Going Postal

ommigosh

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Yep. I read it and liked it a lot.
Loved the new cofidence trickster character (forgotten his name). Was glad to see the Patrician involved again - calm, menacing, manipulative. Liked the setting of the decaying old post office and its bizarre staff with their strange ideas of loyalty. And the obsessive computer geek types on the roof are fun. All great stuff.
 

dwndrgn

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Oh yeah, I liked it a lot. I really liked the development of the Patrician who is seemingly now using his clever trickster ways to make Ankh-Morpork a better place. Sort of like a criminal overhaul of the system :)

I laughed out loud about the pins. It just cracked me up as it reminded me of people I know who have interesting hobbies.
 

LadyFel

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Seth God Of Chaos said:
YAY i got a copy of it sighned by terry pratchett
That's cool man, but I read somewhere that UNsigned copies are worth more because he does so many signings :D
 

Winters_Sorrow

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what do people think of the golems appearing in this novel?

do you reckon the golems are appearing in more & more of TP's novels these days?
 

dwndrgn

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He's just using the golems to point out things that in our real world, aren't just, and it seemed to fit in well with this story. When he finds a pet peeve to write about and explore he'll fit it in whenever it seems logical to do so.
 

Sibeling

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I've just finished reading Going Postal, and I think it is one of my favourite Pratchett's books. I was giggling all the time while I was reading it - Stanley and pins, Senior Postman Grout and 'natural remedies', golems and Miss Dearheart - even thinking about the book makes me smile. I commend my soul to any god that can find it - if I will be able to talk when I die, I will use this as my last line.
 

Pyan

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Winters_Sorrow said:
do you reckon the golems are appearing in more & more of TP's novels these days?

One of the nice things about reading TP is that characters who play major parts in one strand often turn up in walk-on parts in other books - eg Vimes, Carrott and Angua all turn up in The Truth even though it's not a Guards story. I always think this adds to the impression I get that life in Ankh-Morpork goes on, even whilst I'm not reading about it.
 

Carolyn Hill

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I read Going Postal about a month ago. It's the first Pratchett book I've ever read, and I enjoyed it: clever writing, funny lines, unexpected solutions to plot problems, and a protagonist who (reluctantly) put his criminal skills to good use.

It made me want to read more of Pratchett's work.
 

isoneri

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I thought this book was genius, yet again Terry Pratchett makes real life seem close but yet so far...By the way i have a signed map of the discworld, i met him years ago at a signing, nice guy.
 

Thadlerian

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Pratchett's books just seem to get better and better, but this one was sort of a small letdown for me.

Let me say at first: The plot, the characters (especially them), the jokes, all this is great, perhaps even the best this far.

However, it's inevitably a very preachy book. When the message is so obvious and unsubtle, it can mar the best plots.

The big bad guy here is the Grand Trunk Company; legal theft, sabotage, obese and ridiculously helpless capitalists; it's not hard to spot. On page 72-73 Lord Vetinari delivers a political monologue at almost a whole page lenght. After his clonclusion, the book goes:
"Lord Vetinari opened his eyes. The men around the table were staring at him."
Through the preceding books, I've got to know Vetinari as the quiet, confident ruler who pulls the strings to make Ankh-Morpork run, but here it seems to me he's simply showing off. Why does he do that? He doesn't need to show off, he doesn't need to impress other people.

Then, near the end, there is this "message from the dead people", which we know was written by Moist. There's context of the message; the idea of "Sending Home" and other eerie clacks mythologies. But the actual text of the message sounds like a statement from a French student union in 1968, or something like that, with all its polemic agitatiton.

Some people say Going Postal might be a satire on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. That would certainly explain why all the opponents (except Reacher Gilt) appear to be political strawmen. It'll also explain why the good guys feel the need to deliver long politcal speeches.
But I feel that Discworld by now has abandoned the specific parodies to instead work on its own characters. Is he then using a dear character like Vetinari for this purpose? Oh well, I don't know.

To sum it up, Pratchett has in this book a rather obvious agenda against big, centralized capitalism/market liberalism. On which I agree with him: These big corporations hurt both individuals and society. But when his criticisms of corporations surface this openly and indiscreetly, it's hard not to be conscious of them. Any reader who agrees with market liberalism can easily root out the political message and ignore it.

Here's the problem: When it comes to capitalism, Pratchett simply isn't very good at satirising, as we have seen already in Johnny and the Dead; it tends to deteriorate to stereotypes and clichés about evil, fat men in suits who instantly panic whenever people speak up against them. He makes market liberalism seem silly and harmless, which it most certainly isn't.

And this is really sad, as Pratchett seems to make such good observations on all sorts of other stuff; heroism, war, nationalism, revolutions, religion, social issues, and so on.

But capitalism? Leave it to Jasper Fforde!
 

Pyan

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Thadlerian said:
But I feel that Discworld by now has abandoned the specific parodies to instead work on its own characters.

I get the impression that, apart from one or two early books, especially TCOM, TP was always inventing and writing about his own characters, and fitting parodies of well-known personages around them( eg the Hogfather ). Certainly I can't see any of his main, book-carrying, characters (Vimes, Carrot, Esme Weatherwax, etc) being specific parodies of anyone else in the genre. However, I will give you Rincewind, (in my opinion one of the weakest of the main threads), and Vetinari as parodic of wizards and city-rulers in general, but I also think that Vetinari has outgrown parody to become as unique a character as you will find.

In fact, the more I think on this, the more I wonder what others may think, so I'm going to start a new thread on the subject. Please, someone, cut me off if it's been covered before. :D
 

iratebeaver

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going postal is one of my favorites.
another good one is called The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy
the three books are in it are Only You Can Save Mankind; Johnny and the Dead; Johnny and the Bomb
all three are fairly short but really good
 

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