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)
I haven’t actually read the first Moist von Lipwig book (Going Postal) but I’ve seen the TV show version, which apparently isn’t a very good adaptation1 but it served well enough for me that I could read the sequel without tripping over too many questions re:plot/character/etc. After reading Making Money I realized that a) I really like Vetinari and b) Terry Pratchett’s best books are the ones where he almost sarcastically rips apart some long-loved belief about the world while reminding us all that PEOPLE are what’s really important, not whatever thing he’s ripping apart.
Also that I haven’t read nearly enough Terry Pratchett books yet, and thus began my Pterry book binge of September!2
Okay, so: Making Money is about gold, and banks, and money and why people believe in it and what happens when you fiddle with that belief and also there’s some bits about love and there’s an insane person inventing things (again) and Moist von Lipwig is very charming. I think I liked reading it because of the two things I talked about above (Vetinari and sarcasm) and not because the story itself was particularly good. There are several subplots that seem stuck into the main one for reasons that’re pretty flimsy, and if you had taken then out I don’t THINK the main story would’ve suffered much.
Well, it would have been SHORTER and some of the humor would’ve been lost and I guess some people would’ve been sad that the more colorful secondary characters were no longer there. But on the other hand I wouldn’t have been wondering what the point of the mad inventor in the bank’s basement was, and that wondering wouldn’t have distracted me from the rest of the book and I might have liked it MORE.
Or maybe Making Money just looks worse in comparison with the OTHER Discworld books I read after it, because those ones were omg AMAZING and Making Money is merely Enjoyable and of course AMAZING is going to eclipse merely Enjoyable. Right? Right. So, in conclusion, I probably liked Making Money more when I actually read it than NOW, after reading several other omg amazing books. But it’s not bad, and if you like Moist/con artists/biting commentary on real-world messes through the avenue of humor, you’d no doubt like Making Money, too. But you should probably read Going Postal first. Just saying.
Read: September 18-19, 2012