Amazingly, former arch-swindler-turned-Postmaster General Moist von Lipwig has somehow managed to get the woefully inefficient Ankh-Morpork Post Office running like . . . well, not like a government office at all. Now the supreme despot Lord Vetinari is asking Moist if he’d like to make some real money. Vetinari wants Moist to resuscitate the venerable Royal Mint—so that perhaps it will no longer cost considerably more than a penny to make a penny.
Moist doesn’t want the job. However, a request from Ankh-Morpork’s current ruling tyrant isn’t a “request” per se, more like a “once-in-a-lifetime-offer-you-can-certainly-refuse-if-you-feel-you’ve-lived-quite-long-enough.” So Moist will just have to learn to deal with elderly Royal Bank chairman Topsy (née Turvy) Lavish and her two loaded crossbows, a face-lapping Mint manager, and a chief clerk who’s probably a vampire. But he’ll soon be making lethal enemies as well as money, especially if he can’t figure out where all the gold has gone. (from Amazon)
Now that I’ve finally read Going Postal, the first Moist von Lipwig book, I definitely like Making Money more than I did the first time I read it. Let this be a lesson to you– don’t rely on TV show versions for background information in a book series! You miss out on a lot, and some of the changes they make in televised versions mean you’ll be very confused when you read the sequel and don’t know some of the important things related to characterizations and relationships and so on.
Because, see, this is definitely one of those books where you need to read the first book before reading the sequel. Making Money builds on top of character developments from the first book; it’s way more satisfying reading that development in the correct order, especially since it’s about a con artist using his powers for good. In Making Money, Moist’s starting to crack, forced to basically con himself for amusement. The TV version made it seem like he’d be fine and dandy forever, married to Aodra and so on. Not so! You could tell he was more wily than that in the first book, and the sequel just confirms it.
Besides Moist, though, Making Money is about how the gold standard is silly, and about why banks can get away with having more money than they have in gold, and lots of other stuff that kind of distracts from the relationships and romance and so on. This is unfortunate, because there’s some pretty good stuff with the Lavish family, for example, especially the Lavish who really wants to be Lord Vetinari, but it almost gets shoved to the back so there can be more things about Banks Being Silly.
Terry Pratchett going on a rant about something is almost always fun, but I like it best when it happens alongside great characters and the adventures they have. Balanced, y’know? And the balance in Making Money is just a little off, I think. (Or maybe I just thought that because I was paying more attention to the bank stuff this time, and it stuck out? Oh, the varieties of reading experiences. So annoying.) (Or do I mean vulgarities? Is this some quote I’m misusing?) (Someone Google it for me, I haven’t the time. I’m only 28 reviews behind now! Instead of 35! Huzzah.) (Help! How do I write and/or post reviews faster? I don’t want to be posting reviews from 2013 in 2014.) (Leave suggestions in the comments, please.) (These should probably be footnotes, but I haven’t figured out how to footnote a footnote yet with the plugin I use.) (Or is it subnote a footnote? Someone Google that and get back to me with the answer.)
Overall, I enjoyed reading Making Money! And I really want another Moist von Lipwig book, though maybe not another “Moist make a semi-troubling government institution into something grand and noble” story.
Read: July 20-21, 2013