Aimlessly Going Forward

blog by Tomas Sedovic

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

book, review, discworld

This review was originally posted at Goodreads and imported here later with next to no spell/grammar checking.

5/5 stars

“When banks fail, it is seldom bankers who starve.”

Based solely on the blurb, I was not excited about this book. A protagonist called Moist von Lipwig? A con artist? Thanks, but no thanks. And it starts with his execution, which even in a book, even when you know it won’t actually follow through, is a deeply disturbing thing to me.

But what follows is a redemption story, and a really good one at that!

Mr. Lipwig is to take over the derelict abandoned post office in the era where the telegraph has basically taken over the world. Why send a letter over a horse-drawn carriage and wait days for delivery when the message can arrive in a few minutes or hours via the Clack.

But the telegraph company — lovingly designed and built by engineers — has been taken over by the business people who were milking it relentlessly, neglecting repair and safety procedures.

The story story is an urban one and I just respond much better to those. Plus there’s great characters, intrigue, conspiracy, mysteries, cunning, betrayal and a cat that needs saving.

In addition, Pratchett deftly addresses topics such as "natural medicine", engineering vs. business approaches to running a company and then does one of my favourite things in a book: building and describing a culture. The post people as well as the telegraph operators have their own morals, behaviours, approaches and myths. And that is just always so delightful to see.

It’s not just a story, but an insight into a world full of genuine people.

And as ever, there’s a lot of philosophy to be found for anyone who’s looking.

Going Postal is technically a part of the Industrial Revolution subseries, but it can absolutely be read in isolation. It is also apparently the first of the new Moist von Lipwig subseries and I am definitely looking forward to the next ones.

Screenshot and link to the website for the Dose Response game

Hi! I wrote a game! It's an open-world roguelike where you play an addict called Dose Response. You can get it on the game's website (pay what you want!), it's cross-platform, works in the browser and it's open source! If you give it a go, let me know how you liked it, please!