are. There's one who insists on wearing a dress and calling herself Gladys, who features significantly in 'Making Money', and many others besides who form an interesting sub-plot to the book.

Then there's the mysterious Mr Bent, who has an uncanny ability with numbers, and no sense of humour. And Lord Vetinari, developing as a character more and more.

Not as many brilliant one-liners as there were in some of the earlier Discworld books, and a fair number of double entendres and risqué comments and subplots, which might make it awkward to read to a young child. But an enjoyable read nonetheless.

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