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Making MoneyHere's my review of Making Money, the 2nd book in the Moist von Lipwig sequence (and 31st Discworld novel overall) by the inimitable Sir Terry Pratchett. Interesting, captivating, and very funny; if not as strong story-wise as its precursor, Going Postal. Recommended reading, both of them.

Moist von Lipwig (yes, that’s his real name, and no, he didn’t have a word in the selection) is Postmaster General, and the Post office is doing well (see Going Postal for how this came to be). And the thrill has gone:
He’d done it. It all worked. It was the Post Office. And it wasn’t fun anymore
It’s nothing but meetings, minutes, correspondence, committees, requisition forms, pension arrangements…

So Lord Vetinary, Patrician and Tyrant of Ankh Morpok, is steering him in his no-so-subtle way towards having a look at the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpok, which is currently being led by Mrs ‘Topsy’ Lavish - rather advanced of years and living mainly on Gin - as its Chairman and Manager, and by Mr Fusspot (of indeterminate breed), who owns the 1% which gives her a controlling stake. Moist has none of it.
But, as Mrs Lavish dies (of natural causes, it appears), and leaves her 50% stake to Mr Fusspot, and makes Moist his caretaker (an offer he cannot refuse, given some arrangements with the Assassins Guild), he is compelled to re-consider.

Mr Bent, Chief Cashier of the bank, is not impressed with his new boss. He know how *his* bank should be run. When first seeing the Counting House, Bent’s central department, Moist comments that this is "Hell, on the day they couldn’t find the matches". He is also astonished to learn that the Mint, associated with the Bank, has Outworkers, taking money blanks home to finish them over night. Small denominations only, or course. And making them costs more than they’re worth in the first place…
If Mr Bent is not impressed, then the other Lavishes (an ancient and very rich segment in Ankh-Morpok’s social strata) who own the other 49% are even less enamoured with Moist picking about *their* bank.
And to top it all off he is on his own – Adora Belle Dearheart, his fiancée, is off in Dwarf country, digging for something secret with her Golems. This is not the best time of his life, and it’s about to get worse. Much worse, he fears.

This book is Standard Pratchett Quality as we’ve come to expect it. Whilst it is weaker than its precursor, Going Postal, and the various strands come across disjointed with very little indication of how they related to the overall story arc at times it is nevertheless funny, very funny in parts. There are chapters that have multiple laugh-out-loud moments per page; Terry was in great form whilst writing all the one-liners and puns. Based on this I’m more than happy to forgive the weak-ish storyline, especially as this appears to be the middle book in a Trilogy, kind of; it foreshadows a third Moist von Lipvig book, with the Tax Office. Or, at least, Vetinari is thinking of Moist’s future, which means that he actually might have one…

The other thing that stands out are the names of the main players – Moist is obviously very moist when it comes to Banks (ie he has no clue, so he doesn’t know what’s impossible, as the old running gag goes), his fiancée is Adora Belle Dearheart, whilst the Bank is run by Mavolio Bent, and the Mint by Mr Shady. And you can’t get more descriptive than naming the Lavishes, err, Lavishes. I’m sure you understand what I mean. Else read the book (no, read it anyway!).

On this note – whilst this might not be his best book (hell, there can only be one that’s the best, no?) I can strongly recommend that you read this interesting, captivating, and very funny story.
Don’t start here if you’ve never read any of his books, though. Whilst this can stand on its own I guess I’m also sure that you’ll get much more from it if you, at least (if starting with the first book in the 31-book series is too daunting) read Going Postal, before you have a go at this, as it will set the scene rather nicely.

More Terry Pratchett

Title: Making Money    
Series: Discworld
Series Number: 31
Author: Terry Pratchett
Reviewer: Markus
Reviewer URL: http://skating.thierstein.net
Publisher:  Doubleday/Transworld
Publisher URL: http://www.rbooks.co.uk
Publication Date: 2007
Review Date: 080110
ISBN: 9780385611015
Price: UKP 18.99 RRP
Pages: 349
Format: Hardback
Topic: Fantasy
Topic: Humour

 

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