Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Making Money, by Terry Pratchett

Making Money (2007) is the lastest installment of The Discworld Series, and is really a continuation of Going Postal (2004)*, in which we meet Moist von Lipwig, a man sentenced to hang as a cheat, con, and thief, until Ankh-Morpork's dictator, Lord Vetinari, realizes that his talents could be put to very good use.

Actually, he was hanged. But--that's another tangent of the story for the former Albert Spangler, who survives to have a new lease on life as Moist von Lipwig, a man whose talents include the charm, gift of gab, quick thinking, and outright sneakiness that somehow allow him to mezmorize people--okay, con people--into doing whatever he needs them to do. And Lord Vetinari has a job for him. In Going Postal, the job is to somehow rescue a failing postal system and make it run efficiently, which Lipwig pulls off with ingenuity, luck, and style. (Style is important.) This time around, though, Lord Vetinari has another job. "Tell me, Lipwig, how would you like to make some real money?" That is, how would Lipwig like to take over the Bank of Ankh-Morpork and The Royal Mint? At first Lipwig refuses, but of course, we know that he will be forced into the position in the most comically way possible.

Actually, Lipwig's job as Postmaster General has gotten a bit too easy and boring for this former man of danger. In fact, this tale opens with Lipwig trying to break into his own office. He still has a criminal mind, and in his restlessness, he's taken up Edificeering** and Extreme Sneezing*** as leisure pursuits. Well, especially when his fiance, Adora Belle Dearheart, is away for extended lengths of time. Her presence, it seems, provides enough danger for him.

As usual, the variety of characters is not missing--Igors, golems, trolls, vampires, werewolves, and insane rich people populate Discworld, and these books are always fun to read. Actually, the chairman of the bank is Mr. Fusspot, a delightful terrier. Lord Vetinari has the chairman eating out of his hand, by the end of the book.

And Lipwig? Oh, he'll run the mint and the bank for awhile, but--Lord Vetinari knows that one day, Lipwig will again become a danger to himself and the city and--just how old is the taxmaster? .......

I enjoyed Making Money very much (it's not usually this fun), and my only reservation about this novel was that I found myself missing the Watch, or the cops of Ankh-Morpork. I particularly enjoy Commander Vimes, and was a bit disappointed that he was barely in this novel. The Watch is a most diverse group of characters who add splash to any occasion and I think they should always be invited to the story.

And, by the way, this is a library book, which I will return right away, in case someone's mother would like to read it:)

* ..which is still my favorite Discworld novel (so far, of the ones I've read) despite the fact that it's not about the Watch
**Involves scaling the highest, steepest, trickiest and most difficult buildings in the city.

*** I have no idea, but Lord Vetinari says it's potentially lethal, and I believe him.


Ariel the Thief said...

Well written review. My RSS feeder still calls this blog Tempest in a Teacup, I love that name. :)

jojo said...

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Doug said...

Nice job with Pratchett Asterices*

I wonder if Moist von Lipwig is based on Ludwig von Mises, the economist.

*Asterices might be the proper plural in Latin. I don't speak English.

TLP said...

LOL. You know someone's mother very well. *sigh*

I finished "The Sea." Very good. As for The Crying of Lot 49, I'm not making any sense of it at all. So I set it aside and started another novel.

I'll try "Crying" again.

ReesePie said...

I love love love Terry Pratchett. Going Postal is one of my very favorites, it keeps me in giggles throughout. Making Money was good, but it felt kind of like Pratchett just set up another plot and dropped all the same elements into it. It wasn't quite as imaginative IMO.

But I love that you appreciate the Pratchett-y Goodness!

I'm actually reading Sourcery right now...

tsduff said...

Great post Actonbell. You know I've heard a lot about this author but never read a single one of his books to date. You should check out THIS avid reader who may seem vaguely familiar...

Minka said...

Terry, Lol...this picture just keeps popping up :)

Nice write up Actonbell. I am with you, any book that features the city of Ank-Morpork remotely should, of ocurse, feature the Watch. I just love me some Carrot!

I haven't made up my mind as to what is my favourite book...I am torn between the witches and the watch!

actonbell said...

Thanks, Ariel:) It's a blog by many names.
Um, Doug, I wouldn't know! Lots of things are lost on me, and I don't know what the plural of * is either.
Mom, I'm glad you liked The Sea.
Reesepie, he is funny, huh?
Hehe, Terry, great shot!
Minka, I really haven't read enough of them, haven't even gotten to the witches. My bad.