Nate D's Reviews > Going Postal

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
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really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, read-in-2008, britain
Recommended for: People who refuse to read fantasy novels.

This was really surprising, actually. Perhaps it shouldn't have been, given how many people whose opinions I respect are Pratchett fans, but I haven't read a fantasy novel since giving up on Robert Jordan's painstakingly prolonged The Wheel of Time (somewhere in book 5, I think) long before college. Actually, I suppose I read a few of the Harry Potters in the interim, but in some ways that felt more like keeping up with pop culture than reading actual fantasy.

In any event, Going Postal was purely a pleasure. Compared to the grueling epics I recall from years ago, Pratchett's style was brisk and entertaining, his humor completely suffusing the tone of the book in a way that reminded me of Douglas' Adams' approach to science fiction. But whereas Adams' plotlines can be meandering and perhaps secondary to his constant seeking of the absurd, Pratchett's were elaborately coiled, well-paced, and compelling, and his characters, amusing and strange as they often were, had a certain sincerity that kept me interested in their welfare. Ridiculous name aside, Moist von Lipwig's reluctantly scrupulous con artist (emphasis on 'artist', as his maneuvering definitely deserves such a word) was exceedingly entertaining to follow.

Pratchett's underlying thoughts and satire also seemed fairly spot-on. His commentary on the nature of hope suggests that he would understand why so many under-privileged Americans tend to vote Republican against their best financial interests (besides its application in many other areas of human nature), and the bits about personal momentum were sufficiently commanding as to grant even the reader a resounding sense of motion and possibility from time to time.

I suppose Pratchett may not be to everyone's taste (and I was not sure he would be to mine -- fantasy comedy, never!) but he seems to be very skilled in his particular niche. Yes, this was very good. Mostly just at being a fun diversion, but also perhaps as well thought out and gracefully executed literature.
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Reading Progress

October 8, 2008 – Shelved
October 9, 2008 –
page 37
Started Reading
October 16, 2008 – Finished Reading
March 10, 2009 – Shelved as: fantasy
August 20, 2010 – Shelved as: britain
April 1, 2016 – Shelved as: read-in-2008

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Ellen B. Going Postal is a good one, I think. At least, it was one I enjoyed a lot, and it's not one of the very few where you need to have a strong working knowledge of what came before (though certain aspects of it are probably a lot funnier to the Discworld-familiar).

Nate D I asked Jess and Josh which would be best stand-alone Pratchett a few weeks ago, and received this for my birthday from them, so it seems they would agree with you. So far (35 pages of subway reading this morning) it is quite brisk and amusing.

message 3: by Dkdorr (new)

Dkdorr Enjoyable, cogent review.

Nate D Thanks!

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