Author: Terry Pratchett
When Terry Pratchett died earlier this year, all of my sci-fi writerly-type friends mourned his loss on Facebook. Up until that point, I had never heard of him. But, I made a note to check out his work if I ever got the chance. That chance came sooner than I expected. After volunteering at Denver Public Library’s used book sale, as I was perusing the books (volunteers receive a discount) I found a Terry Pratchett book – Making Money. For a couple dollars, it was worth trying a new author that I had heard good things about.
Making Money centers on Moist von Lipwig, the postmaster general for Ankh-Morpork. He inherits a dog, that happens to be chairman of the bank. This makes Moist the de facto chairman. He has some radical ideas about what to do, and is now the enemy of the richest family in the city. The situation further complicated by von Lipwig not knowing anything about banking.
I’m sorry it took me this long to discover Pratchett’s work. The book was very funny (in case you missed the part about the dog being chairman of the bank). While reading it, I was thinking it was similar to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but not as off-the-wall silly. In retrospect, however, it might be closer to Catch-22 in style. Here is my favorite (or at least most memorable) quote:
“Y’see, it costs a ha’penny to make a farthin’ an’ nearly a penny to make a ha’penny. A penny comes in at a penny farthin’. Sixpences cost tuppence farthin’, so we’re in pocket there. Half a dollar cost seven pence. And it’s only sixpence to make a dollar, a definite improvement, but that’s ‘cos we does ‘em here. The real buggers are the mites, ‘cos they’re worth half a farthin’ but cost sixpence ‘cos it’s fiddly work, bein’ so small and have got that hole in the middle. The thrupenny bit, sir, we’ve only got a couple of people makin’ those, a lot of work which runs out at seven pence. And don’t ask me about the tupenny piece!”
“What about the tupenny piece?”
“I’m glad you asked me that, sir….”
With all the humor, I felt like I was missing some of the jokes – references to things I knew little about. So I looked up the book, and it turns out that this is part of his Discworld series. The Discworld series has 40 books, with number 41 coming out posthumously in a couple months. (Forty-one?! 41 books? Goddammit, my reading list is never going to get smaller is it?) Even though it is part of a series, it felt pretty well self-contained. There was a beginning, middle, and an end. [Spoiler Alert]No one is stabbed in the back, and we don’t have to wait years and years to find out if they are alive or dead, unlike some other series I read. [/Spoiler Alert]
This was a good fun read, I am glad I found out about him (though not the circumstances how I found out about him). I’ll go back and read the other books in the series, though it might be a while before I get there with my book queue the way it is.
WWYT Rating: 7.5