Book Meme: Mel’s Day Four

Book Meme Challenge:

Favorite Book from Your Favorite Series

Having narrowed down my choices to one series does make the choice a bit easier. Honestly. And it helps that I already know which Discworld book I would take to a desert island. In fact, this book might make my top five list of books to take to that lonely island.

From all the Discworld books there are many humorous gems and snarky treasures. But without a doubt my favorite is . . .

Going Postal

I have owned this book for maybe two years, and it is about time to get a new copy; mine is ragged, falling apart, and needing to be retired!

Firmly entrenched in the Discworld city of Ankh-Morpork, there is a clever and world-weary con man named Moist Von Lipwig, whose artistic skills are seconded only to his ability to read and work people. Unfortunately, these traits do not get him far with the local Tyrant PatricianVetinari. His long and successful run on the shady side of the law cut short, Moist is stripped of his nom-de-plumes, (could “Moist” be anything other than his real name?) and put charge of reforming the government post office.

The job comes with an official hat.

Of course, the task at hand is more difficult than it sounds. The mail ceased being delivered years before, and now the office is shell of its former glory and simply overflowing with old, undelivered letters.

And because this is Discworld, where words=knowlegde=power=matter=mass, this pile-up of letters is sure to cause some kind of havoc.

Add the fierce competition of the Clacks, (who currently have the monopoly on communication,) the complications of working with Golems, (and the fiery, chain-smoking, weirdly attractive Chairwoman of the Golem Trust, Adora Belle Dearheart,) the machine of Bloody Stupid Johnson, (who forced the mathematical “pi” to equal 3 exactly,) the intricacies of the accrued Postmaster Lore and Ritual, and it is suddenly obvious that only a brilliant trickster can pull off this job.

Our Hero has the trick of a lifetime before him: convincing an entire city to trust the post again, outwitting the humongous and possibly evil Clacks company, cleverly reorganizing and reinventing the mail system, and – perhaps most difficult for him – becoming an upstanding member of the community. He remains a charming, manipulative, adventurous and witty man through out, but he does come to appreciate the value of living hopefully. Especially when he really has no other choice.

Every page is smart, every action moves quickly and for the overall purpose of the plot, and every character is given the chance to develop and make choices. In addition to having one of the most vivid, roguish, and charismatic protagonists in all Discworld, this book is incredibly well crafted from the plot to each sentence. If you are a neophyte to the world of Pratchett lore, this is one of the better books with which to start.

There is also a movie made from this book, which actually quite good. It is different from the book, but not so much that it needs to be kept in a separate mind-pocket. (Like the Prince Caspian movie, for instance.) Going Postal The Movie is well acted, charmingly directed, beautifully photographed, and neatly scripted. It also manages to retain the whimsical and witty air inherent to all Pratchett tales, which is quite a feat when moving between the mediums of written word and film. I recommend both the book and movie quite heartily.


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