Going Postal by Terry Pratchett recommended by the lunchtime reading group
In December the Shoe Lane lunchtime reading group met to discuss Going Postal by Terry Pratchett. For some this was our first taste of Terry Pratchett’s work. The reading group learned that according to legend, Mercury, the messenger of the gods, was also the god of thieves. This may explain why moral vacuum and con man supreme Moist von Lipwig has been saved from being hanged and brought in to try and re-revamp the disastrous and failed postal system of Ankh-Morpork, where so many letters have been stored in the old Post Office that you can’t enter half the rooms and they have found their own way of communicating with the world. Moist will employ anybody who’s dog-proof, has a pulse and can walk. Most of the group thought the book was very funny and we liked the way the author puts Moist in a lose/lose situation where he has to beat the clacks ( Pratchett’s not so hidden swipe at e-mail and instant messaging) by taking a letter from Ankh to Genua, and is faced with the prospect of being killed by the clacks’ boss if he succeeds or by his own bosses (The Patricians) if he fails. Appreciated was the layer upon layer of satire that Terry Pratchett has delivered here which includes the demise of Royal Mail and gently poking fun at obsessive stamp collectors. We liked the way the narrative really pulled us along at a fast pace and speaking as a first time reader of Terry Pratchett I found myself rooting for Moist and his team of geriatric postmen and pin obsessed staff and wondering how they are going to get out of their next fix. Most of the group found Going Postal an extremely witty book and much praise was given to Pratchett’s inventiveness, in his creation of the disc world novels of Ankh Morpork, which though alien and strange, give an eerie and skewed but delightful version of our world as we know it.