Going Postal

Posted by : atcampbell | On : February 7, 2006

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Seven people attended this session and all had read all the book. All enjoyed it. Highly recommend the book, even for those who might have tried Pratchett before or who don’t normally read fantasy.

Going Postal is another of Pratchett’s Discworld series, set in Ankh-Morpork. There were several comments that those who might have tried Pratchett in early works should give him a fresh try. The writing has matured, the plots are more complex, the humor is more subtle. While it is part of the Discworld series, it can be read stand-alone and enjoyed. A typical comment about the humor was “not many belly laughs, but lots of scenes worth a grin.”

There were repeated comments on story crafting skill and the easy readability of the story. The reading was “smooth, fast” and described as showing “great craft”. Easy did not mean ordinary. There were subtle allusions, puns, and references both to other Discworld novels and to real world events. There was satiric commentary on venture capitalists as well as an appreciation for ruling by indirect action. And several comments on how “words have power” in Discworld, clearly showing the point of view of an literate author. Several of the attendees found a special appreciation of the subplot dealing with a new business startup and the “high-tech experts” vs “greedy businessmen” and the strong plausibility of the characters and their technology. There was a strong feeling that Terry Pratchett understands how the world works especially with regard to people and group interactions. Whimsical, with levels of subtly and strong irony.

It was also noted that Pratchett has started a cottage industry on “collectables” relating to Discworld, including a set of stamps from Ankh-Morpork. More details can be found at:

After reading the book, check out the following for additional fun:

— Patrick McGehearty