Amazingly, former arch-swindler-turned-Postmaster General Moist von Lipwig has somehow managed to get the woefully inefficient Ankh-Morpork Post Office running like . . . well, not like a government office at all. Now the supreme despot Lord Vetinari is asking Moist if he'd like to make some real money. Vetinari wants Moist to resuscitate the venerable Royal Mint—so that perhaps it will no longer cost considerably more than a penny to make a penny.
Moist doesn't want the job. However, a request from Ankh-Morpork's current ruling tyrant isn't a "request" per se, more like a "once-in-a-lifetime-offer-you-can-certainly-refuse-if-you-feel-you've-lived-quite-long-enough." So Moist will just have to learn to deal with elderly Royal Bank chairman Topsy (née Turvy) Lavish and her two loaded crossbows, a face-lapping Mint manager, and a chief clerk who's probably a vampire. But he'll soon be making lethal enemies as well as money, especially if he can't figure out where all the gold has gone.
About the Author
Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.
Hometown:Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Date of Birth:April 28, 1948
Place of Birth:Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
Education:Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick
Read an Excerpt
Waiting in darkness – A bargain sealed – The hanging man – Golem with a blue dress – Crime and punishment – A chance to make real money – The chain of gold-ish – No unkindness to bears – Mr Bent keeps time
THEY LAY IN THE DARK, guarding. There was no way of measuring the passage of time, nor any inclination to measure it. There was a time when they had not been here, and there would be a time, presumably, when they would, once more, not be here. They would be somewhere else. This time in between was immaterial.
But some had shattered and some, the younger ones, had gone silent.
The weight was increasing.
Something must be done.
One of them raised his mind in song.
It was a hard bargain, but hard on whom? That was the question. And Mr Blister the lawyer wasn’t getting an answer. He would have liked an answer. When parties are interested in unprepossessing land, it might pay for smaller parties to buy up any neighbouring plots, just in case the party of the first part had heard something, possibly at a party.
But it was hard to see what there was to know.
He gave the woman on the other side of his desk a suitably concerned smile.
‘You understand,Miss Dearheart, that this area is subject to dwarf mining law? That means all metals and metal ore are owned by the Low King of the dwarfs. You will have to pay him a considerable royalty on any that you remove. Not that there will be any, I’m bound to say. It is said to be sand and silt all the way down, and apparently it is a very long way down.’
He waited for any kind of reaction from the woman opposite, but she just stared at him. Blue smoke from her cigarette spiralled towards the office ceiling.
‘Then there is the matter of antiquities,’ said the lawyer, watching as much of her expression as could be seen through the haze. ‘The Low King has decreed that all jewellery, armour, ancient items classified as Devices, weaponry, pots, scrolls or bones extracted by you from the land in question will also be subject to a tax or confiscation.’
Miss Dearheart paused as if to compare the litany against an internal list, stubbed out her cigarette and said: ‘Is there any reason to believe that there are any of these things there?’
‘None whatsoever,’ said the lawyer, with a wry smile. ‘Everyone knows that we are dealing with a barren waste, but the King is insuring against “what everyone knows” being wrong. It so often is.’
‘He is asking a lot of money for a very short lease!’
‘Which you are willing to pay. This makes dwarfs nervous, you see. It’s very unusual for a dwarf to part with land, even for a few years. I gather he needs the money because of all this Koom Valley business.’
‘I’m paying the sum demanded!’
‘Quite so, quite so. But I—’
‘Will he honour the contract?’
‘To the letter. That at least is certain. Dwarfs are sticklers in such matters. All you need to do is sign and, regrettably, pay.’
Miss Dearheart reached into her bag and placed a thick sheet of paper on the table. ‘This is a banker’s note for five thousand dollars, drawn on the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork.’
The lawyer smiled. ‘A name to trust,’ he said, and added: ‘traditionally, at least. Do sign where I’ve put the crosses, will you?’
He watched carefully as she signed, and she got the impression he was holding his breath.
‘There,’ she said, pushing the contract across the desk.
‘Perhaps you could assuage my curiosity, madam?’ he said. ‘Since the ink is drying on the lease?’
Miss Dearheart glanced around the room, as if the heavy old bookcases concealed a multitude of ears. ‘Can you keep a secret, Mr Blister?’
‘Oh, indeed, madam. Indeed!’
She looked around conspiratorially. ‘Even so, this should be said quietly,’ she hissed.
He nodded hopefully, leaned forward, and for the first time for many years felt a woman’s breath in his ear:
‘So can I,’ she said.
That was nearly three weeks ago . . .
Some of the things you could learn up a drainpipe at night were surprising. For example, people paid attention to small sounds – the click of a window catch, the clink of a lockpick – more than they did to big sounds, like a brick falling into the street or even (for this was, after all, Ankh-Morpork) a scream.
These were loud sounds which were therefore public sounds, which in turn meant they were everyone’s problem and, therefore, not mine. But small sounds were nearby and suggested such things as stealth betrayed, and so were pressing and personal.
Therefore, he tried not to make little noises.
Below him the coach yard of the Central Post Office buzzed like an overturned hive. They’d got the turntable working really well now. The overnight coaches were arriving and the new Uberwald Flyer was gleaming in the lamplight. Everything was going right, which was, to the night-time climber, why everything was going wrong.
The climber thrust a brick key into soft mortar, shifted his weight, moved his foo—
Damn pigeon! It flew up in panic, his other foot slipped, his fingers lost their grip on the drainpipe, and when the world had stopped churning he was owing the postponement of his meeting with the distant cobbles to his hold on a brick key which was, let’s face it, nothing more than a long flat nail with a t-piece grip.
And you can’t bluff a wall, he thought. If you swing you might Making Money get your hand and foot on the pipe, or the key might come out.
Oh . . . kay . . .
He had more keys and a small hammer. Could he knock one in without losing his grip on the other?
Above him the pigeon joined its colleagues on a higher ledge.
The climber thrust the nail into the mortar with as much force as he dared, pulled the hammer out of his pocket and, as the Flyer departed below with a clattering and jingling, hit the nail one massive blow.
It went in. He dropped the hammer, hoping the sound of its impact would be masked by the general bustle, and grabbed the new hold before the hammer had hit the ground.
Oh . . . kay. And now I am . . . stuck?
The pipe was less than three feet away. Fine. This would work. Move both hands on to the new hold, swing gently, get his left hand around the pipe, and he could drag himself across the gap. Then it would be just—
The pigeon was nervous. For pigeons, it’s the ground state of being. It chose this point to lighten the load.
Oh . . . kay. Correction: two hands were now gripping the suddenly very slippery nail.
And at this point, because nervousness runs through pigeons faster than a streaker through a convent, a gentle patter began.
There are times when ‘It does not get any better than this’ does not spring to mind.
And then a voice from below said: ‘Who’s up there?’
Thank you, hammer. They can’t possibly see me, he thought. People look up from the well-lit yard with their night vision in shreds. But so what? They know I’m here now.
Oh . . . kay.
‘All right, it’s a fair cop, guv,’ he called down.
‘A thief, eh?’ said the voice below.
‘Haven’t touched a thing, guv. Could do with a hand up, guv.’
‘Are you Thieves’ Guild? You’re using their lingo.’
‘Not me, guv. I always use the word guv, guv.’
He wasn’t able to look down very easily now, but sounds below indicated that ostlers and off-duty coachmen were strolling over. That was not going to be helpful. Coachmen met most of their thieves out on lonely roads, where the highwaymen seldom bothered to ask sissy questions like ‘Your money or your life?’ When one was caught, justice and vengeance were happily combined by means of a handy length of lead pipe.
There was a muttering beneath him, and it appeared that a consensus had been reached.
‘Right, Mister Post Office Robber,’ a cheery voice bellowed. ‘Here’s what we’re gonna do, okay? We’re gonna go into the building, right, and lower you a rope. Can’t say fairer’n that, right?’
It had been the wrong kind of cheery. It had been the cheery of the word ‘pal’ as in ‘You lookin’ at me, pal?’ The Guild of Thieves paid a twenty-dollar bounty fee for a non-accredited thief brought in alive, and there were oh, so many ways of still being alive when you were dragged in and poured out on the floor.
He looked up. The window of the Postmaster General’s apartment was right above him.
Oh . . . kay.
His hands and arms were numb and yet painful at the same time. He heard the rattle of the big freight elevator inside the building, the thud of a hatch being slapped back, the footsteps across the roof, felt the rope hit his arm.
‘Grab it or drop,’ said a voice as he flailed to grasp it. ‘It’s all the same in the long run.’ There was laughter in the dark.
The men heaved hard at the rope. The figure dangled in the air, then kicked out and swung back. Glass shattered, just below the guttering, and the rope came up empty.
The rescue party turned to one another.
‘All right, you two, front and back doors right now!’ said a aking Money coachman who was faster on the uptake. ‘Head him off! Go down in the elevator! The rest of you, we’ll squeeze him out, floor by floor!’
As they clattered back down the stairs and ran along the corridor a man in a dressing gown poked his head out of one of the rooms, stared at them in amazement, and then snapped: ‘Who the hell are you lot? Go on, get after him!’
‘Oh yeah? And who are you?’ said an ostler, slowing down and glaring at him.
‘He’s Mr Moist von Lipwick, he is!’ said a coachman at the back. ‘He’s the Postmaster General!’
‘Someone came crashing through the window, landed right between— I mean, nearly landed on me!’ shouted the man in the dressing gown. ‘He ran off down the corridor! Ten dollars a man if you catch him! And it’s Lipwig, actually!’
That would have re-started the stampede, but the ostler said, in a suspicious voice: ‘Here, say the word “guv”, will you?’
‘What are you on about?’ said the coachman.
‘He doesn’t half sound like that bloke,’ said the ostler. ‘And he’s out of breath!’
‘Are you stupid?’ said the coachman. ‘He’s the Postmaster! He’s got a bloody key! He’s got all the keys! Why the hell would he want to break into his own Post Office?’
‘I reckon we ought to take a look in that room,’ said the ostler.
‘Really? Well, I reckon what Mr Lipwig does to get out of breath in his own room is his own affair,’ said the coachman, giving Moist a huge wink. ‘An’ I reckon ten dollars a man is running away from me ’cos of you being a tit. Sorry about this, sir,’ he said to Lipwig, ‘he’s new and he ain’t got no manners. We will now be leaving you, sir,’ he added, touching where he thought his forelock was, ‘with further apologies for any inconvenience which may have been caused. Now get cracking, you bastards!’
When they were out of sight Moist went back into his room and carefully bolted the door behind him.
Well, at least he had some skills. The slight hint that there was a woman in his room had definitely swung it. Anyway, he was the Postmaster General and he did have all the keys.
Table of ContentsMoist von Lipwig, condemned prisoner turned postal worker extraordinaire (see Pratchett's Going Postal) is back! Except this time he's been put in charge of a different branch of the government: he's responsible for overseeing the printing of Ankh-Morpork's first paper currency.
Filled with Pratchett's usual sharp wit, keen social commentary, and sagacious observations, Making Money is another highly anticipated volume in the internationally bestselling Discworld canon.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This follows on nicely from Going Postal. Moist von Lipwig returns with a new challenge. He has been getting bored running the post office as things are running very smoothly. He has even taking to breaking in when darkness falls! Vertinari gives Moist the chance to work running the bank. He has to defer to a dog though when the former owner dies and the dog has the majority shares. The problem is the members of the great banking family the Lavishes all want to be in charge and Moist is definitely in their way.Meanwhile Adore Belle Dearheart is off looking for the fabled golden golems and things take a very interesting turn when the results of her diggings arrive in Ankh Morpork. The usual side characters make small cameo¿s like Angua, Carrot, CMOT Dibbler and DEATH. It is mostly led by new characters though apart from the wonderful Vetinari who I still think deserves his own novel.This was lots of fun and sees Pratchett on fine form. I like Moist and Adora as characters and it was good to see someone else besides me want to emulate Vetinari! I loved how Cosmo¿s story wrapped up and it will be fun to see which characters are in the next Discworld book. Plus the new Tiffany Aching novel is out soon. I wonder if this will be the next one to be made into a television adaptation.
Another well-structured novel from Pratchett that relies more on humourous phrasing than it does no jokes. Here the main plot about the establishment of a fiduciary banking system in Ankh-Morpork is wrapped with several subplots that explore the nature of identity and perception.
Now here is something that is unusual. I read this book in April 2009, a little over six months since the banking system almost went in to meltdown, and, weirdly for a Terry Pratchett book, this actually felt almost topical! Not that the world of Discworld's banks need bailing out to the tune of billions of dollars, but being about banking, and trying to make it something that could benefit everyone, not just the already obscenely rich.The story is a sequel to 'Going Postal', an earlier entry in the Discworld canon. This time the central character 'Moist Von Lipwig' has been asked to take over the running of the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork. The reason is that Vetinari, the tyrannical ruler is intent on expanding the city and he needs a banking system that makes that possible.I'm strongly of the opinion that Terry Pratchett's writing has almost continuously improved as the Discworld series has gone on. His ideas, plotting and execution have improved during the time he has been regailing us with his tales. 'Making Money' does nothing to buck that trend in my mind. It is an enjoyable romp full of deft, humourous touches. If you're a fan then I think you'll love it. If you're not and you sneer at fantasy, then this won't be enough to convert you.
Praqtchett's early Discworld novels were great funny books that made me laugh out loud, and frequently. Later, his work turned more to Comedy (with a capital 'C') which reflected on the human condition and gave you a wry smile. More recently, though, I've found myself laughing more and harder at his work, and this book is a return to top form, with the added bonus of it being about the Way We Live Now.There are added bonuses. Tha Lavish family are obviously based on the Medicis, though the epilogue with mad Cosmo in the Vetinari ward is as chilling in its own way as the closing pages of Orwell's '1984'. The Igors are revealed as the hidden force behind a likely future industrial and technological revolution in the Discworld. And perhaps one of the oddest things in the book, the Glooper, is completely true. A British economist, in the 1970s and 1980s, built a hydraulic model of the British economy which dealt with 'cashflow' literally. Truth can be stranger than fiction.If there is a weakness, it is the removal of Cribbins. His comeuppance is too much of a deus ex machina and looks as if it was pitched in at the end to tie up a loose end. I was also a bit unsure about the Mr Bent subplot, but seeing as I read it just after seeing the League of Gentlemen's latest television offering, 'Psychoville', which features a psychotic clown with a disability (his act is called 'The Hundred Hands of Mr Jelly'), I was quite satisfied at the outcome, especially the Guild of Fools.
Not one oof Pratchet's best - maybe because the arcane would of economics wasn't fully understood by him, or maybe because it just isn't funny.Featuring again our stars from Going Postal the improbably named Moist von Lipwig and the Adora Belle Dearheart, this is rather a sudden hotchpotch of ideas thrown together. Vetinari s concerned about Moist in Dearheart's absense and so transfers him to the Royal Mint. This raises the hackles of the various Lavis family members who seek to retain control.Unfortunetly although reasonably well packed with jokes - and the clowns feature again so some of them are visual which is a good trick in a book! - none of the biting satire and undertones that enhance previous works for an adult, really comes through. There isn't much to be said other than a very superficial overview of the banking industry, which was issued in dribs and drabs by Moist musing to hinmself rather than in any groundbreaking speaches. The only other theme of note was international politics by intimidation, but again this only get s short shrift. Perhaps the most noteworthy comments are further insights inot the working of Vetinari.Fun but much lighter than his best work.
Another Discworld offering - perfect antidote for the stresses of daily life. Moist von Lipwig, Postmaster General, has got the postal system up and running, and is getting a bit bored. Lord Vetinari has just the right job for him: running the Royal Mint and the Ankh-Morpork Bank. Moist would rather refuse, but when Vetinari has set his mind on something...Not Pratchett's best book ever, but still more than good enough for me. Glad to say there is no sign of Alzheimer here.
This starts very well, with some sparkling repartee between Vetinari and Moist von Lipwig, but tails off into a disappointing ending, with poor use made of the [spoiler] discovered by Adora Belle Dearheart. Moist has never established himself as a convincing character, IMHO; he still seems very one-dimensional. Also, Vetinari is becoming a problem; rather like the Superman of the Golden Age of DC Comics, he has become effectively invincible, and the plotting suffers as a result. Kryptonite is needed.
Terry rarely disappoints and Making Money is no exception. Less laugh-out-loud funny than some Discworld books, yet superbly observed and related.
Fantatsic. It has been a while since I read any Terry Pratchett, and it was great to return to his fabulous characters and witty style. Making Money is worth its weight in gold... errr or should I say potaoes. Like the late, great P.G. Wodehouse, one can never have too much Terry Pratchett, no matter how prolific a writer he is. Long live the King!
A real cracker... especially if you've ever worked in marketing.
I assume that this must follow on from "Going Postal" which I haven't read, as it starts with Lord Vetinari offering the Post-master General, former conman Moist von Lipwig, a new job as Master of the Royal Mint, which would also involve running the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork. Some of the funniest things in this book are a golem called Gladys, who has been initiated into female ways by the Post Office counter staff, and the university's Department of Post-Mortem Communications, who definitely don't do necromancy as that would be highly illegal. Post-Mortem Communication is entirely different, although it does involve masks, candles, skulls and dread invocations, and the letters NECR can still be seen faintly on the departmental door.
The book is not deeply satirical, as it shows us what we already have. It also doesn't show the way it was beforehands in a manner that is too deep of a contrast, so we are not too moved by the change. It does serve as a historical account in a way.There are some pieces where you laugh in the book, but it has a lot less of a "Discworld feel" to it. A lot less happens in it than in "Going Postal", we get a lot more space devoted to feel and a lot less to stuff actually happening.The writing also suffers from unclarity in some places, where you have to read the text several times to gather what the author is actually meaning.An easy, light read, but it's at the bottom of the "3 star" grade, a slightly above average book.
Every year Pratchett writes a book, and every year I get it for Christmas and then read it while I'm camping. It's like seeing an old friend again. Making Money continues the adventures of one of his most recently-introduced characters, Moist von Lipwig, a conman-turned-entrepreneur who was responsible for re-establishing the Ankh-Morpork Post Office in previous novel Going Postal. In Making Money, he is appointed head of both the city's largest bank and the royal mint, and oversees a switch from gold standard to fiat currency (I had to look both those words up).It's not really Pratchett's best work, largely because it lacked the dramatic climax most other Discworld books have. This is one of my favourite aspects about the Discworld series; while the books are satirical, usually zany and always funny, they also have serious plots underpinning them, which always come to a head in matters of life and death (most noticeable in the City Watch books). Much like the average sitcom, they reflect real life - or perhaps my own view of life - in a far more accurate way than stories that are purely drama: amusing and funny most of the time, sobering up into seriousness when the situation demands. While still present to a degree in Making Money, this trend is still diminished somewhat, and the conclusion was disappointingly abrupt.Nonetheless, even when Pratchett's major plot is weak his writing remains excellent, brimming with awful puns and dry observations on every aspect of society. Perhaps I'm just prejudiced against his fresher characters.
Making Money sees the return of the lovable rogue Moist van Lipwig. Going Postal was a hoot and Making Money is almost a remake rather than a sequel. That said, Making Money still delivers; it contains some spot on humour, heaps of entertaining dialogue, bags of originality, a score of new characters and a finale you won't see coming. Pratchett is definitely definitely making the most of Moist, which is no bad thing. It's not his funniest work, it's not his most inventive, but that doesn't stop it being a cracking read. Plenty of cameos to keep the hardcore fans happy, although this is a standalone read. Recommended to everyone.
Much though I hate to say it, this was something of a disappointment. It's not that the book is not entertaining, because it is. It's not that the characters are any less themselves, because they're not. It's more as though you have a recipe that looks like it's going to be absolutely incredible, and you've gone out and bought all the ingredients especially for the occasion, and for some reason the damned thing just didn't rise.We have here all the individual ingredients that make a Discworld novel, but there's just something in the balance of things that I can't put my finger on, which means it isn't one of the /great/ Discworld novels. That said, in places it is laugh-loudly-on-the-train funny. It's just... not quite the great Discworld novel it could have been.
I'm a huge fan of Pratchett's to begin with, so it's probably no surprise that I really enjoyed this book. It has a few things that seem a wee bit off, as though Pterry is picking the low-hanging fruit rather than reaching for the better, higher stuff (a recurring bit about a dog playing with a sex toy got a little old for me, for example), but I love Moist von Lipwig and I absolutely adore Vetinari and both have big parts in the book, so I was happy.This is basically a sequel to Going Postal, but you don't have to have read that to get what's going on. Semi-reformed conman Moist is hemmed in until he takes over the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork, and he completely revolutionizes the banking system. Good stuff. I know only a wee bit about how banking actually works, but I understood what was going on and enjoyed the read.
The second in the Moist Von Lipwig character arch (Going Postal was the first), unfortunately I didn't enjoy this one as much as I expected. In fact, I didn't really enjoy it at all. It had its moments here and there, but when you consider that Going Postal made me laugh out loud at frequent intervals and the most this installment managed was a smile here or there, it was rather disappointing.My husband enjoyed it much more than I did, and I just can't put my finger on why it didn't work for me... I like Moist's character, and the Patrician is always entertaining... and the little dog was a funny idea... maybe I just had expectations that were too high? Oh well. I'd still love to see another book with Moist's character in it, and I think I'll move on to something featuring Sam Vimes or the Wizards next, as I haven't read anything from those character arches yet.
As usual, enjoyable and timely but I definitely see signs that he was becoming ill and also, sort of like he might be concsiously or unconsciously planning to wrap up certain character arcs (not to spoil things but I think Vetinari's found his successor).
Now this is the way to study economics! Actually, I'm sure I would have got more out of the story if I had studied economics, but it was great fun anyway. Moist Von Lipwig seems to spice up the Patrician's life, and whatever makes the Patrician happy, makes me happy. I completely enjoyed the bits about the bank chairman, Mr. Fussypot (not sure I have his name right), so visual!
You know how when you watch a movie sequel, there's a pretty good chance that the second in a series of three won't be quite as good as the first one was? Making Money has that sort of feel to it. It's good... there's nothing really specifically wrong with it... it just wasn't as good as I'd wanted to believe it would be. Sort of like Christmas morning after all of the presents are opened, and even when you've received almost everything on your list, there's still that little let-down feeling.... This is like that.Plot in a nutshell: Moist von Lipwig (reluctant star of Going Postal) is assigned -- but not really -- by Lord Vetinari to take over the largest of Anhk-Morpork's banks, an institution which has been run for generations by the Lavish family. A small yappy dog with expensive taste, a plotting poseur, and a golem with a sex-identity problem complicate things quite a lot for the poor man.
If you enjoyed Going Postal, you should also enjoy Making Money. Moist von Lipwig is back and at his old tricks. Only this time his job is to make the Bank and Royal Mint work, just like he did for the Post Office. He continues to be wily, clever and almost too smart for his own good. As usual, Terry Pratchett has populated this book with interesting, bizarre characters with weird names. The plot is witty and the pace is brisk. The typical satire is there in all of it's usual glory. Pratchett succeeds once again in writing a unique tale that amuses while it also gently lambasts the foibles of human nature. This is truly an enjoyable read.
I am truly amazed at the depth of Terry Pratchett's genius. This is the latest novel in the Discworld series and it is just as funny, interesting, engaging and intelligent as the first. At the beginning of the novel we are reintroduced to Moist Von Lipwig, from "Going Postal", who is starting to go a little bit stir crazy. He has gotten the post office running well and has made it the corner stone of Ankh-Morpork trade. As a result, Lord Vetinari wants Moist to take over the failing bank. Unfortunately for Moist, the Lavish family, a crooked evil bunch of blue bloods who hate each other almost as much as they love money, almost wholly own the bank. Not to mention the completely insane head clerk, an army of golems on the march and the fact that all the gold is missing from the vaults; add it all up and you have a mess that only the slippery tongue of Mr. Lipwig can solve. By the way...I want to name my next son Havelock.
This is the gazillionth book in the Discworld series, and if you don't know what that is this review is going to sound pretty weird. In brief: many years ago Terry Pratchett dreamed up an alternate world which is flat and carried through space on the back of four gigantic elephants standing on the shell of an even more gigantic turtle. In this world, magic is real, Death truly is a scythe-wielding skeleton in a black robe, and a census would have to include troll, dwarf, vampire, golem, and werewolf--among other creatures--in its "ethnicity" box. Within this structure Pratchett explores our society, myths, and institutions, taking them to wherever they might go in a world where pretty much anything is possible.Confusingly, my picture of the cover of Making Money shows the British version, while the Amazon link shows the American edition. Yes, this is another import from that little island the other side of the pond, where it has achieved huge fame and been made into a TV series. Being a Brit myself, I often find myself wondering how Americans react to Pratchett's very British humor, which is of the deadpan-hilarious variety. I've never read the American editions, so I can't tell you whether they've been altered in any way - I hate it when American publishers do that, as if you Americans can't get your heads round a slightly different culture. I have a much higher opinion of your brainpower.But I digress. Making Money is set in Ankh-Morpork, the Discworld's largest, most diverse, and most dangerous city, particularly if you eat the sausages. Our hero is Moist von Lipwig who, having saved the Post Office in Going Postal, is beginning to find his life a little too routine. He is rescued from committing crimes to make things more interesting by Lord Vetinari, the city's Patrician/tyrant, who puts Moist in charge of the moribund Bank. Things then get very interesting, as Moist has to deal with Mr. Fusspot, the Lavish family, strange things happening in the basement, golems, a very dead wizard, and an extremely nasty finger.Having read my way through the Discworld series over the last twenty or so years, I can pretty much tell where these books are going from about page 5. After the first few books, Pratchett settled on a formula and pretty much stuck to it. And yet I keep reading them. Why is this? Possibly because my husband keeps buying them (he's a huge fan) but also, I think, because there's something irresistible about Pratchett's gentle mockery of all we hold dear. He's never cruel, but he has a talent for dissecting all our pretentions and ambitions and holding them up to us in an "oh dear, look at this" kind of way. And he has these throwaway lines that are just a delight to read.Terry Pratchett now has Alzheimer's, so we may be seeing the last of the Discworld novels soon. If you've never read any of them and want to start, my suggestion would be to go back to the early days, starting with The Color of Magic. By the time you've read enough books to get to the more formulaic later ones, you'll be so fond of this strange universe that you won't mind. I've classified Making Money as a beach read because the phoned-in plot keeps it out of the "good" category in my opinion. It's still a pleasant way to pass a few hours, and well worth a look if you're after some light humor to pep up your day.
I didn't like Making Money. The plot is okay, but parts of it seemed extraneous (the whole thing with Cribbens seemed like it was only there to set up Lipwig admitting to being Spangler, which could have been handled more efficiently) and the ending seemed rushed. Bent was a disappointment; I was convinced he was going to turn out to be an Auditor, which would have been a Crowning Moment of Awesome despite being highly unlikely. I just don't care for Moist or Adora, and especially not for their relationship.The Cosmo-as-Vetinari subplot was frankly bizarre. It almost, almost redeemed itself with the Epilogue, but not quite. I think I've realized what's wrong with it- it's not funny. Pterry does do serious, even scary plots very well; Carcer comes to mind, but Night Watch was a serious, sometimes creepy book with jokes in. This is a silly book with creepy in, and it doesn't work that way (that scene with Gladys cooking? What was that?).I just can't stand Vetinari in general in the Lipwig novels. The reason Vetinari is interesting is because of his interaction with Vimes. All the books where he's most effective are Watch books, because his game of cat and also cat with Vimes is fascinating. We're seeing a side of Vetinari that's always been there- but not a very interesting one. In the Watch books, he's a tyrant without really being a tyrant, but in the Lipwig stories, he's just a regular tyrant. This character decay is one of the reasons the Cosmo plotline falls flat; new!Vetinari just doesn't seem that special.I feel really bad, because if I didn't know that Terry Pratchett had Alzheimer's, I'd think he was just off his game with the Lipwig modernisation storyline; since I do, I have to wonder if he's starting to slip, and that makes me feel like a horrible person.I still hold out hope for the series in general, but I'm just not a fan of this arc.
This is the second of the Discworld novels that concern Moist von Lipwig, a former thief pressed into service by Lord Venitari to clean up one of the city bureaucracies. One thing I like about the Discworld novels is that while there are a lot of them, you don't need to read them in order to enjoy them, but they do loosely build on each other. Technologies and social advancement established in previous books (ie the Clacks telegraph system or the integration of the City Watch) feature as background details in subsequent books. Unfortunately, with 25+ novels in the series, Ankh Morpork has become quite a modern city, and the magic and fantasy aspects of the plots have faded into the background. There are Discworld analogs of cameras, movies, telegraph, express mail, computers (both at the University and now at the bank), PDAs, etc., and I am finding that I am enjoying the later books less.In Making Money, MvL is tasked with modernizing the bank and the mint, moving Ankh Morpork off of the gold standard. It was a fun read, with a brief cameo by DEATH, but I thought that the ending came together too quickly with more than the usual dash of Dues ex Machina and, uncharacteristically, several loose ends.