Making MoneyNovember 26, 2007
pub. Harper, 400pp
Okay, so I love these books. Terry Pratchett has an incredible sense of humor, a great eye for social commentary, and the man can just plain spin a yarn. For those of you who don’t know the Disc World books, it is high time you tried them.
The books take place on a fantastic world called The Disc, because it is, get this, flat and shaped like a disc. The Disk has several cities and countries, but the books primarily focus on the city of Ankh Morpork, a fallen metropolis like no other. The world is amazingly well thought out and complete, populated by all kinds of creatures from dwarves and trolls to vampires and werewolves. Of course people, wizards, witches, and monks who have the task of overseeing and safeguarding the passage of time also come into play. Lest you think this is just silly fantasy, Prattchet uses these different species to point out and brilliantly make fun of our own society’s foibles and prejudices.
There are 33 books in the series, and several distinct plot threads, each comprising multiple books. Making Money is the second book to deal with Moist von Lipwig. In Going Postal, Moist is ‘saved’ from his life as a con-man by the Patrician, Ankh Morpork’s ruling tyrant, and put in charge of the decrepit and failing Post Office. In this book, Moist has grown bored with the now smoothly functioning Post Office, and is yearning for the action and spark of his earlier, less law-abiding days.
Through a series of machinations and one fortuitous death, Moist becomes the de-facto chairman of the National Bank and therefore the Mint. It will be his job to modernize the entire economy of Ankh Morpork, to begin printing paper money, and to get the city off of the gold standard and onto something that will allow for development and progress.
While this is not the book to start your journey into the Disc World – for this I suggest Small Gods or Thief of Time – it is, as usual, a fun escape and great social satire at the same time.