Aug. 7th, 2010

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Making Money (Discworld, #36)Making Money by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Terry Pratchett likes jokes. He likes to set them up, he likes to - shazam! - reveal them, he likes to play with words. He writes entertainment, and he writes satire.

He's light entertainment, occupying a peculiar halfway point between satirising the present and the genre of fantasy.

He's also in that position where, after a successful career, he can write anything he wants and it will be bought by the millions. It must be hell being his editor. Hell that editors scramble for.

This book was suspiciously heavy for light entertainment. I'm not sure where it could be cut, though, just saying.

As with most of Pratchett's Discworld stories, this one is an episode in an ongoing saga. Many of the characters and settings are familiar, we meet a few new ones, we chuckle at a few old jokes, we enjoy old ones.

There, that's a quarter of the book done, just setting the stage for the rare new reader. There's not a lot of detailed description - it's all well-crafted - but we still get to learn about the King of the Golden River and the workings of the Patrician's office - the Oblong Office - all over again.

We meet - or rather re-meet - Moist von Lipwig, from "Going Postal". This time he's making some real money and sharing adventures with some of the characters from the previous tale.

Terry Pratchett must have been inspired by the Global Financial Cooling. This book is all about money and banks and trust. In a typical Ankh-Morporkian way. The Royal Mint coins the currency, usually spending more on minting the coins than the coins are worth. Some of the smaller ones are handcrafted at enormous expense. The impressive facade of the Royal Bank conceals a great many dark secrets, not least the source of the glooping sound from the basement.

Von Lipwig takes all in hand, and at the occasional peril of his life and the gold-ish standard, finds a solution. Along the way there are golems, small dogs, small gods, necromancy under a new name, a wizard with round eyeglasses, things stuck in drawers, romance and ripe fingers.

It's all good.

Nothing earthshaking. A few good jokes, a few good lines, a few good scenes.

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